Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sad But True

The ever sensible, indispensable Steve Benen, on reading the same Krugman column I reacted to in the last post:
If I had to guess, I’d say many White House officials would approve of this kind of approach, but tend not to say so. Why not? Because of political realism -- the president and his team don’t see much value in pushing a series of proposals that have no chance of passing Congress. An ambitious approach to lowering unemployment was effectively taken off the table the moment Americans elected a Republican-led House. If voters wanted policymakers to focus on jobs they shouldn’t have backed candidates intent on making unemployment worse. The administration could still push the issue, even if a jobs agenda can’t pass, but Obama’s team see political risks in such an approach -- the more the president sticks his neck out, the more he appears ineffectual when Congress ignores him.


jollyspaniard said...

High unemployment can be good for some companies because it means they can pay people peanuts. I don't see Republicans overly bothered about high unemployment quite the opposite actually. The right wing blogs report on the unemployment figures with unrestrained glee.

It's unfortunate because there is a lot of potential to relocate previously offshored manufacturing back in the US. Plus there's that whole Green Manufacturing thing which a lot of countries are enjoying, including my ancestral home of Spain of all places. I never would have dreamed that Spain would be ahead of the US in anything technological.

I'm confident that the US will do the right thing after it exhausts all the alternatives though. And the alternatives seem close to exhausted.

Dale Carrico said...

I'm confident that the US will do the right thing after it exhausts all the alternatives though.

I wish I were so confident.

We have only two parties in this country (third parties are pre-emptively written out of the system as anything but spoilers and symbols) and one of them wants a conversation about solving problems and the other wants a conversation about dismantling government, that is to say, dismantling the apparatus through which shared problems can be solved or even discussed.

Eventually, of course, the Republicans will have to re-orient away from their present madness -- and that is indeed what it is -- else be marginalized into a nonviable regional rump.

But it's not at all clear that the pace at which this will occur provides space and time equal to the address of real planetary problems, climate change, pandemics and other health crises, resource descent, sources of violent instability coupled with arms proliferation, and so on.

My hopes, such as they are, turn as often to the EU, South America, and India as they do to my own US...