[Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]
The Federal Reserve Branch of San Francisco used to have a semi-fun electoral/economics game in the lobby, the fuller employment and higher gdp at election time meant you won, but if the numbers were negative as the timeline ticked over bap! in November you lost. The player got to choose monetary stimulus variables but soon learned the trick to winning was to stimulate the year before the election, the massive US economy just won’t turn quickly but voters usually make judgments in the present.
Which means from a pure stimulus/employment perspective concerning this year’s election the economic variables are irrevocably baked in, there’s nothing to be done at all that can shift 10% unemployment variable that will exist this November. Tangible employment delivery for the little people had to be accomplished last Fall and we missed it.
Nothing new there at all, really, the United States is notorious among industrialized democracies for shorting its little people, variables like access to health care, infant mortality, employment rate and benefits for job loss, mass transportation access, public education, why, we routinely clock in with lowly bit players like Thailand and Columbia (never any disrespect to those countries or their fine people, this is just a pure monetary spending potential ranking).
Scale isn’t an excuse used for countries like China and India, we are very big with a lot of people to serve but we also dwarf any other country economically, there’s no excuse for the terrible American social equality numbers when it comes to the number of people we have to serve with the space given us, we’ve got the money.
Racism is the stock stale answer to our gross inequality, terribly strong cultural forces restrain spending that would normally flow forth in other countries because it would better the lives of people of color. I’m never denying this history and present blight doesn’t have a lot to do with it, but it’s time to add two more melancholy factors to our obliviousness to human misery, our terrible journalism and berserk election financing.
I got a B in grad school econ, I suppose that takes me out of the regular demographic slot for little people econ knowledge, right, but for Christ’s sake anyone who got an undergrad degree and every freaking policy actor in DC damn well knows—has since the Great Depression, by the way, which was never never ever going to be repeated—that to get out of recession while saving your fool political ass the only answer is to stimulate, spend, spend, spend with the responsibility perspective Lindsay Lohan! We all know a rehab is coming down the road for it but it means not a god damn thing if we don’t survive now!
Vicious, obdurate Hoovers presently litter the American statehood with awful destructiveness, not only was there not any Federal help there isn’t even any political pushback for what they’re doing, precisely the wrong thing to get us out of recovery. How is it possible America lost such basic, elemental precious knowledge of how economics works? How is it possible we don’t know what to do here? Everyone with an undergrad degree knows the truth, but the country simply can’t use it.
Our virulently disgusting journalism corps carries much of the responsibility for this, any ridiculous hack like Glenn Beck is given a platform to spout idiocy that's gravely treated as an alternative to real truth. In environments like that Alan Greenspan is elevated to a revered god—he was, I swear—when he routinely blathered incomprehensible bullshit that did nothing but hurl us into our Great Recession ditch. If we can’t define the truth in our political discourse it does no good sitting there in all those millions of Ivy League cosseted craniums.
We desperately need public financing for American elections, extremely powerful interests with bottomless deep pockets of cash are crushing out the voices and needs of the little people, there’s never any place for us—and thus never any investment for what we need—in this insane setup. President Obama recently came to the Bay Area to help Barbara Boxer, where the very first agenda item was a private—exclude me, baby—meeting with big money donors. Then he went to a private reception with the Getty’s. I’m not regaling on Obama, not in the least, but as our people bled and the lives of our children are diminished and horribly burdened that’s what happened.
Racism, journalism unable to define truth and grossly distorted election financing, that’s why we can’t do the screamingly obvious $100 billion DOD cut and shift it all to little people spending, why Iraq got $50 billion to rebuild and we got tax cuts. At least the record of what happened is here, perhaps Americans in 2075 can use it if it’s needed.