Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Yves Smith, who publishes the website Naked Capitalism, on the latest events in Europe:
Perhaps I’m too far from the carnage to have an accurate reading, but the news reports seem more anesthetized than shellshocked. It seems almost as if the European leadership has successfully faked its way through so many past crunches that they are unable to perceive that the same old tricks are no longer working. And it is increasingly looking as if their dulled reaction times are so out of line with market events that even if they were to snap our of their stupor now, it would be too late.

Eurocarnage Continues
I think she's right, if only because it looks rather like the anesthetized response to our economic woes on this side of the Atlantic. The debate in DC, from what I can tell from my remote position, is still about how much austerity we need to right things. The answer is that there is no amount of austerity that will right things, as enough sensible economists have explained. Only getting people back to work, at better pay and benefits, is going to right what's wrong with our economy, and sucking the government dry isn't going to do that any more than sucking the rest of us dry did.

Not coincidentally, this has been going on in Europe, too.

Yet the things that seem to occupy most peoples' minds about politics have nothing to do with our predicament. The general political debate continues to be how much of a foreign-born Islam-loving socialist President Obama must be on one side, and how much of a racist and metaphorical arsonist you must be to criticize him on the other. Actually understanding and dealing with what's wrong with the American economy, or the rest of the world's, seems to be the last thing on anyone's mind.

Which is one of the reasons next year's election isn't going to change jack, regardless of who wins, as I explained months ago:
All the people who tell me that things will be worse if the Republicans are back in power are smoking a substance I wish I could still partake in. Neither party gives a crap about the poor or the middle class right now, because progressives don't want to make them. Until they do, until they decide to break one of the parties and either reform or replace it, nothing will change for the better.

An Interesting Rant By Dylan Ratigan
I guess I must have been in a particularly racist and metaphorically arsonist mood when I wrote that...

So, Europe is going down, thanks to the complete lack of responsible leadership over there, and we'll be going down with it for basically the same reason.

Afterword: Yes, all but the first two of those links are from past Slobber And Spittle articles. Anyone who is surprised or shocked by what is about to happen simply hasn't been paying attention.


Expat said...

Once upon a time, a kingdom was lost (and won) for the want of a nail; likewise today, the wealth and future of countries will be lost (or won) for the want of economic knowledge (and the history it comes packaged in).

The game is over once the European Monetary Union fails as it will. Failure is guaranteed by the free market catechism of the so called neoliberal economic ideology in vogue. Already we've witnessed the overturn of two democratically emplaced governments (Greece, Italy), and replacement of several others (Ireland, Portugal, Spain) by fellow-traveler ideologues who's purpose is to stifle all alternative opposition to the agenda. The effective balance of european governments are controlled by right-wing sociopaths unable to hear any opposition to their agendas. Europe is going down, its assets will be had for cents on the euro, its social balances overturned and ruined, un-reconstructable out of the rubble of the ruins. The candidates for tipping point failure includes them all.

This will, out of Europe's sheer economic mass, bring the U.S. down with it as if that economic house of cards hadn't been built on sand. Nothing the political clowns can do or say will stay the catastrophe, but it is the only way to eliminate the cancer of the 1% at the foundation, their billions never grew on trees and are no more economically "organic" than their astroturf.

Cujo359 said...

Some sensible economists seem to think that the euro can be salvaged if the ECB just does its job. I don't know if that's true, and it sure doesn't look like the ECB has been inclined to do its job, at least until last Saturday.

On the bright side, we still have our health. ;-)