GIVING CHANGE WITH NO CHANGE GOES ONLY THAT FAR?
Lost Because There Is Not Enough Advocacy For Progress In The USA.
The president of the USA is usually presented as the “most powerful man in the world“. This is disinformation. “Weakest leader in the world” is more like it. The presidency of the USA is a weak office. Why? Because not only is the business of the USA, business, but the government of the USA is business.
I have been making the progressive case against Obama‘s policies. For four years (minus a week). Before he became president, Obama prevented Hank Paulson to force banks to cram down house mortgages. Result:
Plutocrat Paulson, Bush’s Treasury Secretary, ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs, understood that banks had to give something commensurate in exchange for the enormous public money they were getting. Otherwise, it was theft. Obama did not want to understand that.
Obama spent the next four years singing the praises of bankers, banksters, and financial criminals (latest in 2012; an ode to love for Buffet, famous for destroying Greece, in Newsweek, and Dimon, head of JP Morgan, on “The View”). Not cramming down the mortgages allowed the banks to keep on having “tiers one” capital they did not have, thus keeping on with their derivatives’ casino, starving the real economy, while getting 8,000 billions of “monetary base”, from the Fed (that forced the EU to join the game in 2011).
I am not focusing here on other grave ethical failings, such as worldwide killing by death panel ordered drones, a new high for the devil, a very dangerous precedent for fascist regimes.
That establishment of a “Terminator” like world is comparable, as an ethical jump, to the jump accomplished when extermination camps came to be viewed as a measure of progress.
That many “democrats” agree to killing people by robots without due process reminds me of German Socialists approving of Hitler because Adolf called himself a socialist. Just as Hitler focused on “will” (he was singularly deprived of it after 1942), Obama focused on “navigation” as an overall metaprinciple (now his “navigation without an ethical compass has led him into the shoals of public opinion). Being a full human leader requires to focus on full human ethics, not naked procedures (will, social navigation), as a suitable end to political means.
I am focusing here on the economic side, and the ethics connected to it. As Matt Stoller puts it:
“Under Bush, economic inequality was bad, as 65 cents of every dollar of income growth went to the top 1 percent. Under Obama, however, that number is 93 cents out of every dollar. That’s right, under Barack Obama there is more economic inequality than under George W. Bush.
[Blue line: corporate profits, red line: main worth USA families, home equity.]
And if you look at the chart above, most of this shift happened in 2009-2010, when Democrats controlled Congress. This was not, in other words, the doing of the mean Republican Congress. And it’s not strictly a result of the financial crisis; after all, corporate profits did crash, like housing values did, but they also recovered, while housing values have not.
This is the shape of the system Obama has designed. It is intentional, it is the modern American order…”
The plutocracy is amplified by the desire of government officials, who are typically in the middle class, to join the 1% (who do not just live much better, but safer, with better… local government and services).
The third debate Obama-Romney was uneventful. After his huge win in the first debate, when Romney presented himself as the candidate with a plan, while Obama sounded like an apologetic butler, seemingly worried about blemishes on the floor, Romney needed just to not make mistakes.
The news though, as far as I am concerned, were made by Obama, when he brazenly announced, in passing, out of the blue, that “sequestration is not going to happen“.
This was an astounding statement. The problem is not just that sequestration is the law. And that it is becoming effective in eight weeks or so. The problem is that:
Sequestration is a liberal’s heaven: it cuts down a huge chunk of the defense budget, and remove the Bush(-Obama) tax cuts for the rich. The deficit and (some of) the inequity disappear overnight.
Why would Obama be against it? If Obama is the “liberal”? (“Liberal” that is left, democratic, in USA semantics, the opposite of European semantics.) Why would Obama want to denigrate a law he helped passed, and that institutes a liberal’s heavens?
Is Obama a double agent?
Is he not a liberal then, and all the hysterical liberals who want us to vote for him just naive sheep rushing behind their shepherd as they enter the slaughterhouse?
So Obama is losing that election. If not in the votes, surely with his head. Surely losing his second term, if any, before he got started. Lost his head in an accident called democracy.
I forecasted as much little bit less than 4 years ago. Surely the old liberal Obama face had lost to the neoconservative Obama reality, immediately after he was elected. How did I know this?
The first thing is that Obama was mesmerized by Larry Summers, the financial derivatives’ enabler. Summers is a notoriously, officially delirious misogynistic bully, who, knowing no advanced science or mathematics, claimed women were genetically inferior at it (there are plenty of top women in science and math, up to the very highest level, for example Emmy Noether, who, sponsored by the mathematical giants Hilbert and Klein was spurned forever at Göttingen. Finally Hilbert had to get angry, and point that: the faculty is not a toilet. Noether’s work was very deep and some ot it is used for the very basics of quantum Field Theory).
