Do the Democrats Really Want to Bear the Blame for a Crash that Wall Street Will Cause?

By Joe Firestone, Ph.D., Managing Director, CEO of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and Director of KMCI’s CKIM Certificate program. He taught political science as the graduate and undergraduate level and blogs regularly at Corrente, Firedoglake and Daily Kos as letsgetitdone. Cross posted from New Economic Perspectives

Lambert here: “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully” (Samuel Johnson). One can only hope that Johnson’s bon mot goes for Democrats.

* * *

This post by Lynn Parramore makes the point that the next crash is coming and probably will be blamed on the Democrats. It’s a great point, but it needs to be pursued further.

What if we have another Republican sweep in 2014, like 2010, but worse? Then we’re going to have more policies that increase inequality. Even less regulation, causing even more domination of our politics by corporations and the financial sector.

We’ll have more military spending and more wars, along with more shredding and privatization of the social safety net. We’ll have even less environmental regulation, and even more global warming; more drill baby drill, and less and less of public education. At the State level, we’ll have more of the war on women, blacks, seniors, and hispanics; more corruption from corporations and the rich giving “gifts” to officeholders; more voter suppression, even more police brutality and denial of first amendment rights, more religion in our schools accompanied by more guns everywhere, and more Scalias, Alitos, Thomases, and Robertses subjugating everyone to corporations.

And what’s frightening about all this is that the people who want to see this kind of America, also are the people with the power to gamble irresponsibly in the international financial innovation products gambling casino, and to bring about the very crash that will be laid at the door of the Democrats. Of course, the Democrats deserve this because when they had the power in early 2009, all through 2010, they cared more about the filibuster in the Senate, and their campaign contributions, and their possibilities of lucrative work after Congress, then they did about economic recovery with full employment, taking the big banks and Wall Street down, and getting truly universal health care through passing an enhanced Medicare for All program.

But whether they deserve it, or not, doesn’t change the likely result of a Republican sweep. It will be a disaster for most of us, even worse than the sweep of 2010, because now the Republicans are starting from a stronger position in the State and Federal Governments, and afterward they are likely to be even more unobstructed in working their will than in the past.

The only way to avoid another crash that would be blamed on the Democrats, is to act decisively to get the financial sector under very tight regulatory control, as soon as possible. But, in turn, to do that, we must hope that there is no crash before the election of 2014 and also, if we can get there without a crash happening first, to then manage a sound Republican defeat in that election, so that the Democrats can get back the House and keep the Senate. But how can that be done?

In only one way. The Democrats must bring about a radical change in the American political climate that places the burden of the Federal Government’s continued failure to ease the declining economic state, and anxiety about the future, of most of us, squarely on the shoulders of the Republicans, while leaving no rationalizations, or excuses the Republicans can use to place blame for those failures on the Democrats. The way to change that climate lies with the President and the Democrats in Congress.

The President must put an end to the normative standard of mandating fiscal neutrality for domestic programs and non-emergency domestic legislation having fiscal implications. When every fiscal policy initiative is evaluated first for its fiscal neutrality, rather than for the balance between its anticipated real costs and benefits relative to public purpose, then green eye shade private sector accounting norms replace the public purpose as the goal of government policy. The President can and should make fiscal neutrality an obsolete standard, by ordering the Secretary of the Treasury to have the US Mint produce a $60 Trillion platinum coin, and then deposit it in its Public Enterprise Fund (PEF) account at the New York Fed, where the Treasury can fill the Treasury General Account (TGA), the public purse, by sweeping the seigniorage from the PEF.

The President should then announce his action and explain its implications including:

— The seigniorage from the $60 T coin (nearly all of the $60 T) would be used to pay off all Federal debt subject to the limit as it falls due, so that eventually all such “national debt” will be paid down to zero.

— The seigniorage can also be used for 15 – 25 years to remove the need to issue any new debt instruments when the Executive wants to spend Congressional deficit appropriations.

— The US Treasury now has plenty of money to repay all previous Treasury debt and to perform all deficit spending Congress is likely to appropriate for a very long time to come.

— The President’s action in minting the coin will not cause inflation because first, the $60 Trillion in Net Financial Assets (NFA) now in the public purse will only enter the economy in the form of reserves as the national debt is gradually repaid, and as deficits appropriated by Congress are spent. In itself this gradual injection of reserves into the economy can only cause inflation if Congress appropriates too much deficit spending. So, as long as Congress doesn’t deficit spend beyond full employment there will be no demand-pull inflation.

Once the President has the coin minted and deposited, the key factor in the present political climate, the fight over debts, deficits, and “fiscal responsibility,” the rationalization for not deficit spending what’s needed to end “the long depression,” won’t be relevant anymore. The key fiscal policy issues then will be the need for full employment vs. the possibility of inflation, strengthening the social safety net, reinventing energy foundations to get rid of fossil fuels and stop global warming, fixing our declining system of public education, and reinventing our infrastructure. So, political fights will be over these things, not over debt ceilings and deficit reduction to slow the growth of the national debt or begin to pay it down.

The Democrats’ role in Congress at this point should be to try to pass a legislative agenda that is clearly about “justice for all” beginning with tighter and tougher laws regulating banks, Wall Street, and the financial sector, and continuing with legislation providing for economic and social justice, including a Federal job guarantee program that will, create full employment at a living wage averaging with good fringe benefits, a Medicare for All program that will stop all the fighting over the Affordable Care Act, and also provide truly universal and accessible health care, a substantial increase in Social Security payments of at least 50%, an infrastructure program spending $400 Billion per year over five years, and a Manhattan project to replace fossil fuels over 10 years using solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power, and electric cars at $400 Billion per year.

Of course, none of this will pass; but the purpose of trying to produce this legislation is not to pass it immediately, but to make it clear that the Democratic Party is going back to its roots of legislating for the “have-nots,” and achieving a greater measure of economic and social justice and equality, and that it has a program that will do things for most people rather than for Wall Street, and that it is promising to enact that program, come what may, if it gets majorities in both Houses of Congress.

The Democrats did not produce legislation enacting such a bottom-up legislative program when they last had full control of Congress in the period 2007 – 2010. So, to be credible to the public this time around, they will have to offer some pretty strong guarantees, including a guarantee to end the filibuster and restore majority rule to the Senate. But that is as it should be, since in buying off on neoliberal ideology during the Carter Administration, they have done little but practice the trickle-down theory of public well-being since then.

If they do these things, however, then the Democrats will have a good chance to regain political power in 2015, and will have the opportunity to both avert the coming crash by bringing the financial sector under control and also bring an end to the long depression. So, there is a way out for them and for us. They need not get blamed for the crimes of Wall Street and the next crash and the hardships thereafter. If the President will cooperate they can avert their fate, save themselves from another “wave” defeat, and win a victory large enough to pass the program they promised.

Or, alternatively, as I expect them to do, they can just hang on, playing small ball until the next crash. But the odds are that if they do that, and either this President or his likely Democratic successor still have the presidency, then the Democrats will take the blame for that crash, and that the rest of us, in a paroxysm of frustration and resentment, will deliver ourselves into the hands of those who will whip us with scorpions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Bruce Wilder

    Paying the national debt down to zero is an insane idea. A marketable national debt is a public utility, a necessary and essential part of an fiat money, financial system: the base, zero-risk point of comparison for all debt instruments.

    Just because the right-wing have a panoply of cargo-cult economic ideologies is no reason to offer a left-wing crazy-plan. You might as well bring back the assignats of the French Revolution and use them buy and grease up the guillotines.

    1. from Mexico

      @ Bruce Wilder

      A wonderful antidote for those who, like you, live in a defactualized world was this discussion which Nathan Tankus linked the other day:

      Comments like yours always remind me of this wonderfu anonymous essay I stumbled upon on the internet:

      Fish hatch in water and live their entire lives in it, and know of nothing else, which ironically partly why they are unaware of it. Because they see the world through it, it is entirely transparent to them. Whatever they choose to do, and wherever they swim, they are confined to do that within the boundaries of the water.


      But limitations on thought can naturally also restrict thinking in a negative way. This was clearly shown when Einstein so boldly discarded Newton in his theories of relativity. What he did was to prove our assumptions of time and space as being two separate, static entities to be incorrect. This in a way contradicted common sense, as we clearly cannot exchange time for space, no matter how useful that could be in many situations. Ever since Newton’s days, nobody had questioned our view of the universe. Our belief in time and space as being just like the human mind comprehends them was so basic that it had never before occurred to anyone that it was a premise just as fragile as any, and that there were other imaginable ways to see them. The unawareness of the water combined with its limited vision had made progress difficult, because it relied on faulty foundations.

      When a paradigm shift like the previous occurs, this is because someone has successfully broken out of the limitations the current assumptions posed. Assumptions are refuted, but more importantly, they are revealed. Water is not transparent if looked at from the shore. It reflects light and has a distinct surface to the air. But if seen from below the surface, the way fish do, it is transparent. This is the case with our assumptions. Once they are revealed, and we can see them from above the surface, they are clearly visible, but while they affect our thinking, they are invisible, because they are below the surface.

      1. from Mexico

        Lawrence Goodwyn in The Populist Moment describes the diminished and highly restricted existence your assumptions — that is your fact-challenged world — limit one to:

        But the power of the hegemony achieved in 1896 was perhaps most clearly illustrated through the banishment of the one clear issue that animated Populism throughout its history — the grenback critique of American finance capitalism. The “money question” passed out of American politics essentially through self-censorship. The result, quite simply, was a product of cultural intimidation.


        The American populace was induced to accept as its enduring leadership a corporate elite whose influence was to permeate every state legislature in the land, and the national Congress as well. A new style of democratic politics had become institutionalized, and its cultural boundaries were so adequately fortified that the new forms gradually described the Democratic Party of opposition as well as the Republican Party of power. A critical cultural battle had been lost by those who cherished the democratic ethos.


        Older aspirations — dreams of achieving a civic culture grounded in generous social relations and in a celebration of the vitality of human cooperation and the diversity of human aspiration itself — have come to seem so out of place in twentieth-century societies of progress that the mere recitation of such longings, however authentic they have always been, now constitutes embarrassment.


