The Big Zero
(New York Times) -- By Paul Krugman
...from an economic point of view, I’d suggest that we call the decade past the Big Zero. It was a decade in which nothing good happened, and none of the optimistic things we were supposed to believe turned out to be true.
It was a decade with basically zero job creation. O.K., the headline employment number for December 2009 will be slightly higher than that for December 1999, but only slightly. And private-sector employment has actually declined — the first decade on record in which that happened.
It was a decade with zero economic gains for the typical family. Actually, even at the height of the alleged “Bush boom,” in 2007, median household income adjusted for inflation was lower than it had been in 1999. And you know what happened next.
It was a decade of zero gains for homeowners, even if they bought early: right now housing prices, adjusted for inflation, are roughly back to where they were at the beginning of the decade. And for those who bought in the decade’s middle years — when all the serious people ridiculed warnings that housing prices made no sense, that we were in the middle of a gigantic bubble — well, I feel your pain. Almost a quarter of all mortgages in America, and 45 percent of mortgages in Florida, are underwater, with owners owing more than their houses are worth.
Last and least for most Americans — but a big deal for retirement accounts, not to mention the talking heads on financial TV — it was a decade of zero gains for stocks, even without taking inflation into account. Remember the excitement when the Dow first topped 10,000, and best-selling books like “Dow 36,000” predicted that the good times would just keep rolling? Well, that was back in 1999. Last week the market closed at 10,520...MORE...LINK
Flashback: Neocon admits his own ideology's Leftist-based economics
They Call us Leftists
By Vasko Kohlmayer
..."If by a leftist we mean someone who expands government and the state, then surely we neoconservatives have displayed some leftist tendencies of late.
"Consider the last eight years. It is generally agreed that the policies of the Bush administration were largely shaped by a neoconservative outlook and ideals. Much has, of course, been said and written about the administration's foreign policy whose main objective was to make the world safer by spreading democracy. Its domestic policy, on the other hand, received comparatively less attention. It can, however, be summed up easily in two words - government expansion.
"Under President Bush the federal government grew more than under any president since Lyndon Johnson. By whatever criterion we may choose to measure it - budget, spending, the size of federal workforce, national debt, entitlements, regulatory burden, bureaucratic apparatus - the growth was truly prodigious.
"Consider this. During his term in office, President Bush expanded public spending by more than 70 percent. He was the first president in 176 years to go through an entire term without vetoing any legislation or spending bill. When Bush was sworn into office our national debt was $5.7 trillion. By the time he left, it stood at $10.6 trillion, an increase of more than 100 percent. When military personnel and contract employees are included, the number of people who worked for government rose from 11 million in 1999 to nearly 16 million in 2008, an increase of nearly fifty percent.
"When Bush came into office, the Federal Registry -- the quintessential tool of the federal regulatory muscle -- contained some 64,000 pages. By the end of his term, the Registry had grown to almost 80,000 pages. Economically significant regulations - defined as those which cost more than $100 million a year -- increased by 70 percent. According to a study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in 2007 alone federal regulatory agencies "issued 3,595 final rules, ranging from boosting fuel economy standards for light trucks to continuing a ban on bringing torch lighters into airplane cabins...
"There may be those who would say that the Bush's domestic policies represent an unfortunate betrayal of neoconservative principles. But if that should be the case, then you would expect a corrective rebuke from the neoconservative establishment. How did, then, neoconservative commentators, intellectuals and opinion makers respond to the administration's obvious leftward lurch toward statism?
"Surprisingly, not much was said about it. Occasionally an objection was raised, but there was no strong reaction overall. Sharp criticism was rare. Many neoconservatives were, in fact, instrumental in supporting the president's key domestic initiatives. When the president needed to come up with arguments for some of his more questionable programs he could always count on the neoconservative intelligentsia to make an eloquent case. Bill Kristol, the founder of Weekly Standard and one of America's leading neoconservative thinkers, was, for example, a vocal and visible supporter of the president's immigration bill. It is fair to say that overall the neoconservative establishment was firmly behind Bush"...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
In the first column, left-wing Neoliberal Krugman says the Bush admin's Republican "policies of tax cuts and deregulation have led us into an economic quagmire..." In the second column, right-wing Neocon Kohlmayer admits there never was deregulation (true, except perhaps for the Wall Street banksters and con men also in bed with Krugman's Neoliberal ilk), and that Bush's was essentially, economically speaking, a left-wing administration.
I say there is no significant difference between the Neoliberals and the Neocons, and that they all subscribe to sleight-of-hand, Magical Marxist Economics based on fraudulent fiat currencies, fractional banking, warmongering, and a spend, spend, spend ethos, wherein most of the money ends up being redistributed from the American people (and put on the national credit cards for their progeny to pay) into the pockets of government-connected cronies, corporatists, Marxists, neo-fascists, Zionists and assorted other gangsters, grifters and criminals.
America is being destroyed by its corrupt, thieving, post-Christian, Big Government-pushing "elite." And it will never recover until they have all been slapped into political oblivion.
Comment by "Chris Moore" on The Man Who Bought Washington, by Eric Margolis - It's fascinating how so many of the "anti-war" Jews and hippies of the 60's have morphed into the pro-war Zionists and neoliberals of today. It just goes t...
3 hours ago