Friday, May 09, 2008

Economic Insecurity: Will the Cult of Milton Friedman (and Hidden High Priestess, Ayn Rand) be Smashed? -- "None of This Had to Happen ..."

Migrant Mother/Pea-Picker in the Dust Bowl, Photo by Dorothea Lange, 1936

Economic Insecurity: Will the Cult of Milton Friedman (and Hidden High Priestess, Ayn Rand) be Smashed? -- "None of This Had to Happen ..."

By Richard Power

Will the painful economic lessons of the last thirty years (i.e., Reagan-Bush to Bush-Cheney) be learned?

Will the Cult of Milton Friedman (and its hidden high priestess, Ayn Rand) be smashed?

Will the Beltwayistan political establishment and the US mainstream news media be deprogrammed?

Will the USA rise up and find its Mojo again?

Not without a fight.

Just because a false economic doctrine has failed wretchedly, and been repudiated by reality at every turn, does not mean it will be junked before some great collapse.

We are, afterall, dealing with a cult.

So much depends on whether or not the US electorate chooses reason or madness in November 2008, and whether or not its will is thwarted as it was in 2000 and 2004.

The unprecedented move of Republicans, Independents and first time voters into the Democratic primaries this year is a sign that there is hope of an uprising in consciousness.

Here is some important analysis from Robert Kuttner, read it, and share it with your friends who have been indoctrinated over these last few decades.

Some of them have probably looked up from their bank statements and started thinking of running for the jungle before the kool-aid gets dispensed.

Kuttner's piece might give them the courage to make a break for it.

None of this had to happen. The credit crisis, which is sapping America's economic strength, was the result of an almost religious belief in deregulation whose excesses are now coming home to roost.
It is instructive to compare the American financial mess with the economic situation in nations that resisted deregulation. Old Europe tends to get a scornful press in the U.S. But Europe is not suffering a financial meltdown today -- mainly because Europeans (with the exception of Britain and Switzerland) took only a few sips of the financial Kool-Aid so heavily promoted by U.S. banks. ...
In a recent interview, Germany's Gunter Verheugen, the vice-president of the EU, told me, "We need a strong and competitive industrial base in order to have a strong service economy. Don't try to be cheaper. Try to be better. Don't try to compete on low social standards."
So as the U.S keeps trying to contain a needless crisis caused by an extreme faith in financial engineering, the Europeans have kept their heads and a more balanced form of capitalism. While Europe has its own debate about the right balance between market innovations and social protections, there is little enthusiasm for taking more lessons from market-besotted Americans who have managed to sink what was once the world's strongest economy. The main worry is how much contagion from America will spill over onto Europe.
Robert Kuttner, American Progress, 5-5-08

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Economic Insecurity Update: False Religion of Laissez-Faire & Milton Friedman, Its Most Persuasive Cult Leader, Have Led Us to a Monetary Jonestown

Economic Security Update: "What do Brazilian supermodel Gisele B√ľndchen and the People's Republic of China have in common?"

Randi Rhodes Interviews Naomi Klein -- "Not just the craziness of the Bush gang ... the logical culmination of a 25 year war on the state ..."

Hard Rain Journal 8-16-07: "The Roman Empire lasted 1,000 years, but only about half that time as a republic," says GAO's Walker

Special Edition: Words of Power Interviews John Perkins -- Ask Yourself Four Essential Questions

Hard Rain Journal 6-6-07: Future Economic Security, Both Short Term & Long Term, Requires Choosing Conscience & Common Sense Over Racketeering

Hard Rain Journal 5-22-07: Economic Security -- Get Busy Living, or Get Busy Dying

Hard Rain Journal 10-30-06: Economic Security -- GAO Chief Warns Economic Disaster Looms

SPECIAL EDITION: Words of Power Interviews Nomi Prins, Author of "Jacked: How 'Conservatives' are Picking Your Pocket"

SPECIAL EDITION: Generation Debt -- Why Now Is A Terrible Time To Be Young, Words of Power Interviews Anya Kamenetz

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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