Sunday, September 03, 2006

Conservative-baiting 101

Kevin Drum wonders how the economy got so screwed up:
The reality is that, in a way that's invisible to most Americans, the economy has gotten fantastically out of kilter over the past quarter century. Bill Clinton did a little bit to get it heading back in the right direction, but he didn't do enough and he didn't have much time to do it. Eight years out of the past 26 was too little to make a serious dent.
Let's think about the economy for a second. The United States has had, with the exception of roughly half-a-dozen years of mild recession, more than two decades of economic growth. This is economic growth that has made the United States economy the envy of the Western world. This is economic growth that makes the current era seem like a Silver Age in American history. What a dumb idea that was!

And here's Kevin Drum's solution for getting the United States economy out of it's current disastrous state:
Nonetheless, we desperately need radically more attention paid to full employment policies; to labor organization in service industries; to the distributional inequities of free trade policies; to national healthcare; and to significantly more progressive taxation. It seems unlikely to me that we can get it without a sea change in public opinion, and that won't happen without breaking a few eggs.
In other words, Kevin Drum thinks we should be doing all of that stuff that we did in the 60s -- government-sponsored inflation (i.e. full employment policies), welfare statism, and massive taxation of the rich -- that produced the Great Economic Malaise of the 1970s in the first place.

And here is what convinces me that the posting is some kind of conservative-baiting joke (either that or pure insanity with a cherry on top):
So what to do? We now have an enormous tide to swim against, and let's face it: sober, incremental, smart rhetoric just isn't going to change things. Incendiary rhetoric, by contrast, might — and discomfiting though it may be, it's hardly likely to lead to incendiary policy. We don't live in Weimar Germany. Sure, a few stupid policies are bound to emerge from all the talk, but more likely it will merely succeed in scaring a few people into turning the battleship a few degrees.


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