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Hullabaloo


Monday, January 12, 2009

 
Rebutting The Scolds

by digby

I wrote a post over the week-end that caused some angst around the blogosphere among some who believe that I'm dead wrong about the horror film IOUSA. I mostly discussed the political implications, which I believe are deadly for both the Democrats and the nation, and that is natrually a matter of opinion and subject to debate in good faith. However, there are extremely important economic reasons to dispute the premise and the facts presented in this film and thankfully Dean Baker and David Resnick have done so, point by point.(pdf) I urge anyone who is inclined to buy into the premise of the film, which is very persuasive and well produced, to read that report. I predict we are going to be fighting this one out with the entire village and it may just be the most important fight we wage.

The fundamental purpose of the shock doctrine is to use crisis to push through unpopular and unjust "solutions" that favor the wealthy. We are seeing this battle take shape on several fronts. The right is working feverishly to discredit the New Deal at the same time that outside groups of so-called elder statesmen are lining up to screech about the deficit and entitlements. All of this obscures the real source of the current problem and obstructs the president's ability to do what's necessary to solve it.

If Obama were to succeed in fixing the economy, re-regulating the financial system, enacting health care and a modern environmental and energy policy, the right would be discredited for a couple of generations --- and the wealthy would lose many of their unfair advantages under a fair and equitable system. They not only do not want to take that chance, they also see this crisis as an opportunity to bury liberal economics and end the government programs that ensure a stable and prosperous society with a vast middle class. The stakes are huge for both sides.

Campaign For America's Future is going to be keeping and eye on this issue as well, which is good. The CNN program over the week-end and the reference by Stephanopoulos about a "grand bargain" are all signs that conversations among elites are starting to head in this direction. Bloggers may or may not have any influence, but it certainly helps if beltway institutions engage the issue.


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