The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Category: Stimulus Page 1 of 4

The Coming Boom

Note that when Covid ends there’s going to be a boom. Biden is actually putting out decent stimulus (3 trillion package incoming), and it seems that elites may, as Policy Tensor  suggests, be getting the idea that fiscal stimulus is necessary and that the Fed shouldn’t strangle any good economy in its cradle. If Tensor is right, and I see some evidence he is, they also have decided to do something (not enough, but something) about climate change, in terms of industrial policy for clean energy and so on.

Since so many small businesses closed, many of those that survived, especially local ones like restaurants and bars and gyms and so on are going to see a huge surge and overcrowding or excess demand. (This is also your best chance to meet a member of your preferred gender and sexual orientation in your lifetime, odds are, if you’re still in the game.)

In Britain the Tories even are raising corporate taxes very slightly (Labour was reluctant to agree.)

So I think Tensor may be right that a chunk of neoliberal orthodoxy is falling away. Fiscal is back, central banks won’t squash it, and the world moves towards large, opposed, trade blocs. Industrial policy is coming back, as well, though it’s not yet clear to what extent.

(America and Britain putting restrictions on exporting vaccines has really taught everyone a lesson that needed to be taught about what happens when you don’t design and make necessary items in your own country.)

What hasn’t changed, yet, is the serious commitment to keep the rich really rich. Two percent is nice, but what is required is 50s style progressive taxes, an end to favoring capital gains over earned income, strict estate taxes and wealth and (in the future) windfall profits taxes. Breakups of monopolies and oligopolies are also required, but there’s some indication that Biden’s team is serious about that.

Biden’s a disaster on foreign affairs, and he’s unwilling to make permanent structural changes like increasing the minimum wage or medicare-for-all, but if he can squeeze his spending thru the Senate, he’s going to flood the system with a lot of money and a fair bit of it in forms that won’t all rush to billionaires before you get to touch it for two or three seconds on its way to someone else.

So be ready for what’s coming. All booms end and I don’t think that the core issues with neoliberalism are repudiated, but it seems likely the US may have a few good years coming.

These years won’t last if real structural changes aren’t made, (I’ll keep an eye on that and write what I see), and maybe not even then (climate change/ecological collapse) but the oncoming boom be your last chance to make some hay. Do it while you can.

All the content here is free, but subscriptions and donations do help, a lot.

Could Obama Have Fixed the Economy?

I want to revisit this. Obama was the last person who had a real chance to change and fix things. A crisis is an opportunity. FDR used the Great Depression to change the US. Reagan used stagflation to change the US. Bush used 9/11 to change the US.

Obama could have used the financial crisis to change the US. He did not. That was a choice.

His failure leads straight to Trump and various other pathologies. It is a straight line. Failure has consequences. Belief in the status quo (which describes Obama to the T) has consequences.

So, here’s what I wrote about this November 6, 2014 and many other times…

I’m hearing “Obama couldn’t have fixed the economy.  Wage stagnation is not his fault, it’s been going on for decades!” (For the record it’s been going on for at least 34 years, probably 39, and for some parts of the population, for 46 (that’s when wages for working class white males peaked. Which is why they’re pissy.))

This argument is, to give it more courtesy than it deserves, bullshit. I wrote about this back in 2010, and you can read that article, but let’s run through this one more time, because you will never get good leadership if you keep excusing your leaders for betraying you.

Part of the argument is that Obama couldn’t do almost anything because Obama only controlled the House, the Presidency, and didn’t quite have 60 votes in the Senate in his first two years. Because this is the case, I’ll deal with this argument in two parts.  In part one, we will discuss something that needed Congressional approval.

The Stimulus: Negotiating 101, people, is that you always ask for more than you want. Obama asked for too little, and a huge part of his stimulus was tax cuts. Worse than this, his stimulus was structured terribly. What you do with a stimulus package in a recession and financial collapse is you use it to restructure the economy. That means things like moving the entire federal package of buildings over to solar, and buying from American companies. (Don’t even try to natter on about trade deals, the US is more than happy to ignore trade rulings it does not like.) That means putting aside a huge amount of money to refit every American house to run on renewable energy, which are jobs which cannot be off-shored or outsourced; they must be done in-country.

That also means building high-speed rail, and using eminent domain to get it done. It further means moving money off the sidelines which would otherwise sit there by providing a clear direction for the economy so that private actors invest hire and invest.

