01 June 2012

…But Whose Economy?


We all remember when the Clinton campaign said “It’s the economy, stupid” reminding themselves that this was most powerful force in the election.  Now, both parties work with that dictum, only that it is has been modified to read, “It’s (what I tell them) the economy (is, because they’re) stupid. 

Today we started with: the “Worst U.S. Job Data in a Year Signals Stalling Recovery - NYTimes.com”  And by noon the Speaker of the House was on the air saying,

Republicans have a Plan for America’s Job Creators designed to remove the government barriers holding back economic growth and hurting job creation

That plan is as curious as it is simple, according to Paul Krugman (who I know is disreputable in Republican circles.  But since I linked you to their thoughts, it seemed only fair to offer another vantage.) 

Now, here is my key thought today:

Those who are battling with each other over this issue do not have differing view of the economy, but see different economies

We are watching a kind of religious crusade, yes I mean that very word, where one side believes the other is wholly, entirely, and completely wrong.  Mind you, I do not believe it is a symmetrical zeal.  One is far more intense than the other.  You figure out which…

And in such conflicts, collateral damage is irrelevant.  Zeal allows one side literally to scorch the earth to win.  If actual people (innocent civilians we used to call them) suffer that is the price that must be paid to insure the righteous prevail.

This leads me to wonder, cynically, if one reason the economy is sputtering now is that some economic movers and shakers are willing to let the economy suffer until the election in order to shape the outcome.  So much wealth and power reside in so few, and they have so much as stake because they are so powerful and few, that it actually makes rational if despicable sense for them to keep the economy as weak as possible for now. 

If the result is a stronger conservative government, they win.  If the result is a weaker conservative government they can let the economy sink even further.  In either case, they have nothing to lose.

I hope I am wrong, but that I can even think it tells me how odd our nation is right now.  Who ever thought “American Exceptionalism” might mean something like this?

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