Thursday, September 22, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Here in New York Magazine is a useful summary and discussion of the new Ron Suskind book on the Obama administration. The very bad decision to put people in charge of economic policy who had been complicit in the wreckage in the first place is one thing I never understood about Obama. My take has always been that he was too impressed by the "establishment", and didn't have his own well developed policy views on the economy. What do you all think?
Friday, September 16, 2011
While the Republi-con site has been expressly concerned about the big Milton-Friedman/Ayn Rand/Alan Greenspan "economic lie" - namely that tax cuts for the rich are infinitely trickle-worthy, multiplicative in their effects, and bountiful in their impacts upon the less fortunate among us (an argument completely and totally contradicted by Bureau of Labor Statistics data over the past 3o years) - it is important to bear in mind that limited governance and the crippling of any corporate regulation are the major core strategies employed by Republicons to advance their mission.
While we may smugly view ourselves as somewhat seasoned, cynical critics of the current political state of affairs, most of us in fact have no full appreciation of the depth of current Republican cynicism, an ideological cynicism that willingly embraces enormous LIES about the Republican party and its willingness to engage in acts of political terrorism to achieve its goals.
This point was brought home in a recent article by a GOP operative of over thirty years that I encourage everyone to read. Entitled Goodbye to All That and written by a gentleman named Mike Lofgren ( http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779 ) he points out just how Goebbels-like the Republican strategy really is.
He points out that the recent debacle with respect to the debt ceiling was a pure act of political terrorism. The debt ceiling bill had been addressed 87 times since the end of World War II, and passed in every instance with bipartisan support. But, as he also correctly points out, the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a representative political party (it's completely out-of-line with what citizens insist should be protected according to all national polls) and more like "an apocalytic cult." Lofgren also points out that "Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate in doing its job, it would lower Congress's generic favorability rating." And, by sabotaging the reputation of Congress, the ideological wizards of the Republican Party come out the winners. How? Because they have disabused citizens thoroughly of the idea that government can ever help!!! That's exactly what they want !!! (Sadly, most American citizens make little distinction between Republicans and Democrats on these issues - it's Congress!!!). That distinction- failure by citizens and especially by major newsmedia is absolutely lacerating, and indicative of their own terrible weakness in pointing out the truth.
Journalists like Michael Tomasky with The DailyBeast.com have picked up on this theme and,
to put it mildly (see http://www.thedailybeast.com/contributors/michael-tomasky.html),
are not thrilled with what they see in Obama's rosy-lensed vision of bipartisanship........ (see http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/31/barack-obama-still-acting-like-a-wimp-refusing-to-fight-for-jobs.html). He's right. The difficulty with the 2012 elections is that Democrats are saddled with a fine, but deeply flawed man who will fight in the trenches for what he believes- while Republicans are saddled with a bunch of lunatics. Should I consider these prospects depressing ????
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Another long range survey of the impact of government austerity policies by the IMF shows that cutting government spending in general shrinks the economy and kills jobs. So why do Republican leaders keep insisting that cutting spending and taxes on the rich is the only way to grow the economy. It goes against all evidence? My conclusion: they are con men and women. That doesn't mean that they disbelieve their own con. In some cases they may. In most cases they probably don't care. What do you all think? Let me know by commenting here.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Robert Reich included a great chart in his recent article on the necessity for increasing the middle class. The argument is: Increasing the middle class increases demand. This is because of the very well verified reduced "marginal propensity to consume" with rising income. The richer people spend less of their income. So when the economy is more unequal, demand drops. The most beautiful thing in the article is a chart that tells the sad story of the past 50 years, and in particular all the bad things that started happening from Reagan on. Here's the chart (click on the chart to magnify):
Saturday, September 3, 2011
I think we need a march on Washington against "Job-killing austerity" and for government investment in jobs to benefit the nation. If John Boehner can lie constantly about "job killing tax increases" when the rich are sitting on cash and not investing, then why can't the masses of us march on Washington with the truth: that the government needs to invest in America, now? What do you all say? If you think this is a good idea you can "Like" a Facebook Page on the March.