Jul 10, 2009

The X Economy - It's Bad at Best

Update: Christian Menegatti in RGE Monitor: "The United States is in the 20th month of a recession that has been by far the longest and most severe of the post-war period." See also The Next Big Bad Thing? and Next Shock Coming: Commercial Real Estate.

"The American economy has gone away. It is not coming back until free trade myths are buried six feet under."

The quote above is from Paul Craig Roberts in CounterPunch (Feb. 24, 2009), an impolitic newsletter and political site that regularly tells the world hard truths about the economy and public policy.

Roberts has been warning about the dangers of hollowing out our economy through outsourcing (offshoring), big finance capturing the regulatory bodies, and the legislative branches becoming a sick joke, for years.

Roberts is now conventional wisdom.

From Robert Reich's candid piece in Talking Points Memo, dismissing the optimistic talk about a U-shaped recession, Reich writes that the global economic crisis is an X file:

The X marks a brand new track -- a new economy. What will it look like? Nobody knows. All we know is the current economy can't 'recover' because it can't go back to where it was before the crash. So instead of asking when the recovery will start, we should be asking when and how the new economy will begin.
How about ditching the empire, peace instead of war, dismantling prisons and replacing them with schools, sustainability initiatives in energy, environmentally-friendly everything, legalizing most drugs; you know what the left has been advocating for the last several decades.

As for President Obama: Don't tell the world to go shopping and watch your neighborhood for terrorists as Bush did. We need an acknowledgement of the scale of the crisis and a declaration that only real change change can save the economy.

Perhaps heeding the advice of Seymour Melman, Ralph Nader, Jeffrey St. Clair, deep ecologists, radical economists ... hell, anyone who was under FBI surveillance in the 1960s-70s would help. As Noam Chomsky says: Hegemony or Survival.

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