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Economic consequences of the Bush Administration

December 17, 2007

Shows how much I know… when I saw this article was written by Joseph Stiglitz, I thought of the American Place photographer and was puzzled by the fact that he’s no longer among the living.  But when I looked him up it turned out it was just some other Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel-Prize winning economist at Columbia.  Well that’s even better, I guess.

The economic consequences of the Bush administration.

Short version: he’s not a fan.

Categories: Economics, Politics
  1. Ted
    December 17, 2007 at 09:15 | #1

    Reads like a condensed version of events for those that have not been keeping up.

    Which leads one to conclude that if they haven’t been keeping up with the basic geopolitical economics, what use a recap would be to them?

    In my view, NAFTA and other so called free trade agreements have been very damaging, not in the terms of the predicted “great sucking sound” but in the terms of a slow and accelerating shift from the principles of full employment to a focus on inflation control as practiced by adjusting the employment valve.

    I believe that inflation affects the rich more because it devalues their substantial holdings. The poor have few holdings to devaluate, although in the immediate timeframe the costs of staples may make their lives more challenging. The rich will be unaffected by cost of living increases, but will be greatly impacted by rampant inflation on their net worth. Hence the focus of “inflation control”. It’s good for the poor, but really, really good for the rich. And if we jettison a few million employees on a yearly basis in order to keep inflation in check, so be it—that be the cost of the fuel that runs the engine.

    As for the rest of Stiglitz’s litany; well, that’s well and good, but this is a two party system and both parties are part and parcel of the same system. Will the Democrats cut defense spending from it’s obscene rates? Not likely—because people would point out the demonstrated shortness of their penises.

    Will they address universal health care and allow American businesses to be more competitive on the global market? Not likely; the dysfunction inherent in the healthcare system is great for big pharma and the medical professional community. And besides, even with universal healthcare and an improved infrastructure, it’s tough to compete with Chinese 16-year olds working 15 hr days at $0.26/hr for Walmart, making Christmas ornaments.

    Will they aggressively approach AGW? Not likely, since on the face of the planet, our standard of living has the farthest to fall in a situation requiring disciplined distribution of resources. Consider the French royalty during The Revolution—had they been more accommodating and cooperative, they may have survived with their heads attached, but it was never in the works. Their nature was such that royalty never considered elevating the concerns of the rabble to their status; it was a concept totally foreign.

    I may well be wrong, and it would actually be great to be wrong in this case, but optimism != realism.

  2. December 17, 2007 at 11:14 | #2

    As for the rest of Stiglitz’s litany; well, that’s well and good, but this is a two party system and both parties are part and parcel of the same system. Will the Democrats cut defense spending from it’s obscene rates? Not likely—because people would point out the demonstrated shortness of their penises.

    Exactly my problem with the Dems. Most of them are spineless. Which is why I’m hoping for Obama, he seems to be the only one with a spine.

    Will they address universal health care and allow American businesses to be more competitive on the global market? Not likely; the dysfunction inherent in the healthcare system is great for big pharma and the medical professional community. And besides, even with universal healthcare and an improved infrastructure, it’s tough to compete with Chinese 16-year olds working 15 hr days at $0.26/hr for Walmart, making Christmas ornaments.

    Defense spending and Health Care certainly are third rail issues and it really is too bad like you say because it could make businesses competitive.

    I may well be wrong, and it would actually be great to be wrong in this case, but optimism != realism.

    Maybe we need to think of a new message to send. Our government has been failing us for some time, it might be time to look to the constitution for answers. We need a system where money is taken out of politics and politicians do what is right based on what seems right, and not what will get them elected or what puts money and services back into the pockets of constituents.

  3. james old guy
    December 17, 2007 at 11:52 | #3

    Columbia and not a Bush fan, consider me shocked.

  4. December 17, 2007 at 21:42 | #4

    Columbia and not a Bush fan, consider me shocked.

    Surprising it makes that much difference who says it.  Is there some upside to $1 Trillion in debt to China that I missed somehow?  Or some benefit to 70% growth in our national debt that escapes me?  I guess I just don’t understand economics.  :coolhmm:

  5. Ted
    December 18, 2007 at 08:29 | #5

    Exactly my problem with the Dems. Most of them are spineless. Which is why I’m hoping for Obama, he seems to be the only one with a spine.

    Well, actually Obama has made some serious gaffes in the last month or so (i.e. parroting republican/libertarian talking points on SS issues—Krugman is taking him to task for that). If you do want to address even a few of the issues at hand, Edwards is more the person to do it; Obama seems naive in his desire to “just get along”. Of course, Edwards would not be popular among the lobbying class, and I wouldn’t be very surprised if some executive action wasn’t called for in his case.

    The Hillary fall in the polls and Obama surge seems to (me) be related to Oprah, and I don’t think that the media class is comfy calling it what it is; that the electorate can be swayed by celebrity—it puts lie to the notion of democracy working unfettered. Meanwhile, Edwards seems to be relatively unaffected by the Oprah factor, which indicates to me a sort of basic strength behind his supporters.

  6. james old guy
    December 18, 2007 at 10:13 | #6

    I love numbers, can I make some up for my own personal views??

  7. December 18, 2007 at 10:30 | #7

    Did you read the article?  Even by stripped-down numbers from “conservatives” we are pretty badly hosed.

  8. December 22, 2007 at 08:43 | #8

    Webs05 has picked up this topic on his own blog: The rich, taxes, and statistics.

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