Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Rand Paul causing waves among the GOP

November 16, 2010 2 comments

Rand Paul has the ability to force the Senate to raise sixty votes for every bill introduced that increases Washington’s spending for the next six years. He has, in other words, the power to create a massive ongoing political crisis for the bloated, wasteful perversity that passes for government in Washington D.C.

We think he will fold — we think he will pull an Obama and sell out the Tea Partiers who brought him to this quite spectacular position.

We would love it if he proved us wrong.

He has already signaled his willingness to cripple the earmark process in the Senate. And, now John “Maverick in Name Only” McCain is drawing a bead on Paul’s stated willingness to force massive cuts in the defense budget.

From the Huffington Post:

John McCain Attacks Rand Paul’s ‘Isolationism’ In Willingness To Cut Defense Spending

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed concern Monday that some new Republican legislators would be defined by their “protectionism and isolationism,” two views that the Vietnam War veteran feared would result in a butting of heads within the party on Afghanistan and defense spending.

“I think there are going to be some tensions within our party,” McCain said during a conference put on by Foreign Policy Initiative, a DC-based think tank. “I worry a lot about the rise of protectionism and isolationism in the Republican Party.”

A prime example, McCain continued, was Rand Paul, Kentucky’s next U.S. Senator.

“I admire his victory, but … already he has talked about withdrawals [and] cuts in defense,” McCain said.

Indeed, Paul appears to have taken after the more libertarian side of foreign policy issues, much like his father, Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R).

Never, in our memory, has someone so apparently clueless, seemed so likely to deliver on the precisely those things that have to be done to kill this economy for good, and bring the empire to its knees.

If he is even vaguely successful in challenging the status quo, we expect McCain will take the entire millionaires’ club hostage, automatic rifle in hand, in a frightening outburst of PTSD-driven, alcohol-charged, delusional rage.

We wish Rand Paul all the luck (and backbone) in the world.

The most astonishing and embarrassing sight ever in American politics!

September 26, 2008 Leave a comment

The party of blue collar workers, the party who couldn’t stop out-sourcing, union breaking, and stagnant wages, the party who couldn’t end the war…

On its hands and knees begging the “Party of Wall Street” to help it bail out investment bankers!!!!!!


Dialogue with a Democrat on the bailout…

September 26, 2008 Leave a comment

So, we had time to kill watching this mess unfold on CNBC today. We stopped over to the Huffington Post to see if they had any news. While there, we posted this little note to tweak the noses of the, “Progressive,” wing of the Democratic Party:

Very interesting.

Don’t you wonder how the Democrats get themselves into a position where they are holding the bag for a VERY unpopular president, to put together a VERY unpopular bailout, for the VERY wealthiest people in our country – all while the Republican Congressional delegation goes home to lead a peasant revolt against all four?

LOL…you can’t get this kind of entertainment out of Hollywood!

How gullible can you Democrats be??????????

That sparked this dialogue below with Mike169:

Mike169: As the Democrats made clear – they’re not holding the bag for anyone least of all these Republican morons. If this is as serious as they say then the Republicans (who are for fewer regulations and capital gains tax cut!) will be looking like the horses asses they really are.

Charley2u: Can you spell, O-C-T-O-B-E-R S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E?

I knew you could…bagholder.

Why do you think the administration came up with this a week before recess?

Let’s be clear here: this crisis began with stagnant incomes for working families over the past eight years. But, are your fearless leaders debating a bailout for them before going home to run for re-election?


Instead they are debating how to put together a package to bailout the debt factories of Wall St. The very people who have the Democrat constituency facing foreclosure and dispossession.

You people as a party are quite possibly the dumbest collection of losers every to accidentally cobble together a majority.

After you spend 700Bn to take care of the supporters of the GOP, what will be left to take care of your own???????

Mike169: Do you watch what is going on at all? When you figure this out please leave a message for me until then you’re living in a dream world. If this goes down and the country’s finances collapse (something you see as impossible) who will be the bad guys then. Also you have totally missed what the Democrats have said because like your fearless leader who knows nothing about economics by his own admission flew in to muddle everything up just in time for the October surprise which may well be the collapse of the Republican Party. Have a great day – I know I will!

Charley2u: I am so dissed about your answer!!!

