The New America Foundation’s commissioned report, ‘The way forward: moving from the post-bubble, post-bust economy to renewed growth and competitiveness’ is out, but not widely circulated beyond the Washington beltway.
Joe Nocera’s the ‘New York Times’ business reporter with a twice weekly opinion editorial calls it ‘a sobering analysis of our economy deserves some attention’.
The NAF is a conservative think tank that has pushed the kind of free market thinking which landed the world, in 2008, in a global recession. It hardly departs from the Republican congressional agenda that has given the US gridlock and has provided the cover for the big banks, corporate America, and the like which gave impetus to the widening ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests across the continental US and territories.
Until now, it has complacently gone along with failed common wisdom about free markets. A wake up call came with the US and Europe losing traction and fears that the world as the pundits know it is heading for a recession once more. Suddenly the NAF report is awakened to the fact that the timid stimulus programme that began in the ‘twilight of economic ruin’ of the Bush administration had put the country on a similar course to Japan which hasn’t been able to get out of economic doldrums for the last 20 odd years.
And that example doesn’t sit well with the ‘economic royalists’ to say the least. But wait a minute, more far looking economists who do not sit at the fount of power and corporate money like Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz had warned from 2008 that to avoid a Japan future, more not less had to be done, meaning government had to spend to put the millions left without employment back to work. And now that fear of a future of lackluster growth and survival has shaken the pillars of the temple of economic orthodoxy.
Is the NAF willing to confront the Republicans and back Obama’s jobs bill or put pressure on the Republicans to switch course?
That remains to be seen.
The report may be a little too late; it, however, is more damning since it clearly shows that they were not open to ideas that would rescue the class of plutocrats they serve. In all, they’re brain dead to other ways of doing business.