Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bill Mitchell — When progressives become neo-liberals and create a Trump

When you have a madman sounding, well “presidential” (according to the obsequious US press) what would you expect a Democrat politician to say in response? Yes I am talking about the Democratic response to the speech given by the US President on February 28, 2017 to the joint session of the United States Congress. The last thing I would want is for the response to being with a report card on how the responder was fiscally responsible because he had achieved fiscal surpluses during the GFC. But then this is the Democratic Party circa 2016 we are talking about. The Party that lost an unlosable election to a showman who is sparing of the truth. This is the Democratic Party that having just lost an election because its candidate was seen as part of the neo-liberal establishment that has brought grief on millions of Americans, decides to replace its administrative head with another neo-liberal corporatist. But this problem is not uniquely American, although Americans do like to think they are unique. All around the world, political parties who should be defending workers and the poor have morphed into right-wing look-a-likes preaching fiscal rectitude (they would do it fairer) and cuts to public services and all the rest of it. They have so let down their natural constituents that real right-wingers preaching hate against immigrants and refugees and the like have seized the political initiative and taking votes from them. Trump is a sort of hybrid of that. Until the Left abandons its notions that fiscal responsibility does not mean running fiscal surpluses as a matter of course, it will continue to lose ground. And, we will all be worse off as a consequence....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
When progressives become neo-liberals and create a Trump
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

28 comments:

GLH said...

I hate to say this but unfortunately the deep state controls both parties, the Fed and the media. As sad as it is Trump is our only chance; if he fails or is murdered then I don't see much hope. Like I asked on billyblog, can anyone name an American Jeremy Corbyn?

Bob said...

Kshama Sawant.

Schofield said...

There isn't a main Neo-Liberal policy or lie that Possum Corbyn doesn't roll over and play dead on like the UK's sovereign government must balance its books or waving through Brexit Article 50 without having a clue whether it will damage the UK economy.

Michael Norman said...

Why is Bill Mitchell calling Trump a "madman?" Lost a little respect for him right there.

John said...

Schofield, you're right about Corbyn on balancing the books, but wrong about him on Article 50. At best, Corbyn has always been a wrongheaded Old Labour cyclical Keynesian: run surpluses in the good times and deficits in bad times. That's not an act to make him look trustworthy on the economy. Corbyn, McDonnell and the rest of the "socialist wing" of the party genuinely believe this nonsense. As for Article 50 and all things EU, Corbyn, to his credit, has always been instinctively anti-EU because he knows it's a neoliberal conspiracy. The sooner Article 50 is triggered, the better. The EU is a monstrosity and the sooner every country comes to its senses and leaves it, the better. The UK can only do its part, and it has been given a mandate to do so by the people, not that politicians care what the plebs think.

All of that being said, I don't in actual fact believe the UK will leave much of the architecture of the EU. The UK will not LEGALLY be in the EU, but in all matters of substance it will remain a non-member member. Everything will stay as it was but will be given a different name. The EU contribution will be called an access fee or something like it. Free movement of labour will be called employer access to the free trade zone or something like it. The single market will be renamed the EU-UK free trade agreement. The customs union will be renamed the joint cooperation on international trade agreement. And on it'll go. The only party that can get the UK out of the EU is a radical left party or the far right UKIP. Whatever happens, the UK as a country is finished. The EU politician who said that he looks forward to visiting the United Kingdom of England and Wales may have been too optimistic: it'll eventually be the United Kingdom of England, and perhaps the far flung imperial islands that may one day be found to possess some mineral wealth. It's a mouthful, but not much more than the one we currently have. The only way the UK will stay together is if the EU falls apart before the UK does. The clock is ticking...

John said...

Mike: Why is Bill Mitchell calling Trump a "madman?"

It may not have been strictly speaking "mad" to run a racist campaign calling into question Obama's citizenship, knowing full well that he is an American, and then ignoring all the evidence of citizenship that Obama had to humiliatingly disclose, but it is nevertheless indicative of a distasteful character. Trump did also say that he wanted to invade a number of countries to "steal" their oil, implicitly accepting that these said countries were no threat to the US. That's a sign of a madman. There's any number of comments that are either mad, bad or dangerous. No one else would have lived them down.

John said...

Hilarious tweet by John Dean, Nixon's legal counsel and henchman: "Hey Donald, a tip: Cover-ups don't get easier as they proceed."

