Alex Blaze

This is not a recession; this is the new economy

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 07, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Democratic Party, economic policy, government, recession, republican

We're not in a recession. This is the new economy, the way the economy will function until someone changes it. It's unlikely someone in the near future will want to change it for the better.

recession.jpgThe current economy can't be blamed on "business cycles" or "boom and bust," not years after the housing bubble burst. No real reforms were passed to prevent another financial crisis, and no one is even discussing a real economic policy that would make the economy work better for everyone.

The right wants to make the current problems worse by decreasing spending, cutting jobs, and cutting taxes.

Liberals confused about how the world works and can't even articulate a goal (everyone having the means to live a decent life? Full employment? Salaries by any means? Or just making Republican policies slightly less painful?).

The left, the poor, organized labor, and the working class have been so marginalized that they can't effect change.

The wealthy are making out like bandits, making more money than before and getting taxed less (at least they realize this isn't a recession).

The middle class barely exists anymore.

The media is part of the wealthy class and they're just hoping that the government will do what it takes to increase poverty, while doing what they can to keep people stupid enough to accept the coming changes to the economy.

And the government is in the hands of the wealthy.

Is anyone motivated and able to change the way things work for the better in the near future? No. Is anyone doing anything to decrease unemployment and poverty? There are a few small policies every now and then, but nothing that's going to give full-time employment to the 17% of the American workforce that doesn't have it.

I think there would be more clarity in what's going on if people just realized that this isn't an unfortunate accident, but some people's actual vision of how the world should be. And those people have more power than the rest of us.

Blog_Bartels_Income_Responsiveness_0.jpg

In other words, it's what the US has been dishing out to other countries for decades, and now they've figured out how to slowly enact policies of deregulation, tax cuts, and spending cuts in the US itself. If anyone thought any sort of patriotism was going to keep these folks from expanding the American underclass, then they're being proven wrong today. Democratic and Republican presidents don't have any trouble imposing these economic plans on other countries, and since the world is getting smaller, etc., there's no reason to believe that people with power aren't trying to increase unemployment so that their relative power and wealth increases.

The funny thing is that it's the right that's always talking about American exceptionalism when they're advocating that the US implement the same policies the Western world imposed on third-world countries to keep them down.


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I think this "new economy" is the result of our collective laziness. It won't change until we do.

America used to invent, innovate and solve problems. Now, we just argue about the conditions and we do very little to change them.

I don't think government will solve our current recession. America needs to wake up and solve our problems - something we stopped doing decades ago.

This is absolutely true. And kudos for putting this up here even though some may say it has no ostensible queer content. To me, it certainly does. Yes, some affluent gay couples may do well, and that's certainly the stereotype, but for the rest of us, being openly queer means a little more fancy footwork in the job market. Thank you.

I agree with Alex. For the last three decades, at least, the well-moneyed in America have led a campaign to shrug off the expenses of government -- after all, with fortunes in the bank, they certainly don't worry about health care or Social Security checks. Few of them feel like they need government at all, because money is a form of political power, a law unto itself.

They've got theirs -- now they are out to choke the rest of us.

The question is, How poor can they drive the underclass before their own economic engines collapse? Also, how far up the food chain will this class war reach? When the millionaires have killed off the middle class, will the billionaires kill off the millionaires? With this economic jungle mentality, the economic future of the world does not look bright.

Identity politics hasn't helped much, dividing folks into narrower special interest silos, and most especially as ID politics have drifted further and further away from the broader economic justice issues integral to social justice. In this way, this is an LGBT issue.

It is the nature of capitalism to aggregate wealth into the hands of the very few. Even Adam Smith got disillusioned with untrammeled capitalism.

In my opinion, there are sizable numbers within the Gay community over the age of fifty-five who are having difficulty financially making it from month to month.

I agree completely. This is no longer a recession, it is the new economic reality, a reality not as based upon con games and ponzi schemes, until new ones are developed. It demands a switch to lively hoods built upon sustainability rather than the fantasy of eternal growth.

2 years of tax cuts for 13 months of unemployment. That's not a good compromise.

When Obama angrily explained the "negotiations," he said "I couldn't persuade the Republicans on a single issue." So, he took what he could get - exactly what they offered him.

I don't see any compromise here.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | December 9, 2010 5:17 AM

Alex's comment paint a partial picture of the problem but offer no solution.

This is not a recession at all. It's the beginning of a long and deepening Depression. Depressions are endemic to capitalist societies because they lack both political and economic democracy. Here's a fuller analysis of the problem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0&feature=player_embedded

The growing perceptions that the US is a banana republic and that the naked power and predatory instincts of the looter class is a danger to all workers are becoming clearer with each upward tick in the unemployment rate, each cut in wages and each new Obamaville. As a result the suicidal idea that we should support the two parties of the rich, the Democrats and Republicans, is becoming less and less popular.

The only real solution is the expropriation of the economic wealth of the looter class and the creation of new political forms to overwhelm their political power.

Until then mass unemployment, homelessness and spiraling pauperization will continue unabated. You can get regular updates on the devastating effects of the depression here: http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-wealth-and-inequality-in-america-2010-4

Alex says "The left, the poor, organized labor, and the working class have been so marginalized that they can't effect change." Of course they can't. No one but the rich can effect change within the two party system. Both parties are owned by the rich. Democrats go out of their way to ignore that. Democrats are not part of the left.

Working people, small family farmers, people of color, immigrant and imported workers and the left in general are in the process of waking up from the 'shock and awe' of sudden economic meltdown, mass homelessness, unemployment and poverty. When we move it will be independently of and in opposition to the looters and the two parties they own - Democrats and Republicans.