By David Glenn Cox
God Damn it! 2020 is really getting on my nerves. It is getting so depressing I ask myself, what’s next? What can possibly make this situation worse than it already is? Did you know the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits accounted for almost 5% of consumer spending? Consider the nature of the current economic emergency and deduct five percent. A self-fulfilling prophecy for contraction in the business cycle. Ask any economist in the world, left right or center and they will all say the same thing. In a recession you expand the money supply, so why are Republicans trying to cut it?
After Pearl Harbor the Treasury had some long talks with the banking industry. The war was financed on an open-ended plan for thirty years. No one questioned what the tanks and planes would cost because it was an emergency. We needed the ships and planes regardless, no one quibbles over the price of a hose when the house is on fire. The economic emergency is as real as Mitsubishi’s over Ford Island yet Republican’s offer nothing. Marie Antoinette at least offered cake.
Hoover’s ideology after the crash of 29 was to take a hands-off approach. The typical Republican thinking that the market will always fix itself. It is true! It is absolutely god damn true. It works every time without question! The only negative side effect is that it takes years, and tens of millions of people suffer needlessly and die unnecessarily. If you can get past that lump in the oatmeal you got it made. If you can avoid seeing the hungry children, the broken marriages and the dreams piled up on the curb next to the household belongings the solution is easy you are a Republican. “Too bad for you, better luck next life!”
Herbert Hoover was sincere in his belief that direct assistance to the poor was wrong. But he lived in a big White House eating three squares every day. When he said, “Prosperity was just around the corner” he meant it. Much like Trump’s herd Immunity, he meant just let things run their course. Just let people die; it’s too hard to stop. We would have to spend money on you disgusting little creatures and frankly there are so many of you already, that well…you aren’t worth it. Kay sera sera, whatever will be will be the futures, not ours to see kay sera, sera. What the Hoov never understood was the size and growth potential of the pandemic. As the farmers went broke, the grain elevators went broke, the wholesalers went out of business, grocery stores closed, small towns evaporated. At that point you are down to zero and have to start again from scratch.
It wasn’t the crash of 29 that created the world of 1932. It was the inaction after the crash of 29 that crushed the economy. The malaise of an economy injured bleeding out allowing the patient to get much sicker to save on the cost of medicine.
In 2008, tens of millions of Americans were adversely affected by the Wall Street shenanigans. They lost homes and cars, families and livelihoods. Not one of them ever misrepresented the value of mortgage backed securities and yet they had twelve years ripped from their lives. They served a sentence without committing a crime. “Explain any gaps in your employment history.” Explain any holes ripped in your life. Explain what sleeping on concrete is like. Explain what it is like not having a home.
The big retailers line up at the courthouse to file for bankruptcy protection. Is brick and mortar retail even viable anymore or will there be a contraction? Restaurant chains and travel industry, will they realistically ever recover to pre Covid days? But Hoover, I mean Trump and the Republicans have a plan. Step one do nothing. Step two repeat step one. Republican’s claim and rightly so, that states have rainy days funds and don’t need federal help. But what they are trying to do is bankrupt the states of their the rainy-day funds. Once they are gone, the states would be helpless and in need, especially if it began to rain or trees began exploding.
“Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.
“Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.” – FDR
There is a tipping point in the electorate where the virtues of conservative economics cross swords with voters on the edge. There is a reason for their scorched Earth position, so we ask, “Who gains from this?” What possible reason would Republicans have to chloroform the economy? Few Republicans will publicly stand up to Trump. Fewer still apparently are willing the throw him a lifeline as he struggles to stay afloat. Trumpy says he’d sign an even larger stimulus but Republicans offer him only crickets. It’s the economy stupid. They won’t stab him in front, so they stab him in the back. His V shaped recovery becoming a L shaped recovery making us all pay the price for daddy’s little bastard.
But this is an emergency no less than war and Republicans in Congress have always found money for war. Republicans in Congress need to fund this war because they are the ones who let Trumpy escape the noose that has now turned criminal. They have inflicted this pandemic on the American people. They had a chance to bell the cat but chose to let him go. And now all of this, another ten years from our lives and our futures that never will be. Trying to stay positive looking for that rainbow over the outhouse.