(I am fundraising to determine how much I’ll write this year. If you value my writing and want more of it, please consider donating.)

Note that, while Obama did not negotiate properly, he did include a huge amount of tax cuts (right-wing ideology), and he produced a stimulus which did not restructure the economy or get private money off the sidelines. I wrote extensively about this at the time. None of this is post-facto judgement:

January 5, 2009: The day the news leaked that 40 percent of the stimulus was tax cuts, I wrote it wouldn’t work.

January 17, 2009: The full details are out. I write: “For ordinary people however, there will be both wage deflation and real asset deflation…

Now, all the things Obama could have done which DID NOT require Congressional approval:

Prosecute the Bankers: This is an executive decision–entirely an executive decision. There was widespread fraud, and no senior executive on Wall Street could credibly claim to not know about it. Seize their emails, indict them under RICO statutes (i.e., take away all their money and force them to use public defenders), and throw them in jail. Do not let them get off with fines that are less than the profits made, effectively immunizing them. This means they will keep doing fraudulent and destructive things, because doing so made them personally rich.

Oh, also, there are now fewer, bigger banks.

Take Over and Break Up the Banks: The Federal Reserve had trillions of dollars of toxic sewage on its books which it borrowed at par, which could not sell on the market at par. But Ian, you cavil, “the Federal Reserve is independent of the President.” No. The President can fire any member of the Board of the Federal Reserve except the Chairman for cause and replace them. Letting the financial collapse happen might qualify as cause. Even if Bernanke refused to leave, he could have been outvoted on every issue by Obama’s people. Once you control them, you return all the toxic sludge to the banks. They go bankrupt. Which leads to:

Make Stockholders and Bondholders Take Their Losses: Yes. This will wipe them out. That’s the point.  The problem with the rich isn’t primarily that they are rich, it is that wealth allows them to largely control the government (I trust this is non-controversial. If it isn’t, I hope you’re on a payroll and required to believe such sewage.) Making them take their losses breaks their power. Once their power is broken, it’s a lot easier to get everything else done. This is also a popular move. (There are ways to fix the pensions which go bankrupt, another time on that.)

Using the Banks You Took Over and Broke Up, Lend! These banks are now under Federal control. They do what the President wants, when the President wants it done. They start lending to create small business, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, move to renewable energy, and so on and so forth. (Read THIS, for what the US needed to do at the time. Again, it was written at the time.)

This article is not exhaustive

There are many other things Obama could have done, that he chose not to do. It is entirely fair to judge Obama on the economy because not only did he never do what was needed to fix it, he did not even try. Everything he did that was supposedly to fix the economy was insufficient, and he was told so at the time by people who had been right about the oncoming financial crisis, in advance.

Even in small things, like aid for homeowners, the Obama administration chose to do as little as it could–even when it had both the authority and the money for it (which it did).

Obama is a Right-Wing President. That is all. He is a Reaganite, and to the right of Reagan, but somewhat to the left of the Tea Party, which puts him in spitting distance of Atilla the Hun (his record on civil liberties is, according to the ACLU, substantially worse than George W. Bush’s. He deported more Hispanics than George Bush ever did, etc.) Obama had plenty of power to make more of a difference than he did, and he chose not to. In the small things, in the big things, when it came to economic policies and to non-identity-based civil liberties, he virtually always did the right-wing thing.

Obama is the first President in post-war history (and maybe all of history) whose economy gave more money to the top 10 percent than the entire value of all productivity gains in his Presidency. Even George W. Bush didn’t manage that.

Yes, stagnation of wages and wealth, and even the drop of both in many sectors while money concentrated in the hands of the rich is something which has been going on for decades. It is hard to stop.

But, because of the financial crisis, Barack Obama had the opportunity. Calls against TARP were running, according to my sources, 200:1 to 1200:1 against. It failed to pass the first time. Nancy Pelosi said she would not pass it if an equal proportion of Republican House members would not vote for it also. They refused to do so.  It would have died except for one thing: Obama twisted arms to make it happen. As the Presidential candidate (and likely future President), he had the ability to do that, and he did.

