[Marxism] Leveraged Speculators Will Save Us

sobuadhaigh at hushmail.com sobuadhaigh at hushmail.com
Wed Mar 25 23:42:21 MDT 2009

Doug Henwood is on to something in his prediction that
liberal austerity is in the cards as the price for salvaging 
capitalism and maintaining the retirement plans
of the rich.

>It would be a nice Nixon-in-China turn, for a Democratic president 
>elected on high ?progressive? hopes, to preside over something 
>like an IMF structural adjustment program applied to the U.S. It 
could be 
>portrayed as a necessary sacrifice for the common good. In fact, 
>we can already see the outlines of a liberal apologia for 
austerity on 
>the Nation?s website.
Obama was asked this directly at the last press conference and his 
response was disingenuous pablum. 

>Chuck Todd of NBC asked the president what sort of sacrifices 
he would like to see from the American people during this economic 
The president responded that he expects Americans to do what 
always done "which is working hard, looking after their families, 
sure that, despite the economic hard times, that they're still 
to their community..."

>OK. Chuck Todd?
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Some have compared this financial 
crisis to a war. 
And in times of war, past presidents have called for some form of 
Some of your programs, whether for Main Street or Wall Street, have 
cushioned the blow for those that were irresponsible during this — 
this economic period of prosperity or supposed prosperity that you 
talking about. Why, given this new era of responsibility that 
you're asking for,
 why haven't you asked for something specific that the public 
should be 
sacrificing to participate in this economic recovery?

OBAMA: Well, let me — let me take that question in a couple — 
couple of phases. First of all, it's not true that we have not 
sacrifice from people who are getting taxpayer money. We have 
 some very stiff conditions. The only problem that we've had so far 
contracts that were put in place before we took over.
But moving forward, anybody — any bank, for example — 
that is receiving capital from the taxpayers is going to have to 
have some very strict conditions in terms of how it pays out its 
executives, how it pays out dividends, how it's reporting its 
lending practices, so we want to make sure that there's some 
stiff conditions in place. With respect to the American people, 
I think folks are sacrificing left and right. I mean, you've got a 
lot of parents who are cutting back on everything to make sure 
that their kids can still go to college. You've got workers who 
are deciding to cut an entire day — an entire day's worth of pay 
so that their fellow co-workers aren't laid off.
I think that, across the board, people are making adjustments 
large and small to accommodate the fact that we're in very 
difficult times right now. What I've said here in Washington is
 that we've got to make some tough choices. We've got to make 
some tough budgetary choices. What we can't do, though, is 
sacrifice long-term growth, investments that are critical to the 
future, and that's why my budget focuses on health care, energy, 
education, the kinds of things that can build a foundation for long-
term economic growth, as opposed to the fleeting prosperity that 
we've seen over the last several years. I mean, when you have an 
economy in which the majority of growth is coming from the 
sector, when AIG selling a derivative is counted as an increase in 
gross domestic product, then that's not a model for sustainable 
growth. And what we have to do is invest in those things that will 
allow the 
Americans' capacity for ingenuity and innovation, their ability to 
take risks, 
but make sure that those risks are grounded in good products and 
services that they believe they can market to the rest of the 
that those models of economic growth are what we're promoting, 
and that's what I think our budget does.

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