        When the long Republican reign came to an end in 1932, the alternatives envisioned by the Democrats of the New Deal unconsciously reflected the shrunken vistas that remained culturally permissible. Aspirations for financial reform on a scale imagined by greenbackers had expired, even among those who thought of themselves as reformers. Inevitably, such reformers had lost the possibility of understanding how the system worked. Structural reform of American banking no longer existed as an issue in America. The ultimate cultural victory being not merely to win an argument but to remove the subject from the agenda of future contention, the consolidation of values that so successfully submerged the “financial quesiton” beyond the purview of succeeding generations was self-sustained and largely invisible.

        1. Bruce Wilder

          Money is a useful institution. It can be understood, and has to be understood, to be usefully and expertly managed.

          There’s considerable truth to the notion that the “experts” are untrustworthy and corrupt, and the possibility of such corruption was built into the combined ideology of technocratic expertise and neoclassical economics, which has tried to erase or obscure the conflicts of substantive interest at the core of monetary and fiscal policy choices. Just the fact that many of the nominally “liberal” econobloggers supported the reactionary Bernanke’s re-appointment by Obama as Fed Chair revealed the extent to which democratic understanding of these conflicts is enveloped in a fog. It is not a healthy that there’s no organized political conflict over these issues, which would clearly identified what’s at stake, and who is whose side.

          The eclipse of the Populists behind the success of a high tariff, gold standard policy after 1894 did submerge monetary policy as a critical issue in American politics, though populism did have some effect on Carter Glass’ design of the Federal Reserve and, later, of the fragmented system of banking, which featured mutually-owned thrifts (savings & loans) financing mortgages.

          1. Calgacus

            Paying the national debt down to zero is an insane idea. A marketable national debt is a public utility, a necessary and essential part of an fiat money, financial system: the base, zero-risk point of comparison for all debt instruments.

            Yes and no. Others have said “no”, so I will accentuate the positive.

            National Debt is often calculated and thought of in a crazy way, including and excluding things wrongly, these inclusions and exclusions reflecting the incorrect commodity theory of money. It can wrongly include nonsense like central bank /Fed holdings of government debt or government trust fund (like SS) debt. That’s like saying one of your pockets owes another pocket.

            It can wrongly exclude base money, reserves, dollar bills, coins. Treasury bonds and base money are one and the same thing. That’s just what base money is – marketable national debt. (Which can currently be used for payments to the state at face value – hence currency, ready money.) Eliminating that is indeed an insane idea in practice. But all the big coin does is make all the bonds matured bonds = cash. There may be good arguments for having some low interest rate federal debt, especially at full employment, especially for a while.

            But the most important argument for just printing/minting money is that it is simple. You get state money from the gubmint, and that’s what the gubmint demands in payment to it, particularly for taxes. That’s it. The end. (There can also be bank money too, but in modern economies, state money is king.)

            To most intents and purposes we had what the greenbackers wanted for the next few decades after 1933, for the difference between a Treasury bond and a dollar bill is negligible, and the difference between a state run banking system and the nice boring banks we had in the late 30s, 40s and 50s is also negligible. But there was enough non-understanding of this that the whole battle against zombie economics has to be fought all over again, with the zombies ruling academia and the real world for 30+ years.

          2. Saddam Smith

            If I may…

            What from Mexico is alluding to is a paradigm shift far deeper than your response suggests you have appreciated (apologies in advance if I am misreading your position on too little information).

            Like all human systems, the money system has emerged and evolved from a particular paradigm. I would argue (very briefly) that the depth to which the prevailing paradigm is being challenged and changed, right now, is rocking and will continue for decades to rock humanity to its core. Money as we know it cannot survive, not remotely; the ground is being changed beneath its feet. The changes unfolding today (and for a while now) go beyond populism, beyond current institutions, beyond party-politics, right down to our deepest assumptions about what we are and the very nature of reality. We cannot know from our current vantage point what all this entails – we could very well wipe ourselves out – but I think it is safe to say that money is one of the many things that are up for deep renewal.

            Sadly, no in-the-meantime fixes will have any lasting effect. Peak Everything, including peak economic growth (as we currently understand it) will quickly unravel whatever patchwork solutions our creaking mainstream business, political and academic institutions can ‘agree’ on. As the saying goes, 99.999% of current debate is rearranging deck chairs on a sinking ship. This is one of those discussions. The mainstream is simply incapable of reading this particular writing on the wall; their (unravelling) relevance depends on not seeing the water evaporating around them (to riff on the above-cited water-paradigm metaphor).

            1. skippy

              Exactamundo… if even a small percent of humanity understood what is transgressing to WE and the orb…. Oh Boy!

            2. Yalt

              How the paradigm shift From Mexico is alluding to is related to a plan to pay the national debt down to zero, while leaving the existing system in place otherwise, isn’t clear to me.

    2. anon y'mouse

      one of those Modern Money discussion panels made clear (although, not totally to dim ol’ me) that the treasury bonds are used to manipulate how much excess money is sloshing around in the inactive (investment savings) sector of the economy. it’s only public perception that we have to sell those to get gov. spending.

      or, did I not understand the buffer stock discussion? had a cat nagging me for the full hour!

    3. F. Beard

      A marketable national debt is a public utility, a necessary and essential part of an fiat money, … Bruce Wilder

      Baloney!!! Taxation alone is sufficient to drive the value of fiat. In addition, private debts in fiat require that new fiat be created to provide the interest required.

      Btw, did you know that Hamilton apparently tried to cheat at his duel with trick pistols? And such are the leaders you follow? Cheats and bank lovers?

      1. Massinissa

        Beard, the hair trigger on the pistols could be turned on or off.

        Its unknown whether or not the hair trigger was turned on. Maybe it was set to off but malfunctioned and triggered anyway, causing Hamiltons strange shot in the wrong direction.

        1. F. Beard

          Reading more about duels, I’m surprised at how often no one was hurt – except that the elites, even on opposing sides, often looked out for each other – such as the “No aiming at officers” rule that prevailed till the Revolutionary War.

      1. F. Beard

        as long you pay down the debt with fiat Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

        Make that “as long you pay down the debt with new fiat” else the sadists will insist that tax revenues be used instead, not recognizing that sovereign debt is ITSELF a form of money as far as price inflation is concerned.

      2. anon y'mouse

        well, this is why I need to go back and watch that MMT panel video linked above. because the implication is that, while debt is not necessary for fiat creation, it IS necessary for other monetary needs elsewhere in the economy (manipulation of bank reserves ithinkitwas).

        in my fantasies, it would be necessary primarily for “private” retirement accounts in addition to SSI, although then they should do some kind of annualized “rate of inflation” adjustment. if you want to play the stocks for a greater return than inflation, go right ahead. some people just want to preserve purchasing power so as not to suffer unduly after their body breaks down and is no longer able to secure employment.

        will try to do that today, sans cat.

          1. F. Beard

            Same difference – IOR is welfare for the banks.

            If anything, the banks should be CHARGED for the fiat storage and transaction services of the Fed.

            What a shameful state! A country of, by and for filthy usurers and counterfeiters.

            And there’s no excuse since shares in Equity (common stock) is an ethical form of endogenous money creation.

  2. Colinjames

    Um, I don’t know if you noticed, but Democrats seem to like wars (and spying on anti-war activists) just fine, and maybe aren’t that concerned about non-rich people not on Wall St, and liberals do seem to get complacent when dems are in office, because they just elected dems to do all those things you just mentioned. Keep on thinking “if we only had real filibuster rules they could do it!”cuz that’s exactly how we got here. Unless and until we evict the two headed republocrat beast, there will be no real change.

    1. brazza

      I concur. Until the bipolar system is cracked open … it seems to make very little difference who gets to wear no clothes. The fact that our current nudist is far better at photo ops, and can trot sportily to the dais has only helped to maintain the incredibility of the charade …

    2. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      I’m not for filibuster “reform.” I’m for filibuster elimination, majority rule, as the Constitution says. On your counsel of hopelessness, I’ll just have to decline. I think if you change the climate as I suggest, you’ll get change in behavior by the Dems, provided we keep the pressure on, of course.

    3. washunate

      Well said. This point seems to be difficult to grasp in some quarters. We have a management problem, not a monetary problem.

      This is very disheartening to those of us who would like to just propose better/smarter/awesomer policy tweaks and assume into existence a responsible leadership to implement them.

      But the most important step in problem solving is understanding the problem. No matter how terrible reality is, that authenticity is better than living in a fantasy world.

    4. bluntobj

      I really do wish people would wake up and realize the team they root for so vociferously is playing the same sport, on the same field, in the same stadium, with the same owners up in the owners box together, counting gate receipts and sipping fine champagne, as the other team that they so viciously condemn.

      If those wishes were any good, I’d wish for a red pill to allow people to see what the elite D’s and R’s really see them as:

      Cattle, to be farmed for cash.

      Slaughtered as needed, with no more concern than you’d show a cow.

      Fed as crappily as possible, sugar, animal wastes, whatever, as long as it puts on the weight.

      Bred for stupidity and passivity.

      Looks like a good crop out there, to judge from the responses here. One guy actually says “remove the payroll tax cuts!”


      Opt out of the game in the stadium.

  3. Lexington


    It doesn’t matter which party is in the White House, either way we’re going to get more neoliberal economics, more surveillance state, more concentration of wealth at the top, and more oligarchic control of both the political system and the economy.

    In fairness to Dr. Firestone, maybe he’s been in a coma and missed the last 5 years of “change we can believe in”.

    On the other hand that seems unlikely since about three quarters of the way through he concedes the futility of his own fantasy – which really makes the whole exercise seem kind of pointless.

    The good news is I know a place where fantasists can hang out with the like minded and indulge each others’ psychosis without having to contend with intrusive reality. It’s called Daily Kos.

    The rest of of us have embraced the ugly truth – that there really isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties and the people who are still talking about fixing an irredeemably corrupt and compromised political system through conventional party politics are part of the problem, not the solution.

    1. Hugo Stiglitz

      I’m pretty much on board with this view. As far as the big issues, financial regulation, the warfare economy, burning civil liberties, I see no difference between the two parties. There is no real choice.