The day after his election as president, Obama went to work in the offices of a hedge fund in Chicago. November 5, 2008. That was an astounding fact. Hedge funds and their financial derivatives were front and central causative in the 2008 financial crisis. It was as if Obama understood nothing, nor did his advisers. Or maybe he wanted to make a blatant wink to the plutocracy, to the greatest sharks of the financial world, that he approved of their world, entirely, front and center, for all to see.
His apparently lobotomized supporters were completely clueless and celebrated all over like nice drunk maniacs. They are still celebrating, four years later. Michelle Obama asks: “Are you in? Tell Barack you are in!”. Simpler than that, no way: politics reduced to sexual allusions, or something equally primitive. We are in? Into what? Masochism? With Michelle as whip yielding dominatrix? OK, she obvioulsy fits the role quite well.
What hope could we have, when Obama embraced evil, and his supporters did high fives all over? With hedge funds’ managers?
So now, here we are, four years later; most of the money went to banks. 8 trillions (mostly from Quantitative Easing, which was used to “reimburse” TARP!). Total deficit added: 4 trillions, most of it from tax cuts (to the rich!), not from investment. The so called Bush tax cuts were legislated religiously by 4 year by the democratic Congress (led by plutocrat Pelosi).
Why don’t progressive call those cuts the Pelosi-Obama tax cuts for the rich? Because we are not rich, and it’s safer not to tell the truth?
Here are two comments of mine that the New York Times had the kindness to designate as “picks” (although most of my comments on Krugman’s blog are censored; I view Krugman’s policies as causative of much of the Obama’s faulty socio-economic program.)
The first comment was subsequent to Krugman’s editorial in which he said: “The U.S. economy finally seems to be recovering in earnest…it will still take years to restore full employment — and it has been a very long time coming. Why has the slump been so protracted?
The answer — backed by overwhelming evidence — is that this is what normally happens after a severe financial crisis.”
In other words Krugman still understands too little, too late. I sent this:
We are in the worst crisis, ever.
There is a fundamental employment crisis. There is an ecological crisis, without precedent in 65 million years, that puts the biosphere in question (and gasoline above $4 a gallon).
What is happening right now is just the beginning of the beginning of said crisis. Obama was called in to deliver change, and, thus stop the steady march behind the same old errors. However, a chorus of sycophants and plutocratic servants insisted nothing much had to be done… And Obama went along.
Right now the USA has a huge, primary deficit (Italy does not have a primary deficit), and the debt to GDP ratio of the Federal government is above 100% (only Italy and Greece, and of course Japan have higher debt to GDP numbers). Many on the pseudo-left say it does not matter. How come it matters anywhere else? And what is the plan to deal with those?
Guess what? The public wants change again, any change, as long as it’s not the same old same old: all the money to the banks, none for commoners.
Not surprisingly, Mitt Romney is claiming to be the one to bring change. The worst being is that he may right, frighteningly enough. It’s easier to bring more change than no change.
Krugman and company claims Obamacare will change everything, but I just don’t believe it, as it was written by the sharks themselves, the health care plutocrats, and it does not set-up what they fear and all other advanced countries have: a public health care core.
The markets have broken national sovereignty, all over. Obamacare eschewed that lesson, all too long.
The last case being rolled out this week: Mr. Clean, Close-To-The People, humble Prime Minister of China, the guy with the glasses and the modest white shirt, turns out, according to the New York Times, and not to my surprise, to have accumulated, through various members of his family, including his elderly mother, a fortune of no less than 2.7 billion dollars.
The dictatorship of the People has turned into the dictatorship of the Plutocrats. The New York Times just got censored in China for pointing out that this supposedly clean PM was a plutocrat hiding behind the rest of his family, a trick massively used in the USA! Ironically the New York Times censors me about denouncing plutocracy, and gets censored in turn, for the same reason! What goes around, comes around, just like hurricane-north-eastener…
Krugman again: “Mitt Romney … has a five-point plan to restore prosperity. And some voters, alas, seem to believe what he’s saying. So President Obama has now responded with his own plan, a little blue booklet containing 27 policy proposals. How do these two plans stack up?
Mr. Romney is faking it. His real plan seems to be to foster economic recovery through magic… So, is Mr. Obama offering an inspiring vision for economic recovery? No, he isn’t. His economic agenda is relatively small-bore — a bunch of modest if sensible proposals rather than a big push… The point is that America is still suffering from an overall lack of demand, the result of the severe debt and financial crisis that broke out before Mr. Obama took office.”
I sent the following comment (also a NYT pick, as that august paper seems to be about two minds about me!)
Most probably, Obama’s “plan” is too little, too late. Progressives ought to have protested strongly as soon as Obama had selected his economic team, led by financial derivatives advocate Larry Summers. But they did not.
According to the sycophants of the democratic party a la Obama, there were at least 14 weeks with a supermajority in the Senate and 4 years of majority in Congress (in 2012, the French Socialists have taken enormous decisions in 14 weeks, including 75% tax margin and a financial transaction tax!)
