August 08, 2011

In a dark wood

It's starting to look like the United States, like Dante in the opening lines of his Inferno, is finding itself in a dark woods, having lost the true path. Three years after the worst economic decline since the Great Recession, we seem to be headed down a path that will only lead to more misery for ordinary Americans.

And, to throw in a reference to an Irish poet to balance the Italian one mentioned above, the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. What happened?

Over the next few days, I'm going to try to unravel this one. Here's the first installment:

The Great Recession, which technically began in 2007 but made itself felt in 2008 was facilitated by 30 years of deregulation, privatization, supply side economic BS and the undermining of policies that promoted shared prosperity. And yet, incredible as it seems to me, the ideas that led to it and which should have been permanently discredited are still being asserted louder than ever.

MEANWHILE, how bout that stock market? Those tea baggers must be really happy now.

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. Email subscribers to this blog may have accidentally gotten a not ready for prime time version of installment 2 of this series. I apologize for filling up your inbox.


1 comment:

Hollowdweller said...

IMO the problem with the US is the GOP's position on unions and the working class.

Unions can be a bad thing contributing to inflation and making companies less profitable. This was a huge problem in the 1970's.

Steps were taken to cut back on the unions power actually starting really with Taft Hartley and then sort of reaching a peak with Reagan firing the air traffic controllers.

Now the reverse is true. Workers because of free trade, illegal immigrants, and anti worker policies enacted by congress and the courts really have almost no power to bargain for more wages and benefits for their employees.

So what has been the result????? The states offering insurance, foodstamps, and more and more assistance to people who are actually working.

Employees who may have valuable imput into things that would make the company more profitable being fired as trouble makers or whistle blowers, which stifles innovation.

The federal gov't actually PAYING people to work like the Earned Income Tax Credit.

If we had strong unions again we would have adequate consumer demand to reinvigorate the economy. The government would not be forced into providing health care or devising elaborate redistribution schemes to help the lower income working class. These people would be able to get these things for themselves from their employers in labor negotiations.

So we have the modern republican party. For free trade even though it lowers workers wages. Complaining about people not wanting to work but not cutting back on immigration that brings people in who undercut US salaries. Complaining about gov't giving stuff away and disincentives to work but at the same time not realizing that rather than subsidizing lazyness they are subsidizing companies low wages and lack of benefits.

If you hear the GOP talking you'd think conditions are the same as they were in 1980 when Reagan took office. All those issues from then WERE problems and were addressed by the GOP's legislation in subsequent years.

However we are in totally difft times that require difft approaches and yet they are pushing stuff we've been doing that worked in the 80's and 90's but are totally irrelevant to the set of facts on the ground we have today. They don't realize they won that war back in the 80's but that the challenge today is difft.

Rant over.