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Dean Baker writes The Wrecking Society: Economics Today:

The amount of damage being inflicted on countries around the world by bad economic policy is astounding. As a result of unemployment or underemployment, millions of people are seeing their lives ruined. The current policies have led to trillions of dollars of lost output. From an economic standpoint this loss is every bit as devastating as if a building had been destroyed by tanks or bombs. And people have lost their lives, due to inadequate health care, food and shelter, or as a result of the depression associated with their grim economic fate.
Dead Baker, economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research
Dean Baker

If an enemy had inflicted this much damage on the United States, the countries of the European Union, or the countries elsewhere in the world that have been caught up in this downturn, millions of people would be lining up to enlist in the military, anxious to avenge this outrage. But, there is no external enemy to blame. The villains are the economists, still mostly men, in business suits. [...]

The economists in policy positions are doing their best to convince the public that the economic catastrophe that they are living through is a natural disaster that is beyond human control. But that is what Vice President Biden would call “malarkey.” This is a disaster that is 100 percent human caused and is being perpetuated by bad policy.

The original collapse was the result of central bankers who were at best asleep at the wheel, or at worst complicit in the financial sectors’ wheeling and dealing, ignoring the risks that massive housing bubbles obviously posed to the economy. However the response to the downturn has made a bad situation far worse than necessary. [...]

The right-wing politicians and their allied economists can repeat all the nonsense the like about promoting business confidence and tax breaks for job creators, but there is no remotely plausible story in which it would be possible to generate enough demand from investment to make up for the demand lost from the collapse of the bubbles.

This means that in the short-term the only way to make up the demand is from the government budget deficits. This is not even economic theory, it is simply accounting.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008Obama Cool:

The pundits are going to talk about the issues and details of the debates, as they should.  And it's true that this was Obama's best debate, and possibly McCain's worst.  But for me, the story of the night—hell, the story of all three debates—is the sangfroid of Barack Obama.  

Nothing can get under his skin. Nothing. No attack can cause him to lose his equilibrium, to cause him to squint or gawp or stare like McCain seems to do three times every minute. Barack Obama is a fundamentally cool cat—and that's one of the reasons he's not just going to win this election, but win big. Americans respect a person who won't get thrown off his game, who won't let his enemies and opponents rattle him.

And Barack Obama isn't just cool—he's redefined cool in politics.


Tweet of the Day:

Obviously the best way to overcome a 44-point gap among Latino voters is to trumpet tired stereotypes about Latino voters.
@timothypmurphy via TweetDeck



Kagro in the Morning presents your Monday Double Shot of polling & punditry roundups from Greg Dworkin & Steve Singiser. Plus, a "Connect the Dots" stroll down Memory Lane. What connects today's focus Sensata with supply-side economics, the 2009  stimulus bill, the 1993 stimulus bill, Medicare, Social Security, and the Republican proclivity for betting against America? Listen & find out! And remember: it's the last week to help us out with nominations in the 2012 Stitcher Awards!


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