Bringing an economic illiterate to an economics fight

Scary stuff out there: damn scary. Lehman Brothers, one of our nation’s biggest financial institutions, folding right before our eyes: snapping like a twig in the face of a hurricane. Next up, Merrill Lynch, another behemoth, disappearing into the soon to be only bank in America: swallowed up whole as humbly as a mom and pop grocery bending before the might of the almighty Wal-Mart.

The Dow drops over 500 points in one day. The airwaves are filled with doom and gloom. Who will go next? Where will it stop? Is your 401(K) safe? Hell, is your checking account balance safe?

Meanwhile, jobs continue to slip away even faster than John McCain’s reputation for straight talk, as fuel prices remain sky-high and wage growth stagnates. Forget about your 401(K): how about just keeping a roof over your family’s head?

People are even starting to use the “d” word,” as in Oct. 29, 1929.

Yeah, scary stuff, alright: and this time, I doubt anyone will be calling people who worry about the economy whiners – at least not in public.

This year’s presidential campaign started out as — it’s the war, stupid. Then it became — it’s the change, stupid. For a brief while, thanks to John McCain and Sarah Palin, it turned into — it’s a bunch of frivolous crap and lies, stupid.

In fairness, throughout this process many people did continue to argue that — it’s still the economy, stupid. But somehow that never took.  

Well, it’s taken now. Boy howdy has it taken now. And barring something extraordinarily unexpected, the campaign will be principally about the economy for the duration. And if I were running John McCain’s campaign, that would scare the hell out of me.

It’s no coincidence that McCain’s first response to the financial sector meltdown was to quote Herbert Hoover in declaring that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Why wouldn’t he say that. He probably believes it. From the vantage points of the porches of his 7, 8, 11 or whatever number of houses, everything probably does look fundamentally sound.

But let’s not go there, because this isn’t about McCain’s wealth. It’s about what interests him. At the end of the day, John McCain doesn’t give a rat’s ass about economics. That’s just not who he is. He wants to be president so he can blow people up as he forcibly spreads democracy across the globe: his is the heart of a pure neoconservative. The rest bores him.

As to economics in particular (quotes taken from the Ohio Democratic Party website):

• McCain: “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/26/05]
• McCain: “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” McCain said. “I’ve got Greenspan’s book.” [Boston Globe, 12/8/07]

Right now, Republicans are riding high — floating along majestically on their Sarah Surge (even as it starts to deflate). But stormy skies lie ahead.

Democrats lost the last two presidential elections, at least in part, because they brought knifes to a gun fights. They let themselves get swamped in oceans of dirty campaigning. But it just may be that this time it’s the Republicans who’ve screwed up. They brought an economic illiterate to an economics fight.

And what with that kind of disadvantage, even arguing about lipstick on a pig may not be enough to do it for them this time.

One Response to “Bringing an economic illiterate to an economics fight”

  1. Again Says:

    Lehman Brothers…Merrill Lynch,…

    not to forget AIG…

    and again…

    “After all, it’s starting to look as if the rule is heads you win, tails the taxpayers lose.”
    (Paul Krugman, Financial Russian Roulette, second link)

    better than Communism, huh?

    in Communism, at least the argumentation is about “all for all” - we have only the losses?

    i’ve read, that now 85% of AIG “belongs to all”

    America, i guess, it is time to come out of your Pavlov-chains that everything for the Rich is “individualism” = good and everything for the rest is “communism” = evil. You see - it simply doesn’t work, because…

    “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

    if this would be true, at least the producing industry - the ones, really creating value - would be not suffering…

    so how about that?

    isn’t the producing industry now mostly chinese (or indian)? And China and India surely will not risk to lose what they got in the last decades…

    reminds me of a saying i’ve read googling for General Motors: “As goes General Motors so goes America”

    what a heritage Mr. Bush will leave - truly a name made for history books!

    They brought an economic illiterate to an economics fight.

    and will win because of that?

    reminds me of some comments:

    “It no longer is :”What on earth are people thinking?” but, that millions lack the ability to think at all.”

    “so the illiterate lemmings who suck up the air of America can wrap their tiny little minds around the relatively simple concepts being proposed.”

    again - what a heritage Mr. Bush will leave. This name will sound like thunder: the new Croesus - rich and empire-killing…

    Awake, America

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