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How not to win a gunfight

Show up with a starters pistol…

For your amusement, James K. Galbraith appears on Bill Moyers Journal one year ago looking for a fight with Wall Street, armed with, of all things, a renewed determination to finally – and we do mean REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, this time – impose such regulation as will prevent them from EVER, EVER, EVER, nearly bringing down the global financial system again.

Did we mention he really means it this time?

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more about “How not to win a gunfight“, posted with vodpod

Among his more salient points:

  • Mongo say ‘big government good’: “we have an enormous advantage over our predecessors in 1929. We have the fact that the New Deal happened. And we have the institutions of the New Deal, though they have been badly damaged in the last decade, they are still with us. We have deposit insurance. We have Social Security. We have a government which is capable of acting as the lender of last resort, which can borrow and spend as needed to deal with this crisis. So here in the United States the capacity to handle the crisis exists.
  • Liberal economic thought has not advanced one iota since Dad died: “But what needs to be stressed is that we’ve seen a breakdown of an entire system. The consequence of the failure of regulation, of supervision of the banking system over the past eight years, has been to cause a collapse of trust, a poisoning of the well.”
  • If everyone had the World Reserve Currency they could all print their way out of a depression: “Right now the thing that troubles me most is not the United States. The thing that troubles me most is that the same ideas of deregulation, of free markets, were applied in the construction of modern Europe. And the Europeans don’t have the institutions of the New Deal, a central bank that can lend as necessary.”

(On this point we state for the record that Germany saw its economy decline by nearly five percent yet unemployment barely budged, while the United States, with the reserve currency, and all those nice New Deal institutions, saw it unemployment rate jump by sixty – that’s six-oh! – percent in the past year.)

  • Thank God there is no oversight on the Federal Reserve as they raid the treasury to help banksters: “Mercifully, we have the institutions of government in this country that can act. The Europeans are winging it. They have to go against their charter of the Central Bank, against the Maastricht Treaty and its restrictions on government spending, government deficits. They- that problem is a systemic problem. Our problem is a policy problem. We can solve our problem.”
  • Conservatives and Liberals agree: We need bigger government: “What I mean is the people who took over the government were not interested in reducing the government and having a small government, the conservative principle. They were interested in using these great institutions for private benefit, to place them in the control of their friends and to put them to the use of their clients. They wanted to privatize Social Security. They created a Medicare drug benefit in such a way as to create the maximum profit for pharmaceutical companies. They used trade agreements to extend patent protections for various interests or to promote the expansion of the corporate agriculture’s markets in the third world. A whole range of things that were basically political and clientelistic. That’s the predator state.

–How’s that same old bullshit working for you these days, Jimmy?

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