      As far as guillotines, (from the previous comment), nothing sends a message quite as effectively to future plutocrat wannabes as heads on spikes. Plus, that guillotine manufacturing could spark the industrial renaissance the economy dearly needs. Guillotines with “Made in the USA” prominently stamped on them. Now yer talking! ;-)

      But seriously, I think we must change the financial system from the debt-based consumption-centric one that we have – for many reasons. I just do not see anyone or any group in the US with any real power that would consider doing this, or anything else good for that matter, the nation is a pathocracy. It will continue until it no longer can. Enough Americans are simply too easily duped and always will be for them to actually rise up and end it. This is one of the reasons I left the US.

        1. CB

          The politically active extreme religious right is tiny but cohesive, which gives it power far beyond its numbers. With success has come splintering and fractious factions as main chance opportunists rush in to pick over the spoils. The movement’s apogee was probably a decade, give or take, ago but that momentum is still pushing it on. Inertia as a sociopolitical phenomenon.

          1. Ernesto Lyon

            The weak can only take on the strong when they band together.

            Is it any coincidence that we are constantly messaged to engage our individuality? What is the first thing that happens in boot camp? They break down individuality, because you cannot have an effective fighting force in which individuality is the dominant group dynamic.

          2. Banger

            The Christian right is still pretty potent where I live in the South. It’s power has been diluted by the libertarian wing of the R party and it is subtly changing and less rigid than it once was as the demographic changes particularly on social issues.

              1. Banger

                I know several and it give me a lot of hope–many of them have become “spiritual” and are moving on to a deeper faith. I was just talking to one the other day who is exploring lots of things.

                1. CB

                  In every boom, there are main chance operators who start enterprises with the explicit goal of making their fortunes by getting bought out. The mutual fund boom, the tech boom, the bank boom are three in recent memory. None of these operators have any intentions of long term management, the point is looking legit and cashing in. So the right wing boom, religious or otherwise–altho one would be unwise to let one’s irreligious sentiments show. Some of these “start-ups” are frauds. The operative principle is really for joiners: always keep an eye open for inconsonance and be prepared to bail if it starts to feel off.

    2. Banger

      Good, I maybe don’t have to make a post–you said what I wanted to say! We should start a new political party! Sadly, that’s unlikely–I’ve tried moving in that direction but the time just isn’t right for the left–in fact, the only movement with winds in their sails lies on the libertarian right which may soon be the “new left.”

        1. Banger

          It’s always interesting how illiterate the propaganda in the mainstream is. The piece you cite is a hit piece designed to categorize two very diverse movements. I was lucky enough to have known CP officials in Italy before the “strategy of tension” these were great guys who were providing reasonable clean gov’t to many municipalities in the north of Italy (they couldn’t effectively do so in the south because the south of Italy was then (less so now) run by the mafia, Christian Democrats and Vatican in that order.

          Same thing with libertarians–Rand is hardly a libertarian she is a Satanist most libertarians believe in ethics and are often Christians and Randian ideas are totally incompatable with the Gospels while communinst ideals, in my view, have their roots in the Gospels.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Had you considered reading to the end of the post? Here, for your convenience, is the final paragraph:

      Or, alternatively, as I expect them to do, they can just hang on, playing small ball until the next crash. But the odds are that if they do that, and either this President or his likely Democratic successor still have the presidency, then the Democrats will take the blame for that crash, and that the rest of us, in a paroxysm of frustration and resentment, will deliver ourselves into the hands of those who will whip us with scorpions.

      I don’t think the Democrats are going to do squat either, except stab us in the back when the Republicans would stab us in the chest, but posts like this are important:

      1. To lay down markers for what the Democrats should have done WTSHTF. I, for one, want to be able to hang all the good policy choices the Democrats could have made around their necks like the dead, stinking albatross their failure is.

      2. To show emergent parties, if the Democrats go the way of the Whigs, as they so deserve to do, what humane policy choices would look like.

      Hard work, I know, especially the reading to the end of the post part, but somebody’s got to do it.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Thanks, Lambert. I couldn’t quite make it to the end either, but these are certainly useful points for the Democratic Party’s upcoming postmortem autopsy. This probably gets a better reception at Daily Kos.

        Although I agree with most commenters on the futility of reforming Obama’s post-partisan Democratic Party, I also find myself agreeing with Firestone—that the DP may yet serve a useful purpose. My prescription varies, however. It involves an industrial-scale chipper/shredder, mulch processing-composting equipment, and an agricultural grade manure spreader and plow. Thus the Democratic Party could still ultimately have some redeeming value — as alternative fuel and/or fertilizer.

      2. dcblogger

        Just look at what is happening in Michigan or North Carolina and you understand the difference between Democrats and Republicans. It is the difference between kleptocrats and fascists. The fact that Republicans are fascists is how the Democrats/kleptocrats keep scaring people into voting for Democrats. Speaking for myself, I vote straight DC Statehood/Green Party, but I understand why people keep voting Democratic.

  4. profoundlogic

    Much ado about nothing. The “Democrats”, just like the “Republicans” crossed the Rubicon years ago. Time to put aside your idealist partisan fantasy land view finder and wake up to the Brave New World.

    The fraud and looting will continue until confidence is restored. Until the next great reset, the entrenched powers will continue to grab what they can for themselves as we collectively rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking ship.

    1. Walter Map

      The fraud and looting will continue until confidence is restored.

      You are mistaken. The rich will continue to pillage the planet until there is nothing left to steal. You are hoping for a ‘reset’ that will never happen, because it can’t. What you will get is an agonizing dystopia, which will last until none remain to despair.

      The “Democrats”, just like the “Republicans” crossed the Rubicon years ago.

      Not all. Certainly the Democratic leadership has. But only about half of “dems are as all in as the repubs”, which leaves half who are still trying to work for a just, peaceful, and prosperous future, even though they’re blamed even more than those who are actually guilty. They are not the caricatures imagined by corporatist propaganda liars and disaffected socialists.

      You’re unable, or unwilling, to make that distinction. And that is why they are failing. That is why there is no hope.

      None at all.

      1. Banger

        I don’t think the rich will continue to loot the planet. There are plenty in their ranks who understand reality. What they seek is to establish an equilibrium point where they have little or no fetters on their power, i.e, neofeudalism. We need to understand where they want to go in the endgame. Most of the oligarchs are not evil or want to increase human misery–they believe that they, because they are successful and have more resources ought to be the rulers of society rather than the ignorant and dangerous mob. They don’t believe they are looting the world–they believe they are saving it. What they are attacking is the idea of democracy and egalitarianism as one would expect and they are smart enough and organized enough to make their agenda work.

        In contrast progressive forces refuse to understand the nature of power and are wasting energy talking about policy and various schemes that might make us all better off that no one is listening to. And political failure on the scale we have seen since 2008 when the left snatched defeat out of jaws of victory should have taught someone something–yet here we have guys like Firestone spouting the same old BS.

        1. susan the other

          I agree that those in power are not necessarily evil. Certainly hapless on a giant scale when it comes to managing money, but not totally evil. For all I know the financial crisis was orchestrated to bring manufacturing and the breakneck speed of resource depletion to a crawl. To slow global warming. I think I remember the comment Christine Lagarde made in the early spring of 2007 when Hank Paulson went to France to discuss highly sensitive things with her and Sarkozy about world finance. She said she should put on her bathing suit because what Hank described would cause a deluge (of debt default). So when Hank says self serving things like this crisis was a huge credit bubble that only happens every 100 years (but why at all Hank?) we know he is lying. When he worked at Goldman he blew the bubble like mad and was proud of it. And when he, as Treasury Secretary, foolishly thought the “market would reprice itself” he was dead wrong. Even Shrub told him to do something because “this sucker is going down.” So Hank invoked martial law. For the rich. Talk about an antiquated financial system. We need to dispense with it altogether.

          1. Banger

            I’ve had the same thought. Throttling down the world economy makes sense for the elites. However, there are a raft of other solutions than depleting human population and activity that would work fairly well but it would mean a new class of elites would arise–and this group wants to keep the system intact. They are not so much evil as extremely boring. That’s not to say that these elites are not partially evil–they are way more evil than any other cohort.

      2. Massinissa

        You keep saying ‘half of dems’, so I ask you, WHICH F**KING HALF?

        Go list a hundred dems in the house and 25 dems in the senate, I dare you.

        You will come up with at most 3-4 senators and 12-15 members of the house who are not complete and total political HACKS. This ‘half’ only exists in your mind. It does not exist in the hill.

        1. CB

          The NJ Greens are hapless and I see nothing at the national level to think there even is an effectual national Green party. Your state mileage may vary, of course, but what makes you suggest the Greens? How do you think you’re going to deal with the Demo-Greens and the havoc they’ve wreaked on the national party? Quislings, indeed, in deed.

          I voted for Stewart Alexander knowing full well how out of it the Socialist party is nationally. They do have some effective state organizations but NJ isn’t one of them–that I know of, and I did check it out. I voted for the only party platform that made sense to me.

  5. CB

    I don’t see why co-conspirators shouldn’t be blamed. The dems are as all in as the repubs. What other world does the writer live in?

    1. Walter Map

      The dems are as all in as the repubs.

      TPTB would certainly like everybody to believe that. It serves their purposes. But it is not true. Essentially all Republicans were fully corrupted years ago, but not all Democrats have been fully corrupted.

      Only about half of “dems are as all in as the repubs”, which leaves half who are still trying to work for a just, peaceful, and prosperous future, even though they’re blamed even more than those who are actually guilty. They are not the caricatures imagined by corporatist propaganda liars and disaffected socialists.

      Naturally TPTB would like to get rid of them, and rely on smear artists to crap on what remains of the real liberals and real liberalism. But there are fewer of them every year, and you’ll be rid of them soon enough. They are beset on all sides, and they are failing.

      Civilization will fail with them. All will despair. You won’t enjoy the dystopia that is to come any more than TPTB will, but you will certainly deserve your misery.

      1. Massinissa

        Civilisation will fall, regardless of the ratio of republicrats and demoblicans, mark my words. Even that illusory ‘half’ (Who is in this ‘half’? Alan grayson and who else? You should revise it down to about, oh, a tenth) would be thoroughly unable to stop climate change even if they had the power to try.

        And if they were to somehow save capitalism from itself, that would actually be a BAD thing, seeing as how capitalism needs to die for humanity to progress. It may serve to be a good thing if Republicans win: Things NEED to get worse for America, for America to improve and truly recover to something greater than the sh*thole it is now.

