Wednesday, September 01, 2010
, this observation by Martin Wolf:
Suppose that the US presidential election of 1932 had, in fact, taken place in 1930, at an early stage in the Great Depression. Suppose, too, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had won then, though not by the landslide of 1932. How different subsequent events might have been. The president might have watched helplessly as output and employment collapsed. The decades of Democratic dominance might not have happened.
I've been saying that privately for a long time.
But this time was different: the crisis brought Barack Obama to power close to the beginning of the economic collapse. I (among others) then argued that policy needed to be hugely aggressive. Alas, it was not. I noted on February 4 2009, at the beginning of the new presidency:
“Instead of an overwhelming fiscal stimulus, what is emerging is too small, too wasteful and too ill-focused.”A week later, I asked:
“Has Barack Obama’s presidency already failed? In normal times, this would be a ludicrous question. But these are not normal times. They are times of great danger. Today, the new US administration can disown responsibility for its inheritance; tomorrow, it will own it. Today, it can offer solutions; tomorrow it will have become the problem. Today, it is in control of events; tomorrow, events will take control of it. Doing too little is now far riskier than doing too much.” This was right.
One thing that Obama could have done is, like FDR, stayed away from the administration while 2008 was playing out. Not hostile, but a studied neutrality. That way, when he took office, he would have been able to present a clearer distinction between his administration and the economic problems of the previous one.
The only reason liberals cling to the completely failed and discredited Keynesian theory of the economic stimulus is that it provides them with a pseudo-scientific rationale for doing what they want to do anyway -- pour huge amounts of money into their personal pet projects.
Keynesian economics is like the 400 lb woman who swears by the Magic Slimming All Chocolate Diet. Sure, she's gained 50 lb since she's started on it, but the chocolate is so delicious that losing weight is really beside the point.
Of course the money was wasted. Just like Stalin's central planning devastated the Soviet economy; Just like Mao's central planning devastated the Chinese economy, Obama's central planning, the handing out nearly a trillion dollars in the form of political graft failed to create jobs. Not only did it not create jobs, it has so distorted the marketplace that it is destroying jobs at a record pace. And all liberals can talk about is how all that graft, all that "wasteful and ill-focused" stimulus wasn't nearly enough to make a difference.
Maybe if the money spent was better focused, it might have made a difference. But, once again, we are back to the supreme arrogance of an administration that thinks that it can use central economic planning to "plan" the economic recovery of the entire nation. As if Obama and his team of thieves could possibly replace or surpass the millions of man-years of hard-won knowledge and practical experience of tens of millions of businessmen and manufacturers, when their eyes are focused like a laser beam on making sure that all that money lands in their friends' pockets.
Have no fear, Barack Obama has indeed presented a clear distinction between his administration and the economic problems of the previous one. Bush may have driven the economy into a ditch, but Obama drove right through the ditch, up the other side and off a cliff with his foot pressed hard to the floor. And liberals only regret is that Obama couldn't drive any faster.
November can't come fast enough.
"Bush drove the economy into a ditch, but Obama backed the economy out of the ditch and created more jobs thus far than Bush created in eight years. And liberals' only regret is that Obama didn't push for an even larger stimulus package, so even more people could be back at work and paying taxes in order to pay for the stimulus."
Yeah, I know, Anon. The truth's a bitch, but you've got to learn to accept it, and stop letting Rush Limpballs and Sean Insannity do your thinking for you. They're pathological liars, and they've made you into one, too.
This is just golden comedy, or as Hot Rod would say, this is f*cking gold comedy.
How's the weather in your economic world, Demon?
It seems like Demon is beginning to get past the denial stage and into the anger stage, although he's still in full-out denial in the matter of creating jobs. It's so puzzling. Every month, the government reports that the economy is losing jobs, yet Demon still insists that it is creating jobs.
No, wait. I think I understand. Demon is talking about Obama creating jobs, not the private sector creating jobs. In that case, he is absolutely correct. This administration has created more massively-overpaid government jobs in two years than the Bush administration created in 8. The only problem is that private sector jobs are evaporating like a melted popsicle on a hundred degree sidewalk, leaving nothing but sticky job-residue in their wake.
Go pick up a paper. Look for the latest news about job creation. It's easy to find. Just look for the word "unexpectedly."
I'll be anxiously looking forward to liberals like yourself reaching the next stage -- bargaining. I'm hearing about a payroll tax holiday from the Obama camp, so I think they are ready to move on to the third stage. Keep checking your liberal memo. I'm sure they'll let you know when it's time to stop being angry and start pretending to be a conservative.
Just keep doing what you're doing, man!
"Every month, the government reports that the economy is losing jobs, yet Demon still insists that it is creating jobs."
No, Demon is presumably claiming that the loss of jobs would be even greater without the meager stimulus we did have.
Of course the money was wasted. Just like Stalin's central planning devastated the Soviet economy; Just like Mao's central planning devastated the Chinese economy, Obama's central planning, the handing out nearly a trillion dollars in the form of political graft failed to create jobs. Not only did it not create jobs, it has so distorted the marketplace that it is destroying jobs at a record pace.
LOL! Just like that oh-so-efficient marketplace that gave us liar loans and an $8T housing bubble.
Oh, I know, that's all the government's fault, through CRA...LOL!
The stimulus only sort of worked because the Wall Street "genius'" fiasco caused one trillion dollars to drop out of the economy. The stimulus package was only $700 billion (chump change for the Iraqis)and $200 billion of that was for tax cuts, the Republican wet dream.
You know those tax cuts that are suppose to create jobs. Obama was just too timid.
And Anon, for crying out loud, can't use use a name?
if you are saying obama should not have endorsed TARP prior to the election, i agree. not in the way that it rolled out. if a bailout was needed, you don't agree to do so without any strings attached. any rescue of the financial sector should have been contingent on their agreeing that reforms be put in place in exchange. banksters get a bailout only if they agree to reinstalling glass steagall - for example.
One thing that Obama could have done is, like FDR, stayed away from the administration while 2008 was playing out.
but this neutrality is a self serving political tactic. FDR should have acted to help lessen the blow of the depression if he thought there was an avenue to do so. instead, he placed more importance on husbanding political capital. that isn't putting country first.
Obama's central planning, the handing out nearly a trillion dollars in the form of political graft failed to create jobs. Not only did it not create jobs, it has so distorted the marketplace that it is destroying jobs at a record pace.
what destroyed jobs was bush tax cuts and republican installed loopholes that rewarded corporations for shipping jobs to china.