Dean knows a cover-up when he sees it, and he certainly knows a bungled one when he sees it too. Although, it must be said that Nixon's cover-up was serious and couldn't be helped (because it was tied to a much bigger cover-up of state-sanctioned assassination and widespread illegal state spying), but Trump's is a non-issue and it says much that Trump is trying to obscure from view something that doesn't matter. Nixon couldn't have been brought down were it not for a disgruntled associate director of the FBI feeling that he was passed over for the big job. Meanwhile, Trump is being targeted by the FBI, not one unhappy employee with access to the classified material that brought down Tricky Dicky.

Bob said...

Is impeachment another word for stop-loss?

Penguin pop said...

"It may not have been strictly speaking "mad" to run a racist campaign calling into question Obama's citizenship, knowing full well that he is an American, and then ignoring all the evidence of citizenship that Obama had to humiliatingly disclose, but it is nevertheless indicative of a distasteful character. Trump did also say that he wanted to invade a number of countries to "steal" their oil, implicitly accepting that these said countries were no threat to the US. That's a sign of a madman. There's any number of comments that are either mad, bad or dangerous. No one else would have lived them down."

Or the time he said we have to take our their families. When you say off-the-wall stuff like that to be provocative, of course you're gonna have critics call you a madman.

Penguin pop said...

Typo Take out their families.

Matt Franko said...

He didnt want to steal the oil he said that once we invaded, when we would ever leave, we should have taken the oil for compensation... "get even", etc...

Instead they jacked up the price to over $100/bbl for like 10 years and f-ed us over royally for like 10 years...

I hope oil goes even lower and stays down here for another 10 years...

John said...

Penguin, yes, complete insanity mixed with complete disregard for innocent life and a complete disregard for international law and the Geneva Conventions. A fucking loony tunes if ever there was one. At least Trump saying he wants to invade countries to "steal" their oil may make launching another mad war in the Middle East less likely: it's a quote that'll come back and haunt him, if he survives the slow coup.

I'm a little surprised that the botched Yemen raid wasn't put down as a successful raid to murder the innocent families of *suspected* terrorists. No matter how many innocent people die, the media has a habit of always reporting that they were all "militants". First of all, no one knows whether they were "militants" or not, and the word "militant" has a very wide definition. Secondly, at most they are *suspected* militants, but putting it that way makes people wonder if assassinating anyone and everyone who is suspected of something is a very bad idea indeed. I suspect any suspected militants assassinated by this administration will not get the same kid gloves treatment as previous administrations. Cheering on Team America now means a soft coup against President Headbanger.

John said...

Matt, got it. Trump didn't want to steal the oil. He just wanted to take it. And he wanted to take it in compensation because of Dubya's mad invasion. Makes as much sense as birtherism.

By the way, the US has more than enough oil of its own to keep the US economy going - you just have to drill it out of the ground. So boo-hooing that some countries are keeping it above $100 has zero validity. In any case, these are the same countries that the US keeps in power, fearing that the price could go much, much higher, and is recycled through weapons purchases and through Wall Street, as the declassified documents have shown again and again.

lastgreek said...

He didnt want to steal the oil he said that once we invaded, when we would ever leave, we should have taken the oil for compensation... "get even", etc...

That's stealing, Matt.

And "get even" for what -- the U.S. destroying Iraq?

Anyway, back to Trump being a madman: Isn't excessive lying, for example, a mental disorder or something? I mean, it was hard to keep track of all of Trump's lies before Congress a couple of nights ago. Right off the bat: "U.S. trade deficit is nearly $800B."

That's one example. How about his pussy-grabbing antics? What sane man goes around grabbing women by their privates as a way of introduction?

And let us not forget his "secret plan" to defeat ISIS. Btw, how is that plan coming along? Oh right -- it's a secret!

John said...

lastgreek, I particularly like the tweets you put up of Trump saying completely contradictory things. That's either a total disregard for the truth, or believing two contradictory things at the same time.

Trump goes on about Killary being awful, one of the very few things he's said that is true, and is on record as saying that she's one of the greatest secretary's of state ever. Similarly, he's on record as saying that Bill Clinton was a "great" president who was brought down by "losers" who brought like Paula Jones. Now he can't shut up about these poor "losers" he has such sympathy for, unless he is introducing himself by launching a sexual attack by grabbing them by the pussy.

By the way, I thought he was going to lock Killary up on day one. How's that going? But then he'll need an AG who'll last more than a couple of months...

John said...

Ah typing at speed - lots of typos! Here and in other threads...

Dave said...

Hes not mad its just the art of the deal. Lol.

54 billion increase in military spending so America can "win wars again."

And people thought Hillary was the war monger? Maybe but he seems intent on being a close second.

lastgreek said...

Question: Do you have a relationship with Putin?

Trump on...

