"Let's be clear," Obama said, "what we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed."This is the most important thing Obama has said so far in this campaign, and he seems to be the only one involved, including media and economists, that has really seen the full picture and said it out loud.
What he is saying is that our economy crashing down around ours ears is the full result of Republican economic policy. Let's be very, very clear, the end result here is absolutely proof that the Republican economic philosophy is WRONG. It won't even do what the True Believers think it will do. What they do is remove regulations, privatize everything and let all the fat cats sit back and rake in the cash at the expense of the middle class and poor. The top 1% has nearly doubled their income since Reagan took office, while the middle class has lost over 6% in the same time period. And Bush carried this to new extremes by refusing to enforce any regulations that still existed.
And what happens when the restraints are taken off of the business men, the free market worshipers? They get greedy. And I don't mean just greedy, I mean serial murderer crazy greedy, something all out of proportion to what they needed to do to get very rich.
Phil Gramm was leading the charge back in 1999 to strip regulations from the banking industry. After he left congress he became a lobbyist for one of Europe's largest banks, UBS. What a surprise. John McCain made him his finance czar and he wrote up all of McCain's financial policies. He's been in the dog house ever since he said we were all whiners over the economy but he's still part of McCain's campaign and word is he will be Treasury Secretary if McCain wins.
McCain himself has said for years that he is The De-Regulator. That he always wants less regulation every time. But in the last 24 hours he is suddenly all for regulations on those greedy people on Wall Street, despite a 26 year record of voting against such things. Isn't it great how politicians can suddenly become the exact opposite of what they have always been - in a crisis? Especially when all they really want is to be president and will sacrifice every shred of honor they ever had in that pursuit.
This failed Republican economic philosophy lasts a long time for 2 main reasons; 1-The guys at the top make lots of money for a long time before the house of cards comes crashing down and 2-They are all ideologues, to them this will always be true no matter how much evidence there is that says otherwise. This is why Bush has said we are just "in a rough patch" and that the economy is fundamentally strong. He really does believe that if we all just wait a while it will work out like it's supposed to.
In the meantime, while it's all working itself out, we - you and me - are the ones who have to pay the piper while the guys who caused it all walk away with billions of dollars in their pockets. Not much incentive for them to change, is there? They get all the rewards but take no risks, because when the rich are in trouble socialism suddenly becomes a good thing. In the meantime we have reaped no rewards for all this gluttony but we are stuck with the bill.
The last time this happened it was Herbert Hoover putting the final touches in place to cause the Great Depression. Then we had FDR come in and turn things around by injecting socialism into the American system. And by doing so saved the country and saved capitalism, created a strong middle class and made us rich and prosperous, and most of us got a piece of that prosperity. But the conservatives have been steaming ever since. Their greatest desire was to undo the New Deal and with the election of Reagan in 1980 they had their opening. They've been working like crazy to recreate the world of the Robber Barons of the late 19th century, going all the way up to 1929, and have suceeded.
Bush has put on the final touches with an economy so bad we just might see the American economy collapse, or even the world economy because this whole thing is reverberating all over the world. I hate to see what kind of policies other countries will create out of this in order to keep themselves safe from the American cancer of Republicanism, but whatever it is it will be very bad for us and for a very long time.
Our only hope right now is another FDR to come in and save the day and create another golden age of the middle class. That means Obama. Is he up to the task? I don't know and have many severe doubts about his abilities and his economic policies, but he's all we've got, four more years of Republicanism and we are finished. So the next time someone says "Free Market" to you, go out and vote for a Democrat.