Skip to main content

Cross posted at Texas Kaos and The Burnt Orange Report.

The Party of No and Obstruction, at least where sending any kind of economic lifelines to the American people are concerned, sure had no problem with turning over our national treasury to the fat cats on Wall St.  And the GOP's blind faith in a unfettered free market economy did nothing other than make a handful of wealthy folks much richer while the majority of us grew much poorer. The Reagan/Bush/W. Bush's legacies of failure brought this once great nation to its knees.

At least when W. ran his companies into the ground Daddy's friends would step up and bail junior out.  But Daddy's buddies are nowhere to be found now that W. and his GOP drove the country straight to hell.  Tragically for the American taxpayers, we, our children, our grandchildren and great grandchildren will have to clean up the squalor.  It will take generations to undo the GOP's financial carnage.

A recent article published in the Washington Post reveals that the American worker lost big time during the past decade.  

This news should come as no surprise to any hard working middle class American.  We have been living the pain for 10 long years.  

The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation's growth.

It was, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers. The decade began in a moment of triumphalism -- there was a current of thought among economists in 1999 that recessions were a thing of the past. By the end, there were two, bookends to a debt-driven expansion that was neither robust nor sustainable.

The Washington Post also reveals that there has been zero net job creation since December 1999.  Conditions have not been this grim for decades.   Essentially, the American worker has not had a raise in a very long time.

Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 -- and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.

As we well know, our home values have declined as have our retirement and savings accounts.  

What happened?

Economists attribute the decline to economic stagnation, an out of control housing bubble, too much risk and too much debt.  Money was invested in mini mansions instead of business investments that would have created jobs and economic growth.

The housing bubble both caused, and was enabled by, a boom in indebtedness. Total household debt rose 117 percent from 1999 to its peak in early 2008, according to Federal Reserve data, as Americans borrowed to buy ever more expensive homes and to support consumption more generally.

An experiment called an unbridled free market economy ended very badly for we the people.

The first decade of the new century was an experiment in what happens when an economy comes to rely heavily on borrowed money.

"A big part of what happened this decade was that people engaged in excessively risky behavior without realizing the risks associated," said Karen Dynan, co-director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. "It's true not just among consumers but among regulators, financial institutions, lenders, everyone."

The experiment has ended badly. While the stock market bubble that popped in 2000 caused only a mild recession, the housing and credit bubble has had a much greater punch -- driving the unemployment rate to a high, so far, of 10.2 percent, compared with a peak of 6.3 percent following the last such downturn.

In October, the high priest of free market ideology, Alan Greenspan admitted there was a flaw in his preconceived beliefs.  

``Yes, I found a flaw,'' Greenspan said in response to grilling from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. ``That is precisely the reason I was shocked because I'd been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.''

Greenspan said he was ``partially'' wrong in opposing regulation of derivatives and acknowledged that financial institutions didn't protect shareholders and investments as well as he expected.

In short, the big banks, enabled by Republican free market ideology, gambled with our money and they lost it.  And they lost it big time.  As we know we the taxpayer had to step up and bail out the banks so there would not be a complete and thoroughly devastating global economic melt down.  

The G.W. Bush era was one in which the GOP rewarded every one of its fat cat sugar daddies, including Halliburton with its no bid contracts for a ginned up war called Iraq.

We the people are dearly paying the price for the Bush era's unforgivable mistakes.  

I am with Dylan Ratigan on this one.  The banks should pay the taxpayers back with interest. Why on earth did Hank Paulson give away our money with no strings attached?  What was he thinking?

So next time we hear about the virtues of an unbridled free market economy we need to say
no way in hell.  Any politician who embraces this voodoo notion of economic devastation should be run out of office on a rail for they are unfit to serve the people.  

Speaking of unfitness to serve, why is that Republicans have to blame their short comings on others?  Why can't Republicans ever step up and take responsibility for their mistakes?

Republicans are obviously inept at running the economy and they are also incompetent at keeping our nation safe whether from terrorist attacks or national disasters like Hurricane Katrina. It seems that the only thing Republicans are good at is playing the blame game.

A coordinated, successful attack, with sufficient warning, carried out by 19 terrorists, killing 2,973 people, on the 234th day of an administration... that's completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn't the fault of the previous President... who happened to be a Democrat.

HOWEVER, an unsuccessful attack, attempted by 1 terrorist, killing absolutely no one on the 339th day of an administration... that's completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn't the fault of the current President... who happens to be a Democrat.

SIMILARLY, a complete and total meltdown of the financial system, including a stock market collapse and levels of bankruptcy/foreclosure not seen since the Great Depression on, or around, the 2415th day of an administration... that's completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn't the fault of the previous President (and Congress)... who created Acorn, and just happened to be Democrats.

BUT, 10% unemployment and lackluster job growth on the 215th day of an administration... that's completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn't the fault of the current President (and Congress)... who want to institute socialism (in the form of Acorn) and happen to be Democrats.

NOW, making a statement from your "brush farm" 144 hours after a dude with bad facial hair is prevented from blowing up an airplane... that's fighting some serious war on the baddies.

AND YET, making a statement from the beach 72 hours after a dude with bad genital burns is prevented from blowing up an airplane... that's "pretending the war on terror doesn't exist".

If folks really have a desire to destroy what is left of their financial security, go ahead and continue to vote for Republicans.  Hopefully most of us won't have this death wish in November.  

Originally posted to Libby Shaw on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 10:52 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site