        1. Banger

          I actually agree with you–it would have been better for Obama to lose in the last election for betraying the left. Two things would have happened. One is that the left would have proven to the DP that they were potent just as the right showed the RP. Romney would have had to take into account that he faced, now, a real opposition and would have been forced to compromise–why? Because the mainstream would have started to introduce truly oppositional ideas on their programs for all to see rather than the tepid bootless ideas that are currently presented as from the “left.”

          The counter to your argument is that the RP is a fascist party and they would destroy democracy and the country blah, blah, Hitler, blah, blah. Yes there would have been challenges but the left would have had a chance whereas now there is no chance.

          1. profoundlogic

            Your statement only confirms why the dysfunction will continue. “Left” What left? You reference a fiction of a distant memory. Until we get past the fact that there is no “left” or “right” we fail to see that it is instead one party of money and power with two flavors of the same dystopia dressed up in an American flag of self-righteousness.

          2. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

            That’s not what happened when they lost in 2010. And how could the Republicans be made to compromise if 2012 had been another wave election in which their policies were seen as endorsed by the public? You’re dreaming.

            The only way out of this is to replace Congresspeople and Senators of both parties who are opposed to our interests. That’s most of them. It’s a difficult task. But it’s what facing us.

            1. Banger

              I don’t buy that argument at all. We live in a very rigid and robust system that has no place where Congress and the hustlers in Washington–Washington is my town and I know it well–though I left a few years ago.

              The media will not and cannot cover the facts of anything–they must cover events by the book. Reporters have to carry a little red book (please don’t take it literally) with them at all times and makes sure their approach is “orthodox.” You are not, in official media circles, paint outside the lines and expect to have a professional future. If the information is not generally available how do people know it exists? For example, the mainstream media refused to consider the facts freely available to them by those that knew Saddam did not have WMDs. Instead they avoided contrary opinions and explicitly excluded Scott Ritter from the discussion–and he knew more about the situation than anyone else in the country.

              I’ve written elsewhere about steps that can be taken but national level electoral politics isn’t one of them. Sensible steps can’t be taken if everyone is convinced the Sun revolves around the Earth as is the case not just with the main parts of both parties but even the most left parts of the Dems.

      2. Butch in Waukegan

        It seems to me that The Powers That Be set up the Pick One Con: every few years we’re given the opportunity to “throw the bums out”. In the interim we can listen to each party explain why the other party are the bums. In reality both parties are nurtured and promoted by the same class of oligarchs. The billions of dollars funding of US political campaigns is good evidence of this.

        And re your assertion “half [of the Democrats] are still trying to work for a just, peaceful, and prosperous future, even though they’re blamed even more than those who are actually guilty”, who are they? Obama? Reid? Pelosi? In my neck of the woods, Rahm Emanuel?

        Really, who are you referring to?

        1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

          I think we don’t throw enough of them out. Of course, we’ve been changing parties from election to election a lot lately. But that doesn’t change the Congress as a whole. We have to vote against all the incumbents who won’t represent our interests and in a single election defeat 350 Congress people or so, and most of the Senators running. That’s what will shake the ground.

          My post here provides advice to Democrats. But the advice is about them acting in the way they should. I don’t expect them to follow that advice. But, if they won’t then what I want is for everyone regardless of Party who won’t support what I suggested to be defeated.

    2. profoundlogic

      The writer is living in that same alternate universe that Mr. Kervick so often occupies. It’s a comfortable circle of delusion, hope and intellectual failure that suggests my God is better than your God. The reality is that both parties are simply mirror images of a flawed human character which has been corrupted by money and power.

      1. Banger

        I don’t agree. What we have here is the lack of a balance of power. Systems, to be robust, must have strong agents for change, strong agents for resistance to change and a strong center to weigh the situation. It is the left which decided to drop out of the political equation that has created what seems to be a “corrupt” political situation. The system is corrupt because of the lack of balance and it is not inherent. In fact, the system that has stood the test of time and can weather this silliness is very robust if it is played right by all actors. Instead we have the perverse situation where the agents of change are on the right not the left because the left has given up and refused to play the game as it should be played.

        Corruption has always been around and, actually, is not as deep as we think. The oligarchs don’t all want to destroy the country–they just think the people are to stupid to be in charge and they believe they should run the system by decreed if possible for their interests yes, but most of them believe that the people as a whole will benefit and will be happier merely following orders.

          1. Banger

            Delusional? Profoundly illogical! You lack argument and resort to name calling. How am I delusional? If you hurl such nastiness at me make it logical.

            1. profoundlogic

              1. A balance of power is most certainly not lacking. The balance of power is precisely how these two corrupted parties masquerading as representative bodies have managed to hold onto power as long as they have.

              2. You state that the corruption is not as deep as we think? Care to provide some evidence of that?

              I’m not sure how else to qualify your statements in light of the invalidating evidence.

  6. Jus'Thinkin

    ahhhh if only pigs could fly, the President might do “something” and the Democrats “fix” many of the problems mentioned.
    Methinks Mr. Firestone is in La La Land.

  7. Butch in Waukegan

    The only way to avoid another crash that would be blamed on the Democrats . . . The Democrats must bring about a radical change in the American political climate . . . The way to change that climate lies with the President and the Democrats in Congress.

    Light candles, say your prayers, click your heels together 3 times, and send money to

  8. casino implosion

    I’d like nothing more than the see the usual suspects—the Clinton/Rubin/Summers/Geithner/Obama Democrats—get the full measure of blame for their part in establishing our kleptocracy. May they choke on it.

    1. James Levy

      For gays, blacks, and feminists it’s not that easy. They see the Democrats, with some reason, as the only barrier between them and the storm-troopers on the Right. Politically conscious white guys like me can say “not a dimes worth of difference”, but if I were a gay man in Virginia or a woman in need of an abortion in Pennsylvania or a black man looking to vote in North Carolina I would see a hell of a big difference between the D’s and the R’s. Dismissing this as stupid or naïve doesn’t cut the mustard.

      1. casino implosion

        And now the married gays can get a job in Walmart and the woman better have that abortion since she works three jobs to make 40 hours a week with no benefits.

        “Socially liberal/economically conservative” is the ideology of all our cosmopolitan ruling elites, from the Romneys to the Obamas.

  9. Brett Merkey

    Naked Capitalism is a valuable site. I come here to learn and there is much on offer, esp. in the discussion.

    However, articles that pretend to give helpful advice to the Democrats or Republicans degrade the brand of Naked Capitalism. Both parties distill in their leadership all that is destructive in American politics.

    If anyone has advice to help either of these gangs to improve their chances of survival, press repress the urge. Never offer advice to your enemies.

  10. treat n excrete

    This earnest Boy’s State speechifying cracks me up. They don’t give a shit what you think. The Democrats are going to keep sucking your blood like hookworms until they are destroyed.

    Democrats are not any sort of voluntary association of citizens, they’re a centrally-directed organ of the state. So to exterminate the Democrats we’ve got to dismantle the degenerate state. That’s not hard. Seen it done twice, on two different continents. Hell, I helped. The outside world will help us out when the demolition work is sufficiently advanced. The international community does it all the time in basket-case third world shitholes like the one you live in now. They’re already on it.

    So are you going to keep reasoning with your hookworms, or are you going to take your mebendazole?

  11. JGgordon

    “What if we have another Republican sweep in 2014, like 2010, but worse? Then we’re going to have more policies that increase inequality. Even less regulation…”

    The problem with voting for the lesser of two evils is that in the end you are still voting for someone who is evil. On other hand, with an evil Republican president the phony liberals would at least be putting up a token fight against him. Prior to Obama’s reelection, I pointed out to many Democrats I know that they ought to seriously vote for Romney, just so “their” team wouldn’t take the blame for what was going to happen. They ignored me of course. Some have already admitted to me that I was right and they should have voted for Romney. Or stayed home.

    Anyway, to make a meta-point about what I’ve been realizing lately, there is a lot of insantiy in the post above (I mean seriously, coin seigniorage?). And it’s a common theme I’ve been seeing; when someone is saying delusional things on one particular point, it’s a safe bet that every other point that individual attempts to make will have similarly delusional flaws. It’s like some people have a genetic flaw that causes them to think it’s OK to substitute wishful thinking for reality, and that trait shines through in all of their effort.

    “Or, alternatively, as I expect them to do, they can just hang on, playing small ball until the next crash.”

    Now the mistake here is assuming that there is utterely anything that anyone can do to keep the economy going business-as-usual. To be blunt, there will be another crash regardless of who is in office or what what policies are implemented. That is baked into the cake already. The only question is whether it will be a slow crash, where we shift to much lower resource and energy use by thoughtfully, and systematically, reducing our consumption and political/economic centralization–or a fast crash that will leave people trying to do each other in over that last bit of peanut butter at the bottom of the jar about one week into it. If we are not being delusional here, those are the sorts of outcomes we should be contemplating. NOT worrying about which corrupt group of politicians is in office.

    1. CB

      It’s like the elementary school puzzle about continually halving the distance btwn two points. It’s a demonstration of infinity, of course, but as a practical matter, at what point does the distance remaining not matter?

    2. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      Your comment, like many others on this post is best described as “futilism.” It’s designed to reinforce passivity whenever that state is threatened by some plan. All I’ve done here is to offer a plan. Calling it “delusional” is just labeling it from the viewpoint of futilism. It may be very unlikely that Obama will begin this plan by minting the coin. But that doesn’t mean the plan would not work. It would if followed. If it’s not followed then those who didn’t follow are to be blamed for not doing so. Let the record show that there is a way out of our current difficulties, and that TPTB won’t listen. It’s too bad you and many others here are letting them off the hook by declaring the plan “delusional.”

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        No, a lot of us (most?) are not calling your plan delusional at all and that is an important point. We are saying it is delusional to imagine such a plan having any effect or possibility of implementation in such a totally corrupt system.

        If you went in to a bank while a bank robbery was in progress and started elaborating on an improved social system which would obviate the need for the robbery in progress, you would have a better chance of getting them to halt the robbery than you have for inspiring the Democrats – by telling them what they might have done – to stop grabbing the loot hand over fist and start governing for the benefit of their constituents instead.

