–Robert Reich says there need to be stronger unions. If he really meant that, then rather than advocate counter-balancing rules on top of the overwhelming anti-organizing ones he’d be calling for simply dismantling the ones that discoraged real labor organizing in the first place. But you knew that already.
-The concept of economic “stimulus” is bankrupt in and of itself. Acknowledging so is not in the interests of anyone in power, for obvious reason, so instead they bicker about the methods in order to keep up appearances of difference. House republicans, in the latest round of circus, say “more tax cuts will work, honest!“. Gimme a moment on this…
Considering the violence that our taxes fund, I’m all for resistance to it on principle, but 1) that’s clearly not what they mean, since they like war & just want to fund it via currency manipulation, & 2) within the statist assumption of “stimulus” being possible they miss the point. The reason for the panic is that the foundation of the U.S. economy is consumption beyond means, and with the fall of the (artificially propped-up in the first place) housing market & the revelation that the financial sector did the macro equivalent of tossing your life savings at the nearest roulette wheel, saying “black double zero” and walking away, getting further into debt to buy stuff is hard. Since they can’t acknowledge that the previous level of consumption was unsustainable, the political establishment is scrambling to get people to go back to it.
…and from there is the problem with the Republican plan. As I pointed out before, psychologically, people look at money they simply kept differently than money that shouldn’t have been taken that was returned to them. To be “stimulus”, people have to look at the money like “wow, now I can buy that new suppository-form iPod!”. Every year it’s proven that mere cuts don’t get that treatment. Long term this is meaningless though, since people having more bargaining power to begin with would make more sense, & “stimulus” is a bandaid over bullet wounds.
-Shorter James Quinn: “Recent Japan is a better comparison to look at than FDR-era US. That’s not a good thing.”