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Post Economics: Can Obama Save Us from Doomsday? (Tor Guimaraes, US)
Created by John Eipper on 01/06/09 7:26 AM - economics-can-obama-save-us-from-doomsday-tor-guimaraes-us

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Economics: Can Obama Save Us from Doomsday? (Tor Guimaraes, US) (John Eipper, USA, 01/06/09 7:26 am)

Tor Guimaraes writes: A few months ago, I responded to a posting by Alain de Benoist which introduced an article by Paul Craig Roberts. I said that I had been preaching the points that Roberts made for at least four years and had learned a few lessons: (1) It is absolutely amazing how long it takes for these social/political/economic trends to play out. The systems involved are huge, with hundreds of major interrelated factors, multilayered and extremely complex. While I had no clue about the massive fraud which created the subprime mortgage crisis, some years ago it became obvious to me that the US economy was in big trouble because of massive job outsourcing, middle-class squeezing, world terrorism increasing dramatically, the Iraq war expenditures, and the US social infrastructure showing severe problems. I trusted the smart stock market would discount all this within 8 to 12 months only to have egg on my face for at least another 2 years. (2) No one likes or listens to doomsday scenarios no matter how obvious. People mostly like to wait for the pain to dictate the reaction because most doomsdays never fully come but get diluted by new events. (3) I was sure that the American people are in for some extremely difficult times: weaker economy, higher unemployment, higher cost but lower-quality standard of living, wider disparity between rich and poor, destruction of the social/economic safety nets, etc. This knowledge has been extremely frustrating to me because in my youth I have seen this movie before in Brazil but people in power seem distracted by something else. Also, it was very frustrating to me because as a child I once read how great civilizations rose and fell but the author made me feel hopeful that that may not be necessary in America's case since we might know better. And yet here we were, this magnificent country staring into oblivion, slowly falling apart with nothing but bandaids to keep it going. But now we have Obama with a magnificent collection of some of the best players available. Will it work? Will the US be completely restored again? As many WAIS postings have indicated lately, the US will undoubtedly have to slowly but increasingly accept loss of leadership and the need for sharing power with other upcoming nations and blocs. Critical to the US ability to retain power and leadership is its ability to survive the present economic crisis. As discussed above, surviving the present deflation, weaker economy, higher unemployment, higher cost but lower-quality standard of living, wider disparity between rich and poor, destruction of the social/economic safety nets, etc., is no small task and no one can be sure how bad things will get in the next few years before the economy stabilizes, let alone start to grow. Will the Obama program work? Obviously, it depends on what they try to implement. Mind you, we are running out of time, bullets, and room to learn by trial and error. We need synergistic projects like developing products which will produce jobs, reduce dependence on oil, and help the environment. We need projects which produce new technologies, jobs, and will spawn new businesses producing the same eventually at a profit. One-time cash handouts will not work. Pork projects representing poor investments for society will not work, even if they temporarily produce new jobs. Tax breaks must be carefully targeted to promote household consumption and jobs. Don't listen to the supply-side economists; if the buyers are not available, capitalists will not invest no matter how many incentives you give them. The main objective must be to revitalize the US middle class which has been ripped off enormously for the last decades. Once consumer demand starts growing again, it will take little time for the capitalists to invest and satisfy it. God bless America; we will need it. -- For information about the World Association of International Studies (WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/ John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA

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