So Obama had, and has nearly no ideas, in any case, very small, that’s why he could not do anything with his supermajority, not even removing Bush’s tax cuts. And the lack of ideas is throughout the progressive establishment. Maybe Romney’s plan is impossible and scary (it sure looks this way). However it does something that allowed Obama to be elected four years ago: it makes people dream of change.
The essay below suggests non trivial ideas of the progressive type:
The main idea is to push Research and Development massively. Take an example: Infra Red Photo Voltaics. They exist already in the lab, but are extremely inefficient. Having them would augment enormously the efficiency of photovoltaics (I think about 40% of the sun’s energy comes as infrared). Make a crash program. A fundamental, basic research crash program. Not something perverse like Solyandra, Space X, Tesla, Fisker, A123.
And protect the basic research by extremely fierce protection of Intellectual Property.
WILL DO-NOTHING PRESIDENT SNATCH VICTORY FROM JAWS OF DEFEAT?
We don’t know what Obama wanted to do, when he embarked on his exalted adventure. As a candidate, four years ago, he ran in full compatibility with this site. I was happy. However Obama governed, mostly, against this site, breaking my sensitive little heart. I cried a river, and now the seas are rising faster than ever.
So it is with human destinies: one wants to do one thing, and often one ends up doing the opposite. For the best reasons, which turned, in the fullness of time, to be the worst.
Obama’s main metaprinciple, as explained in his best selling memoirs, and re-iterated since, is “navigation“, rather than haughtier principle. However a civilizational leader does not just navigate, but creates. When an elected leader is backed up by serious philosophers, such as Pericles, that gives results (the “open society“) one remembers.
Obama wanted to become a president who did great things. But that was in total contradiction with his navigational metaprinciple. Great leaders don’t just navigate, they force destiny.
What Obama implemented, in practice, was Bush III (except in foreign policy, where, by espousing Franco-Britannia in Libya he has been much smarter, and sharply opposed to the treacherous Bush). we do not want to be naive like Paul Krugman: “Think instead about the 45 million Americans who either will or won’t receive essential health care, depending on who wins on Nov. 6. “
Krugman is rich, he lives in a mansion, he shuttles all the time first class around the world, he is big time. It did not dawn on his teeny tiny brain that soon hundreds of millions of “Americans” will not be able to afford that health care, because, like the captain of the Titanic refused to think about icebergs, the Oblablablists refused to think about cost. the reform that mattered for health care was cost, first: make health care cheaper, then the state could afford for everybody to have it. For that one just had to allow the (three) public health care systems to bargain with private providers, fully (as in other countries).
In “the Progressive Case Against Obama”, Stoller argues, as I long have, that the election of Romney would wake up the opposition to the Bush-Obama-Romney order exemplified by Krugman: 8,000 billions to the banks, and the likes of Elon Musk (Tesla, Space X), 4,000 billions of supplementary debt in 4 years.
It is not a question of being anti-capitalist. Civilization is entangled with capital. No capital, no civilization. That’s why I distinguish between “capitalism” & plutocratic phenomenon
The progressive left got completely anesthetized by their brown guy’s accession to power. It was a case of racist intoxication:”Look Obama is black, he does miracles!” In truth, Obama is not even black, but brownish. The progressive left did not help Obama, the USA or the world by falling asleep, or going crazy in the Oblabla personality cult. Quite the contrary.
Now the den of thieves, Wall Street is getting a foretaste of its own medicine, by threatening to go under water, what it wanted all along, in its secret desire for self destruction. A North Easter is meeting a hurricane. Never happened before.
Obama’s policy, just as that of all his predecessors, and Romney’s is hell bound to make the USA stay on top, as the world’s greatest CO2 polluter (much of China works for the USA). The latest idea from the American hyper exploitation mood, is to export USA coal to China. Washington and New York will keep on going that way, and only them going deep under water will stop them, apparently. Admittedly, the progress of hurricane Sandy is a good sign of the Biblical flooding to come. Probably too complicated for their ethically deprived tiny brains to comprehend.
But there is a much better case to be made than Obama’s ignominious defeat. Unfortunately it would depend upon another “Obama” than the one we got to know, suddenly rising from his ashes.
In that progressive and optimistic case, Obama wins, and then a suddenly liberal Obama comes to his senses, and refuses to negotiate about “sequestration”. By January 1, 2013, a progressive paradise would dawn. The Bush-Obama tax cuts would disappear, and there would be savage cuts in defense. The rich would be taxed a bit more, the deficit would disappear overnight.
Even the hurricane-North-Easter “Frankenstorm” is giving an occasion for Obama to pose as commander in chief. Obama saved by god. The least god could do, after being evoked so many times. Hey, maybe the hurricane could wake up the citizens of the USA to the fact that they have been ecological pigs.
Of all the possibilities, that is what I would prefer. By far. That, and Obama sequestering the right in its own contradictions.
Dream and hope never dies…