Sunday, October 12, 2008

eau de irony

Over at A Tiny Revolution:
With the Bush administration's Treasury Department resorting to government bailout after government bailout to keep the U.S. economy afloat, leftist governments and their political allies in Latin America are having a field day, gloating one day and taunting Bush the next for adopting the types of interventionist government policies that he's long condemned.

"We were just talking about that this morning on the floor," said Congressman Edwin Castro, who heads the leftist Sandinista congressional bloc in Nicaragua. "We think the Bush administration should follow the same policies that they and the International Monetary Fund have always told us to follow when we have economic problems — a structural adjustment that requires cutting government spending and reducing the role of government."

If the U.S. weren't a powerful country, and had to do what we've made other countries do (via the I.M.F.) when they were in similar situations, we would right now be jacking up interest rates, slashing government spending and allowing the entire banking system to fail—which would guarantee a genuine, deep depression. It was these hideously cruel policies which in part led to the giant demonstrations against the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999.

Of course, we are a powerful country, and don't have to take the medicine we shove down everyone else's throats. Still, U.S. elites will try to impose as much of a structural adjustment as they can get away with, in order to make the bottom 80% of America pay the price for the elites' spectacular screw-ups. The Washington Post has already started writing about how the current crisis demonstrates that we must cut Social Security. Look for much more of this to come.

The Church of Neoliberal Orthodoxy still has enough true believers in high places, such that it will not collapse all at once. Beware that weird cult, and know the facts that they'd rather keep hidden.

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