The Long Strategy for Obama Democrats
It occurs to me that the Obama administration has done a number of (widely neglected) things that scramble the conventional categories and that are good policy besides. The administration has championed some potentially revolutionary education reforms. It has significantly increased investments in basic research. It has promoted energy innovation and helped entrepreneurs find new battery technologies. It has invested in infrastructure — not only roads and bridges, but also information-age infrastructure like the broadband spectrum.
These accomplishments aren’t big government versus small government; they’re using government to help set a context for private sector risk-taking and community initiative. They cut through the culture war that is now brewing between the Obama administration and the business community. They also address the core anxiety now afflicting the public. It’s not only short-term unemployment that bothers people. What really scares people is the sense that we’re frittering away our wealth. Americans fear we’re a nation in decline.
So I sit there in my green jacket, happily chewing on a Twizzler that I probably left in a pocket in 1979, and I think: What would happen if Obama sidestepped the fruitless and short-term stimulus debate and instead focused on the long term? He could explain that we’re facing deep fundamental problems: an aging population, overleveraged consumers, exploding government debt, state and local bankruptcies, declining human capital, widening inequality, a pattern of jobless recoveries, deteriorating trade imbalances and so on.
My bold. Golly David, what would happen if Obama stopped fighting for the unemployed, small businesses and the states and let them twizzle in the wind while focusing on long term Voo Doo Econ strategies… I dunno, a lot of people would lose everything and a lot of people would be hungry? A good portion of Americans would be tossed like wood into the engine of Capital? Fodder for the entrepreneurial class? Let’s see, would the disparity between rich and poor grow while the middle is sundered upon itself?
Oh, I know, the unfortunate ones will claim their Unicorns and ride them to the pots of gold where they’ll eat pepperoni pizza and drink cherry cokes while suffering no health consequences. And and they will never EVER have to go to the crapper again! It just disappears with all the other nasty stuff we make but can’t stand to face up to! Look, it’s the dream we just woke up from all over again! Where’s my Unicorn!! Maybe my mom has my green Army jacket I wore when I was a 23 year old Anarchist. I feel the need to man the barricades with my Unicorn like it’s 1982 all over again!11! Ah, musky women and sucker punching Moonies, good times, good times. My Unicorn’s going to love this life!
Jesus, not sure what to think about this David Brooks column I stumbled ino via Dean Baker. It’s a variation of the ol’d ‘fvck you, we got ours’ routine, but with some impassioned concern trolling thrown in.
Really. Fvcking. Weird.