Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It's The Banksters, Stupid

And so November rears its chilly head -- in northern climes, anyway -- with Europe having avoided a financial meltdown for the time being and the U.S. showing tentative signs that the hangover from the Great Recession may at long last be easing.

Bully for that, you might say, but I say bullspit.

This is because banksters (which conveniently rhymes with gangsters) are at the heart of the economic malaise here and across the pond, but whether it is here or over there the solution is the same: Banks must be bailed out but you and I must do the bailing.

The effects of this have been ginormous in the U.S. and in Europe, as well, because a crisis brought on by rampant government deregulation and aided and abetted by scandalous bankster behavior triggered mass unemployment and austerity measures in which job growth was choked off.

Paul Krugman put it this way in The New York Times:

"This doctrine was sold both with claims that there was no alternative — that both bailouts and spending cuts were necessary to satisfy financial markets — and with claims that fiscal austerity would actually create jobs. The idea was that spending cuts would make consumers and businesses more confident. And this confidence would supposedly stimulate private spending, more than offsetting the depressing effects of government cutbacks."

Krugman, as usual, is spot on and as a member of what I refer to as the world's second oldest profession, sees things clearly when many other economists and certain politicians do not:

* Like the notion that the way to end an economic downturn is not to stimulate the economy but to inhibit it, which is the flavor of the moment in the Republican House caucus.

* That trickle-down economics works, a GOP meme now so thoroughly discredited that the concept was recently rebadged as "income mobility" by House Republican Whip Eric Cantor.

* And that all regulations and restrictions on Wall Street and the financial markets should be removed, which was a key feature of Representative Paul Ryan's late, unlamented Reverse Robin Hood deficit reduction plan, and an idea that certainly has not gone away.

Despite the GOP's relentless efforts to nominate someone who has no chance of beating Barack Obama in 2012, there is still a chance that he will be a one-termer.

That is a scary prospect but nowhere more so than when it comes to managing the economy. This is because to the very last man (sorry, Michele) the Republican wannabes support down-the-rabbit-hole pro-bankster plans that would further widen the gap between the rich and middle class and in the process punish the elderly, the poor and the infirm.

(It is also worth noting that Europe avoided an economic meltdown because the banksters blinked. No such thing has happened here, although several major U.S. banks have rolled back or have decided not to introduce debit card fees after a substantial backlash from their customers.)

I was talking to a friend the other day about why the GOP is so dead set against helping anyone other than the 1 percenters that Occupy Wall Street protesters are all afoam over.

Now this guy and I have a few brain cells to rub together, but neither of us could come up with an explanation other than avarice and greed. With Republican economic analyses so thoroughly discredited -- chief among them that it was government alone and not the banksters who caused the Great Recession and its after effects -- can there be any other explanation?


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Curtis L Walker said...

The REPUBLICAN that did all he could to CAUSE the meltdown is PHIL GRAHAM. I don't know how he could even show his face in private, much less public. Must be just counting his payoff now that he is outa Congress.

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