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Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Three Men Who Were Responsible For the Great Recession

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I saw this picture in a Meteor Blades diary on dkos and had to comment on it:

Here is a comment made at the end of the post:

[The Time magazine cover photo is of Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers from February 15, 1999, right after Gramm-Leach-Bliley repeal of Glass-Steagall was signed. h/t to Paul Krugman for the reminder.]

Remember how good the economy was doing at the end of the 1990s?  Remember how little growth the economy and families in the U.S. experienced in the next decade as the Bushies ran the country into the ground?  The efforts of these three men, among others to be sure, was to stave off a global economic meltdown for a little while.  Their solutions were temporary and actually made the fundamentals worse than before their tinkering.

What’s the point?  Two of these men – Robert Rubin and Larry Summers – are part of President Obama’s economic team.  Does anybody seriously expect the changes necessary for long-term economic recovery will be made with two of the three Marketeers Mouseketeers back in decision-making positions of power?  Think again.

I realized during the Bush years that the President doesn’t matter so much on most issues that matter to people on a day-to-day basis.  It’s the people they put in power around them that matter.  Think that doesn’t make sense?  Think about Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and dozens of others.  They were around for Nixon’s failed presidency.  What did you expect would happen if the architects of that epic failure were put back in positions of power?

Now think of Obama.  Robert Gates is a holdover from the Bush “administration” – in the Department of War.  Has our approach been significantly altered abroad?  In Iraq, the answer is a tentative yes, but that has more to do with Iraqis exerting control than any desire in the Obama administration or the too-powerful War Industry to leave the 2nd largest proven-oil reserve area without direct control.  In Afghanistan, a surge has been proposed.  So no change there.  Economic policy?  Ben Bernanke, Greenspan’s replacement and the man who stood by while the global economy went down the toilet, has been selected by Obama to serve another term as Fed Chairman.  Two of the clowns in the picture are an integral part of Obama’s team.  Their failed economic ideology gets another chance.

The reforms necessary for full economic recovery will not take place with Rubin and Summers in charge of anything important.  They’re devout believers in the false “Free Market” religion.  It has failed every time it’s been implemented according to leading “Free-Marketeer” dogmatists.  It will fail again – count on it.


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