Thursday, August 18, 2011


The conservatives of the world howl and gnash their teeth in the face of imagined debt and the IMF seek to impose punitive austerity on what had once been the workers of the developed world before capitalism descended into voodoo abstraction. All economists to whom I care to pay attention tell me that that current drastic cuts to public spending are nothing short of suicidal. In the instance it’s Robert Reich – formerly Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor (remember peace and prosperity?)

“Not only is the United States slouching toward a double dip, but so is Europe. New data out today show even Europe’s strongest core economies – Germany, France, and the Netherlands – slowing to a crawl. We’re on the cusp of a global recession. Policy makers be warned: Austerity is the wrong medicine. We all know about the weaknesses in Europe’s “periphery” – Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. But the drop in Europe’s core is dizzying. Germany grew at an annualized rate of just half a percent last quarter, down from 5.5 percent in the first quarter of the year. France didn’t grow at all. What’s going on in Europe’s core? Partly it’s a loss of confidence due to debt crises in the periphery. But that’s hardly all. Europe depends on exports – especially to Asia, India, Latin America, and the United States. But exports to China and other emerging markets have been dropping. China, worried about inflation, has pulled in the reins on its sizzling economy. Brazil has been pulling back as well. And as the United States economy sputters, exports to America have been slowing. But chalk up a big part of Europe’s slowdown to the politics and economics of austerity. Europe – including Britain – have turned John Maynard Keynes on his head. They’ve been cutting public spending just when they should be spending more to counteract slowing private spending.” (Click here for more)

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The secret word is Clueless


Aleleeinn said...

IMHO the conservatives have no clue how any economy works. They are systematically killing the consumer. YEP! the people who buy the goods and services. Concentrating wealth limits who can buy what.
No matter how conspicuous the consumption above a certain level a rich person cannot buy any more "STUFF".
They provide no help to the auto refrigerator home markets. Those people getting wage cuts and their obs outsourced do that.
The neo-cons don't seem to know that the world economy is a consumer economy. Or they do know that and want to convert it into a feudal economy.
As my lifelong sage "Murphy" has expressed in one of his laws. "Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity." But Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann not withstanding, it is getter harder to believe these people are really that stupid.

mike flugennock said...

Peace and prosperity? Bill Clinton sure didn't give it to us. Under Clinton, real wages stagnated at early 1970s levels. Bill Clinton gave us the North American Free Trade Agreement. Bill Clinton bombed at least half a dozen countries. Bill Clinton gave us nearly a decade of economic sanctions against Iraq which resulted in the deaths of over a million and a half people, half of whom were children. Bill Clinton was one of the most violent and right-wing Presidents this country ever "elected".

Fikret Alic said...

> Bill Clinton bombed at least
> half a dozen countries.

... including Serbia where his actions stopped the genocide despite the objections of Douglas Hurd & Malcolm Rifkind.

When people on the left start making comrades of those two, there's something badly wrong.