July 2016: I have nothing to do with Putin. I’ve never spoken to him, I don’t know anything about him other than he will respect me.

March 2014: I was in Moscow couple of months ago… and they treated me so great. Putin even sent me a present. Beautiful present with a beautiful note. I spoke to all of his people.

November 2015: I got to know him very well because we were both on (TV programme) 60 Minutes.

May 2014 I spoke directly and indirectly with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.

Oct 2016: I don’t know Putin. I have no idea, I’ve never met Putin, this is not my best friend.

So to summarize:

Questioner: Do you have a relationship with Putin?

Trump: It depends who's asking.

:)

John said...

lastgreek, thank you! I'm laughing so hard that I've actually started to cry! I don't know where you get all these excellent contradictory statements, but they're hilarious as well as disturbing.

I wonder how Jeff Sessions will explain his similarly contradictory statements on Russia. The funniest thing about all of this is just how unnecessary all the covering up and misleading is. I suppose it stems from the election campaign, in which Trump and crew had to look all macho by distancing themselves from Putin. All it rakes now to decapitate a Trump cabinet appointment is to find them saying that they had no contact with Putin's government and then uncover the opposite. Sessions could be toast.

Dave said...

I don't know if there is anything to these Russia reports, but the constant lying just makes me think there is. Why wouldn't Sessions just say he spoke with the Ambassador if there was nothing to hide? He was a US Senator, hes allowed to do that. Seems that there is something to all this.

Matthew Franko said...

Greek he is responding to questions there... even with the "take the oil" thing he is responding to a question about the war...

I think it more appropriate to just look at what he says when he is not responding to a question... his speeches, etc...

Tom Hickey said...

The fake case against Jeff Sessions by Alexander Mercouris

Bob said...

If Sessions wants to hang out with Russians or Klansman that is his prerogative.

John said...

Tom, the truth is irrelevant: the Deep State are going to take down as many Trump appointees and make governing impossible until Trump behaves himself. Every time they send out a message, Trump doubles down, like cutting the budget of the state department. The Deep State are sending out another message.

It's been mooted that the reason Trump is so cagey about his taxes isn't that people will realise he isn't a billionaire (a lot of people in his business probably already know that), but because there's a lot of Russian ties, which mean a lot of ties to Putin. This may or may not be incriminating, but Trump believes people will take it the wrong way. Hence the ham-fisted cover-up. And because so many people are caught up in this web, this thing will just run and run. Too many people close to Trump are on record as saying that they've never had any dealings whatsoever with any Russian officials.

The whole thing is fishy. Far too many people are being less than honest about meeting Russians, and you really have to ask why? It's not as if it's illegal to meet Russian officials. In fact, it's perfectly sensible to do so. On the other side, the mere whiff of a Russian sends the MSM, the Democratic establishment and certain senior Republicans into meltdown and hysterical cries of "treason", "Kremlin agent" or "Putin stooge" are heard.

Tom Hickey said...

The subtext here is that the US is in the lead up to civil unrest. There is a very dangerous dynamic building now between the bipartisan establishment and the populists, the deep state and the administration, the globalists and the nationalists, the little people and the ruling class and their cronies, basically the 80-20, traditionalists and liberals, etc. The divisiveness is getting palpable and families and friendships are coming apart over it.

I haven't seen anything like this in the US since the poisonous Vietnam era.

I was expecting that it would not unfold until the next economic downturn, but it is happening now as a result of the unexpected outcome of the election. Trump is just the catalyst and not the cause, as generally assumed. Those divisions have been building the divisiveness simmering for some time. It came to a boil with the financial crisis and the election of the first black president. Now we are in a pressure cooker situation.

Bob said...

Military Members Condemn Trump's Use Of Widowed Wife In SOTU Speech
Jimmy Dore breaks it down:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbQnBz-Bt88

John said...

Bob, I couldn't understand why the widow showed up to be, quite frankly, insulted. Trump sent her husband to his death. Why on earth why did she show up to be used as a prop to his self-proclaimed strategic and military brilliance? I'd have thought she'd be as mad as hell, like her husband's father. Dore nails it with "grieving porn".

Tom, the tension in the US can be felt across the Atlantic in the UK! Like many revolutions or civil strife, something pretty innocuous will set off the powder keg. The US is gonna blow, and almost certainly on Trump's watch. As I've said on another thread, the fact that so many people are armed to the teeth with military hardware is going to make things hard to control.

Tom Hickey said...

The big problem I see emerging is that rationality is tanking and emotion raging. People are all sides are not thinking clearly and being driven in many cases by rage. Social media feeds into this.