Again, Obama did not fix the economy because he did not want to. Or rather, keeping rich people rich was more important to him. You can argue, if you wish, that he was not willing to break up the banks because it would have been catastrophic. That argument cannot be dealt with fully here, without doubling the length of an already long essay, but I will be gauche and quote myself, once more, from 2008:

Now, it’s the US. They can try and sweep this crisis under the carpet and pretend there isn’t a huge overhang of bad loans and worthless securities. If it does so, the best case scenario is that the next twenty years or so will be America’s Bright Depression (Stagnating economy). Best case.

I will tell you now that the best case has not happened. As the charts in this post show, the economy stagnated for ordinary people through the recovery and boom of this business cycle. During the recession, there will be job losses again. Most of them will not come back in the next recovery and boom, and neither will wages.

This is Barack Obama’s legacy. Those like Paul Krugman (what happened to Paul?), who pretend that Obama is a great president are laughable. History does not grade on a curve; “Well, we aren’t all chewing on our boots.” Obama had a historic opportunity to be the next Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Instead, he chose to save the rich, and let them eat everyone else. This was a choice. He could have done other things.

Nor is this a noble failure; he did not even try. He did not use the real tools he had at his disposal.

I note, finally, again, because I know most readers will have heard over and over again that Obama saved you from Armaggedon, that the US economy cannot be fixed until the wealth, and therefore power, of the very rich is broken. It cannot be done. However bad you think it would have been if that had been allowed to happen, this economy will continue to get worse because it was not done.

The Federal Reserve has printed trillions of dollars, and given them to the rich. Imagine another world, where it had printed that money and used it to restructure the economy for prosperity and growth.

That, my American friends, is the future Obama stole from you. Indeed, because the rest of the developed world would have followed his lead, he also stole the same future from all of us.

If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.

The Quick and Clean Guide to Fixing the Economy (Keynesian Stimulus #2)

dawnHow would one do a Keynesian stimulus properly today?  Remember, the preconditions for Keynesian stimulus to work are that it not overly aggravate bottlenecks (not send oil to $150/barrel, for example); that it not aggravate overused sinks (carbon); and that the money not pool uselessly at the top.  Keynesian stimulus must create widespread demand.  Further, in a world with bottleneck constraints, sink problems and overuse of even renewable resources, it should help resolve those problems.

Create Widespread Demand While Mitigating Sinks and Bottlenecks

1) Every federal building in America to go to energy neutral at least, or energy surplus ideally.  That’s a massive stimulus.

2) In order for a house to be “conforming” and thus qualify for federal loan guarantees it must be energy neutral at least, as well.

3) A subsidized waiver system for retrofitting civilian buildings to be energy neutral—the cost of which is paid back by savings, so homeowners pay nothing, and commercial guys pay little.  You can create a securities market for the certificates to bring private money online.

4) No mortgage can be conforming if any laws or homeowner agreements forbid the homeowner from growing their own food or selling it.

5) All new condominiums and apartment complexes must provide for growing food, through hydroponics or other means.  Without it, they are, again, not conforming or the income from them gets taxed higher.

6) Substantial tax breaks for telecommuting. (See section below for how to make corporations do this.)

7) Move to a high speed rail system, subsidize electric cars with certificates (buy one while turning in a non-electric car and the government pays half), and so on.

These actions give you a massive renewable buildout, fast.  Most of the jobs are domestic (even if panels are bought from China).  They reduce energy use significantly, including peak turbine oil use and they enable people to grow food when needed, reducing pressures on various carbon sinks and renewable resources.

(I am fundraising to determine how much I’ll write this year.  If you value my writing, and want more of it, please consider donating.)

Reform the Tax System

8) Move back to high marginal income tax rates.

9) Move back to high marginal corporate tax rates, to force companies to start spending their money and to make tax incentives work again: at 80% tax rates the corporations will be very happy to do whatever the government wants them to do in exchange for a 20% tax rebate.

10) Reform the tax code so money earned in the US cannot be moved overseas to avoid said taxes.

11) Make stock buybacks rare (again, to force corporations to spend their money or give it to shareholders).

12) A punitively high inheritance tax on any inheritance over 5 million or so, with no loopholes.

13) A carbon tax.  Imports from any country will be charged that carbon tax at the rate of their carbon expenditure. Countries which will not allow proper inspections to determine said tax rate will be hit with the highest rate.These actions both stop money from pooling at the top and bring money off the sidelines.  The rich can spend it or have it taxed away.

