Mission Accomplished


What’s unforgivable is the way policymakers, both at the Fed and elsewhere, basically declared Mission Accomplished as soon as the panic in financial markets subsided and stocks were up again. When spring rolls around, we’ll reach the third anniversary of Ben Bernanke’s declaration that “green shoots” were making an appearance — and there will still be 4 million Americans who have been out of work for more than a year. Yet there has been no sense of urgency about dealing with unemployment; indeed, most of the elite conversation has been about stuff like cutting Social Security payments a decade or two from now.

As Drum says, that’s the true radicalizing experience.

I'm curious to know how Drum, and Krugman for that matter, have been "radicalized." I mean, we all know Tim Geithner was the person who fought hard for the approach the Obama Administration has taken. Shouldn't someone "radicalized" be asking why Geithner is still the Treasury Secretary? Sure, the GOP won't let you name a Treasury Secretary afterwards, but wouldn't the removal of Geithner be a positive in and of itself? If not, why not?

Speaking for me only

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    It's not just Geithner! (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:42:09 AM EST
    He's just the symptom.  It's this whole notion that the only people who can get us out of the problem are those that got us into it.  

    It's nothing new.  This same notion was bruited about in FDR's day.  But he would have none of it.  As much as some of his allies pushed, he wasn't having any of those folks in his administration.

    This was smart policy.  But it was also smart politics.

    Needless to say, not much of that around in Democratic circles these days.

    I'm not sure it is the idea that the people (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:12:17 AM EST
    who got us into this are the only ones who can get us out of this that keeps us stuck.  I think it is a mixture of realities.  The first one being that it will momentarily hurt getting out of this.  It will take haircuts clearing up the books and nobody wants to be responsible for that, it will hurt.

    You also have people like Larry Summers out there preaching again that confidence must be restored and that is where the only problem lies.  It can't be that the ideas that Larry had about dispersing risk all over the place actually made us rationalize that risk doesn't really exist anymore.  And it can't be that they also created a whole system interlocked and unable to deal with any kind of economic shock without going down like the Titanic.

    Many with "credibility" and power are still arguing that regulation must not return, it will blow up the world if it returns.  Leaders hear that constant drumbeat, realize that any momentary pain their decisions may bring to the economy will be pointed at and hissed at by the body snatchers, and they lose their courage to do much of anything.  Also, those same people will chant over and over and over again that the pain spells doomsday.  They will go on the tube all over the place preaching and pounding and literally attempt to sink all the markets just to prove their theories.


    They are stuck in a box (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:23:57 AM EST
    that limits their thinking.

    Their "whole system interlocked" in their minds has created more "wealth" for more people than any other system ever created. To wreck something that good would be insanity.

    In their minds, they may have made a few mistakes, but no one of any "consequence" has been hurt.

    The peasants, the great unwashed, are a renewable resource.

    Who gives a damn about them? They're not important, or anything to be concerned about. After all, all they do is smell, consume, complain, and make more peasants.

    Why should anyone in power worry about them? If they would just shut up and go shopping, the "whole system interlocked" would keep on rolling right along just fine.

    Until it falls off the cliff.


    This is so well said Edger (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:36:10 AM EST
    And what I see and how I have analyzed what information and facts we are privy to too.

    Their entire "whole system interlocked" (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:49:05 AM EST
    depends on the peasants continuing to shop. And if any complain or set up tents in public spaces where they become too visible, just spray them with vegetable products to make them invisible again. Or shoot them.


    I was amazed and rather saddened to watch so many people get all excited about the "deals" they could buy on Black Friday... even here.

    The "whole system interlocked" is what they bought and continue to buy.


    You are all making it too complicated! (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:11:39 AM EST
    Throw the crooks in jail. And return banking regulations to their pre-1970 status.

    Because the two problems that go us into this mess are (1) rampant unchecked criminality in the financial sector, and (2) deregulation.

    Fix those things and just watch how fast this economy starts moving the way it should.


    Not really (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:17:45 AM EST
    I just pointed out why "they" won't "fix" it.

    It's already "fixed".

    And the peasants keep buying it, instead of fixing it. With the exception of Occupy.


    Of course ... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:32:13 AM EST
    but I think it's better to be programmatic at this stage.

    Programmatic? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:43:36 AM EST
    Here's Programmatic....

