Tuesday :: Feb 3, 2009

More Obama, Please

by paradox

Riffing on the exemplary Meteor Blades of Daily Kos, I think it’s very important to acknowledge how confusing and difficult it is to comprehend the scope and mechanisms of the current proposed stimulus package for the average ordinary American. I took grad school econ and have excellent structural knowledge of all levels of government, but $700 billion for Defense there, $750 billion for TARP here, another $800 billion for stimulus, shadowy $1.2 trillion secretly pledged to banks somehow, buyouts, bailouts, deficits, bonds, money markets, shovel-ready, tax cuts, interest rates…

It’s like Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, right, when he finds out Dr. Nichols went to the hospital yet again for liver samples. This is giving me a headache.

Political labels in modern America get a thorough running of the track through the public consciousness every two years, at least 70% of the public knows what Democrats and Republicans are with a fairly good idea of the political models and ideology they represent. Economics, until the advent of the internet, was almost exclusively the haven of weighty graduate school institutions with students of massive frontal lobes that crunched out those incomprehensible equations. Ask 95% of Americans if they’re Keynesians or Randians and the response will be, uh, what?

Never any disrespect to America and certainly not to the Economics professionals, two of which hold cherished, eternally chiseled shrines of reverence in my soul. It’s simply the way modern America worked out.

We know what works, the economists always said in my brief forays of study into the Depression and public policy economics, we learned what we did wrong before with the markets and the disastrous penny-pinching of Hoover, a Depression can’t and won’t happen again.

Our politicians completely blew the risk and allowed the construction of markets of unregulated greed, the Fed puffed harder into various bubbles, and the economy has crashed in the 2008 4th quarter. We’ve now beautifully set up the first component for Depression II by following those dullard Randians like Greenspan, market and economy crash are surely with us, will we ignore the economists once again and cement Depression II implacably in place for us all?

Spend, the revered Keynesians always say, spend! Inject capital directly into the system when the consumer and industry won’t, and most of all keep the little people employed to get consumer spending back. Is that what the current stimulus plan does?

Not hardly, it’s full of those ridiculous Randian tax cuts that got us into this ditch into the first place. It very well may be that compromise is actually necessary with our obdurate Republicans cousins—I don’t see it, but I wasn’t elected leader of the free world, okay—but what I do see and hear are vociferous Republican advancement of tax cuts and this sick hypocritical whining about deficit spending, but no defense or advocacy of Keynesian public spending.

Not surprising given the intellectual level of American journalism is at the absurdly low bar of Lou Dobbs with relentless corporate enabling, coupled with a new President insisting on inclusion. Still, the total reality remains there isn’t one powerful Democrat out there on a daily or weekly basis injecting clear Keynesian principles into the public discourse about why we need massive public spending right now and well into the future, with simple principles all the little people can understand and follow in the news.

It’s quite rich, really, a member of one of the least respected and disgraced professions in the United States (journalists) lecturing President Obama on how to cultivate a good relationship with the press1, but like many meandering intellectual messes of arrogance it did hold a valuable gem of historical knowledge: not only did FDR hold 337 press conferences his first year, he also held a weekly fireside chat on the radio with the little people.

In times of great change and urgent need Roosevelt took his voice and his message to the people whenever he could. It isn’t for me to say if President Obama is doing the right thing by including Republicans and tax cuts, I simply don’t know, but I am unequivocally sure the Keynesian necessity of spending is not getting out there, not at all.

We need President Obama directly speaking to all of us every day, through press conferences, YouTube videos, a modern variant of fireside chats, appearances and speeches why liberal social spending works. Why we have to do it, there is no choice, it is very true we know what works, duty now implacably demands that we implement it. Take the message to the little people relentlessly like FDR did, President Obama, we know that works too.

[1] Look, Ms. Hotshot-I-made-it-in-New-York-union-with-an-editor journalist, if you’re going to be arrogant enough to snootily judge others from a profession in utter disgrace then don’t mix your metaphors. Rookies don’t have sea legs, they get cold-cocked to ringing concussions from crazed linebackers. Readers get visions of flying football helmets vomiting over guard rails into swelling crashing seas, it doesn’t work.

This miscreant professional behavior reminds me of a legendary woman basketball coach I read about in the huffily entombed Paper of Record approximately a week ago, 67 of her protégés are in coaching or something. You watch this sloppy, lazy, absent-minded crap long enough and finally say look, Ms. New York Times, this gets on my nerves.

You disregard the legacy of your upbringing, your schools, your profession and country, yes, but most unforgivably of all you disrespect the craft of writing. It’s damn well time you took a good look around and respect the gifts and professional (cough) slot given to you, Ms. Jean Edward Smith.

paradox :: 7:15 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!