Monday, March 17, 2008

O Happy Day!

Stirling Newberry, who used to blog to great effect over at TPMCafé, has resurfaced at The Agonist. He is super-smart, understand the nuts-and-bolts of economics, is steeped in historical example and precedent, and always has a keen eye on the Big Picture from a socio-geo-political viewpoint. I constantly referred to his stuff over at my old LiveJournal blog, until he left TPM and seemed to drop out off the face of the earth.

Well, he's back and today he explains (as only a super-brainy economist could) exactly why we are completely fucked.

[T]he right wing came to believe that it could have a military machine without mass mobilization, but instead with a high tech smaller force, it also did not see the need to keep most Americans happy. Instead, their new vision was of a small, permanent and highly mobilized base, which included a core of military-industrial contracting, supported by a security apparatus and getting votes from a combination of resource extraction, disorganized labor, the wealthy, franchise owners, and theocrats. Their idea was expressed in the Project for A New American Century, and in Karl Rove's political apparatus. People who were a danger to this thesis were removed by whatever means necessary. While being a heavily socialist enterprise, in the right wing sense of being a national socialism, it relied on a propaganda of libertarianism. This propaganda relied on creating the meme of the late 19th century as the legendary golden age, where laissez-faire economics combined with piety, plutocracy, and military empire, in that time came the conquest of the West to create a rising America.


This neo-conservative plutocracy was intended to take the place of the Liberal Democracy. It had a war without end as its mandate, a Christianist ethnocentrism as its meaning to create context, and a monetary system which would, after the invasion of the Middle East, be based on a direct imperial control over oil.


As many, many, many commentators, many, many times have pointed out, the US was consuming too much, and exporting too little. The Neo-Conservative happy monsters said that this could go on for ever, giving other people our paper for their oil and goods.

While it is possible that we will emerge from this functional, the likelihood is that we are going to see a continued fall for the next 9 months, as the crisis deepens, a die hard illegitimate executive burns his last brands on our skin, and a feckless opposition folds its cards over and over and over again, allowing ordinary people to bear the brunt of the continued contraction.

We are riding this bucket down a ways farther, because there is nothing to right the equilibrium, and without the stimulus from war spending, on which we are so dependent, there will be no pick up in business activity soon.
Read the whole thing, really. Then check out his diary.

Go ahead. Read it all. Right now.

I'll wait.

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