Thursday, November 29, 2012

Disaster Equivalence

Caption: Neoliberalism bursts onto the scene, metaphorically speaking at least. See this article for some background on this image.

Image credit: Screenshot of Faces Of Earth by Cujo359

Because I never get tired of using old image files, this quote from Lambert Strether over at Corrente tickled my metaphorical fancy:

Michigan got hit by Hurricane Neo-liberal, that over the last generation hollowed out Americans industrial base and destroyed the unions. And then when they were hanging onto the cliff with their fingers, the banksters stamped on them with the financial crash of 2008. And Obama bailed them out just enough to win enough swing voters in enough swing states like MI and OH to win in 2012.

How Would $36B Impact Your State's Economy?: Comment "Crabs in a bucket"

Calling neo-liberalism a hurricane strikes me as a bit like calling a nuclear strike a train wreck. Both are bad, but one is orders of magnitude worse in both extent and effect. As Lambert writes, it really has helped to hollow out the middle of our manufacturing base, and it's made us far poorer in any way I think of economic welfare.

To me, neoliberalism is like a slow-motion megavolcano, a disaster so big that it can ruin entire countries, and will take decades to recover from. It's like a big, honking, caldera of white hot stupid greed out there in the middle of America, and it started going off back in the 1970s. It burned out the heart of this country just like that Wyoming Caldera would have done had we been around back then. I'm hoping it gets plugged up some day, but so far I haven't noticed any sign of that happening.

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