Monday, August 30, 2010

The Two Stories of This Terrible Economy

Robert Reich wrote The Two Stories of This Terrible Economy, Yet Obama and the Dems Won't Tell Theirs.

"The public doesn’t understand specific policies but it does understand stories that link them together. The stories give the policies context and meaning, and thereby show where policymakers are taking a nation (and, by implication, where the opposition would take it). Republicans lack specific policies but they have a story. Obama and the Democrats have lots of specific policies but don’t have a story. That spells even more trouble for Democrats."


Anonymous said...

Obama had his chance and he blew it. If he had confronted the Wall Street Banks and their conspirators in the largest financial fraud, yes fraud, in the history of the United States, that would have clearly demonstrated that he was on the side of the citizens of this country, and not the servant of Wall Street. This was the only story he needed to make. He wouldn't even have to tell it, it would tell itself.

Jeffery Sachs recently wrote a piece on the economy and ended it this way:

A serious plan should also cut outrageous CEO and senior management salaries down to size, and use the saved enterprise income to promote more job-sharing, skill training, improved pay, guaranteed leave and vacation time, and improved work quality for the labor force. The poor and middle-class need not suffer more in the process. They've been bamboozled for long enough by the super-wealthy bankers and CEOs who took over both political parties thirty years ago and have since manipulated Washington to ruin, for their own personal benefit."

It's nice to see that a Columbia professor has finally come around to agree with what I have been saying since the financial crisis unfolded in late 2008 and Obama became President in early 2009.

I voted for Obama to stand up to the powerful and the wealthy, who are slowly draining the lifeblood of this nation in order to line their own bank accounts. We are just like Russia, ruled by Oligarchs who control the levers of power in the government and markets.

If Obama had seized the moment that history had presented him, then he could have transformed the nation in the present, and for two generations to come, as FDR had.

He fell so far short of my expectations for him as a leader, the only word that comes to mind for me to describe him is coward. Maybe that's too strong a word, but what other word is there? He chose not to fight the fight, and make no mistake, it is a fight for the survival of the United States.

The United States forged by the Greatest Generation, the generation that won WWII, that put a man on the moon, that brought us Social Security, that brought us Medicare, that gave us the civil rights and environmental movements, and built the interstate highway system. Wish I could think of something real good after 1980, but I can't.

Imagine accomplishing all that in a nation with tax brackets on the wealthy over 50%.

My fear is the moment has passed, and even if Obama decides his only political move is to tell the truth about who really runs the country now, and who ran the economy into the ditch and why/how (FRAUD), it will be too late.

Unfortunately, when no one tells the truth, the better story always wins.


Anonymous said...

And now a Harvard professor too, on the need stand up to concentrated economic power as a central tenet of the progressive movement in this country.


Howard said...

I agree with most everything in those articles. I do wonder if Obama's deficit ballooned so much only because he brought the wars' budgets onto the books, which Bush wouldn't do.

I also point out that neither article says anything about putting bank CEOs in jail or requiring that as a prerequisite for economic recovery.

Howard said...

Here's another making the rounds today, by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times. Obama was too cautious in fearful times