Monday, May 30, 2011

Waiting for FDR

Through my disappointment, I still support President Barack Obama.  I wanted a new FDR.  I didn't get one.

Obama has proven time and again that he has been captured by economic orthodoxy that serves first the wealthy and then, if there's anything left, the rest of us.  In other words, he's a Republican, although a Republican of thirty years ago, not one of today's current crop of crazy Ayn Randed Republicans, for whom a tax cut is the answer to every question (every question that doesn't involve a chastity belt, anyway).

So unemployment remains viciously high.  Persistently, degradingly high.  People who've worked hard all their lives are being reduced to destitution that they will never escape except by dying.  They may get that final relief rapidly.  Republicans want to phase out both Medicare and Social Security in ways that will allow only the wealthy to live their retirement lives in anything other than desperation.

And no one in power cares enough to do much of anything:

Unemployment is a terrible scourge across much of the Western world. Almost 14 million Americans are jobless, and millions more are stuck with part-time work or jobs that fail to use their skills.  ...

Yet a strange thing has happened to policy discussion: on both sides of the Atlantic, a consensus has emerged among movers and shakers that nothing can or should be done about jobs.  ...

[S]omeone needs to say the obvious: inventing reasons not to put the unemployed back to work is ... a grotesque abdication of responsibility.
Elite policy that fails to respond to the legitimate concerns of the population eventually engenders violence.  Hopeless people burn down buildings.  They riot.  They attack other people.

This violence hardly ever targets the real villains.  Voters failed completely to discern the real enemies of the middle class in 2010, and they had time to come to grips with it.  It's impossible to expect enraged mobs to think clearly.  This easily predicted violence will almost by definition be senseless.

I see the current waste of human beings and the coming even worse waste, and it depresses me.

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