By Ben Cohen: Predictably, elites in finance, business and the media have resoundingly condemned the Leftist uprising in Europe, complaining that the populist economic policies they are proposing will ruin the global economy. Take for example David Brook’s latest piece in the NYTimes, where he argues deficit spending cannot solve Europe, or America’s problems:
We structuralists do not believe that the level of government spending is the main factor in determining how fast an economy grows. If that were true, then Greece, Britain and France would have the best economies on earth.
Brooks believes structural reform (code language for mass privatization) is the only way to create a growing economy – a myth that should have been dispelled long ago. The Conservative party in Britain have been dramatically rolling back the state since getting into power – the results? A double dip recession with dire projections for future growth.
Matt Taibbi has written a great post on Rolling Stone outlining the principles the rich believe will solve the global economic crisis:
Markets all over the world freaked out over the prospect of having ignorant European voters meddling in the recovery process the geniuses of the high finance world had already painstakingly laid out for them.
The model for economic progress in the financial bubble era, after all, is supposed to go something like this:
1. Let banks inflate massive asset bubbles with the aid of cheap or even free government cash, and tons of leverage;
2. Before it all explodes, carve out gigantic sums for bonuses and compensation for the companies that inflated those bubbles;
3. After it explodes, get the various governments to bail those companies out;
4. Pay for it all by slashing services to what’s left of the middle class.
Why anyone thinks that the ideology responsible for crashing the global economy will help us get out of it is completely beyond me. I have this argument with my conservative friends on a very regular basis, and I’m often left thinking I am missing something. Those in charge of the financial system should be the last people we want determining policy. In a true market system, their complete failure to do their jobs in the first place would have led to their departure from the industry. But in today’s economy, you apparently fail upwards.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.