Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator (ludickid) wrote,
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
ludickid

Double, double, toil and trouble

So, it turns out that "the great moderation" -- the curbing of inflation, diversification of risk across global institutions, and lengthy economic expansions that were meant to shorten and temper recessions, if not eliminate them altogether -- is all just a bunch of shit! Yes, the gospel we've heard since roughly the end of Bush's first term that global markets have spread risk and strengthened monetary policy to the degree that first-world economies are more or less in a state of permanent growth turns out to be largely imaginary, fueled by -- get this! -- "a huge speculative bubble, first in stocks and then real estate, that hid the economy’s rough edges".

(insert 'wah-wah' trombone here)

Wow! A speculative bubble, you say! Gosh that's certainly unexpected, and certainly not something that anyone could have anticipated who had paid even the slightest bit of attention to the history of economics going back as far as 300 years. No, SHOCKED, SHOCKED we are at this completely surprising development that no one could have predicted.

Fucking unbelievable, man. It's literally the same bullshit every time. The economy starts to roar, and rather than look at the absolutely clockwork predictability of historical patterns, a bunch of profiteering scumbags at the top, all of whom stand absolutely to gain from their own propaganda, sell the whole goddamn country on the idea that things are fine now and we have finally conquered the vicissitudes of a closed economic system. Things will never be bad again, they tell us: the good times will be longer, the bad times will be shorter (if they ever even happen), and everyone should spend, spend, spend! And the same old people collect their checks, and when it turns out, as it always does, that a lot of the capital involved in their model was imaginary, they'll shrug and retreat back to their nice big paid-for houses while the rest of the country competes for a second job.

Every time it's the same, and every time, they go one step further, not only collecting their fees and shares for the bullshit they're selling, but prescribing political steps that can be taken now that there's no need for the government to help poor people anymore, since they can all get rich on whatever the magic cure of the moment is. And those steps are also always the same:

1. Deregulation.
2. Privatization.
3. And most of all, always and forever, reduction or elimination of taxation, especially for the rich.

And every time, it's the same people who get the sugar and the same people who get the shit. Who will remember it come November? The same people who remember it from the last time, most likely, a set whose components grow fewer every year. The rest of them will just remember all those abortions or that one time the queer parade came to town or how the terrorists are trying to make America look weak, and they'll vote in the same free-market shitheads who will preach the same gospel again until POP goes the next bubble, and then they'll shrug and go back home until election day.

The criticism from the right of social democracy usually plays into notions of self-hatred on the left, of slavish devotion to airy intellectualism or simple jealousy of those who can hack it by those who can't. I say social democracy exists because there are people who can fucking see with their eyes open.
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