        Also, it sounds like you are not simply laying down a marker for the Democrats to measure them selves against in the likely event they do not follow your advice. You are also suggesting that voting for Republicans is a big no no,

        “What if we have another Republican sweep in 2014, like 2010, but worse? Then we’re going to have more policies that increase inequality. Even less regulation, causing even more domination of our politics by corporations and the financial sector.”

        and that in turn suggests you think there is still some hope for Democrats as if you believe they are marginally better. Many disagree with that and their objections are not simply fatalistic but also born out by observation and facts.

        Democrats are simply no different functionally than Republicans and voting for one or the other or neither should be dictated far more by functional result (a Democratic senate and a Republican President will deadlock – frequently the best we can hope for) than by party allegiance.

        1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

          ” . . . and that in turn suggests you think there is still some hope for Democrats as if you believe they are marginally better.”

          No, it doesn’t. It just suggests that I think they will boil us more slowly than will the Republicans. You can readily see this by the differences among Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, since the election of Republican right wingers in the last two states. Do you really not see any differences between States run by Democrats and States run by Republicans?

          But let me be clear, I’m not saying we ought to elect Democrats in 2014. Again, I’m saying we ought to elect Greens, and also that those Democrats who follow my advice will be a better bet than Democrats are now, provided that Obama mints that coin. Do you really disagree with that?

          1. JTFaraday

            “Do you really not see any differences between States run by Democrats and States run by Republicans?”

            No. Obama and Chris Christie are like two peas in a pod.

            Although, one is a little more bombastic and hasn’t killed his first terrorist yet.

            And, I do wish he had just appointed a publicly presentable Republican to Senator Lautenberg’s seat already instead of spending $24 million letting NJ’s bassackwards blue districts put up Corey Booker.

  12. ohmyheck

    Totally agree with the bipolar political system. I think that Joe is writing this from the point of view of those who still buy into the gamed system.

    If you are a Democrat, you will be extrapolating into the future that which might effect elections, such as what might happen after the next crash. This is their universe.

    Articles such as this are simply not going to fly at places like NC. I think that is why Yves doesn’t write about politics much. P.S.— I think it is a good bet that Joe is well aware of the stuff-and-nonsense of the whole Republicrat charade.

    1. psychohistorian

      I think that positions that talk about just shifting the balance of power a bit and everything will be hunkey dorey are part of the propaganda keeping folks from conceptualizing needed structural change.

      Incrementalism is no longer a solution to our social state. While there need to be step wise movement towards a better world, some of those steps need to be big/structural in nature.

  13. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

    No, it doesn’t make any difference who’s in power. All the white hats (made in China) have worn out and been thrown away. The party, and parties, will continue until the oil runs out and the world becomes a warring patchwork of feifdoms, satraps, baronies and dukedoms.

    Population control will be strictly enforced, through guns, public execution, starvation and disease.

    After all the unpleasantness, say 200 years, when the Earth holds only 100 million souls or so, perhaps we can start mining our cultural heritage for a saner society. Until then, interesting times….

  14. Massinissa

    I cant seem to remember, if the Democrats get blamed for the crisis, why in gods name is that my problem?

    I dont really give much of a shit about either party. Obviously the best outcome would be to blame BOTH parties and kick them both to the curb, but we all know that has less chance of happening than Barry Obama stripping and doing a pole dance on camera right before he leaves the white house.

  15. Banger

    Perusing the comments here I see a huge thumbs down to this post. I think some of the general goals stated have some merit and Firestone clearly has given this a lot of thought and expressed himself fairly clearly–yet, at the same time, he lives in the echo-chamber of Democratic Party leftists that just don’t get reality and accuse those of us who have a bit more bite to our critique of being “unrealistic.”

    I will put it plainly as I can. The Democratic left has no influence in politics because, collectively, it doesn’t understand politics. As I said a million time on various blogs, politics is a contact sport where you reward your friends and punish your enemies (which you can do with love). That’s just the way it is–we can moan about it and think that politics is a battle of competing sermons or even pragmatic solutions to clearly articulated problems. That’s nonsense and before any political influence can be achieved we have to drop that notion. It can, at times, work when the public and media is willing to make a case for reason but those times are rare and far between.

    I’ve advocated, for a long time, that the left should throw out their long list of policies and stick with the simple. I would tout that the left is the party of reason, science and pragmatism and, even more important, virtue and compassion and refuse to make specific policy recommendations of any kind. The fact is that Firestone’s suggestions are DOA and will always be DOA. Congress and the President are not persuaded by reason they are persuaded by the ripples of force they are trained and their staffs are trained to perceive–they may, personally, have some preference for this or that policy but, if you’ve ever been in a hotly contested team sport, you know that in the middle of the game you don’t discuss policy you communicate (I’m thinking basketball–since Obama plays it) simply what is necessary at the time. That’s what politics is like–people are always sweating and running, so to speak. You may sit on the bench and think for awhile but that’s it.

    In order to be in the game it is a requirement that you be organized and the left is not–there are plenty of places to discuss things but very few to “do” things. Where are the carefully focused public actions one saw in the labor movement, in civil rights, in the anti-Vietnam War movements? Occupy? Please, don’t get me started–and what happened as a result? Nothing. Instead the left, and Firestone, heap fears on us that if we don’t support the Democrats the evil Republicans will come in and eat babies. They use fear to keep us in line as if we were just little dolls sitting in a row totally passive. If we were organized and willing to put our asses on the line the Rs would not dare mess with us. Nixon felt fear when he was faced with demonstrators taking over Washington and knew very well that soldiers were giving us all the peace sign! We were naive but we knew about force–this group of leftists just don’t get it. There are any number of actions people like Firestone might recommend since they are influential–but they won’t because if they did they would be thrown out of Daily Kos which exists to stymie not marshall political action.

    Let the Republicans take over–at least we will have put some fear into Democrats who, when the Rs stumble, will be able to pick up the pieces and be the party of reason. This aversion to short-term suffering used to be called cowardice and I will call it that now–supporting the Democratic Party who oppose most progressive policies is an act of cowardice.

    1. McMike

      Taking your analysis a step further, the left not only doesn’t get politics as it is played, but it rejects politics as they are played – and I would add are largely incompatible.

      A policy system of egalitarianism, compassion, and deferred reward is direclty incompatible with a political system of rewards, retributions, and perks.

      What we have now is a Dem party who got seduced with the perk part, and became infatuated with wealth and being around wealth and making themselves wealthier.

      The only reason that the Dems bear any resemblance to the left is that it is composed of people with socially liberal or socially libertarian instincts – a policy branch that can be pursued without threatening the money side of the equation.

      This is enabled by the compartementalism endemic to people with wealth; they go to work and enact all sorts of brutal economic policies, then they come home and have a potluck with their gay biracial neighbors, they know someone who has had an abortion, and they drop a fiver in the hat for the homeles guy on the subway platform – and thus think themselves as liberals.

      1. James Levy

        I think that Feminism and the New Left offered a paradigm of “politics” that Banger seems to reject out of hand. Leftists like me are wary of power politics as he describes them because the history of the Left since the Russian Revolution is that Leftists who play the game of power politics turn out to be as bad or worse than their bourgeois counterparts. I simply cannot, after Lenin and Stalin, accept that the ends justify the means.

        Does this disarm me? I don’t know. It didn’t seem to disarm Gandhi and it only partially disarmed Martin Luther King, Jr. Or perhaps the macho idea that winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing, is total bullshit and when that paradigm fails, some of us will be waiting with something different to offer.

        1. Mcmike

          No it does not disarm you, but it does mean doing it the Hard Way.

          The methodical, lead-by-example, change-one-mind-at-a-time, sacrifice your life (figuratively, or literally), once-every-several-generations way.

            1. McMike

              Yeah, as soon as progressives are ready to get attacked by german shapderds and pushed around by water cannons. Maybe we’ll reform the banks.

              Occupy was a good start. But it rolled back when the tear gas came out (among other reasons).

              These reform movements work when its adherents are ready to go all the way. (Think unions vs hired thugs).

              I view gay rights as an exception. They are harmless to the power status quo, and useful as a social partisan wedge issue with litle economic consquence.

        2. Banger

          I was part of the New Left and marched both in Civil Rights (I was still a teen ager) and anti-Vietnam protest and so on. I believe that we were effective, if a little stupid at times. I loved MLK and believed and believe in his vision and his techniques. So I’m a little offended at your statement. When I talk about things like realpolitik I mean people like Ghandi and King who were both excellent strategists and organizers. They are my heroes now as they were then.

    2. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      First, I haven’t advocated voting for the Ds. What I’ve said is that they could win in 2014 if they did thus and so, and I’ve implied that they could win in 2016 if they followed through. I’ve also said this is better than the Rs winning in 2014. I’ve never said people ought to vote for Dems.

      Actually, I’d rather everyone vote for the Greens, and I favor removing most of our current representatives from office. Beyond, the specifics in the post, those are the things I want. So, I’d appreciate it if people don’t mislabel me as a left leaning Democrat who wants to see the Party win, above all. That’s just not where I’m coming from. I’m for the 99%, not for either of the major parties.

      So, why would I give the Democrats advice to help them win. Two reasons, I want to spread ideas about what they ought to do, and also I want people to understand that there are things that can be done and that TINA is not true.

      I agree with you about organization. In fact, I’ve been working on a project for 3 years now to try to create an organizing mechanism to get us out of the two-party kabuki system we are in. You can learn about that project here:

  16. Mcmike

    The dems couldnt even be bothered to fight back a massive gop program of vote rigging. The trap is set, the fix is in. The dems yielded the field – the mechanics of voting – with nary a peep.

    Good riddance i say. Apparently we will not see any meaningful change without a utter collapse of the dem party, a public revival of consciousness ( dont hold your breath), and resulting purge of the party leadership and candidates.

    The fact is, the clinton-rubin dems yielded to right wing framing so heavily, that nearly complete public reeducation is required. (Yes i know how that sounds) The left as a set of ideas and policies is dead – except on a handful of blogs.

  17. Glen

    Expecting President Obama and the Democratic party to act as outlined above is a fantasy. President Obama threw away that opportunity in 2009, and made it perfectly clear that the maintenance of the status quo was his priority. Even if the President became FDR overnight, it is doubtful if all the people he has pissed on since his election will believe him or the Democratic party enough to make a difference in 2014 or even 2016.