You smack me down, and then support giving my hard earned money to the very people who own my mortgage and credit card debt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a damn insult!!!!

Have all you democrats lost your mind??????

Charley2u: Boy are you wrong!!!! I am just a poor slob trying to figure out when you Democrats will wake up and fight for people like me…

No wonder you can’t govern; you don’t even know who your friends are…SHEESH.

Just pitiful.

Mike169: Really! Is it your intention that the financial system collapse or is it that you think that the Bush administration is pulling everyone’s leg (he is your republican president you know). Did you see the biggest bank failure in American history just happened yesterday? Do you understand the position of the Republican opposition includes little or no regulation of those elements who have brought this mess before the public? In watching out for “the poor slob” do you think Republicans ever have? If so when I’d like to know? As far as this criisis goes, I’ll even agree with you – let it goe down the tubes. Let the banks suffer from their own stupidity but also suffering from their stupidity will be the rest of country. You may want to try and pick up an econimics book sometime if can read. Pathetic!

Charley2u: Yes. I think the administration is pulling our leg on this. Not, that there are no problem in the debt vreation sector of the economy – what you call the financial system – but that this would fix it.

This began with mortgage defaults – which means working folk did not have enough money to pay their bills. “Fixing the credit markets” – the aim of this legislation – will not correct the original problem.

People are being foreclosed and evicted because their income has not kept pace with the cost of living for at least the past eight years. They have been supplementing their wages and income with debt from Wall Street.

If you want to fix this problem, you have to address stagnant wages and income, not the availability of credit.

I don’t know how to say this more simply: I and my neighbors are up to our necks in debt, more credit will not fix this.

A package which brings us tax relief would. And, if you reduced military spending to pay for it, our neighbors in the international community might breathe easier as well.

“I don’t know how to say this more simply: I and my neighbors are up to our necks in debt, more credit will not fix this.”

Let’s take this point right here. You have put yourself in debt beyond your ability to pay it off. The bailout the government is giving the financial institutions should also be used to bailout you? Is this what you’re saying? You may couch it in tax relief but it’s much the same thing isn’t it?

Charley2u: No. I am clear of all debt, because I know what the scam is here – and I pay attention

I was just using it as an example: I am saying this is basically the situation for most of Democratic party supporters.

In fact there have been about 20 foreclosures in my small town, however. A blue state.

Which is why I don’t understand why you are giving our tax money to the mortgage and credit card debt speculators.

But, I’ll just find an economics textbook and figure it out.

And, you Democrats can look at the polling data when my neighbors find out you are giving their hard earned dollars to Goldman Sachs…

Mike169: “Which is why I don’t understand why you are giving our tax money to the mortgage and credit card debt speculators.”

If this is what is being done I’d be pissed but it’s broader than that and if you cared you’d have looked at the proposal as redefined by the Democrats. By the way even prior to this particularly gigantic bailout. Republicans, not Democrats bailed out AIG, Fannie and Freddie, Bear Stearns all without the Democrats “help”. You’re on the wrong track by attacking the Democrats over this and if you think we didn’t get into this without the anti-regulation stances taken by John McCain you are sorely mistaken. I still haven’t heard your response to my question do you want the whole thing to come tumbling down or is there some middle ground that you can live with?

Charley2u: I began with the middle ground:

1. Bailout Main St, not Wall St.

2. Emphasize real goods, not military spending

3. Encourage exports, not the exchange rate of the dollar


To sum up, for the supporters of Barack Obama out there, this bail out must be stopped. No package should be voted up that does not have these principles:

1. Bailout Main Street first (income), not Wall St (credit).

2. Focus on the real economy first (real goods), not government spending (military).

3. Support the domestic economy first (exports), not the international economy (exchange rates).

From this, it follows, the main emphasis should be on working families and their circumstances. The least emphasis should be on the dollar, and attendant international financial interests (Wall St., Sovereign Wealth Funds’ assets, etc.)

You can’t go wrong if the proposals you support stick to these principles. Obama is having a problem offering a serious proposal on this precisely because he is not using this template.

China: “If it is not the end of the world…”

August 30, 2008 Leave a comment


We admit it.

We are prone to excessive pessimism regarding the impending catastrophe facing you; to exaggeration; to hyperbole – indeed, you can even say we underestimate your ability to muddle, once again, through the dark tragedy which is about to descend on you.