    WalMart holds a big media promoted sale on Black Friday to keep the "whole system interlocked" humming along like a well oiled machine, that essentially is an exercise in throwing crumbs at the peasants and laughing at them while watching them scramble and trample each other for those crumbs.

    They even have the peasants pepper spraying each other, call it an illegal assault, and then turn themselves into police (other peasants who have been bought off) who they pat on the back when they pepper spray other peasants who have the brains to protest against what the the "whole system interlocked" does to them.

    Cognitive Dissonance, LLC
    "We do it all for you! LOL"


    And on Wednesday (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:57:31 AM EST
    they are going to vote on whether or not they should set up some peasants to feel powerful by "indefinitely detaining" other peasants in military prisons in case those peasants get uppity and overwhelm with numbers other peasants in blue suits who happily pepper spray peasants who figure all this out and make noise about it

    And Obama will veto it? LOL.


    I think we agree with you (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:18:32 AM EST
    Just musing about why this isn't happening at this time.

    I know ... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:26:53 AM EST
    me too!

    Not the pre-1970 banking system... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:35:24 AM EST
    that Henry Ford said if we actually understood we would riot...I hope:)

    The small window of the post New Deal-1970 banking system maybe...it was the golden age of the American middle class, as long as you were a white dude.


    I think people want to be happy (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:17:15 AM EST
    I think they are focusing on creating a good environment for their family to come together this year.  The fact that they spent so much over Thanksgiving...well, I couldn't believe the prices when I was shopping for Thanksgiving foods.  They were off the charts marked up.  I had the cash to spend and I wanted a good holiday environment with my family so I coughed it up.

    I don't think we are going to see this phenom though when it comes to gift giving.  Maybe the rich will pull all the stops out, but it won't be families like this one.  I'm putting my money on creating the environment for nourishing family because the upcoming years are going to be hard and grueling.  When discussing gifts among all of us, the discussion has been small.  All of us have our thoughts focused elsewhere, like how we are all going to make it through all this.  One way is by being a strong nurturing family, and moms....we do what we can to set that tone.  Money helps but isn't always necessary when creating that environment.


    but the peasants aren't buying (none / 0) (#13)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:30:21 AM EST
    isn't that the problem today; lack of aggregate demand?

    They floated some write ups out there (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:37:52 AM EST
    That we spent big money over Thanksgiving.  Caused the stock market to surge....all that confidence fairy crap.  But after the holidays are over what do we have left?  Aggregate demand hasn't been fixed

    The problem today (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:45:49 AM EST
    is lack of awareness and lack of enough fighting back against crooked attempts to create "aggregate demand".

    The only way to get rid of Geithner (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:15:10 AM EST
    is to get rid of Obama.

    That has become clear, sadly.  The grand experiment is over, the guinea pigs in the lab have escaped their cages and have taken to the streets, and he still does not get the message.  

    So there is only one message left that will end this debacle and get my family back to full employment.  I don't know what else to do.


    Yep (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by sj on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 10:26:53 AM EST
    The only way to get rid of Geithner is to get rid of Obama

    I intend to quote you in the future.

    There is great pain in our national future no matter who is president.


    Also... (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:18:17 AM EST
    the failure to acknowledge the problems are systemic, by the select few well served by a system of grift.

    Thinking the "financial crisis" was abated simply by "stabilization" via cash giveaway is like thinking a gambling problem is abated by giving the gambling addict money to pay back his bookie and get back in action in time for the weekend.


    postive for whom? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:31:09 AM EST
    Clearly not for Obama, at least in his view, otherwise it would have happened.

    Baby steps (none / 0) (#21)
    by TJBuff on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 10:04:59 AM EST
    Drum's a "centrist", after all.

    He is (none / 0) (#23)
    by sj on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 10:38:00 AM EST
    Although he recently did that whole "we liberals" thing wherein he acts surprised that the things that long-time liberals were up in arms about for years are still true today.

    But you're right.  He's a Centrist.  And as the center moves right he moves right along with it.

    Stopped reading him when was with the Washington Monthly and should have stopped when he was still Calpundit.  


    btw like BTD (none / 0) (#24)
    by sj on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 10:52:34 AM EST
    I want to know exactly how Drum has been "radicalized".  As near as I can tell it means an acknowledgement that maybe he was just a little sanguine back when things started overtly going into the toilet.

    You can tell Drum is (none / 0) (#25)
    by observed on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 02:45:58 AM EST
    radicalized if he catblogs on Thursday.