    President Obama has made his legacy. No serious economic reform, no serious healthcare reform, no change in foreign policy, and a further deterioration of citizen’s rights.

  18. Bernard

    the stupidity of believing Democrats are better than Republicans is a self serving farce. lol Obama and Clinton are the Quislings helping Republicans impose the neofeudalism the Rich started with St. Reagan.

    to believe otherwise is willful ignorance, as MLK stated. willful ignorance that can’t be denied.

    i keep hoping that the Republican obliterate what’s left of American democracy so the lies will be easier to see. North Carolina right wing putsch
    style democracy is what adn where we are headed due to the willfull ignorance of believing Democrats aren’t half of the problem.

    such outright stupidity and ignorance is so easy to see, and makes this post a waste of the NC webpage. take these lies to the Red State where they belong.

    Does the poster think we are idiots? we watch what politicians do, not what they say.

  19. NotTimothyGeithner

    There are no strong guarantees the Democrats would make at this point which would be worth the paper they are printed on in society moving towards being paperless. I suppose it might be a collectors piece.

    The Democrats have to take steps. The Obot element won’t care. They went from bombing Obama’s enemies to praising Obama as the world’s greatest peacemaker in a span of four hours.

    Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leadership, and anyone left who might have campaigned for Joe Lieberman have to be removed from their positions before guarantees can be made. In simpler terms, names have to be named. The entire philosophy of triangulation must be repudiated, and anti-Choice Democrats have to go. Why anti-choice Democrats because they are awful on every issue and its an easy way to mark them? Iraq war hacks have to go. 12 years in a country of 300 million, there are more qualified people out there.

    Guarantees aren’t good enough until the Democrats respond to the problems within their party.

    A guarantee would be a good thing, but it needs to include Harry Reid stepping down while acknowledging his basic lack of civic knowledge and to describe the filibuster as a “gentlemen’s agreement” between Southern Democrats and Northern Democrats to protect racial inequality in the South and has subsequently been used to undermine Constitutional rule and the vision of the Founding fathers for the sole purpose of promoting corporate power and greed. Harry Reid and every Democratic Senator who has voted to include the filibuster in the rules governing the Senate has failed their constitutional duty. In the absence of accountability, guarantees are about as useful as Obama campaign promises which don’t involve needless murder and endless war.

    1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      I pretty much agree with this; but will point out that it is much likely to happen if the first step in my plan is taken — minting that $60 T coin. That will empower those who are left in Congress to push for new leaders, which they can get if they elect a Democratic contingent committed to programs I mentioned in the post.

  20. Timothy Gawne

    For all the intelligence in this piece, and for all that I agree with the sentiments, ultimately it is just another excuse for “Lesser of two evils” voting.

    “Lesser of two evils” is a perfectly logical philosophy that is also perfectly insane. It has led us to our current state where Obama is a hard-right anti-labor monster who makes Richard Nixon look like a communist.

    Note that, for better or worse, about the only issue where the elites are not getting their way is gun control. That’s because, unlike liberals, the gun-rights people play “reward your friends and punish your enemies, rhetoric be damned”. There is a lesson there for all of us…

    1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      Nope, it’s not that. First because the President has to mint the $60 T coin before anything else happens, and second, because it never recommends voting for the lesser of two evils. Since if the Ds push the agenda in the post for a full year there will be a good deal of question whether they are still evil, and no question at all, if after the election they proceed to legislate that agenda.

  21. McMike

    Vote third party.

    It is fact the ONLY thing you can do to disrupt the party. Doesn’t really matter who, I vote Green party, but any third party on the left will do.

    I mean, you could start running for elected office, work your way up, get like minded people into county commissioner, county clerk, school board, DA and Treasurer roles, and dog catcher and coroner too, start staging takevoers of party caucuses and the like, start making inroads into the actual system of power (do precisely what the GOP did). This of course is expensive, thankless, takes time, stressfull, uphill, brutal, even dangerous, and makes you subject to the attacks not just from the GOP and Koch brothers, but more viciously from the establishment/DLC Dems.

    And the first time you make a real prgoressive decision expect a sh*tstorm of attacks from the right; death threats, ugly calls and LTEs, blacklists, all sorts of insance crap. And if you ever get into real power, you can expect attack ads and Koch funded recal efforts; and that is just from the Dem party. You might even enjoy an investigation by the IRS or a overzealous prosecutor, maybe some former CIA spook will frame you up for something like child porn or making anthrax, or maybe a Brietbart style video fabrication will take you down, along with your marriage and all your kid’s friendships.

    So, until a critical mass of people are willing to do that, the only thing we can do is vote for other people who are willing to do that.

    It really is the only active tool available to us.

    And it works.

    Don’t think that Nader didn’t drive the establishment Dems absolutelt batsh*t with genuine fear and loathing.

    Just like the Tea Party (who are of course more easily co-opted).

    1. craazyboy

      The way I see it working is for the Green Party to create a $60 Trillion Pine Cone. Then they would have the greenbacks to outspend Citizen’s United and the rest of the Washington,DC lobby.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        This is yet another example of jokes based on the physical properties of coinage. Many of the jokes (indeed, this one) are funny, but they are one and all obfuscatory, hence destructive, as they ignore one of the fundamental properties of fiat money like our own: The physical properties of currency are irrelevant to its money function.

        1. susan the other

          I do like the imagery. Let us put our image where our money is. A pine cone, or an acorn. Doesn’t a ponderosa pine grow to be many hundreds of thousands of times more massive than just one of its pine cones? And it cleans the co2 out of the air like a hoover.

        2. craazyboy

          I was going to add “also too, campaign financing reform.”

          But I thought you would pick up my lead there. You blew the opportunity, Lambert!

    2. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      Vote for the Greens. Their candidates are for real and the Green Shadow Cabinet is much superior to anything the major parties have. But please note, I’m not advocating voting for the Dems, only saying they can win if they follow my advice, and also saying that the Republicans must be defeated, even destroyed as an active party if possible.

  22. Ep3

    Yeah this whole article is a fantasy. For one, the democrat party is just another wealthy group of people. They do not care about poor ppl.
    Second, this whole fantasy that FDR was the hero of working ppl. He did nothing to help. The records show he worked to appease the radicals on the left as they were rallying more and more ppl to overthrow the rich. The rich were afraid of what was happening in other parts of the world, with socialism taking over.
    The job of the two parties is to focus poor ppl’s demands to the benefits of the wealthy. By creating a “2 party system”, they make every issue a two answer issue, an absolute. You are either on one side or on the other. No one can think differently. This narrows the options and helps maintain control of resistance. It’s sad but true.

  23. Paul Tioxon

    This financial fix is dependent on a political position that is well past any party, not because the democrats are part of an undifferentiated mass of Wall St captured elections, but due to the Nixon Coup that served as the platform for the reactionary purging of America. The state and county local election is the end game of political takeover, methodically calculated by the right wing republican institutes and foundations, especially the Koch Brothers funded Mercatus Center at George Mason and the ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council. To counter he right wing coup of American politics and get the sovereign currency spent into the economy by a plan such as the Public Enterprise Fund, there needs to be election reform.

    1. Federal elected offices are to be filled by a Federally designed and operated Federal election all across the nation.

    2. The first design feature is in general elections, there are no districts, but only state wide voting for any Federal Office: The electoral college is abandoned and all US Congressional reps are directly elected by state wide elections, abandoning the corrupt, gerrymandered district system of elections. These 2 offices will then be elected just as US Senators are elected by state wide voting with a majority of ballots cast.

    3. Federal elections will be uniform in procedure and practice. There will 30 day voting periods using mail, the internet, the phone or physical voting to cast a ballot. A uniform mechanism of voting, easily audited by the public and an official election commission shall be designed by a consortium of public and private university engineering departments.

    4. Even if no other reforms immediately accompany these, such as campaign finance reform, TV ad bans, corporations are declared corporations again, etc. this will have a revolutionary transformation.

    5. State wide elections have vote counts that in many states show a majority of votes cast for democrats running for congress. John Kerry obviously won the democratic vote count but lost the electoral vote count due to the Supreme Court acting as obstructionist to the will of the majority.

    The most radical and immediate change will be seen in the US Congress. For example, in the state of PA, there are 18 districts and 18 reps, one for each district. The state is allocated its proportion of reps from a total of 435 for all 50 states. As population shifts among the states move, so does the per state allocation of reps. Then within the state, districts are drawn, one for each rep. This is based on the decennial census. PA has lost reps continually for decades, not so much as the state has lost population overall, but because other states have gained more in population. PA has lost political power, relatively and absolutely due to not growing as fast as other states. But, that is not really the political problem.

    PA has 18 Congressional reps, only 5 are dems. 3 from Philly, 1 from Pittsburgh and 1 from Wilkes Barre/ Scranton.
    Hillary Clinton’s father and Joe Biden were both from Scranton, a coal mining area.

    But the majority of votes cast for democrats exceeds the votes cast for republicans in congressional races. In my proposal, each voter gets one vote for each congressional candidate. In PA, that would mean I could vote for 18 candidates from a field of who ever made it to the ballot. This would strengthen the party and minimize the cult of personality. The policy would carry the group of candidates if they were all seen as united together to advance one set of policies. Or not, if ticket were split for a 3rd party candidate or a 4th party candidate, who could draw statewide support of environmentalists rather than a narrow, local pool of voters.

    If there were 15 more dems from PA, the whole Congress changes. And, this is not true for PA only. What about your state? Do you know the total votes cast in all congressional elections? What would your state look like?

  24. profoundlogic

    “In order to be in the game it is a requirement that you be organized and the left is not.”

    They’re organized alright, just not in the way you apparently hope they will be. This partisan Utopia you’re alluding to doesn’t exist anymore. It has devolved into two pigs feeding from the same trough.

  25. impermanence

    Whereas you can create money out of thin air, you can not create what money represents [labor-value] out of thin air.

    If you don’t understand the abtraction that money is, conjuring-up ideas like this seems silly, at best.

    The solution is to admit that the end arrived in 2008, declare bankruptsy, and start over, sort of like how an adult might handle the situation.

      1. F. Beard

        That’s why it is important to deficit spend on valuable things. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

        What’s more important than just restitution to the victims of the banks – virtually the entire population? Some Progressive boon-doggle such as windmills?