The United States is not Argentina, the Dollar is not the Peso, you say.


Read this nasty little item from the Australian site, The Age:

A high-ranking Chinese economist has put his nation’s cards on the table in the global financial poker game by effectively telling the US to fix Freddie and Fannie … or else.

“A failure of US mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be a catastrophe for the global financial system”, Yu Yongding, a former adviser to China’s central bank, says.

“If the US government allows Fannie and Freddie to fail and international investors are not compensated adequately, the consequences will be catastrophic,” Yu said in e-mailed answers to Bloomberg. “If it is not the end of the world, it is the end of the current international financial system.”

“Men like Yu Yongding don’t just get up one morning and say this sort of thing.” We are told by the writer.  “He is possibly the most highly accredited economist in China. A list of his positions would fill a little red book.”

Not a word this week from a single member of the elite bosses of the Party of Washington. Not a peep from the economic vandals of the Party of Wall Street.

Not a single response from The Presidency, the office of the Speaker of the House, nor from the office of the Senate Majority Leader.

Not a word of this and its implication for you and those you love from the lips of the nominee of the Party of Washington, who waxed eloquent regarding how life will profoundly change under his enlightened term in office.

He went on for forty-two minutes, we are told, yet found not ten seconds of it where he could have told the nation, “Uh, sorry. The Chinese just sent us an ultimatum: Either we fix our economy, or we are cut off from the spigot.”

Not a peep.

Let us speak frankly, so that you are clear about the stakes for you and your family, when next John McCain or Barack Obama hold one of those town meetings in your area.

There are only two choices here:

  1. Dismantle America’s Empire – withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan, all overseas bases, pull back the fleets, recall the submarines, and stand down, or,
  2. Starve.

Barry meets world…

July 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Those who take the time to read Barack’s speech will note its tightly written promise to continue business as usual – minus killing another 1.2 million Iraqis over the next eight years.

The setup of the speech is rather prosaic: America is surrounded by a sea of terrible threats, from which the military, diplomatic, and economic might of the nation must protect us – it helps if you throw in September 11, 2001 to graphically illustrate your point:

Today’s dangers are different, though no less grave. The power to destroy life on a catastrophic scale now risks falling into the hands of terrorists. The future of our security – and our planet – is held hostage to our dependence on foreign oil and gas. From the cave-spotted mountains of northwest Pakistan, to the centrifuges spinning beneath Iranian soil, we know that the American people cannot be protected by oceans or the sheer might of our military alone.

The attacks of September 11 brought this new reality into a terrible and ominous focus. On that bright and beautiful day, the world of peace and prosperity that was the legacy of our Cold War victory seemed to suddenly vanish under rubble, and twisted steel, and clouds of smoke.

Notice how he framed this setup: “the world of peace and prosperity that was the legacy of our Cold War victory seemed to suddenly vanish under rubble, and twisted steel, and clouds of smoke.”

Somehow, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, a veritable Garden of Eden had flowered within our borders, only to struck down by 19 lunatic hijackers.

Absent, of course, is any reference to the decade-long strangulation of Iraq, as well as, the training and equipping of Osama bin Laden and his fanatical gang by the United States government.

Absent, also, is any explanation for why, if indeed we were living in the Garden of Eden, we still needed aircraft carrier groups prowling every ocean.

If you notice here, Barack is using the template we have uncovered in the NSC-68: inspire fear in the rubes prior to reaching into their pockets:

As President, I will pursue a tough, smart and principled national security strategy – one that recognizes that we have interests not just in Baghdad, but in Kandahar and Karachi, in Tokyo and London, in Beijing and Berlin. I will focus this strategy on five goals essential to making America safer: ending the war in Iraq responsibly; finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; achieving true energy security; and rebuilding our alliances to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Not that we have any problems with some of these ideas. For instance, who wouldn’t want to end the war in Iraq, round up bin Laden, and, all those loose nukes?

By why stop there? Barack said he seeks a world with no nuclear weapons – why did he not use this opportunity to propose the U.S. destroy the ones it has? If charity begins at home, should not disarmament begin there also?

And, why is it necessary to:

keep a residual force to perform specific missions in Iraq: targeting any remnants of al Qaeda; protecting our service members and diplomats; and training and supporting Iraq’s Security Forces, so long as the Iraqis make political progress.

