November 12, 2010

I'm From the Government, and I am here to ...

We did not get here because of government deficits, contrary to what Mr. Bowles seemed to suggest at the co-chairs’ press conference today. We got here because of the bursting of an $8 trillion housing bubble. This bubble was fueled by the reckless and possibly unlawful practices of the Wall Street banks, like Morgan Stanley, the bank on whose board Mr. Bowles sits.

This is important background—because the economy’s current problem has nothing, zero, nada to do with deficits. Its problem is a lack of demand. If there were more demand, more people would be employed. The government is the only force capable of creating demand right now, since the housing bubble wealth that had been fueling the economy has largely disappeared. This means that if our commission co-chairs had ever bothered to look at the current deficit in the context of the economic crisis, they would be complaining that the deficit is too small rather than too large. -- Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

The generals have gone a little soft themselves, or at least have abandoned old American ideals about self-reliance, responsibility, and individual liberty. Instead they invoke the common refrain that America’s extra pounds are the result of systemic external forces that are all but impossible to escape, forces that can only be checked through government intervention. We’re soft because technology, processed food, and our consumerist way of life have made us soft, and only Congress can liberate us from obesity.
-- [The Generals: Mission: Readiness, an advocacy organization led by senior retired military personnel]

What to do
When to do it
and How to do it
and you'll kiss my feet for it.