There are many other things one could (and should) do (property taxes being at least partially based on carbon production and energy use, for example), this is just an outline and high-points.  It doesn’t include “how to get there”, but it is important for people to know that there are other options that would work other than status-quo neo-liberalism. If people don’t believe better worlds are possible, they won’t fight to get to those worlds.

Nor would this program work for every country, it requires a powerful country with the ability to impose conditions.  It would, however, work for the US.

A word on Abenomics, QE and doing Stimulus right

Quantitative Easing, to put it simply, no matter what form you do it in, is only marginally effective.

Most of the money goes to the rich, you may or may not get a technical win in GDP, and in many cases the money may flow out of the country.

If you want to improve the economy overall, enough that it shows up for everyone and you get an actual good economy (as opposed to an economy where the poor and middle class actually get poorer) you have to target where the money goes very carefully, and not just use it to buy various financial instruments.

The idea that buying more bonds, or mortgages or whatever, is an effective way to help the overall economy has been disproven over and over again.

Be clear, QE picks winners.  Buying mortgages or buying bonds is picking winners.

Any effective government intervention in the economy must pick winners.

In most cases this is not about infrastructure.  Japan poured ludicrous amounts of concrete over the last 4 decades and it did very little: infrastructure is great if you don’t have enough, but building more than you need is stupid.

In early 2009 I wrote about how to do stimulus right.  Here are the parts that are most applicable right now.

Provide a direction private industry and individuals can get behind

The stimulus bill and other economic policies need to show where the industry of the future is going to be, so that private actors know where to build up their own capacity, where to hire and what to buy capital equipment for.  Commit 200 billion a year to a massive telecom buildout for the next 4 years, and companies are going to line up to get involved in that business.  Make it clear you’re going to massively expand health infrastructure and they’ll line up for that business.  They’ll make long term investments, hire people, train people and do R&D. Programs that look like they will go away almost immediately won’t make businesses decide to invest in increase capacity—it might not be there next year.  Right now the only large scale project that looks really certain to occur for years under the Obama administration is a war—the Afghan war.

Restructure to allow unfettered growth in the future

The last economy cracked up for a reason.  Or rather, for multiple reasons.  You need to know what those are, and you need to get rid of them, so it doesn’t happen again.  If you don’t properly regulate the financial industry they will do another bubble (especially since you bailed them out of the downside, so why shouldn’t they?  They got the profits, and the public paid the losses.)  If you don’t do something to make sure that oil prices don’t spike again (both on the demand end and in terms of reigning in speculative excess) then the next time there’s a half decent economy they will strangle growth again.  There are plenty of other places where problems need to be fixed (too low corporate tax rates leading to cashing out instead of reinvestment, if you want a third).  If you don’t fix them, all you’re doing is putting electrical paddles to a patient whose heart is still a piece of junk and who is still going to have another heart attack when he eats his next cheeto ™.

In addition to these two things, one should spend when it’s cheap (aka. in recession or have the government buy up houses in distress, fix them and rent or sell them), and it should move money to people with a marginal prospensity to spend.  (AKA. cutting food stamps is idiocy, since people on food stamps spend all of them.)

This isn’t difficult and it is complicated only in the details so that it isn’t and wasn’t done indicates a combination of ideological blindness, greed and corruption.  It isn’t done because the people at the top don’t want to do it.

Too Much Money Chasing The Wrong Returns

There is too much money in the world being invested in all the wrong ways.

The amount of money being created by the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and the ECB is dwarfed by the amount of money being produced by Chinese banks and shadow banks.

This money is being spent on unproductive enterprises.  About 70% of all sales of Brooklyn homes, for example, are going to hedge funds, investors and international buyers, who are looking for income.  In Australia much of the real-estate is driven by Chinese buyers, so Australians buy in the US, because the US is cheaper, and so on.

Money creation is out of control, we are creating vast amounts of money, and then spending it either unproductively or harmfully.  As I noted earlier, virtually the entire run up for the Dow can be explained by “Federal Reserve giving rich people money.”  In China the money is also going into real-estate, most of it shoddy, and entire rural communities are being forced off their land and into the newly built slums (because, very quickly, that is what they will become.  We have a lot of experience with what happens with these sort of planned prebuilt cities: and virtually all of it is bad.)