And, why, after the war is finished, does Barack promise:

I will restore our strength by ending this war, completing the increase of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 marines, and investing in the capabilities we need to defeat conventional foes and meet the unconventional challenges of our time.

We would ask of this last promise: would this not make it easier for the next Moron to embark on the next evil adventure? How is the security of the nation increased by placing even greater number of men, women and material in the hands of the president to deploy as he or she sees fit?


Barack states, we know if the next attack comes against the United States it will come from the Pakistan-Afghan border region.

But, can he tell us why it will come from there?

Should we not have some idea of the motivations of al Qaeda before we commit ourselves to expanding the war in that region, and even pushing it into western Pakistan?

Should we not inquire as to whether some measure short of war might address the grievances of this insignificant gaggle of murderers?

If we can engage the Axis of Evil, why can we not engage cave dwellers before committing the live of Aghan and American citizens to expanded conflict?

If Israel could meet with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, why is so hard to reach for some level of agreement with al Qaeda?

If the United Kingdom could sit down with the Irish Republican Army, why is it so hard to sit across from bin Laden and negotiate some agreement?

Is it really necessary to commit thousands of troops to ongoing military operations of some unknown length to shut down a rogue band of nobodies in caves?

Finally, how more effective will American forces be than the battered over-extended Soviet forces who were forced to flee Afghanistan with their tails between their legs?


Being a Democrat, Barack is always ready to commit taxpayers’ money to some illusory scheme to solve some pressing issue through what, hilariously, they refer to as public investment.

Since energy has morphed from a simple problem of pollution and high gas prices into, “national security crisis,” Barack has outlined an impressive program to address it:

For the sake of our security – and for every American family that is paying the price at the pump – we must end this dependence on foreign oil. And as President, that’s exactly what I’ll do. Small steps and political gimmickry just won’t do. I’ll invest $150 billion over the next ten years to put America on the path to true energy security. This fund will fast track investments in a new green energy business sector that will end our addiction to oil and create up to 5 million jobs over the next two decades, and help secure the future of our country and our planet. We’ll invest in research and development of every form of alternative energy – solar, wind, and biofuels, as well as technologies that can make coal clean and nuclear power safe. And from the moment I take office, I will let it be known that the United States of America is ready to lead again.

It is best, when introducing a political gimmick, to loudly proclaim, “political gimmickry just won’t do,” and Barack has learned this lesson well.

To briefly address this: the oil crisis is not a national security crisis! Unless you are Washington politician bent on turning it into one – and treating the legitimate demands of every other nation for access to the resources necessary to human life as a threat to your survival.

Conservation is easier than nonsense phrases like public investment, and does not require $150 billion dollars over the next ten years to realize.

All the United States government has to do to achieve massive conservation of energy, and reduce its output of greenhouse gasses, is reduce the work week to four or even three days – bing! No crisis.

All in all, once Barack’s commitment to end the brutal slaughter of Iraqis is removed from this speech – and that promise is more than enough reason to vote for him – it is just another pathetic joke foisted on us by Washington.

So much for the non-politician.

Reduce the work week to 4 days, 32 hours and save 15 million barrels of imported oil per week

July 6, 2008 Leave a comment

There is no energy crisis

There is no need for politicians to trot out elaborate and unintelligible energy policy papers.

There is no need for the country to hand over money to pork barrel projects to “develop” exotic energy technologies.

There is no need to embark on a crash program to bring nuclear power plants online.

There is no need to begin drilling in some of the most ecologically sensitive areas of our nation.

There are just two gangs in Washington, as usual, hoping to keep the most people miserable for the longest time in order to make all the above look reasonable.

From the New York Times:

Even as politicians heatedly debate opening new regions to drilling, corralling energy speculators, or starting an Apollo-like effort to find renewable energy supplies, analysts say the real source of the problem is closer to home. In fact, it’s parked in our driveways.

Nearly 70 percent of the 21 million barrels of oil the United States consumes every day goes for transportation, with the bulk of that burned by individual drivers, according to the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan research group that advises Congress.

All Washington has to do is reduce the work week to four days, 32 hours, and high gasoline prices will disappear.

If the guy you are supporting for president isn’t supporting a four day work week, he cannot be trusted with your vote.

It is that simple.

Can we have some more?

