Sunday January 20, 2019
Feb-03-2008 20:04TweetFollow @OregonNews
Op Ed: 'Supply-Side' Failures
By Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
During the Great Depression in the US, many people starved to death, like this little boy in the picture above. Could we be heading for round 2? Courtesy: library.thinkquest.org
(BEND, Ore.) - Spectacular worldwide economic consequences of longtime 'supply-side' failures to control finance-industry operations, 'crony capitalism' corruption, and 'distorted deficit-building economic policies' have finally come home to roost.
Triggered by the tottering subprime mortgage mess laying waste home ownership across the nation, with spectacularly high totals of combinations and collateralization of collapsing real estate assets, the real impact on every other market is so great that the shadow of a real Depression now becomes no longer a shadow, but a high-probability historic event.
(One kind of mortgage-backed structure --collateralized debt obligations--ALONE runs to $1 TRILLION.)
Crisis-driven, the Congressional stimulus plans to rescue the U.S. economy from deep recession already arriving --feared as leading on to a real worldwide Big Depression --are now seen widely, here and abroad, as 'too little, too late' and in some spectacularly wrong directions.
Deficient in detailed attack on root causes, while seeming more set by political necessities than by rational, reasonable attack on realities in the American system, the Congressional plan --arrived at by negotiation seeking ‘bipartisan action’ above all else -- counts on countering the coming real Big Depression by dealing out dollops of dollars as refunds from already-paid income and other taxes.
Where rapid and highly-reassuring action to place billions into immediate impact on the economy is surely demanded, the current plan counts on vary conservative bureaucratic bounty-building with intended rescue-checks ready only next May, or June, or whenever the entrenched bureaucracy can whip up the involved and complex machinery demanded.
Massive monies made very rapidly part of the economic dollar/bloodstream via injection through extension of existing unemployment benefits and also by heavy addition to food-supply processes --already in operation and demanding only further funding-- were negotiated away for that bipartisan distorting-image --apparently as intended ‘public relations’ action to shortcut catastrophic loss of confidence worldwide.
Press reports attributed the too-easy give-away from the Democratic side to overwhelming fears of “Real Depression” brought on worldwide if investor and national money sources were further frightened by dissension and deepening delay obviously due to political game-playing in Washington.
But widespread dissension and projection of the growing probabilities for extremely damaging further deterioration -----while awaiting any real impact of all those billions now being promised-- forces attention full-circle to illuminating what really must be done, somehow, to set things straight and put the American economy back on the demanded progressive track so badly needed in this ending-phase of the very first decade, 21st Century.
I make no pretense to economic insights or special training, but those next-steps so painfully evident now are becoming so clear that there is already an overwhelming consensus on what must be done, easily accessed on Internet sources, as set forth by accomplished, award-winning economists and other specialists.
Those steps can be summarized in a simple --since so obvious-- series of four steps, starting with the most complex and proceeding to the easier and less-demanding areas of public policy.
While few will agree on each and every detail in each and every one of these steps (as summarized here), taken altogether they surely represent a solid, rational, reasonable approach to the public planning that must now take place rapidly and well-done, substituting for the economic, social, cultural and moral-values abandoned so completely in the past thirty years of so-called 'conservative' convolutions.
Without doubt, demanding highest possible consideration, is the extremely painful cost-of-energy, now at the root of many, multiplying and malign consequences touching every aspect of modern life, in every country, worldwide.
Thus the first step must be rational, reasonable development --as rapidly as possible, by every power we possess, cooperatively with any and all other countries, of new sources and new technologies to supply the massive, still multiplying necessities for power and fuel.
Gasoline, Diesel, electric, wind-and-water sources must be further explored and rapidly exploited, with every one of the new technologies sure to be now-discovered shared and set into place everywhere, via any and all means at our power worldwide.
Even given the accomplishment and application of broad new energy, power and fuel techniques, life in the 21st Century will inevitably require much broader and more extensive preparation for accomplishment than we now face.
Thus universal education is a demanded necessity not only for survival but to assure wider, wiser, more extensive and more democratic domination of all problems and issues, by a citizenry finally, fully and absolutely prepared for the full scope and impact of long-vaunted democratic principles.
With such rapid remediation of the long-understood painful consequences of failed and forlorn citizen participation in any real democracy, then must come the essential, heavily-demanded restoration and improvement of our foundations for 21at Century life -- the infrastructure.
The time is long past when we can any longer allow the roads, bridges, public institutions like schools, hospitals and other facilities to be eroded and reduced, sometimes, not just to inadequacy but actually to collapsed rubble.
The days when 'starve the beast'-damage/action could be allowed, in the potent pretense of preventing government waste while reducing tax-share for some at the cost of others, is long gone, as is the similar pretense of attacking size and function of government, now clearly seen as the ONLY possible agency for further progress --as demanded for 21st Century survival.
'Greed is good' as a controlling function for political attack to slash share and responsibilities for government format, shape and controlling actions is now outmoded, relegated to whence-it-came, dead and dying 19th Century philosophy and class concern for lost control.
Finally and unavoidably, we come to practical reality embedded in budget formation, application and ongoing control.
"Money maketh the world to go", heard remorselessly ever since early centuries, is more the realistic understanding of the 21st Century than ever before.
Rational, reasonable budget formation must start, irrevocably, with “denial of wasting-war demands” on what should, could, and --for the 21st Century, surely--be sensible application to 'internal national and state demands we surely now face.'
It is impossible to slash tax-rates, lavish horrendously huge expenditures overseas in search for ultimate empire-control of ANY world resource ANYwheres --whether it be oil or whatever else becomes the most essential as technical progress continues-- AND STILL move as massively forward as now demanded --for 21st Century survival and progress.
Thus we have an unavoidable choice --one compatible and completely reasonable within the principle on which our democracy was founded:
"Government OF the People, BY the People, FOR the People."
What better or more promising principle for real progress could we conceivably ever have?
We have more than two centuries of proof that this principle provides providentially precisely what is now required, as we continue our Constitutional confluence on what we WILL DO, and HOW we WILL DO what is demanded --as the New Century rolls on, and we inevitably ride along.