        Try to understand: The population neither wants nor needs government programs; they want and need government MONEY. Or shall it be the Republicans who give it to them? Such as with GW Bush and his stimulus checks?

      1. anon y'mouse

        I think the problem with the coin idea is not that it “couldn’t work” but that, to the peasant class (me) it seems like a trick. a stunt. a snowjob.

        better to explain the theory behind MMT and rationally win them over than engage in what would appear at first glance like some kind of street card-dealer shell game.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Well, the coin follows through the implications of fiat money, and works out the implications of the theory in practice, and in a way that requires no laws to be passed. And (see this chart where I compiled MMT coverage from start to early 2013) many people have been “won over” to the extent of putting the coin “on the table” as a serious policy proposal. — the key inflection point in breaking out into the mainstream being IIRC Felix Salmon, citing an NC post. So I disagree with your double premise that rationally winning people has not been tried, and has not succeeded.

          Finally, whenever there’s a (kayfabe-style) fiscal or government shutdown crisis, the coin revives and becomes part of the discourse; see the history here. So this post could be regarded as laying in the footings for the next crisis, which Obama, Boehner, et al are working up to right now.

          NOTE * Gold bugs seem rational because gold is tangible. They aren’t.

          1. anon y'mouse

            perhaps. I will have to think and learn more.

            btw, it was not my premise that it had not been tried or those trials had not succeeded. I just think it would be a better strategy. the other might seem like a magic trick to -common (wo)man-whomever that might be, and thus easily dismissed by “serious people” in charge.

            but, how about both simultaneously?

    1. susan the other

      A 60Tr dollar coin is nothing more than a defacto declaration of financial independence from the moribund, destructive, useless system of finance we now have. This mess, our present system, is so full of contradiction and corruption it cannot survive. Witness the last 5 years.

      1. anon y'mouse

        ok, the coin is the embodiment of the truth.

        the coin is more important as a symbol than as a reality.

        still, can’t have the coin discussion without explaining the basic underlying theory. without the theory, it will appear as immaculate conception.

        that clarifies things for me, I think.

  26. F. Beard

    The Democrats’ role in Congress at this point should be to try to pass a legislative agenda that is clearly about “justice for all” beginning with tighter and tougher laws regulating banks, Joe Firestone

    Why not instead remove all explicit and implicit government privileges for the banks and implement a universal bailout of the population with new fiat to replace the soon to be missing bank credit liquidity?

    People hate the banks and most could surely use some money. What’s so hard to understand that government enabled thievery should be stopped and restitution provided?

    It’s really sad that Progressives take banks as a given when the banks absolutely depend on government privileges.

      1. F. Beard

        How could a possible coalition be any wider – those who hate banks and desire restitution? The only hitches are to do the restitution in a manner that does not provide the inflation-phobes with ammunition and to reassure the endogenous money lovers that ethical forms of endogenous money creation are possible.

  27. Bobbo

    As Chris Hedges says, the only way to change anything is with mass protests. If you think voting for Democrats is going to change anything, you are delusional. Change will only come when the politicians are scared sh*tless, and that will happen only when people start to gather by the thousands.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The problem is, that didn’t happen with the Iraq protests at all, which were huge. Occupy came a lot closer, but Occupy was certainly not a “mass protest.” Every Occupation was different.

      And Occupy wasn’t really a “protest,” but something much more, more like a worked, living alternative way of living and doing politics. That accounts both for the joy people felt entering the squares, and the bulldozers (operated by Democratic administrations plus Bloomberg).

      1. Banger

        Both Hedges and his friend Morris Berman essentially believe the situation is hopeless. Berman left the country and Hedges soldiers on–I’m over-simplifying their opinions and I respect these guys more than any other major figures on the left. But I don’t agree with them completely. I believe the nature of the discussion is changing I just feel that the traditional left is not where the action is–but, rather both the libertarian right and the religious right where young people are beginning to change the paradigm a bit. The left is to stuck in orthodoxy and political correctness and more interested in triviality than anything else.

    2. anon y'mouse

      how do you do that, nowadays?

      they’ll either roust you out and arrest you (ruining your chance for future employment), or smear you while pretending to ignore you, or foment trouble within the group, or ultimately plan to assassinate you all.

      the people who “need” to be involved are too busy struggling to survive. if we just had a way to ship all of the unemployed to a mass protest, that would mean something (I hope!). but those people struggle daily to keep a roof over head and so on. those on unemployment can’t do anything that interferes with “looking for work” because their remaining income depends upon being available.

      the workers, poor and not so poor, are too busy at work to engage in mass protest unless it is on a Saturday afternoon that they haven’t devoted to their kid’s sporting event, or taking mom for her blood-pressure meds.

      I’ve been thinking that general strikes need to occur for a long time, and mass protests. but extensive time and money issues imply those aren’t possible.

      also, the rulers can’t be shamed. they’re planning to cut foodstamps with over 20million un- or under-employed, and child poverty climbing to the sky. yet, they’ve found the money in pocket to bomb Syria, or whoever we’re droning this week.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        As I keep saying, and most definitely FWIW, I think weak points in the supply chain will be the sites. Walmart, fast food, pipelines, warehouses, rail. ATMs. The distribution system is so optimized, and so financialized, that I think there is leverage to be had there. The equivalent of the sit-down strikes of the 30s… And again most definitely FWIW, the media techniques developed during Occupy, including streamers as credible news sources, will help…

        1. anon y'mouse

          would one of the first major prongs of attack be guaranteed employment, preferably through jobsharing?

          if everyone had more leisure without sacrificing (indeed, in some cases improving) financial security, we might have some lifespace to become informed and involved politically.

          heck, that might be one of the main reasons to drive so many people to poverty and mad scrambling over remaining jobs.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Yes. MMT in general and Joe Firestone in particular are big proponents of a jobs guarantee.

            * * *

            I have to say that I’m ticked off that the JG, which is eminently rational and humane, hasn’t gotten any traction that I’m sliding more to the position of “Just helicopter drop everyone money.” Works for the banksters, why not the rest of us? I like to work, but there’s something to be said for a leisure ethic. Graeber points out somewhere that making your own shoes, instead of buying them, and getting loaded half the year on your own beer wasn’t such a bad deal for the average peasant before Smith and his ilk forced them all into the mills.

            1. F. Beard

              I have to say that I’m ticked off that the JG, which is eminently rational and humane, Lambert Strether

              Not really. Make-work, far from being humane, is demoralizing and implicitly blames the victims of the banks.

              hasn’t gotten any traction that I’m sliding more to the position of “Just helicopter drop everyone money.” Works for the banksters, why not the rest of us? Lambert Strether

              Yes, because of a little thing called justice. Once one admits that the banks engage in legalized theft then the need for restitution quickly becomes apparent.

                1. F. Beard

                  I agree and the Republicans should be ridiculed for opposing infrastructure repair and disaster relief.

                  But beyond generous spending for needed work any additional need for new fiat in the economy should be met via so-called transfer payments.

                    1. F. Beard

                      That’s why I said “so-called.”

                      Still, if enough new fiat were created and unevenly distributed it would transfer real purchasing power which is not necessarily a bad thing since that is how the banks have cheated so many. Turn about is fair play, I would think.

                    2. F. Beard

                      Or even if evenly distributed, it would help lift many out of debt without disadvantaging non-debtors ala Steve Keen’s “A Modern Debt Jubilee.”

              1. anon y'mouse

                well, that’s why I said jobsharing.

                many are working too many hours. yes, many of those are on salary. they should be (and should have been for the last 15+years of this *trend* developing) pissedpissedPISSED that their employers treat them like slaves when they could be working in a little committee of 2 or 3 sharing the same job and passing the work off to one another in a coordinated fashion.

                instead, they view anyone criticizing that mess as either idealists or slackers. they should be viewing themselves as put-upon slaves.

                of course, hiring more people would be much easier if the obvious were acceded to: individuals need medical care and retirement and unemployment and so on to adhere to THEM and not to their employer. that doesn’t mean that the employer should not contribute, but that it should be seen as a right just like Social Security. one we all pay for and receive as citizens. any other system provides incentives for your boss to give you the worst and cheapest “product” possible, and makes your access contingent upon staying in the employer’s good graces.

                1. F. Beard

                  I still say the problems could have been nixed at the source with ethical money creation. Then workers would most likely be co-owners of the places they worked at. Instead, the so-called creditworthy have been able to keep their “cake” and use it for collateral for loans of new purchasing power stolen from everyone else.

                  1. anon y'mouse

                    not against -it- at all. I have only recently been fully enlightened as to the underlying theory. I took the minimum ECON college requirements a few years ago, and honestly that only confused me even MORE about how money works, but something about the standard explanation was incomplete.

                    only after reading and watching the MMT theorists has it all made more sense. so, my only warnings about the coin come from the perspective of trying to convince those who have no economic training beyond their intuition that “gov. must be like a household. we all must pay our bills” OR the possibly deliberate obfuscations that happen in standard college econ. classes.

                    I just think the coin -as idea- necessitates one understand the underlying theory, or else it will appear to the untutored as magic. getting over the instructional/informational hump is the more difficult one, although perhaps the coin -as idea- can facilitate that.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          Of course Bob Dylan is a little too busy singing in the White House to lend a hand just now, but I am surprised that generally there hasn’t been more of a lyrical response yet to what is going on. It is the only avenue I can think of that isn’t totally or almost totally commandeered by TPTB.

          (Note, the repitition of this comment below is by mistake)

          1. Mcmike

            Who is going to do a musical response – nobody; maybe folkies with no pot to piss in, or a couple established stars like Springstein.

            Everyone else has to make a living without getting blacklisted (hello Dixie Chicks), what major record company is going to run legitimate protest stuff – Sony? What Clear Channel station is going to play it? What college kid is going to turn off Lada Gaga to listen?

            Funny story: when Robert PLant accepted his Grammy with Alison Kraus, he mentioned how weird it was to be up there, he said something to the effect that back when he was big, it would have been viewed as a corporate sell out.

        3. susan the other

          But be careful. The “Syrian Rebels” just announced a fatwa against the US economic system. And we could all be deemed terrorists! It’s a clever catch-22 isn’t it. How do we vet all loyal Americans who want a better society and separate them from the henchmen of the MIC?

