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View Diary: Graphing Rising Income Inequality, the Trademark of Neoliberalism (282 comments)

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  •  Agree and Disagree (6+ / 0-)

    While I agree that the problem extends far beyond Obama, and that both political parties are deeply entrenched in neoliberal philosophy, and equally deeply beholden to the corporations (they are people just like us, after all), I completely disagree that Obama is powerless to change it.

    Let's start by examining who he chose to surround himself with. It was certainly within his power to select economic advisors named Krugman, Stiglitz and Reich rather than Geithner, Summers and (insert neoliberal clown #3 here). That alone could have steered our course away from neoliberalism.

    You might then argue that he would have been blocked by congress from enacting non-neoliberal policies. Well, we don't really know that, do we? Because Obama, once elected, never even bothered to make the case or fight for the kind of changes that analysts like Krugman were insisting needed to be made.

    He didn't use his power to choose his advisors. He didn't use his bully pulpit. He didn't even try to fight.

    This is not the behavior of a leader who wants to change things but is powerless to do so. This is the behavior of a leader who has no desire to change the status quo, whether he believes in it or not. And one could certainly make the argument that Obama is every bit as neoliberal as the advisors he surrounded himself with.

    Yours is an excellent and informative diary, and I appreciate your desire not to get tangled up in the meta. But let's be real here. The presidency didn't suddenly become a weak and powerless office when Obama walked in the door.

    •  Blocked by Congress??? (1+ / 0-)
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      Kurt Sperry

      Are you kidding me?  He had a Dem House and 59 (and for a while 60) freaking Senators.  If the republicans ever get a congress like that and the white house, they'll enact their whole agenda: flat tax, abolished departments, privatized SS, medicare vouchers, school prayer and vouchers, and criminalized abortion (well, maybe not that, it works so well as a wedge issue).  Been to Wisconsin lately?  Or Ohio?  Or Indiana?  Or Pennsylvania?  Michigan?

      My point is that the other side would RAM IT THROUGH with far less than the majority Obama had - and all he got was a week spending bill, a watered down, business-friendly HCR bill, and some mushy, probably unenforceable, financial legislation.  Oh, and the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts, can't forget that.

      And, he fought those conservadems tooth and nail, every step of the way, right?  "Congress" was most certainly not the problem.  I think that's one of the points of the article - they're all in this together.

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