We rarely do link-throughs, but I came across an interesting conversation yesterday. It began with Don Peck’s Atlantic essay on “How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America,” and then quickly moved on to our friend Ian Welsh’s thought-provoking reply. A snippet:
Because any economic growth right now increases the prices of oil, which then strangles the economy, you must reduce dependence on oil, or you can’t fix your problems.
Because banks aren’t lending, and because they are a net drag on the economy having destroyed more wealth than they created, you must break up the major banks or take other similar actions to the same ends, or you don’t fix your problems.
Because defense spending is essentially un-productive you must end the American empire, cutting “defense” spending by at least half, and “intelligence” spending by three-quarters, or you don’t fix America.
Because education is the backbone of modern economies and good education is what allows democracies to work, as the founders understood, you must fix education, so that everyone who is qualified can get a degree without being burdened by a decade of debt and so that the the lower class is able to get through university again, or you don’t fix your problems.
For the same reasons you must fix education at the primary and secondary levels by removing it from the property tax base, or you don’t fix your problems.
Because oligopolies strangle innovation, produce inferior services and soak up oligopoly profits they haven’t earned break up your major oligopolies outside the banks, starting with the telecom companies, or you don’t fix your problems.
It’s not like he doesn’t raise some good points, you know.
Give it a read. Discuss.