October 15, 2012

Time for an American 'decline'?

Graphic via New York Times
GOP/tea party and Koch Brothers wingnuttery of ssaying that Obama will take the United States into an era of decline, in which these wingnut employers will have to lay off workers, etc., what if there’s truth in the statement, but it has nothing to do with Obama?

What if modern technological devices won’t cause another “industrial revolution”? What if the current economic growth rate isn’t just do to recovery from a fiscal crisis, but something more momentous and longer lasting?

And, what effects might it have? Will it further increase the income inequality already being fueled by the likes of the Koch Brothers?

The New York Times takes a serious look at this issue.

Now, my only formal study of economics was a high school semester of intro to macroeconomics. So, I’m not qualified to comment too much on the piece.

That said, regular readers here know that I loathe the idea of American exceptionalism, whether a Christianity-based version of the religious right or a more secular version espoused by neoliberal Democrats, and undercut it whenever I can.

So, is this great decline at least possible? You bet. Given neoliberal Democrats’ ties to Silicon Valley (including the anti-unionism it has), is it possible that said neolibs have overestimated the long-term economic potential of tech devices, and that they have especially overestimated them because most of the manufacture is done abroad, primarily in China? Certainly.

Is it also true that neoliberals haven’t done a lot more about income inequality than old-fashioned conservatives? Indeed.

So, if you’re not an Obamiac or Clintonite, especially — or if you are, but you’re an open-minded one, click that NYT link and read through.

I do hope Gordon isn’t correct. But, what if he is? There’s other factors at play, like an aging country with retiring Baby Boomers spending less. Even if Gordon is too dour with a 0.2 percent growth estimate … 0.5 wouldn’t be much, and is certainly a realistic guesstimate.

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