June 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Jared Bernstein, the Democratic Party’s left-wing economist darling is on a tear again.

To paraphrase Former Vice President Mondale, Jared has revealed that Republicans will spend you into the poor house, as quickly as the Democrats – the difference being the Republicans won’t admit it, while the Democrats will wear their profligacy as a badge of honor:

… all this conservative talk about cutting spending is just that: idle chatter. When push comes to shove and political forces are in play — and when aren’t they? — McCain will support most government spending as much as the next guy or gal. Conservatives from Bruce Bartlett to Larry Kudlow to Grover Norquist can caterwaul from here to eternity about “holding the line on spending,” but the phrase is meaningless. It all comes down to cases, and there will always be cases, like these two bills targeted at offsetting the current failures in housing and labor markets, that are worth supporting. And enough politicians will support them such that they become law.

Having exposed the most recent Republican about face on the issues of unemployment benefits and the mortgage meltdown, Jared goes on to point out direct government spending as a share of GDP has held virtually unchanged at about 20 percent since 1959.

Thus, voters should expect to ante up at current levels despite the outcome of the November presidential elections:

… there are big differences between the D’s and the R’s on the role of government. But barring a percentage point of GDP either way, the differences amount less to the level of spending and more to competence and fiscal stewardship.

For Jared, this is good news for two reasons: first, it makes the current scale of government spending appear as the natural cost of governing a large, complex, and sophisticated economy which is, nevertheless, prone to, “market failures,” like economic downturns and crashing housing markets.

Second, It make it possible for him to declare, “If anything, the pressing needs of the environment, public infrastructure, and health care suggest that share is likely to go up before it comes down.”

So we are left with this Hobbesian choice:

No matter who runs the show, there will be spending, and it will cost roughly the same to have good government or lousy government.

We want to state, at this point, we a completely in favor of, “good government” – whatever that is. It is likely that, “good government,” is preferable to, “lousy government,” – and, we note, for emphasis, it has the word, “good,” right in its name!

Lousy government – who wants that:

… given [the Republican] addiction to big tax cuts and war, a conservative government would also be an evermore indebted government.

Wait a darn minute Jared. (We just loved his use of the word, “damn,” in his post – its just so edgy!!!)

Isn’t Barack in favor of big tax cuts and an unchanged pace of military spending?

Okay, he is against the war in Iraq – thus far – but he is offering no change in the level of military spending, promises to “rebuild” military forces, and will continue to wage a war in Afghanistan.

And, neither he, nor John McCain, will touch the sacred obligation of repaying the holders of the public debt.

So, how is he going to do all this, AND, address the, “the pressing needs of the environment, public infrastructure, and health care,” AND, stop accumulating more public debt?

Jared has the answer:

… we live in a complex world, where markets can provide only partial solutions to the challenges we face. Market failures abound, and government will unquestionably be called upon to repair these failures. For years, we’ve elected politicians who’ve railed against this reality, pretending that they can refund that fifth of the economy that we spend on government –“it’s your money!”– and still provide the services we want and need. To put it mildly, it hasn’t worked. We’re spending the same share as ever, yet we’ve squandered years when we could have been making progress against the challenges of globalization, of environmental degradation, of deteriorating infrastructure, of economic inequality, of costly inefficiencies in health care.

That answer, in short form is this:

For the past 50 years, your government “squandered” 20 percent of GDP and still failed to address fundamental economic damage caused by market failures.

Can we have some more?

Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (9)

June 20, 2008 1 comment

Continued from here.

This is the background for National Security Council Memorandum 68 (NSC-68):

The United States emerged from from World War II – in somewhat better economic shape than it went in.

(We will ignore, for the time being, that this failed attempt at collective race suicide resulted in the slaughter of 72 million persons – roughly 4 percent of the population of the belligerents.)

The Great Depression had receded into the background of American life with a vengeance. Gross Domestic Product is estimated to have nearly doubled during the war, entire industries, built from scratch, and, an almost innumerable list of scientific and technological breakthroughs had added productive capacity of the society.

By 1939, the industries of all major nations were operating full on in a desperate heat to increase their military capabilities against their rivals.

By 1942, every major nation, save France, produced more than it had in 1938.

By 1945, owing to the massive destruction imposed on the Axis powers – Germany, Italy, and Japan – the Allies had increased their GDP from twice to 5 times the former.

