Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Zero Decade

Paul Krugman explains why the decade ending should be called the "Zero Decade", to symbolize the fact that people, other than the rich, lost economic ground over the decade. He steps through a number of examples as to why just about everyone lost ground and then administers a damning indictment:
What was truly impressive about the decade past, however, was our unwillingness, as a nation, to learn from our mistakes.

Even as the dot-com bubble deflated, credulous bankers and investors began inflating a new bubble in housing. Even after famous, admired companies like Enron and WorldCom were revealed to have been Potemkin corporations with facades built out of creative accounting, analysts and investors believed banks’ claims about their own financial strength and bought into the hype about investments they didn’t understand. Even after triggering a global economic collapse, and having to be rescued at taxpayers’ expense, bankers wasted no time going right back to the culture of giant bonuses and excessive leverage.

Then there are the politicians. Even now, it’s hard to get Democrats, President Obama included, to deliver a full-throated critique of the practices that got us into the mess we’re in. And as for the Republicans: now that their policies of tax cuts and deregulation have led us into an economic quagmire, their prescription for recovery is — tax cuts and deregulation.
The politicians are really pathetic. Democrats are largely spineless. Republicans are throwbacks to the Dark Ages, in that they are completely unwilling to let facts interfere with their ideology. Even though George W. Bush and Richard Cheney gulped when faced with an economic abyss and did what they could to dodge the edge of the cliff, most everyone else in their party was more than willing to march over the cliff in lockstep to their Randite ideology.
The party of Hoover was largely more than willing to redo the Great Depression and, if the Bush Administration had not stood up to them, that is were we would be right now.

Even now, it is shaping up that this recession may last nearly as long as the Depression did, in that the economy may not be back to nearly full employment and some growth in the standard of living until the next decade. That may not be fixable, largely because the politicians are either too ideologically bound or too cowardly to try to fix it.

Worse, within the lifetimes of many of the readers of this post, the entire mess will repeat because the same gutless wonders in politics are too corrupt or afraid to do anything to bring serious reform to the financial pirates services "industry".

We are so screwed.

4 comments:

crankylitprof said...

The French Revolution lasted from 1789 -- 1799.

I'm beginning to think that they had the right idea, as we currently have a shit-tonne of politicians who seem to think we'll be happy eating (shit)cake. The problem is so institutionally ingrained that only a scrubbing of the system will fix it.

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

As long as we can set up one of Dr. Gillotin's barbering machines near Wall Street, I might be all ofr it.

Ruckus said...

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Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

Ruckus, this could be good for tar and feather merchants.