Money is permission to do things.  It allows you to control what people do.  Vast leveraged financial games and real-estate purchases intended to create income streams are not productive, all they are doing is moving money around, they are not creating new real services or goods which improve people’s lives.  Instead they are meant to concentrate money and power, permanently, in the hands of a small class of people and make it so that everyone else has to pay those people to survive: this is about permanent extraction of virtually all value from the majority to the minority.

This is not a sustainable economic model.  It is creation of money from thin air without underlying economic growth to justify that creation of money.  The money is used to buy up control of the system and future revenue streams, but it does so by damaging the real economic health of the majority of people, making them economic cripples.  People who live paycheck to paycheck cannot create demand for new products and services, cannot themselves create new products and services, are unhappy and increasingly unhealthy and generally unpleasant to be around, because their lives are unpleasant.

Almost all new job creation in the past seventy years has been in services: aka, McJobs and administrative jobs which create little to nothing of value.  What is happening now is accelerating that trend.

When catastrophe hits, and it will, we will be unable to respond effectively, because we will have created billions of economic cripples, of people who, never having been allowed to do anything of significance, never having had any economic agency, and never having worked at a job which wasn’t meaningless, will not easily be redeployed to do what is useful, and needed.  The real economy is what people do to create services and products which are good for other people.  A de-skilled, demoralized population, in the face of climate change and economic collapse, while it will respond as best it can, will be very hard to mobilize, not least because there will be nobody with the legitimacy to  mobilize them.

A basic rule of economic governance is this: when the “private” sector is not doing productive things with money, you must either change the incentives so they are, or simply take the money away from the people who are using it in unproductive ways and spend it yourself.  Make every building at least energy neutral, build the smart power-grid, fund electric cars and 3D printers in a big way, create high speed trains, go to Mars, radically decrease carbon emissions, provide a basic income for everyone, fund advanced research, and so on.

The first step to getting out of our current mess, then, is 95% marginal tax rates  on all income over 5 million, 90% on all income over 1 million, and a huge increase of corporate tax rates to over 70% unless they are doing what is in the public interest.  (Tax breaks on 20% corporate taxation rates do not affect corporate behavior.)

There are more fundamental fixes, mind you, but these are the basic, brain dead fixes that are doable within the current system, without radical changes.  This is what basic economics, as understood in the 1950s  with slight updates for an understanding of sinks and supply bottlenecks, tells you to do.

Do not give money,  free money, to people who are not spending it in ways beneficial to society as a whole.

And take away money from people who are spending it in harmful ways.

Money is a social creation, it is permission to tell people what to do.  You do not give money, and permission, to those who use it badly.

The Short on the President’s “Job Plan”

The plan is supposedly 447 billion.  By my count about 253 billion of that is in tax cuts.  Corporations are sitting on a ton of money, tax cuts will not make them hire.  Minor tax cuts for households will be used primarily for debt de-leveraging unless there is a general recovery with wage increases, since people will not spend in a depressionary environment.  Most of the spending is on projects which are run by states, and the money is fungible and will be effectively diverted to avoid tax increases.

There are no structural fixes for what is wrong with the economy here.  There is nothing to deal with the fact that even if it did work (it won’t) it would cause a run up in commodity prices, especially oil, which would crush the recovery anyway.  There is nothing to deal with the fact that most US banks are still bankrupt, except some incentives for Americans to buy houses so securitization can continue.  There is nothing to stop employers from calculation the tax rebates as effective raises, and thus not offering raises themselves (which is what they will do.)  There is nothing to make any corporation which already doesn’t pay taxes (more than you want to think about) to pay those taxes.

This stimulus is more than half tax cuts, which is worse than the first stimulus.  It is not as large as the first stimulus.  It will probably save or create a few jobs, but it will not kick the country out of depression.

All of this even assuming you’re stupid enough to believe this will pass as envisioned.  It won’t.  Obama is a weak president, and the Republicans will not pass most of the useful parts of this bill, though no doubt they’ll be happy to pass the tax cuts.

Oh, and Obama wants the entire thing offset by deficit reduction.  Given how weak a stimulus this is to begin with, I predict that if passed with offsets it WILL DO MORE DAMAGE TO THE ECONOMY THAN GOOD.

I see various progressives who think talk matters are cheering the wording of Obama’s speech.  He sure does talk purdy, doesn’t he?  Reminds me of his promises during the election campaign, in fact.

