Monday, April 7, 2014

Why call this the "Great" Recession?

If the Great Depression is the basis for labelling an economic blip "Great," this Recession can't be classified as Great. For a fiscal conservative, it is clearly an example of Poor choices, Poor economic policies, and Poor oversight that have not been corrected -- the mitigating outcome that enabled the 1929 crash to ultimately be labelled the Great Depression. In fact, the only people who could call the outcome of this recession Great are the excessively rich; for them, these post-crash adjustments have indeed been Great.
Reaganomics politicians laughing about their "Trickle Down" trick
Perhaps I criticize too soon. Perhaps all of the corrections are yet unknown and it is too early to evaluate the final results of this economic downturn. Perhaps we're only in the throes of the shakeout, and the angels of our better sense are still tending the wounded so they haven't yet got to the point of whispering inspired corrections into the ears of those who have the power to improve the situation. Perhaps, like after the Great Depression, happy days will be here again and prosperity will again become as viable as the American Dream once was.

But it seems like there should be some movement by now toward curbing the excesses and controlling the lack of accountability. It seems like by now we should recognize that the root of our Recession was nurtured by dismantling of the FDR reform programs that had held the financial systems in check. It seems like by now we should be getting closer to our own "3 Rs" efforts.

But right now, it looks like Relief, Recovery, and Reform are being blocked by the very institutions that took charge and demanded change the last time this nation's financial well-being was threatened by greed and corruption. This time instead of relief, all we see is austerity. Instead of recovery, all we see is perpetuation. Instead of reform, all we see is collusion. There's no conservation at all going on in any quarter.
Billionaire calling "Raise the Minimum Wage" greed
The fault is surely in our language: we're using "conservative" wrong. After all, it is patently untrue that a "conservative" system would allow a "conservative" government to launch a costly long-term endeavor while reducing revenue.  A true conservative financial approach would always balance expenses with sufficient revenue. A financial plan that increases costs while reducing revenue could never be called conservative; at best, it could be called a recipe for bankruptcy. To continue now to advocate the same failed approach is neither conservative nor the way to save the republic; it's a course toward insanity.
Professor trying to explain deficit budget
Let's explain this more clearly to some legislators who apparently are not schooled in economic reality. It's not fiscally conservative to spend more than you have:
  • To squander a trillion-plus surplus on an unnecessary war is like an heir to a fortune blowing his inheritance on floozies and booze.
  • Running up trillions in debt while slashing income taxes on those most able to pay is more like an out of control gambler getting in too deep with the loan sharks than a fiscally astute conservative planning for a financially responsible future.
  • And certainly using taxpayer funds to bail out the very people who caused the financial crisis in the first place is a misplaced correction, forcing the taxpayers into a bankruptcy spiral while allowing the bankers to avert their own Chapter 11s -- and then award themselves bonuses for squeaking out of the failure they deserved.
Yet, this muddled chaotic insanity is exactly the effect of policies advocated by those who are still claiming to be "conservatives."

Maybe we should explain again from another angle. Conservatives are people who preserve what they have:
  • A conservative homeowner makes repairs to keep up the value and useability of the property.
  • A conservative landowner enriches the soil and nurtures the animals to produce healthy yields.
  • A conservative manager provides equitable compensation, benefits, and advancement opportunities so employees are satisfied to make the effort that improves products and expands the market.
Conservative practices are win-win-win for the individual, the environment, and the nation.

Now, let's look at the reality of the practices advocated by these faux-conservatives:
  • Necessary infrastructure repairs have been ignored until interstate bridges are falling down.
  • Land (and air and water, too) is being polluted with toxic fracking residues and tar sands spills.
  • Workers are being shorted on wages and their benefits cut so that the wage gap between a full time employee at minimum wage (that is: 40 hours for 52weeks @ $7.25) and CEO pay has reached at least 1667%. (Do the math: $25million in pay and bonuses for the CEO / $15080). Of course most minimum wage employees aren't scheduled for the full 40hours since then the corporation would have to pay them fulltime benefits and besides many aren't even receiving the federal minimum because tip workers and the disabled are legally exempted. But whatever the reality, it is inequitable by any standards
Seriously considered, these practices have NOTHING to do with fiscal conservatism. The only thing they are conserving is their own steady stream of personal wealth.

To properly name the reality, we have to conclude: "Greedy Corporatists" caused the "Cataclysmic" Recession and are distorting the aftermath with faux news and legalized bribery to further increase Income Inequity and the upsidedown tax structure.
Cat unable to comprehend the Faux-Conservative budget
The only possible reaction a true fiscal conservative could have to this insane reality is to rant (hence this post).

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