Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's The Economy, Stupid

John McCain wants to change the subject, he does not want to talk about the economy nor does he want Gov Sarah to talk about it. 59% of Americans according to the NBC/WSJ poll think the economy is the main issue at this time. I just watched Paul Krugman talk to Rachel Maddow and he managed to scare me - I don't scare easily. If you are not one of the 12% (same poll) who think the country is on the right track, then you may be scared also. How scared may depend on how much news you watch.

First of all, Wall Street and the DOW and assorted have two meanings, one is horrid if you count on stocks for income right now or in the near future, otherwise it's just imaginary money - only real if you sell. The other message the stock market is carrying is a mix of emotional and reasoned, world markets are crashing and credit is still frozen. These two factors radically affect the future, whatever sentiment you may have about it, we live in a global economy, we did in 1929 and much more so today. All the exchanges world wide are in trouble, shedding value like a dog does its winter coat. All that is imaginary money, just as ours is, but it is also the valuation laid on companies, their creditworthiness.

Credit is the big crunch, credit is driving the stock exchanges, credit is scaring the politicians, and credit is frightening business. Business lives and breathes credit. Business sells to consumers on credit, very few have the cash to buy a car or even a refrigerator, most people just don't have it in their wallet at that level. The other side of that equation is inside business, forward reaches seldom have a cash in the pocket basis, companies use short term credit for a multitude of purposes. Virtually every step of producing a product can lead to short term credit needs, it isn't just a matter of some infrastructure expansion that needs credit, raw materials for more of products that are still in the distribution chain or payrolls or... I will have materials for a roof delivered sometime this week and those materials will be on a billing schedule of 30/10, thirty day cycle due on the 10th of the month. That is credit, I don't have that in my pocket, I need to get paid to have it. I won't get cut off if I keep paying those bills by the tenth, but I am small change and my materials are generally in stock at the supplier, that's not the case with larger employers.

The credit crunch is pushing from another direction, your credit rating. As banks are tightened up on their credit, they tighten up on credit. Lines of credit are lowered, credit card limits are lowered and that impacts the consumer's credit rating. The home loan or car loan just got more difficult for the consumer. More crunch for business. It is entirely unlikely that this is going to sort itself out in the next weeks before the election.

The McPOW campaign has decided that this issue is not nearly of the import of Ayers/Wright/Hussein. I am 55 and I remember the Weathermen, Barack Obama was about 8 years old. I had some stake in the issues that the Weathermen were operating in, an eight year old didn't. Whatever I may think about the causes of the Weathermen, their tactics sucked. What Bill Ayers has been up to for the past30 years is something entirely different and most Americans have already seen that played out. Is it fresh with Gov Barbiedoll's delivery? I wondered why to take her seriously. Keith Olberman took the time to point out the Gov's association with an Alaskan secessionist party, recent association. When a person who believes dinosaurs and people coexisted and Alaska is the place for her to be with the oncoming Rapture takes exception to the Rev Wright one could begin to have sympathy with Wright. Toss in her rapt enthusiasm for a witchdoctor and... What could a person say about Hussein?

Why have this discussion at this point in time? Joe Schmoe is bothered about the economy, worried in broad way, and he's not exactly well informed - yet. He will be more informed, despite himself, as time goes on over the next four weeks. He's not very happy to have the wealthy bailed out on taxpayer money. He'd be less happy if he actually knew how well the wealthy actually avoid being taxpayers. I'm better informed and I want some answers about how badly I'm going to get hurt. It isn't a question of if I'll get hurt, I already am. A bunch of you out there already are hurt and probably have the same question I have. The next question is exactly what is it that is proposed to be done about it?

George II is adrift; he has less than 4 months left in office. He's been pretty disinterested in the functioning of the Federal government for close to eight years now and thinking he has some rabbits up his sleeve is wishful thinking taken to criminal extremes - one might as well figure on the Titanic docking in New York later this week. These two candidates are both Senators and it might really pay to start the day after November 4th working on solutions in Congress as a winner. That would mean having a very concrete plan now or very soon.

I'll put this plainly, the economic bus is off the road in a ditch on fire and headed for a cliff with the throttle jammed to the floor and I don't give a good goddam about churches or gayness or white flags or middle names or any other damn social warfare bullshit. I want somebody at the wheel. I want the gusher of blood and treasure in Iraq plugged and I want to know that we're not going to get steamrolled. It doesn't really seem like an outrageous wish list to not want another world wide Great Depression.

We've engaged in an orgy of stupid expenditures, Iraq, private contractors, swaps and derivatives, McMansions, and health care. Every damn one of them was stupid. This isn't hindsight talking, every one of these issues was pointed out as the trends started. The American people went along with it. Of the bunch, two should have been obvious to the public, Iraq and health care. Lies have made these two OK. Not mistakes, not misdirection, goddam lies have been utilized to sell these. You cannot have costs to the economic system of their scale for long without disaster. Swaps and derivatives were wealth lying to itself - and the government - and private contractors were a St Ronnie sales job, but those two were obvious. While the most psychotic system of socialized medicine was perpetrated the people were scared blind by the phrase "socialized medicine." As for Iraq... The fact that we have been stupid doesn't mean we should be victimized by wealth's lies to itself, and that is the one that will take the bus off the cliff.


KISS said...

"and that is the one that will take the bus off the cliff."
and lest us not forget George W Bush had much needed help from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, examples of fine dimmos.
I know how hard it is for a lefty not to see the ills and crookedness of the dimmos but truth is: Those two and their Brethren are as bad, if not worse, than Georgie. The dimmos had the votes and screwed us as badly as the repugs.Good things acomin' from Obama..forget it.
Bad things comin' from McCain..you betcha, Hope for us citizens...NONE.

Chuck Butcher said...

KISS, you need to re-count those votes, the Senate takes 60 to get past cloture and those dimmos don't have 60.