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View Diary: Krugman & Summers: We May Be In A Permanent Mild Depression Economy (335 comments)

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  •  I think we've never really properly dealt with (26+ / 0-)

    and responded to the inevitable end of the post-WWII boom that began to decline in the mid-60's and really started to lose steam in the 70's with the shutting down of the US steel and other heavy industries and their insufficient replacement with newer industries more in touch with the needs and realities of the times, especially high-tech, green energy and a post-car economy.

    Instead, we put on a happy face and invited smooth-talking con artists and nutjobs like Reagan, Stockman, Greenspan and Rubin to "fix" things, and boy did they, by rejiggering our economy from one that benefited nearly all and was based on reality, to one that benefited a few and was based on bubbles and lies. And look at what it's done to us. We are where we are because of these peoples' doings. And the only way past this is to undo their hackery and remake our economy along equitable and reality-based lines.

    Kill the conservative/neoliberal beast and restore our economy to the TR/FDR top-down command economy one as envisioned by Keynes and improved upon his successors. Only government can do this. Only government ever has. Sorry, Repubs, but you didn't build it on your own. Uncle Sam was always there to help you. That's his job. He's good at it. Now let him do it already.

    Stimulus
    Investment
    R&D
    Education
    Broadband
    High-speed rail
    Green energy
    Science
    Debt
    Robust social safety net
    Sane tax code with higher upper rates and fewer tax breaks for the rich

    THAT is how you rebuild an economy. Always has been, always will be.

    There is no such thing as a successful "free market".

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:53:43 AM PST

    •  Good luck with that (0+ / 0-)

      The Soviets and Chinese tried to do massive top-down command economies and they failed miserably (China is only "succeeding" because it is liberalizing and even then there are a host of problems).

      You are going to just trade our current problems for new problems that are even less well understood.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:34:29 AM PST

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    •  What alternate reality are you from? (0+ / 0-)
      restore our economy to the TR/FDR top-down command economy one as envisioned by Keynes and improved upon his successors.
      The US has never had a top-down command economy.  Not even close.

      TR busted some trusts, he didn't abolish the free market.

      •  The alternate one to your surreality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OrganicChemist

        We've had a top-down economy since day one. Or, rather, a mixed economy, with a lot of (necessary) government intervention, and a lot of modified free market capitalism. Our model has always been mixed. Spare me the far-left sanctimony. During WWII the federal government basically ran the economy. The fact that we've had way too much deregulation since the 80's (and we did during the post-Reconstruction era) doesn't make the entirety of US economic history fit your narrative. No one needs to "abolish" the "free market". It just needs to be better regulated, and the government needs to invest a lot more in it. That's what works. Nothing else even comes close, right or left.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:53:41 PM PST

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        •  That was an unsustainable borrowing spree. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep

          Our debt spiraled from 40% of the GDP to 110% in under 10 years.  It then went into a post-war period where most of our competition has been destroyed.

          •  Whatever (0+ / 0-)

            No economy in the history of the world has ever thrived without substantial government guidance, intervention and regulation. Remove government from the equation and a country dies. Btw Germany recovered very quickly from WWII. You know how. Government action, by ours and then theirs.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:55:07 PM PST

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            •  A matter of degree in government to GDP ratio. (0+ / 0-)

              At the height of power for the British Empire, government spending was less than 8%.  Now government spending in the UK is about 45%.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:17:38 AM PST

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              •  Depends on how you view "spending" (0+ / 0-)

                Giving away hugely profitable charters to massive monopolistic ventures such as the East India Company, while generating substantial tax revenue, was still basically a government (tax) expenditure, no different from low-cost leases to mine or drill on government land. That's a lot of "spending"--and not the kind we need. The British Empire also didn't have much of a social welfare system until fairly late in the game, when it was on the decline.

                In any case, you can't compare modern welfare state GDP ratios to 19th century pre-welfare state GDP ratios. You have to remove from the equation welfare state spending that had no 19th century analog, and only then compare government spending on infrastructure and such. I have a hard time believing that the British government didn't do a lot of that in the 19th century. The US one certainly did, without which we'd have stayed a backwater.

                Hamilton was right, Jefferson (unbelievably) wrong, on this at least.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:26:39 AM PST

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                •  The essentials of Government is less than 1/3 of (0+ / 0-)

                  government spending in the US.  More than 2/3 of spending is transfer payments between residents.

                  A critical issue for the US is the rapid growth in transfer payments crowding out other parts of government spending.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:46:55 AM PST

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                  •  Not sure what you mean by (0+ / 0-)

                    "essential" vs. "transfer payments". Is the latter a convenient euphemism for "wealth redistribution" that I'm supposed to oppose because it's "socialism"?

                    As far as I and most credible economists are concerned, social welfare, infrastructure, R&D, education, etc., spending IS essential spending.

                    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                    by kovie on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 02:51:35 PM PST

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