GOP Has No Economic Solutions
I thank Adam Davidson for penning his piece in the New York Times' Magazine today on Larry Summers' and Glenn Hubbard’s competing economic viewpoints, because it clearly points out the intellectual bankruptcy behind contemporary conservative economics. In short, despite all their talk about entitlements, taxes, and regulatory burdens, conservatives have no immediate solutions to deal with what is corroding American society right now: depressed consumer demand caused by a debt hangover and elevated unemployment, and an economy built to serve the few at the expense of the many.
Hubbard says the real question is how to improve the earnings of lower- and middle-income Americans, and then offers nothing in his solutions to improve those earnings in the short term, as if the millions of under- and unemployed right under his nose weren’t worthy of attention. Hubbard asserts with a straight face that the solution is increased education and skills training down the road, after Social Security and Medicare are shrunk and Corporate America takes its reduced tax burden and hires more workers. If Hubbard honestly looked into the mirror at the Bush tax and jobs record he helped create, and acknowledged Corporate America’s current cash reserves and miniscule tax burden, he would never peddle this nonsense in public. The net takeaway is that Hubbard and the right have no solution for today’s problems nor can they credibly fault Social Security and Medicare for our current weak economy. Until these actors can offer real solutions to our actual and current economic problems, they are just that: actors.