Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Buddy, Can you spare me a dime......no, make that $700bn?

The Republicans have voted down the Paulson rescue plan, with a little help from the Democratic party’s ‘left’ wing. Paul Mason is calling this ‘plebeian radicalism’. It’s certainly a huge two fingered salute to the political and financial elites of the Western World.

The Left blogosphere is alive with excitement. The Morning Star is quoting Lenin on state-monopoly capitalism and calling for a freeze on prices. Socialist Worker helpfully tells us we should ‘fight back’. The Socialist Party (nee Militant) tell us,
The recent phase of accelerated globalisation and unfettered neo-liberal policies is drawing to a close ...... There will be even deeper tensions between the major capitalist powers. Prolonged stagnation, punctuated by weak recoveries and renewed recession, will provoke social crisis and mighty political struggles.”

So why don't I think anyone has yet told me the answer to my simple question: what is to be done? Either I'm being particularly dense, or there are a huge number of people out there who share my bewilderment and lack of confidence that a crash can be avoided. Saying the rich should clear up their own mess, and take their own pain, is quite some way from actually knowing how to go about doing this.

On another note,Ann Pettifor, in the Guardian, has called for the immediate exhumation of John Maynard Keynes. & it's true, as Paul Mason says, that governments have yet to really slash interest rates or start printing money.

So- what's it to be? Japan in 1990, or wheelbarrows full of notes a la Weimar? Or can our much discredited masters of the universe actually back down and agree to take enough of a hit to satisfy the angry daemons of Main Street?

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