Sunday, December 16, 2007

How About that Economy, Folks!

The incomparable Stirling Newberry contemplates the politics of our economic crisis, and calls it, Dancing On a Volcano.

The most important thing he says, though, is that he offers the insight that the Democrats have a way forward, if they can just get over the tendency of their current leadership to want to be Republican Lite.

The Democratic representatives in Congress have not heeded sane and sound advice from either their financial or progressive wings. Both look antagonistic, but in fact are making the same point.

The financial wing has said repeatedly that present interest rate and spending policies are not sustainable. That which can't go on, won't.

The progressive wing has said repeatedly that inflationary pressures on the working class, and this includes the vast bulk of the middle class, are unsustainably high. That which can't go on, won't.

The policy prescriptions that came out of this simple dual message are rather simple: end the war, pass universal single payor health coverage. The first will remove massive inflationary pressures on the economy, the second will control one of the most rampant costs afflicting the vasy range of Americans and reducing productivity and misallocating investment. The two represent, together, a shifting of the national effort away from making holes in walls in Iraq with bullets, and towards increasing American productivity.

Instead the Democratic Party listened to its pork wing. The pork wing saw how the Republicans were borrowing and squandering, and wanted to get in on the action. Lead by Rahm Immanuel and Steny Hoyer, with a big assist from Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, they bent the party on a self-destructive course of becoming That Other Republican Party.

Stirling, somewhat pessimistically seems to expect HRC to be crowned President by the Democratic Primaries. Even if she is, which I am beginning to doubt, the consensus of the financial and progressive wings will have considerable force. We have hope.

Via a commenter on Newberry's post, Tony Wikrent, a pointer to George Friedman's insight on who is stabilizing the U.S. financial markets (hint: it isn't the Fed).

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