Leo Hindery on The Need to Reform – Rather Than Resuscitate – Our Economy

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(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Just a quick follow up on Steve’s post from yesterday on China’s obsession with creating jobs – and the disturbing lack of such an obsession here in Washington.
I recommend reading this speech delivered by InterMedia Partners Managing Partner and New America Foundation/Smart Globalization Initiative Chairman Leo Hindery.
Hindery lays out a bold, game-changing vision of the new economic foundation that President Obama has said that we need – but that Washington’s collective intellectual hangover from Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush manic neo-liberalism seems to be working to prevent.
– Ben Katcher

Comments

9 comments on “Leo Hindery on The Need to Reform – Rather Than Resuscitate – Our Economy

  1. Butalbital says:

    Without addressing the “Congress works for the financial sector” problem, and shedding the phoney interpretation of capitalism and socialism

    Reply

  2. Linds says:

    Hindrey on economy and social responsibiilty is better than most of Obama’s economic team.
    And on health reform, Uwe Reinhardt is the best economist. His blog on nytimes.com is excellent.

    Reply

  3. PrahaPartizan says:

    Thank you for posting a graph which shows the number of unemployed and not just the unemployment rate (which I presume is U3 and not the more inclusive U6). Basically, what it shows is that the number of unemployed increase by 1 million of our fellow citizens with every 1% increase in the unemployment rate, something which the business press never addresses. With all of the chatter coming out now about a potential increase in the U3 unemployment rate to 10% to 11% between now and next spring, everyone needs to recognize that number represents another 2 million Americans looking for employment in a very worker-hostile environment. Worse, each 1 million workers thrown into the street represents a cut in consumer demand of something like US$400 billion. As the corporate titans try to salvage their own bonuses by slashing payrolls, they’re slitting their own wrists in the long run.

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  4. erichwwk says:

    One more post on “official” numbers, on the CPI [Consumer Price Index] which the government alleges has dropped- thus no COLA or SS increases the next 2-3 years, per legislative formula decree.
    If one eats processed (junk) food, “food” has indeed dropped on that “official” basis.
    However…
    if one considers food to be fruits and vegetables,
    then food has gotten considerably more expensive.
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/whats-wrong-with-this-chart/
    So…. are we really wealthier/ better off, because junk food is cheaper, although real food is more expensive?
    And….If we were to discover a magic lamp, that granted all our “things” without working (the ultimate jobless recovery) would we be infinitely rich or infinitely poor?
    Conversely, if we all had jobs 24/7, but no goods would that be heaven or hell?
    Is happiness a function of absolute, or relative, wealth? Are we happier, or sadder, all things equal, if our neighbor becomes wealthier or poorer?
    What, exactly ……. IS optimum?
    Are we so propagandized by the dogma and ideology of capitalism/socialism -we create our own reality- that we can no longer distinguish black from white, up from down, good from bad?

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  5. erichwwk says:

    BTW, Paul Krugman’s colleague at Princeton has been putting up some important posts re Obama’s reluctance to reform health care at the NYtimes here:
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/author/uwe-e-reinhardt/
    Krugman’s post in todays NYT “Blue Double Cross” was also on target.
    Perhaps there is hope for reformation of the economy, rather than resuscitation of the ridiculous “trickle down” (aka as screw all but the wealthiest 0.002 of Americans)policy.
    And lastly, I hope all TWN readers realize the graph lead in to Ben’s post is based on the government’s manipulated “official” unemployment figures, rather than a more meaningful interpretation.
    As Leo points out:
    …”the current effective unemployment rate is a staggering 17.8%, rather than the half lower official rate of 8.9%.”

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  6. Fidelity says:

    The most obvious and simple problem with this speech can be found in the second word of Leo Hindery’s “9-Solutions”, the word “genuine”.
    This country hasn’t had a “genuine” thing come out of Washington D.C. since….well, you know better than I do. Yet all the sudden our deeply entrenched politicians will forget their interchangeable relationship with the folks who have $10.1 million in their retirement plans? The business elites ruling this country will not surrender their power easily, we can look back in history for examples of this.
    Is Leo Hindrey going to pick up a megaphone, or a rifle, and lead this march on D.C. to break the cycle of corporate and political greed? I think not. This plan is certainly “bold”, but about as realistic as me driving a motorcycle over the Grand Canyon.

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  7. erichwwk says:

    Thank you Ben for the heads up.
    two important excerpts from that speech:
    “of great concern right now to many of us is our perception that certain important people in the Obama Administration would actually like to forestall any significant reform and regulation of the proprietary financial trading system that led us into the worst financial collapse since the Depression.”
    “It would be the height of irresponsibility if the U.S. resurrected its failed financial institutions rather than reform them ”
    Trying to resurrect failed economic policies (Obama “we must go with the private insurance system we have”) is akin to trying to solve an obsolete communication system with better horses and more oats, rather than giving electronic communications a shot.
    He absolutely nails the major problem, the entitlement of the top two tenths of one percent of the very wealthiest to about HALF of the total GDP of American workers. Without addressing the “Congress works for the financial sector” problem, and shedding the phoney interpretation of capitalism and socialism, we WILL go the way of the Russians.
    kudos to Leo! Keep talking!!! Perhaps Obama will start listening.

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  8. Zathras says:

    This is a bold, game-changing vision, all right.
    It’s explicitly protectionist, even borderline anti-foreigner. Its remedy for the perceived failings of American business is goverment supervision of pretty much everything. It calls for going back to the policy debates of 1979-80, and adopting all the recommendations of the liberals whose views didn’t even win the endorsement of the Carter administration.
    This is certainly a point of view. It’s bold in somewhat the same way as a driver held up by traffic who decides the right way forward is to start driving on the sidewalk.

    Reply

  9. JohnH says:

    I like it! I would add only two items–
    1) End the strong dollar policy, which has made American workers and businesses uncompetitive and led to massive government subsidies to certain industries (agriculture) to allow them to export.
    2)Reduce defense spending, which adds little to national productivity, to 1900′s levels and use the savings to fund some of the programs Hindery advocates.

    Reply

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