Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Reading: Cutting Our Way Back to the Depression

This Sunday's must-read is an article in the Kaplan Daily by historian Robert S. McElvaine, "Want to Avoid Another Depression? Try Understanding the First One" (sorry, no link). His point is that recovery from the Great Depression was stalled and nearly torpedoed in 1937 by the same policies Rethugs are pushing in today's economic environment - "slashing spending, concentrating ever more wealth and income at the top, and blocking effective regulation." McElvaine writes:
"The 2009 stimulus staved off a second Great Depression, but it should have been much larger to produce a genuine recovery. Subsequently, even with majorities in both houses, the Democrats let the GOP define the argument and failed to force through needed programs to get the economy back on its feet... The goal of Republicans today, though, is to use the claim that we cannot afford social programs as an excuse to go back to the halcyon days of Calvin Coolidge."

It's somewhat understandable why the facts-averse, low-information, history-on-its-head numbnuts on the right want to pursue the same ideologically rigid policies that led to disaster nearly 75 years ago. They can't help themselves. But why otherwise intelligent, rational people who are nominally Democrats feel they have to go along with this remains one of the great political mysteries of the decade.


Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the story in the Washington Post:

Stultis said...

If we can't "cut our way to prosperity," as both Obama, and this fellow faculty lounge product, insist, then how has Canada has been managing to do just exactly that for a decade now?

Know how many jobs the Canuks created last month, when we here in the U.S. eked out a measly 18K? How about 93K. And that's not even a record. They've been consistently out pacing us in job creation, sometimes by four or five times in absolute numbers, even though they only have about one ninth our population. When our annualized growth in the first quarter of this year was 1.9 percent, theirs was 6.1.

The reason? Since the early/mid 90's, Canada has steadily reduced government spending. They are now below 40 percent of GDP, from a high of 53 percent, and are headed lower, probably ending up around 38 percent, or less, in the next few years.

We in the U.S. are now slightly above 40, but heading up, from a turn of the century low of around 33 percent.

Government spending correlates strongly with the relative growth rates of our two countries. Indeed, somewhere not too far north of the 40 percent point, there is strong negative correlation between government spending and economic growth across the globe.

Basically, this idiot is advocating, by remaining above 40 percent of GDP devoted to government spending, and continuing to increase that figure into the future, that we forgo trillions of dollars of future wealth creation.

Sorry, but no thanks. The spenders must, and will be, voted out of office in massive numbers in 2012. The party of makers (Republicans) can no longer accede to the never ending and ever expanding demands of the party of takers (Democrats).

After repeated electoral spankings, possibly we will once again have a liberal party which has marginalized, and is no longer dominated by, illiberal leftist extremists. I look forward to the day. But in the meantime, no mercey, and HELL NO to "compromise".

W. Hackwhacker said...

Stultis: Rethugs "the party of makers", huh? The only thing they made in the last decade was trillions in deficit spending and unemployed Americans. And you love Canada except its Obamacare health system.

"Repeated electoral spankings?" Gore wins by 500,000 votes in 2000; Dems win Congress in 2006; Obama wins in a landslide in 2008. You need to brush up on your recent history, after you get your head out of your ass.

By the way, as with all you Rethugs, ignorance is not a virtue.

Hackwhackers said...

Funny how the wingers never wonder, if tax cuts for the top income brackets are the key to prosperity, why it didn't work after Dumbya's tax cuts were passed in 2002?

Reality bites!