“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Friday, September 26, 2008

ding dong the witch is dead, the wicked witch

... the wicked witch
ding dong, the wicked witch is dead!


Thank god for Republicans.
They did what the Dems should have done in 2002. They told Bush to go fuck himself. Granted, the Republicans have delusional ideas about what is causing the implosion on Wall Street, but they aren’t so deluded that they can’t see that the investor class that benefited from the massive credit “market” dysfunctions that brought about the crash are proposing to solve it by – giving themselves a lot of money.

As I pointed out, the solution involves a lot of money going from the Red states to the Blue states, inverting what happened during the S and L crisis. Unsurprisingly, people in the Red states don’t like that. Unsurprisingly, big business, the mainstay of the Republican party, does like it.

The status quo ante is dead. Ho ho ho!

Floyd Norris's column this morning is an essential read for all you fans of the coming (r)(d)(ecession)(epression).

ps - it is a commonplace of liberal vituperation to compare Bush to Hitler, a stupid and pointless comparison. But there is one area where it seems to fit - just as Hitler, in his last days, decided to take Germany down with him in one sweeping Gotterdammerung, apparently Bush decided he'd do the same thing with the Republican Party. For of course, the Republican Party will be toast forever, with its own constituency, if it calmly passed this giveaway. Germany surrendered, and the GOP has decided to cut Bush and let him float alone. What this means is that the corporate party is now, out of sheer survival instinct, defying its patrons. I have no idea if that signals the breakup of the party into the Churchlady Party and the Carlyle Party - but it surfaces a strain that has always been there, which could only be closed over by electoral success. My guess is the Carlyle party will have to blink.

7 comments:

roger said...

PS - unfortunately, the tone of the criticism of the deal, on the center left, starts off on the wrong foot by talking about this as a problem of greed. There's absolutely no reason to think that the "people", the poor, the proletariat, the peasants, etc. etc are less greedy than your average fucked up investor. The problem is about power - the power of money. By focusing on greed, the problem is tacitly depoliticized, but in oh such moral terms. Fuck that.

Anonymous said...

re the centre left

I don't know about you but I first of all imagined this swindle in terms of a dickensian itinerant stealing one of the farmer's hens and then making off, laughing. This was a bad way of thinking about it, because the people in charge aren't going anywhere.

also, I think imaginatively you tend to think that if it hurts it's likely to be effective. At best they're rewinding a system that's programmed to crash.

-LT

roger said...

Actually, I'm far from having the usual economists notion that a good bleedin' is a cure for all diseases. On the contrary, having brought up the possibility that the U.S. would spend nearly a trillion dollars on an economic emergency, and having made all the establishment nod their heads, I think a shrewd politics can use that as a precedent for what I think the U.S. can and should do, which is a heavy R and D investment in green tech. The solution to the problem of diffusing that tech has been - as though by an invisible hand! - made available by the car companies, coming in for state loans. Unlike loans to a shadow system of finance that is a vast rent seeking enterprise, there's good reason for the U.S. to want to a., have some say in the technology that goes into car manufacture, and b., put hooks in a manufacturing sector that is notoriously enviro-hostile.

P.M.Lawrence said...

"Germany surrendered" is an unusual way of putting it. It is technically accurate that Hitler's formal successor surrendered, but there wasn't much left to surrender by then.

Anonymous said...

yes, green tech should be sooner rather than later.

what I meant above is that I have a Reaganomics monkey on my back telling me "if it hurts it's likely to be effective" - I was whimsically generalising from this rather than criticising your article.

Floyd Norris's article reminded me that Keynes suggested forced savings in How to Pay for the War - I'm not recommending this as policy but have Paulson & Bernanke not read this work? Or have they not considered pooling all the "toxic" assets and chopping them up so the banks have homogenised junk assets? It's weird situation all right.

LT

abb1 said...

Eh, Nixon goes to China, the Democrats bailout the Wall Street, there's nothing especially earthshaking here. Don't worry, nothing will break, the Republican party will do just fine.

roger said...

abb1, the art of politics is to realize what hypocrisies your base will accept, and which they won't. Nixon could go to China as long as he bombed the shit out of the North Vietnamese and talked tough about our threats - including, as I remember, introducing an antiballistic missile bill. George Bush gets a pass for seven years on Osama bin Laden. Why? Because he showed himself ready and willing to shed blood in Iraq, and to keep up a constant patter of tough talk. It is a patter that the media buys and then reproduces - Bush as our tough, Bush as our unilateral president. I could imagine, say, investigating the Saudi support for the Sunni insurgency and the resulting death toll of American soldiers in a different way - but one of the advantages of rhetoric come to life is that incongruities are slowly crushed to death in the media, which likes one story and one story only. And if the press shows Bush as killer and cowboy critically, all the better - it stamps the image on the base's mind.

On the other hand, there are hypocrisies that can't be allowed. And these have to do with preserving the free riding status of the Red States. The Red Staters are not stupid about their self interest - far from it. They simply accept the terms of short term gain as more important than long term structural supports, ie guv'mint intervention, because they see no need to chose - you can vote for tax cuts, expand the money supply, ease limits on credit, and still have your medicare pill bill - you simply charge it. But here, the charge is not going to benefit those red staters at all - the benefit will accrue, almost exclusively, to a financial services sector that is largely a blue state phenomenon. It isn't just the violation of a surface ideology, but of a deep psychological and economic pact - the blue states, in this sudden twist, become the free riders.

That will madden the Republican base. Which puts the GOP leadership in a huge quandry, since they are on the dole, sooner or later, of Wall Street. It is, after all, why one leaps out of Podunk, Texas, runs for office against the government, gets into the House of Representatives and finds a sweet seat where the legalized bribes can flow. And then comes the retirement, which doesn't mean moving back to Podunk - no, the house is already purchased in Alexandria and there's this lobbying position open...

It's buriden's choice for those guys. Such agony that the sweat and hair mousse is dripping down their faces.