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A question about the Obama Administration

When Obama first started assembling his cabinet (and even before) I had begun to buy into the whole "competence" argument. I was even suspecting that the handful of "Obamacons" I knew might have been right after all, be it by extraordinary insight or sheer luck. I supported Tim Geithner on the strength of his resume, tax cheating and all.

But now I'm beginning to have some serious questions, and if any of you Obama folks out there can help me out I'd be much obliged. For starters, let's take the stimulus bill. Obama has a stellar economic team of brilliant financial minds, and he lets the most important piece of defining legislation in a decade be crafted by... Nancy Pelosi? I mean seriously, what in holy hell was he thinking? This is the vaunted "judgment" I'm supposed to buy into?

Then when the financial markets respond predictably, Geithner goes out to give his big policy speech and it was absolutely terrifying. He actually made Robert Gibbs sound like Cicero. I never thought I'd miss Hank Paulson, ever. And I damn sure didn't think I'd miss him a month after he'd left! But here I am. Seriously, I know it's early but I'm starting to get a little anxious here. Anybody want to try to talk me down? Look, I know that any administration can be a bit rocky in the first few months, but... damn.


I think your concerns have a real basis. Let me say this. Being a very strong Obama supporter, I am not happy with what he is doing either. But not exactly for the reasons you dont like it.

I believe that we are witnessing the collapse of extreme capitalism as a system. We need real reform and this country should adopt a social-democratic direction like most of europe. Obama is trying to find fixes to stimulate the economy, but you can not stimulate the engine of a collapsing and no longer working system. Instead, he should nationalize several banks, repeal the tax cuts of Bush immediately and invest (spend for you) much more money than the stimulus bill. We need a much more aggressive left economic policy. There is no other way to improve things but to really change the collapsing system. Trying bandages, as Obama is doing, will not work.

Well when it comes to nationalizing banks, you will surely get your wish. That other stuff, probably not. :-)

I never thought I'd miss Hank Paulson, ever. And I damn sure didn't think I'd miss him a month after he'd left! But here I am.

Couldn't have said it better myself...what a crazy few months we've had since October.

The U.S. has the very SAME economic model as does France, Germany, Japan, Canada, England, Sweden and the rest of the industrialized West – the regulated market-based economy.

Sweden, France and Germany, for instance, may have, to varying degrees, omewhat more extensive welfare systems, BUT NONE of those are larger then America’s very generous (perhaps too generous?) welfare system.

Take Sweden, for instance, the CIA’s factbook on Sweden report, “Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force.

“Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports...This and robust finances offered the center-right government considerable scope to implement its reform program aimed at increasing employment, reducing welfare dependence, and streamlining the state's role in the economy.”

Same as America – highly skilled workforce that LOVES hard work, the same mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits and a generous welfare system! In fact, America, like Sweden has about 90% of its industrial output accounted for by privately owned companies.

If the regulated market HAS failed, and I’ll acknowledge that I don’t like the numbers in ANY of the Western industrial nations – France’s Misery Index stands at 10.9, America’s at 11.2, England’s at 9.3, Sweden’s at 8.0 and Germany’s at 10.1...ALL of those Misery Indexes are way too high, especially when compared to the world’s LEAST regulated and freest market-based economy, Hong Kong’s, which also has the world’s LOWEST Misery Index of 6.0 - and the state-run economies (ie. The former USSR, Bulgaria and Albania pre-collapse of Communism, 1989) have failed to deliver anything other than universal misery, then it would appear that the ONLY real hope would lie in modeling our economy after Hong Kong’s dynamic, productive and very prosperous economy.

But to be fair, before we “throw the baby out with he bath water," we should note that we (right here in America) DID have a 6.5 Misery Index back in 1998, shortly after the Gingrich Congress cut the federal budget for the FIRT time in over 100 years!

In other words, there may still be hope for ours and Sweden’s regulated market-based economy!

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