Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Guess where this quote comes from:
[I]n politics and public policy there are better and worse answers. There are things that work and things that don't work. Right now we're watching state governments try to balance all of their budgets at the same time in the middle of this crisis. We've seen half a million public sector jobs disappear. Now, if these were good times, I would applaud that. We need to see a thinner public sector -- especially at the state and local level. But we're seeing what happens when you do that as an anti-recession measure and you make the recession worse. And even though we're in a technical recovery, incomes and employment -- all of that remains lagging for people -- I think that we've rediscovered in this crisis something that I think we all knew. Which is, there's a reason why the people of the 1930s built some kind of minimum guarantee -- unemployment insurance, health care coverage and things like that. And it's not because they wanted to be nice. It's because in a crisis when people lose their jobs, if there is no social safety net they loose 100 percent of their purchasing power.

NPR Marketplace Interview
Who was that raving liberal? Paul Krugman? Dean Baker? Oh, wait it's NPR's Marketplace, that means it must be Robert Reich, right?

Wrong. This is David Frum, Robert Reich's right-wing opponent on Marketplace, or I should say is erstwhile opponent. That interview is his announcement that he can no longer represent the Republican Party in these broadcasts.

At first, I was mystified as to why he can't continue, even though he clearly doesn't agree with the GOP's current prescription for the economy. I can't blame him there, because it's batshit insane. It's also President Obama's strategy, though, which ought to give him some room to argue. His erstwhile counterpoint doesn't understand, either:
I don’t feel any obligation to represent liberal Democrats. Over the years I’ve argued, for example, in favor of getting rid of the corporate income tax, creating school vouchers inversely related to family incomes, and extending free-trade agreements — positions not exactly favored by liberal Democrats.

The American public doesn’t want or need to hear “representatives” from the so-called right or left. It wants insight into what’s best for America.

The Triumph Of Dogma
Beside the idea that cutting corporate income taxes is a good idea, there's another idea in this quote that I take exception to: While I want to hear insights about what's best for America (or whoever the subject is), I can't remember having heard that on the news analysis programs I've watched lately. At least, if you look at something like This Week, Meet The Press, Face The Nation, or even The News Hour, what you are treated to almost entirely are the talking points of one party or the other. It's a rare day when there's actual analysis about what's best for our society in those discussions.

So, I'm glad that David Frum is smart enough to realize that more bleeding isn't going cure this gushing head wound of an economy, but I can sort of understand his lack of interest in discussing it on the radio.

I'd rather he gave it a try, though.

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