The global impact of this massive ramping up of industry was quite simply staggering by the standards of the time: nearly 5 million military trucks produced by all countries; nearly 1 million aircraft of all types; 51 million metric tons of merchant shipping; 193 aircraft carriers.

We include the table below, drawn on data provided by the Wiki to give you an idea of the scale of the war effort:

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 30 million voters in the goods producing sector supported themselves, plus another 16.5 million working in the services sector, plus, 6 million more in government, AND, an additional 16 million serving on active military service, in two major combat theaters, stretching more than two-thirds of the way around the globe!

According to another study:

In 1939 the United States devoted less than 2 percent of its national output to war, and about 70 percent to satisfying immediate civilian desires. The rest went to civilian government expenditures, private capital formation, and exports. By 1944, the war outlays were 40 percent of national output. Industrial production doubled from 1939 to 1945 (but 1939 was still a depression year), with production increasing at the rate of 15 percent per year. Manufacturing employment increased from 10,151,000 in 1939 to 16,558,000 in 1944, and the percentage of the work force involved in manufacturing increased from 19 to 26 percent. The rest of the people were neither farm nor factory workers (more women were at home than were in the factories, on the farm as workers, or in the military). All segments of the labor force decreased their percentage of workers except industry, the military and civil service. Agricultural employment fell from 9,450,000 in 1940 to 8,950,000 in 1944, while people in nonagricultural industries went from 37,980,000 in 1940 to 45,010,000 in 1944. Most of the increase came from sopping up unemployment (which was 8,120,000 in 1940 and only 670,000 in 1944) and employing more women.

Despite this massive, sustained war effort, the authors of this study noted:

The War Production Board thought that the American people during the war were “subjected to inconvenience, rather than sacrifice.” By comparison to the situation facing civilians in all other nations at war, it would be hard to argue with that assertion. At the height of the war the government spent $94 billion, and of that $81.6 billion-87 percent-was war spending. The budget was 80 times greater than in 1939, 54 times 1940 and 14 times 1941. But the budget expansion was such that civilians truly did not suffer because of the war, and when one considers that unemployment had all but disappeared and what joblessness remained was usually only temporary, the home front prospered. In terms of calories, people were generally fed better than they had been before the war, and they consumed more meat, shoes, clothing and energy.

Seventy-two million slaughtered human beings, yet, war had become an “inconvenience” for the civilian population.

Cold truth, perhaps, but no colder than this excerpt from an article published during our present war:

Since the start of the Iraq war four years ago this week, Americans have bought more than 110 million cell phones and spent $35 billion on HDTV sets.

They have moved into 5 million new homes, bought about 60 million new cars and trucks and watched the Dow Jones industrial average climb from 8,200 to 12,000 and beyond.

Despite bloodshed in Baghdad from a conflict lasting longer than U.S. participation in World War II, life for most Americans has clicked along without personal loss or even higher federal taxes to cover the fighting.

“We’re in a country where it isn’t clear in our daily routine that we’re living with war,” said Carolyn Marvin, a communications professor and cultural historian at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication.

For us as a nation, war has ceased even to be an inconvenience.

War good for business?


Business has become good for war.

Thanks, in large part, to NSC-68

To be continued

Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (8)

June 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Continued from here.

What we have asserted so far, in the previous seven articles, is not, in our minds, demonstrable facts – scientifically proven knowledge – but is being done to offer a reasonable answer to the question we have posed: Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible?

We want to emphasize this for two reasons:

  1. We are not qualified to settle this issue to the extent required for a peer reviewed study in the field of economics. The material covered here bridges a wide field of separate inquiries, the expert voices for which are far more qualified than we to investigate and confirm, or, refute, in part or as a whole – however little attention it will ever get from them.
  2. What we have asserted so far is of such minor importance, in comparison to that which we will assert next, that the spectrum of political thought in this country – left to right, conservative and liberal, Democrat and Republican – will immediately ignore it, as it strikes to the very root of government itself.

That assertion can be summed up briefly:

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. Ronald W. Reagan

We are, in other words, suggesting the left embrace this statement, and, provide the kind of honest criticism of government which is necessary to make that criticism the driving force of American politics.

