It's Time to Stop Being Stupid

An opinion piece by Bob Herbert in the New York Times kind of says it all. Stop Being Stupid on U.S. economy policy.

Ya got that right! He lists a series of absurd policy positions and the make-believe public relations talking points that followed it as a classic case of denial by policy makers and by the American people. One call out I particularly enjoyed:

We were stupid in so many ways. We shipped American jobs overseas by the millions and came up with the fiction that this was a good deal for just about everybody. We could have and should have taken the time and made the effort to think globalization through, to be smarter about it and craft ways to cushion its more harmful effects and to share its benefits more equitably.

He even used my term, economic fiction. Claiming offshore outsourcing U.S. jobs is good for America is fiction Mankiw and that's by the theory of trade itself. One can see the results of such fiction in the growing economies of India and China and the disappearing U.S. middle class, not to mention the increasing trade deficit.

Stop Being Stupid is the best New Years Resolution I've heard in a while.

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It's the Culture of Debt

I think the New Year's Resolution in the article was "Invest in the U.S.", but he also makes the correct point that a big part of the problem is that we, as a nation, have been living beyond our means for quite some time now.

We've built a Culture of Debt- a culture that wants everything now, damn the cost to the future. I'll keep to Robert Oak's rules here, on my own blog I've mentioned several times the link to another CofD, but we see it in piles of consumer debt, in the actions of the young who spend more than they earn, in the inability of a certain class of society to actually survive on what they earn.

And we should be as ashamed, or more so, of living in a Culture of Debt than that other CofD- for if you are in debt, you have surrendered a good portion of your future choices in all endeavors.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

A great op-ed piece to save and link to

I read this a day or two ago, but have been on the road for the past week and a whilrwind Christmas tour of the wife's kinfolk.

Herbert's spot on. We need to stop being stupid.

But don't hold your breath. I give the chances of Herbert's advice being taken at about fifteen percent.

I must regrettably note that I give much higher odds, of around 75 percent, to James Kuntsler's deeply pessimistic forecast of 2009.

Stuck on Stupid

is more the truth of it and I think much of this is because those lobbyists control government. They get their fat salaries spinning and weaving tales of economic fiction to get what they want and hence we now have a fictional economy.

Glad your holiday was nice! WB!