Monday, April 1, 2013

Smackdown for David Stockman

David Stockman was Ronald Reagan's budget gnome for four years, and parlayed the experience into a million dollar book deal.

He's caused a bit of a ruckus with an article in the NYT on the weekend.

Paul Krugman called the piece pathetic and embarrassing.

The Wall Street Journal provides links to numerous skoffing skeptics.

The Washington Post calls it a "spittle-filled diatribe."

With slams like that it's obviously worth reading!

Stockman's thesis is that capitalism is being, or has been destroyed by the clique of insiders who run big banks and the political infrastructure that does such a manifestly poor job of regulating them.

On that point I agree. Whether that's going to cause the imminent implosion of the US economy I don't know. The status quo works quite well from the point of view of the 1%. I'm guessing they'll figure out how to keep the ship afloat.

I do think that Stockman makes some suggestions that would definitely improve the lot of the 99% though. Here's a quote;

...this would require drastic deflation of the realm of politics and the abolition of incumbency itself, because the machinery of the state and the machinery of re-election have become conterminous. Prying them apart would entail sweeping constitutional surgery: amendments to give the president and members of Congress a single six-year term, with no re-election; providing 100 percent public financing for candidates; strictly limiting the duration of campaigns (say, to eight weeks); and prohibiting, for life, lobbying by anyone who has been on a legislative or executive payroll. It would also require overturning Citizens United and mandating that Congress pass a balanced budget, or face an automatic sequester of spending.
It would also require purging the corrosive financialization that has turned the economy into a giant casino since the 1970s. This would mean putting the great Wall Street banks out in the cold to compete as at-risk free enterprises, without access to cheap Fed loans or deposit insurance. Banks would be able to take deposits and make commercial loans, but be banned from trading, underwriting and money management in all its forms.

That's some good sound advice. Break the link between government and the lobby industry? Can't happen soon enough.

Undo the Citizens United ruling and admit that corporations aren't people after all? Self-evident common sense to the 99%.

Get rid of the non-productive economic activity that has overtaken the financial sector in the last thirty years? Long overdue!

No wonder the establishment media are tripping over themselves in their haste to condemn the man.

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