It looks like its getting to be panic time for the U.S. economy. The Neocons, usually content to let the mystical free market sort out the wheat from the chaff and be the solution to all problems appears willing to make exceptions during an election year in the form of a "short term government stimulus package" as announced today. Now is it just me, or does the phrase "stimulus package" sound a little saucy?
Anyways, on Thursday U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that a nice little $100 - 150 billion infusion should do the trick, and it appears that with some persuasive assistance from one of his high profile friends the government seems to have listened;
There is a dysfunctional notion that if you give people little rebates or a few tax cuts they will go spend more money and therefore spread the wealth around. Yes, the answer to all our economic woes is to do fulfill your patriotic duty and engage in further consumption, despite the fact that you are already worried about your job and are in massive debt yourself. We get the same rhetoric in Canada, and it drives me slightly bonkers!
Meanwhile there is little meaningful discourse around the pitfalls of free trade and globalization. Sure you can buy lots of cheap goods at Wal Mart with your tax rebate, the same goods that used to be manufactured in North America a generation a go providing consistent employment for many.
It is clear that the economic downturn will continue to be devastating for many and you have to wonder if it will be business as usual when this downward cycle subsides, or will there actually be real dialogue around the many issues underlying the current crisis?
Also, you have to wonder if the outcome would have been a little different without the gazillions already spent and thrown away on a war that was based on a hunch, throwing the U.S. into a massive deficit spending frenzy? Oh well, at least Dick Cheney's posse over at Haliburton are doing rather nicely these days, so I am sure they can kick in a few bucks to help out!