Monday, February 09, 2009

Why We Need the Corporate Inquisition

The 9/11 attacks got an investigation, as did various major assassinations, so why not investigate a global crash with deep roots in deliberate, systematic financial engineering built with American financial theory? The theory was built on a right-wing version of neoclassical economics - private decisions always good, public decisions always bad, inequality of wealth and income always good (expressing a natural order), equality always bad (restricting liberty and entrepreneurship). It failed in practice, so let's sort and analyze the wreckage like we do with plane crashes that kill many fewer people than this crash is killing.

Paul Krugman today combines critique of the compromise Senate bailout with an accurate attack on bipartisanship. The key passage:
Mr. Obama’s postpartisan yearnings may also explain why he didn’t do something crucially important: speak forcefully about how government spending can help support the economy. Instead, he let conservatives define the debate, waiting until late last week before finally saying what needed to be said — that increasing spending is the whole point of the plan.

And Mr. Obama got nothing in return for his bipartisan outreach. Not one Republican voted for the House version of the stimulus plan, which was, by the way, better focused than the original administration proposal.
I'm having Clinton flashbacks.

The basics behind Krugman's assessment can be found in a Financial Times summary (my archive version). By their count, 40% of the Senate stimulus is tax cuts.

The God That Failed will keep issuing orders unless He is taken out by the Inquisition. The paradigm has to change, and change very quickly.

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