      2. Banger

        Resistance is possible but those who identify on the left do not seem able to organize. I suppose that in order to arrive at a leftist position we have had to be outsiders and our social skills are poor, whereas those on the right are used to acting in concert with others. The irony is that the right is more collectivist in temperament yet preaches individualism and the left is more individualistic in temperament yet prefers collectivism.

        Demonstrations and protests are not things I like anymore. Here are my suggestions: 1) targeted boycotts–pick a vulnerable enterprise and attack–never attack big targests, start small and win achievable victories; 2) form unions, collectives and cooperatives–without building a social base, without becoming economic actors political power can’t follow; and 3) give the finger to the whole national security state and its two enabler political parties and, even more important, the mainstream media whether they are Fox, MSNBC, NPR or CNN or the usual gaggle of newspaper propaganda sheets–they lie even when they tell the truth.

  28. XO

    The equation of liberals as Democrats and conservatives as Republicans is absolutely and demonstrably false.

    The Democrats have governed far right of center.

    In light of the sentence imposed on the middle and lower classes, do we really care who the executioner is?

  29. F. Beard

    more religion in our schools Joe Firestone

    The horror!

    But hey, if Progressives had taken “Thou shall not steal” seriously then they would never have supported government-backed banks which ironically find that Christians are more so-called creditworthy than they are.

    Hoist by one’s own petard?

    It’s sad that most parents can’t afford truly private schools but that is also a result of the unjust money system Progressives have supported. So now the game is winner-take-all wrt education. Well, Progressives have lost. Let’s just hope that the Old Testament is taught so that the government-backed counterfeiting cartel is finally abolished.

    The issue which has swept down the centuries and will have to be fought sooner or later is…The PEOPLE vs The BANKS – Lord Acton 1875

  30. Eric L. Prentis

    Joe Firestone’s article says, in effect, “There is a tooth fairy.”

    “The seigniorage from the $60 T coin (nearly all of the $60 T) would be used to pay off all Federal debt subject to the limit as it falls due, so that eventually all such “national debt” will be paid down to zero.”

      1. profoundlogic

        Perhaps not, but it’s generally a bit cheaper just after the criminal syndicate conducts one of their patent bear raid operations….before option expirations, Non-Farm payroll reports etc.

        Let the crooks crash the futures with another ridiculously obvious dump of naked shorts, then start stacking! With COMEX deliverable inventory evaporating rapidly, things are about to get very entertaining indeed.

    1. F. Beard

      Banks create money from nothing every time they make a loan. But that isn’t a tooth fairy for private interests?

      Interestingly, since bank loan repayment DESTROYS purchasing power then a ban on further credit creation by the banks would allow quite a bit of new fiat creation without significant price inflation risk.

      1. Eric L. Prentis

        In fractional reserve banking, the new money loan remains on the bank’s books, and the bankers are, or should be, responsible for the loan.

        Try making a little platinum coin responsible for $60 trillion dollars.

        1. F. Beard

          Try making a little platinum coin responsible for $60 trillion dollars. Eric L. Prentis

          The banks have already done so (at least partially) by driving the population into onerous debt. New fiat would make that debt more serviceable, and if given equally to the population, without disadvantaging non-debtors. See Steve Keen’s “A Modern Debt Jubilee”, for example.

          Other needs for new fiat include the interest for bank loans, population growth and economic growth. Certainly no new sovereign debt is needed since sovereign debt ITSELF is a form of fiat but one that benefits the rich at the expense of the poor.

        2. F. Beard

          In fractional reserve banking, the new money loan remains on the bank’s books, … Eric L. Prentis

          The liabilities of the banking system as a whole are mostly virtual* while the assets are real indeed.

          Question? Can real assets be honestly balanced by virtual liabilities? I think not.

          *Due to heavy government privilege such as the Fed and government deposit insurance.

    2. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

      So, sorry you see it that way. But, to put it in a less colored way. The Constitutional gives Congress the power to create money without limit. The Congress delegated the power to create reserves to the Fed. And in the 1996 law, it delegated the power to coin money with arbitrarily high face values to the Treasury Secretary and the US Mint. If you think that means “there is a tooth fairy” then that’s your formulation, not mine. I’m just giving you the facts.

  31. Brooklin Bridge

    Corruption is now so systemic, so pervasive and so global as to render this sort of, rally the troops post sadly burlesque, even a bit nostalgic. And these what must be done immediately articles are cropping up everywhere.
    [or] the administration must do X, Y and Z…”, Yea, right, “Democrats have to get behind this plan to…”, Uh huh, “What in the world will we do if Republican’s gain control? [you can just hear the sound of hair being torn from scalp].

    This stuff is being poured over the public by the tank load and it always makes me think of how much the same sort scenario must have played out in almost the same pattern on Easter island (slightly smaller scale). Common guys, don’t give up, let’s go chop down some more trees… And collapse, at this stage in the process, no matter what anyone says, is probably the only thing that can “fix” the problem.

    1. Massinissa

      Agreed completely. It must get worse before it gets better. Only a large enough financial collapse or other large scale catastrophy would be enough to jolt the proletariat into fighting back against Republicrat tyranny.

  32. Jackrabbit

    There won’t be any bailouts in the next crash. There will be various forms of bail-ins that are much less visible plus QE-like monetary policy that eases the disruption (see Financial_Stability_Oversight_Council). In that respect, the problem is already “fixed.”

    From the point of view of TPTB, “its win-win”.

  33. Brooklin Bridge

    Of course Bob Dylan is a little too busy singing in the White House to lend a hand just now, but I am surprised that generally there hasn’t been more of a lyrical response yet to what is going on. It is the only avenue I can think of that isn’t totally or almost totally commandeered by TPTB.

  34. Hugh

    I came late to this. So the point has probably already been made by others. We live in a kleptocracy. One political party is not bad and the other good. Neither is one less evil than the other. Nor do they oppose each other in substance. The best way to look at them is as complementary evils.

    Sure we know the next crash is coming. We have known this from the last crash. The only reason things have held together so far in the US is because Bernanke is pumping a trillion dollars into the Wall Street casino. Europe is a mess, and China is shakey. So we all know the system is going to blow up again. The only question is when.

    And while the kleptocrats, that is the rich and elite classes, may succeed in delaying the crash for a while, for them it is not a catastrophe or a great tragedy. Rather it is a looting opportunity that needs to be properly staged managed. Too many crashes might inflame the rubes. So the process has to be drawn out, milked as it were. But from the kleptocratic point of view, as I said, crashes are a great opportunity to loot the 99%, the commons, and increase both financial and political control exponentially.

    Under such circumstances, do your really think the Democrats care whether they blamed this time around?

      1. Hugh

        Exactly. It is all the kabuki of kleptocracy. Looting and maintaining the power to loot are the only things the rich and elites care about.

        BTW sorry, for the typos in the last line of my comment above.

    1. Alexa

      Thanks, Hugh.

      And to your question:

      “Under such circumstances, do your really think the Democrats care whether they blamed this time around?”

      No, and h*ll no, LOL!

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      One can only hope that with his failure to date to get another war going and now to get a deregulation happy Wall Street favorite shoe horned in to a position where he could do serious global damage, Obama may be loosing his magic of destruction and impoverishment to everything he touches and finally becoming a lame duck President. If this carries through to his efforts to gut and cut SS and Medicare, Obama’s loss will be of immeasurable benefit to millions of senior citizens.

      1. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

        It’s worth celebrating; but we have to watch out for his next selection. It could be someone just as crooked as Summers.

  35. greg

    Democrats can be so pathetic. Don’t they realize that Wall Street considers their Republicans to be the more loyal servants, and that when push comes to shove, it’s the Democrats Wall Street will put out into the cold?

  36. washunate

    “What if we have another Republican sweep in 2014, like 2010, but worse? Then we’re going to have more policies that increase inequality. Even less regulation, causing even more domination of our politics by corporations and the financial sector.

    We’ll have more military spending and more wars, along with more shredding and privatization of the social safety net. We’ll have even less environmental regulation, and even more global warming; more drill baby drill, and less and less of public education. At the State level, we’ll have more of the war on women, blacks, seniors, and hispanics; more corruption from corporations and the rich giving “gifts” to officeholders; more voter suppression, even more police brutality and denial of first amendment rights, more religion in our schools accompanied by more guns everywhere, and more Scalias, Alitos, Thomases, and Robertses subjugating everyone to corporations.”

    I feel like future political scientists will have a field day exploring thoughts like this.

    This assumes as true the very premise being considered – that putting Democrats in power has advanced these issues.

    The problem in this country is not the Republicans. It’s the Democrats – they’re the ones that have failed both in times of opposition and in times of power.

  37. TC

    So, the idea is make Keynesian crackpot Democrats appear more insane than fascist Tea Party Republicans?

    Better option is Seize the Fed and transform it into a Hamiltonian national bank serving up credit to finance capital investment whose future leveraging alone will make it possible to service debt, both public and private. These crazy monetarist schemes fail to comprehend circumstance in which debt can be a blessing, as the first commenter has usefully noted. Any discussion not comprehending why today’s capital structure is unsustainable, touching on a physical and financial economy doomed to but further contract while remaining assets are consolidated into still fewer hands, really serves only to distract, thereby keeping as many jellyfish in Congress as possible in the “seize a piece of a shrinking pie” charade.

  38. clarence swinney

    Two different approaches—-Add Taxes to Increase Revenue and lower the Deficit
    the Democratic approach.—Cut expenditures especially in the entitlement area plus Food Stamps-Meals on Wheels to cut spending and lower the deficit.
    It takes both approaches to eliminate the deficit and lower that awful debt.
    Raise taxes on the wealthy few versus cutting services to the huge masses.
    Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics said “the fiscal contraction will be the biggest since government drew down from World War II.” Close to one million workers, one third of the Federal work-force, will be furloughed for an average of 13 days through September.
    Douglas Holtz-Eaken of CBO said “the Sequester is way better than raising taxes and way worse than fixing the mandatory spending programs and Republicans know that.” The administration continues to press Congress to replace the sequester with a balanced Deficit Reduction plan.
    The administration increased the Deficit with it’s Stimulus package and Payroll Tax Cut.
    It is time to remove the Payroll Tax cuts and Bush Tax Cuts. Stop nit-picking cuts like Food Stamps and go after Defense and Medicare the big bucks.

Comments are closed.