(White House Fact Sheet) (pdf)

Serious People Notice Banks Are Gouging Consumers and Tanking the Economy

Well, better late than never:

rates on 10-year Treasury bonds are only about 3 percent, many consumers still carry tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt at 20 percent or more. This burden has been a continuing drag on spending. The federal government could reduce it by borrowing at 3 percent and lending to consumers at 8 percent under a one-time debt-restructuring plan.

With their debt service payments cut by more than half, consumers could increase spending immediately. And the five-percentage-point spread on money lent under the program would help cover its administrative costs, and maybe even relieve short-run government budget pressure.

This is, of course, correct, though I’d only push it up 4%, myself. I originally suggested this February 9, 2009. It was the right thing to do then, it’s still the right thing to do.

As David Anderson notes, this would be a huge help to ordinary people:

Going from 18% to 8% interest, the individual with $10,000 in credit card debt would see their initial monthly payment go from $250 a month to $167 per month. Using a declining minimum payment formula of (monthly interest expense +1% of current balance), the debt burden at the end of the year is still $9,000 but the interest expense declines from $1,570 to $700. That gap of $870 is greater than the ARRA Making Work Pay tax credit and it most likely would be targeted at individuals with a high marginal propensity to spend (as evidenced by credit card debt.) If balances or interest rates are higher, the freed up cash flow would be even greater.

Also the government can make real, significant money by doing this. All it is is arbitrage. If you can borrow money cheap and lend it at higher rates that’s free money. Not only would that help consumers, and the economy, it would also reduce the deficit. Win/Win/Win. If Blue Dogs are really sincere about their belief in deficit reduction they should jump all over this suggestion.

Note that rates being so high is a classic case of market failure. The banks are charging more than they need to in order to make a profit. In an actual free market other banks are supposed to step in and undercut them, but that isn’t happening. We could argue about why (they’re a collusive oligopoly or they’re broke being the most probable causes), but in the immediate term, it doesn’t matter, what matters is fixing it.

But I doubt it will happen. Why? Because the banks are making a TON of money by gouging customers, and they own DC. I suspect the best we can hope is that this is a warning shot across their bows, a message to reduce the looting or pillaging to “acceptable” levels.

Which will be a heck of a lot higher than you might like, but hey, they run the place.

Not Fighting Alito and Roberts Mean the End of Your Democracy

The NYTimes:

In a burst of judicial activism, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upended the gubernatorial race in Arizona, cutting off matching funds to candidates participating in the state’s public campaign finance system. Suddenly, three candidates, including Gov. Jan Brewer, can no longer receive public funds they had counted on to run against a free-spending wealthy opponent…

In 2008, the Supreme Court eliminated the Millionaires’ Amendment, which let Congressional candidates raise more money when running against candidates who pay for their own campaigns. In January, in the Citizens United case, the court eliminated limits to campaign spending by corporations. Both cases cited the First Amendment rights of the wealthy, and in that depressing sequence, state finance programs would be the court’s next conquest.

If the court pushes on with its chainsaw, cutting down programs that trigger matching funds, it would threaten systems in Connecticut and Maine, and judicial-race financing systems in Wisconsin, North Carolina and elsewhere. It might even shake New York City’s system, which provides higher matching funds when a well-financed opponent does not participate in the system. Candidates with no prospect of matching funds would be reluctant to join a system that limits their spending. Unless the court veers from its determined path, there will be no limit to the power of a big bankbook on politics.

I remember back when Alito and Roberts were nominated, I expected the Dems to fight.  They were both clearly radical right wingers (spare me about Roberts, it was obvious he was a judicial nutjob).  But hey, whatever…  Even most of my commenters thought I was being unreasonable to expect Democrats to fight, to force the Republicans, if necessary, to use the nuclear option.   It was unreasonable to expect a mutli-million dollar public campaign to the make the two of them noxious to the public (doing so with Alito would have been especially easy.

And if the nuclear option had been used would having done so hurt Dems in any way?  No.  But it would have given Dems one less argument to use against actually doing the right thing in this Congress.  Not, of course, that that would have stopped them from doing all the wrong things, since that’s what the majority of Senators want to do.

The NYTimes is full of it in one respect, though, the influence of money on politics in the US is already decisive.  This is just an attempt to hammer home that advantage, to make it permanent.

Doing so will make the US into a banana republic, of course, assuming one doesn’t consider it already nothing more than a powerful third world nation living on legacy investments from prior generations.

Page 1 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén