The stock market continues to be on a roller coaster ride as it slides and then rebounds as traders engage in fishing the bottom and making trading commissions, sliding a few bucks out of the pockets of the marks. Prez Obama is on the road in his magic bus talking about jobs and job creation. The NY Post (bastion of responsible journalism!@!) is reporting the bus was built in Canada. Well, job creation somewhere on the continent, I guess that's good, but it might have been a nice touch to have had the thing built here in the USA to go on tour and talk about jobs. It's always easy on the ear to listen to Barack talk and sometimes inspiring, but it's a bit like holding a shell to your ear and enjoying the sound of the ocean. It's largely theater, the connections between the sounds and any reality are pretty slight.
The political decisions that Obama has made - from Geithner instead of Krugman or Stiglitz, to TARP bank bailouts instead of an FDR style green energy public works project, to ditching the public option in favor of a corporate insurance health care makeover, to the late 2010 deal for extending the Bush tax breaks for the have-mores, the spineless negotiation over the debt ceiling - have emptied Obama's pockets. I think he has no means to create significant jobs legislation. That opportunity existed in his first 100 days and is now just a faint memory. Maybe I am wrong about this. I would love to be wrong about this, but I tend to rely on rational analysis and the rational analysis conclusion I arrive at is bleak. But who knows, maybe the President will take us all on a snorkeling vacation to Aruba! Rainbow pie!
Back to rational analysis:
I think we face a different kind of downturn today. We are so deep in the trees now that the forest vision is long gone. What I recall is that our means of production, our fuel source, is a disaster from an environmental perspective and is also past its peak from a production angle, so that's an ugly situation. I think we are not-facing an existential crisis where we desperately need to look at an energy system conversion to green, sustainable energy infrastructure. The good news is that the energy is there and will be for a long time because our parent star seems to be in its prime, but we have to wake up and appreciate the relatively clean energy raining down on us every day. That's happening to some extent, but there is also the prospect of resource wars and war profiteering is enjoying the low tax rates, so a rational person would have to feel bullish about the prospect for military solutions to scarcity problems. Arab spring? Street riots about austerity? you connect the dots, kemosabe. Anyway, haven't had much to say lately. Have been working on video projects. Watching the madness of the Tea Party/GOP ramp up as the spokesmodels compete to make the most outrageous comments and seize the low ground for the next election cycle.
And out of the mist, the fog of war, the swirl of drone rocket debris clouds, comes the POTUS in his new bus to cheer us up with talk of jobs.
Holey moley. I don't think talk of a jobs program is going to get it done, Barack. What else have you got? How is life in the bubble? I know that having someone other than Barack get elected in the next POTUS cycle would be really bad, but getting Barack for a second bite at the apple doesn't look that good either. The Obama fans will be angry with me for declaring the emperor is parading around naked, but I think Barack has to take a little responsibility for letting the pragmatic partisans on the other side back him into this corner. I never suggested that he bang his head on the wall of third-way politics.