Monday, June 07, 2010

The Neo-Hooverism

It's not about all of us starting to vacuum again like mad (that joke may be lost on American readers). It's about the idea that this is the time to tighten up the belts a notch or two, to cut back government spending on the developmentally handicapped or on the elderly or the poor. To cut the fat off the government body, so that we only get the skeleton left over.

Digby wrote about that over the weekend, and about the way this is the time for Disaster Capitalism to strike. Even though the problems we have are caused by a just slightly milder version of the same Disaster Capitalism: that of allowing the boyz-n-galz to play ball in unregulated markets all over the world. For some people the obvious answer is more of the same!

Or what took place in Chile when the Shock Doctrine was first used. You should read Naomi Klein's books if you have not read it yet. She may exaggerate but the events she described did take place, most recently in New Orleans where the hurricane Katrina was used to a) get rid of most of the poor people and b) turn the school system into a right-wingish dream.

I'm not a fan of needless suffering. One needs to be that to support the silly ideas so many economists have these days.

But neither am I a fan of some sort of manna-from-heaven world. Everything has its price and people do need to work for their living. Systems which don't work well must be fixed, regulation must work properly and bad incentives must be weeded out.

I don't see that happening. Even in the U.S. our ability to get proper regulation of the financial markets seems limited, and the reason is that those who were in power are still in power, pretty much. The same is true in Europe, I suspect.

That means the cost will be taken out of the hides of those who never were in power in the first place. So sad. And they still won't hire me to fix it all.