Saturday, February 09, 2008

Economy Update: It's The Iraq War, Stupid

Hard on the heels of a post in which I said that the Iraq war is a sucking chest wound on the American economy comes a new poll that finds most Americans believe the best way to get the U.S. out of recession – and most people believe that we're in one – is to get the hell out of Iraq.

Withdrawing from Iraq ranked first among proposed remedies in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll, followed by spending more on domestic programs, cutting taxes and, at the bottom end, giving rebates to poor people in hopes they'll spend the economy into recovery.

Forty-eight percent said a pullout would help fix the country's economic problems "a great deal," and an additional 20 percent said it would help at least somewhat. Some 43 percent said increasing government spending on health care, education and housing programs would help a great deal; 36 percent said cutting taxes.

More here.


jj mollo said...

The economy is not lacking in capacity. We could provide for three Iraq wars. It is not lacking in workers. (Though it's always nice to have those non-unionized ag workers who grind out 12 hours a day for room and board.) It is not lacking in productivity. It is groaning under the load of inequity. You can only go on for so long sucking the money from people who have run out.

If you want a better economy, and more jobs, you need to do things. The best investment, IMO, is to start a crash program of infrastructure maintenance. Honest jobs for the working class is where it's at. Infrastructure cannot be outsourced. Infrastructure pays for itself in the long run. Infrastructure teaches the right lessons to our young people and provides a career path for those who start at the bottom.

Some of that infrastructure should be oil replacement infrastructure. I'm a big fan of all forms of alternative fuels, alternative energy sources and innovative technologies. I'm for clean transport, and that means railroads. I'm also for clean energy, and that means nuclear. All these things will foster jobs. A short term pinyata burst for impecunious non-paying tax-filers is not a bad idea. The money will be spent quickly to prime the economic pump, but if we expect a more lasting benefit we will need to address the big problem. We need to deal with the increasingly feudal maldistribution of wealth.

Anonymous said...

Well isn't that a surprise. Too bad that attitude didn't have legs back in 2004.