Thursday, March 02, 2006

Econonomical With the Truth, Lying About the Economy

AKA Lies, Damned Lies, and the Bush Economy

Remember the Reagan years? Reagan knew (Until he didn't know anymore, cuz he forgot. Then he died. Remember that?) all about monstrously unwieldy national and global economies and massive military spending. Heck, he very nearly bankrupted the US economy.

But at least Reagan did it in order to put the Soviets out of business and therefore did a teensy, weensy bit of good for the USA and the world in general. Maybe.

Bushwhacker? He appears to be a whole different ball game. Well, apart from the fact that this is no game (Even if it were, the gameplay and scorekeeping would be about as even handed and sporting as a Don King boxing match.) and the only balls involved are the constitutional, economic, humanitarian, environmental, judicial, democratic, and diplomatic gonads Bush(es) and his/their party-hounds have targetted so squarely with their goose-stepping penny-loafers that humanity may soon need the help of an ENT specialist just to utter a meekly-squeeked attempt at a rendition of the Il Castratti.

Granted, I like my terminology the way I like my cannons - loaded.

Where was I? Oh yeah - Reagan. Bear in mind that Reagan was kind of playing the ultimate chess match. The kind that can and did get people killed, often many people. Children and women people. I would tell you to ask ex-CIA chief William Casey about these things but he's, uh, dead. His predecessor, Dubya's Dad, probably won't take your calls. Maybe you can Turner to your Webster's. Then again...

Oh darn. Where was I again? Silly me: Reagan! Anyway, ole Ronald "Showdown at the OKski Corralski" Reagan appears to have had the right approach, and not just a few useful team-members, in his dealings with the US economy and the Soviets.

The old paranoia of the West about the "domino-effect" of Communism leading to a Spread of Red across the globe was very nicely turned around. The Reagan Presidency saw the mighty Soviet bloc began its own collapse and nearly all of the other dominos soon fell and the old American paranoia almost completely disappeared, to be replaced by a new-found enthusiasm and national energy as a horrible new blight hit the globe: the 1980s.

But I'm not here to remind you why you should still wake up in the middle of the night, shivering in a cold sweat and alternating between the heaving sobs of a child (of the '80's).

No, all of this was leading to the following points.

One of the architects of Reaganomics was Paul Craig Roberts. Who is Paul Craig Roberts? In his past, he has been the following.
  • Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration
  • Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page
  • Contributing Editor of National Review
  • Fellow at the Cato Institute
One does not have to like a man to respect him or his thinking. I don't know Mr Roberts and have no idea if I would like him or not but I suspect he might know a thing or two about economics and governance.

That's why you might like to read his article, Nuking the Economy, which he subtitles, "Forget Iran—Americans Should be Hysterical About This."

"In five years the US economy only created 70,000 jobs in architecture and engineering, many of which are clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance.

"Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US economy came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth.

"No sane economist can possibly maintain that a deplorable record of merely 1,054,000 net new private sector jobs over five years is an indication of a healthy economy.

I don't for a minute suggest that Reagan did nothing but good for this world but on reflection, in many ways, I would suggest that his administration negotiated some very difficult waters indeed.

Maybe Reagan was nothing more than an idiot savant? I dunno. One thing I know for sure - when seeking an idiot savant, you have to play for all or nothing.

yr ftful srvnt

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