20 January 2008

Best Bushenomics article ever

Larry Beinhart's article on Bushenomics at Alternet is well worth a read. Some of his points regarding the looting of our country that's taken place under Bush:
  • With privatization, one dollar out of every three for direct military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan goes to private contractors like Halliburton and Blackwater.
  • Most the assets of the United States, our collective wealth, could not be sold off in such a direct manner. The administration instead borrowed against them. They cut taxes while continuing to spend lavishly, creating debt. The debt is owed by all of us, the people of the United States.
  • As measured by the GDP, the economy grew by 35 percent between 2001 and 2007.
  • Job creation: In the first six years of the Clinton administration, 13.7 million jobs were created. In the same period, under Bush, only 3.7 million jobs were created. Barely keeping up with population growth.
  • Median income: That's as opposed to average income (If Bill Gates walks into a bar with 10 people, the average income of everyone in the room goes up by $17,5000,000. But the median income just moves up half a notch, from between the fifth and sixth person, to the sixth person's income). From 2001 to 2005, median income, for people under 65, went down $2,000.
  • America's businesses: Under Clinton, the Dow Jones went up 324 percent. Bush arrived in 2001. Since then the Dow Jones is up just 10 percent.
  • So where is that 35 percent growth in the economy?
  • The M3 took off like a rocket after 2001. The Fed stopped publishing the M3 in 2006. (The M1 is basically cash, plus checking and "current" accounts. The M2 adds savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs up to $100,000. The M3 adds in the big CDs, Eurodollar accounts and other large exotics.)
  • The administration grew the economy (or at least the amount of money in circulation), without inflation... If [Bushenomics] had created business growth -- actual business, not just financial business -- that would have created jobs. Then there would have been inflationary pressure. If salaries for ordinary people go up, even a little, the total is a big sum. But due to free trade, outsourcing, bad economic policy, policies aimed at keeping wages down, and relentless union busting, good jobs were lost, to be replaced with low-wage jobs, when they were replaced at all.
  • Finally, the Fed kept interest rates down. The supply of money was increased. The price of money was kept artificially low.
  • With no new boom to invest in, businesses made loans.
  • The loans grew into a bubble...
  • No job growth, no business growth, no stock market growth, falling median incomes, disappearing pensions and health plans, and the fall of the dollar.
  • The real solutions are pretty obvious and pretty simple. First, we have to make a choice: Do we want a sound economy for all of us and a strong America? Or do we want to have a few people of unlimited wealth who use that wealth, among other things, to control the government so that it helps them milk more money from the rest of us?
  • In the real world, there are no such things as free markets. In the real world, business people manipulate and conspire to control markets, and governments both control and collude with business, while tax policies and government spending have a major affect on the economy.
  • Simply giving money to rich people doesn't work. Bob Novak, the conservative commentator who calls the investor class "the most creative class," is flat out wrong.
  • Money has no mind of its own. It has to be directed toward areas that will generate and support business and good jobs at good wages. As it happens, our economic goals are on the same road as the social good.
  • The No. 1 target has to be alternative energy.
  • The No. 2 target is infrastructure.
  • The No. 3 target is health care.
  • The No. 4 four target is a balanced budget.
  • How can all this be done? Raising taxes. On the wealthy. And on corporations. That's not class warfare. That's simple practicality.

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