Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Everything ancient is new again

Only three states showed increased unemployment in November with 44 showing improvement. Basically the Red State Republicans are running out of teachers, cops and firefighters to lay off. These states have been falling behind the blue states that maintained government jobs, but now even most red states are showing job growth. Partly this is pent up demand, but also stimulus from extended unemployment, and the continued government spending on stimulus projects has had an effect that Republicans have not been able to inhibit completely.

These numbers aren’t all that great, but they are positive and seem to be working to President Obama’s advantage with his approval rating moving up sharply, again approaching 50%. We are really living 1995 over again. Clinton’s numbers were terrible and the Republicans were beating him up in Congress. Then Speaker Newt Gingrich shut the government down over the holidays rather than accept a balanced budget. Clinton was perceived as the adult in the room and easily won re-election. Unfortunately this didn’t extend to Democrats in Congress and Republicans continued to destroy America until 2007.

Newt is back, and again angling to be President (he thought he could impeach his way into the job in the 90s, now he thinks he can do it on arrogance alone). House Republicans are again making the President look good by their repeated attempts to shut down the government if not the nation itself.

Republicans do understand Keynesian economics even if they deny it like global warming, evolution and the Round Earth Theory. They of course use Reverse Keynesian economics, where they slash spending, cut wages and eliminate government jobs to reach their goal of Neo-Feudalism.

Let’s be clear, this little bright spot in jobs numbers could be shut off quicker than an efficient light bulb at tea bag convention. If Republicans are successful in killing Federal unemployment benefits extensions then some 2.2 million people will immediately fall into poverty with another 4 million in the rest of 2012. Ad to this the impact of a 2% tax increase on all working people from Republicans ending the Fica tax holiday and you are looking at a fast slide toward the bottom.

There will be millions more people collecting unemployment benefits who now have jobs so the cost savings are of course just right wing fantasy. You don’t get out of economic trouble by cutting costs, it has never worked anywhere, ever. The grandiose building projects of ancient civilizations weren’t just to stroke the ego of a foolish king. It was the kings who did these things to put their people to work that survived. The ancient equivalent of tea bag governments did not.

The Romans did a lot of this but concentrated on heavily stimulus projects for the public good. They did have their decadent one percent however, and by the time the Roman Empire started to decline they had captured 18% of all wealth. Our decadent one percent have captured 40% of our wealth and have their sights set on 100%.

We have made strides compared to the Romans, we can watch the circus from the comfort of our home (those who have one) and we don’t need to go to the forum, except to shop for bread and trinkets from the east. Christians are no longer fed to the lions, they do the feeding. Nascar provides the thrills and spills of chariot racing. This just in: the Senate wants to invade Persia now that our Legions have left Mesopotamia. There is nothing new under the sun.  www.prairie2.com


Chris said...

Ouch! History, much like the truth, sometimes hurts.