photo credit HITC
There’s been a full- fledged attack from certain news sources harping on about the role of real estate in the crash of 2008. A lot of it is valid. But what’s being pushed under the rug is the shadow banking industry that took a busted bubble recession and turned it into a depression on par with the Great Depression. Were it not for extreme government intervention, the damage would have been astronomical.
And the financial sector, in the wake of such a massive blow to our economy, has escaped relatively unscathed. Major financial regulation overhaul isn’t on the table, even in the extremely long and complex legislation known as Frank-Dodd. And here’s the kicker: Wall Streeters are crying about how rough life after the crash has been.
To me, this just shows how isolated and convoluted the realities of these people are. It’s alarming. And it’s further evidence of a growing divide in our country and politics: those who suffer from a cut in bonuses that exceed six figures vs those who lost their jobs, homes, and retirements. It also underscores an odd sense of entitlement for those in the upper income tax bracket.
Until we come to grips with the fact that the middle class is the engine that powers the economy and that their purchasing power makes our economy diverse and robust, this divide will only get worse and our economy more anemic. Stagnant wages for the majority of the working class is far more worrying than the deficit. Now if only the crybabies on Wall Street and politicians on the Hill could come to terms with it.
Some things never change... even when they should.
For the last half a year, the media and others, some rightly, some not so much, have been lambasting President Obama over a slow economy. Some, myself included, realize that a slowly growing economy is a sign of the political quagmire that has enthralled the Hill since Pres. Obama took office. So while things could have been a whole lot better, say if Republicans came back to planet earth and realized that austerity is a sure way to ensure a deeper recession that would be much tougher to climb out of; they could have also been a whole lot worse were it not for the stimulus package put forth by the administration (again, the stimulus was far too small, but politically difficult considering the GOP’s overwhelming obstructionism).
But suddenly all this doesn’t really seem to matter. Maybe it’s the candidacy of Rick Santorum. Maybe it’s Mitt Romney desperate attempts to sway social conservatives in his favor. But suddenly this election has become a referendum on religion in politics and contraception. And the GOP’s determination to turn Planned Parenthood into an abortion factory has the chance to turn everyone’s attention away from the true matter at hand: the economy.
The Economist has a wonderful article about how American politics (contrary to the GOP’s beliefs) since Kennedy’s speech on religion and politics, God’s place in political dialogue has not become marginalized; instead it has become de rigueur.
But what does this say about the economic side of the debate? Are the Republicans ceding that the economy is on stronger footing? Are they afraid that the economy is now something Pres. Obama can stump on with confidence? Or are they just having trouble keeping their eye on the ball?
And is this American public willing to hear the same old bullshit debate over something so commonly practiced as contraception? Something tells me this isn’t going to go over well, especially in a general election.
Either way, the GOP seems to have neglected any lesson learned from the McCain/Palin pasting. And as many households want to hear more concrete plans of how to get Americans back to work, the closest any GOP candidate can offer is lower corporate taxes? Pretty lame stuff.
It’s becoming more and more obvious how out of touch the Republican party was in the last Presidential election cycle. It now seems to have gotten even worse.