We angrily reject the argument that embracing this view is an argument to embrace the author of the Welfare Queen myth, any more than embracing Socrates views on ethics is tantamount to seeking the company of boys.

Apart from the fact the right, including Ronald Reagan, never truly believed in the truth of this statement – just as they have, by and large, never disowned their gay children, practiced abstinence before marriage, or, avoided taking advantage of the most liberal abortion laws when circumstances required – they have not made even the slightest practical dent in the growing black hole of government spending.

So far as we can tell, there has never been a single Republican, or, Democratic admistration – federal, state or local – since the Great Depression which has spent fewer dollars, and, employed fewer people, by the end of its term in office than it had at the beginning.

Not one.

And, as we will show, the reason for this is simple: Since 1950, permanently, and, even before, as has been seen in the Great War, and, the Great Depression, government has emerged as an independent player, pursuing its own agenda, and exploiting the growing productive power of society on its behalf, against society – and, so far as we can tell, this condition exists not only in this country, but in all nations, simultaneously.

But, there is also another reason: the right has never been able to come to grips with the implications of Ronald Reagan’s statement – massive and sustained unemployment, economic collapse, the likes of which has not not been seen since, and would dwarf, the economic catastrophe which accompanied the Great Depression.

The potential for this calamity in the event of a reduction of government’s share of GDP can only be prevented by the reduction of the work week.

However, it is our belief, this calamity is likely not only in the case that Ronald Reagan’s dictum is observed, but, even if it is not.

To explain why, we now fast forward to the story of National Security Council Memorandum 68.

To be continued

Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (7)

June 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Continued from here.

We would like to say there is at least one powerful argument in favor of Hunnicutt’s assertion that,

Roosevelt and the majority of Americans saw this free time as a tragedy that had to be eliminated by increasing economic activity-an activity stimulated by government spending if necessary.

Although true, it is just not related, in my opinion, to the unemployment crisis spawned by the Great Depression.

There is another cause, which predates the Great Depression, and, which Hunnicutt calls the only competing alternative to shorter work time on the part of American voters: the need for higher wages.

What we have to show, simply enough, is that this demand for higher wages became an over-riding concern of American voters by the time of the Great Depression, and, when combined with the catastrophic unemployment of the that event, made it possible for Roosevelt to offer his alternative approach as a conservative, palatable, alternative, bridging both concerns: avoiding unemployment and generating more income.

As the chart below shows, since 1914, and continuing until today, the price level has exploded upward in a persistent, secular, inflationary spiral.

A spiral which, based on figures supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has, over the past 94 years, made it necessary for voters to earn $2166 today for a basket of goods they could have purchased with $100 in 1914!

An argument could be made here, and we will make it, that even the catastrophic unemployment of the Great Depression affected only 25 percent of the population.

Inflation, on the other hand, though muted by the deflation of that event, continued to exert a powerful psychological pressure on the thinking of American voters – employed and unemployed alike – making Roosevelt’s expansionist policies appear to be a safer alternative to doing nothing, on one hand, and, reducing the work week, on the other.

In a monetary regime of rampant inflation, “free time,” is experienced as a tragedy not just in the obvious form of unemployment, but also in the associated forms of sub-employment, and, stagnant wages.

This free time can exist in the form of a voter unable to find work, unable to find enough work, forced by circumstances to accept lower wages for work, and, forced to accept year over year net negative increases in wages for work.

And, its resolution can appear in the form of extending the voter’s working time on a first job, adding a second job, adding more members of the household to the workforce, and, relying on extended family members to supplement income.

Thus we find, according to one study by Evan Roberts in 2003 – well after Hunnicutt’s paper, of course – this change in the labor force participation of married women:

One of the most important changes in the United States labor market in the twentieth century was the increased participation of married women. In 1900 just 5.6% of married women were in the labor market. By 1998 61.8% of all married women were working or looking for work. The change is all the more notable because the labor force participation rates of single women have grown not twelve hold, but just by half in the same century (from 43.5% to 68.1%). Increased participation by married women in the labor market has occurred because the relationship between characteristics of women and their families, and labor force participation at a point in time has changed.

Of course, the actual relationship between married women entering the labor force and inflation is far more complicated than this simple assertion – and, far beyond this blog’s ability to nail down.

However, the coincidence of these two trends – price level, and work force participation of married women – indicates there is much to be understood on the subject.

To be continued