Monday, May 19, 2008

We've tried it their way, and it hasn't worked.

Cliff Schecter on the real John McCain:
"It is dangerous for a democracy when a presidential candidate can lie with impunity, change positions on a whim, and physically and verbally threaten others and virtually none of it is reported by a besotted media eagerly awaiting the next moment when he might slap their backs in friendship."
It's also dangerous for democracy that so many Americans support McCain, or any Republican for that matter. Jared Bernstein reminds us that the GOP had their chance and they blew it.
...anyone interested in a future that looks quite different from the present, and most Americans are leaning in precisely that direction, needs to remember but one mantra. It's one of the most important arguments progressives can make between now and November, and it's simple, compelling, and unarguably true: we've tried it their way, and it hasn't worked.

Whether it's the economy, the environment, foreign policy, fiscal policy, government competency, judicial fairness... you name it... we've tried it their way, and it hasn't worked.
They've particularly failed in what matters most to working families:
Employment grew one third as fast as the average over the 2000s business cycle and the unemployment rate, though low on average, was higher at the end of the cycle than at the beginning. Perhaps the most damning indictment is this: for the first time on record, going back to the mid-1940s, the income of the typical, middle-income family was slightly lower last year than at the prior peak in 2000 (see their figure A).

The reason, of course, is that the benefits of the economy's growth flowed largely to those at the top of the scale, an outcome long associated with YOYO'ism [your on your own'ism]. In the history of income inequality data going back to 1913, income is now more concentrated among the top 1% of households than in any other year, bar one: 1928.

So there you have it: the great, neo-con economic experiment is over and the results are in. Outside of the top 1%, there's less income growth than in any past business cycle. The key macro-indicators, such as employment, GDP growth, and investment have also faired uniquely poorly. The anti-government, deregulatory agenda has led to fatal incompetence, a massive housing bubble, ailing global credit markets, and near-recessionary growth for the US. The "ownership society" is a cruel joke: homeownership rates are falling for the first time in decades. [emphasis mine]
I disagree with Bernstein on only one point - "the great, neo-con experiment." It wasn't an experiment. They knew exactly what they were doing.


abi said...

Yep - take the "neo" out of neo-con and that says it all.

Lew Scannon said...

Great post, Kathy! And I would have to agree with you on that last point-they knew exactly what they were doing.

Kathy said...

Abi, exactly. Another blogger I know refers to them as RepubliCONS.

Lew, thanks.