Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Krugman sums up the past decade

The Big Zero

Yikes! A net decrease in private sector jobs between 1999 and 2009!?!
Those Republican tax cuts and deregulation sure did a bang-up job on our economy this past decade.

From an economic point of view, I’d suggest that we call the decade past the Big Zero. It was a decade in which nothing good happened, and none of the optimistic things we were supposed to believe turned out to be true.

It was a decade with basically zero job creation. O.K., the headline employment number for December 2009 will be slightly higher than that for December 1999, but only slightly. And private-sector employment has actually declined — the first decade on record in which that happened.

It was a decade with zero economic gains for the typical family. Actually, even at the height of the alleged “Bush boom,” in 2007, median household income adjusted for inflation was lower than it had been in 1999. And you know what happened next.

Yeah, everything went straight down the tube. I cannot stress enough how much this should be blamed sqarely on Republican economic policies. Republicans were in control of the federal government for the majority of the past decade, and even when they weren't, managed to use veto threats, filibusters and other obstructionist measures to keep Republican policies in place and prevent any kind of liberal reforms.

We have had 10 years of tax cuts, deregulation, union-busting, and other forms of Republican economic wonkery in place, all with the promise that it would lift the government boot off the neck of the free enterprise system and allow it to grow and expand and create jobs and economic opportunities, blah, blah, blah...

And instead we got NOTHING. Squat! Nada! No growth. No jobs except for those in the public sector. No increase in standard of living for middle America. We have all fallen behind as a result and are struggling more now than we were 10 years ago.

Now, if we can just manage a few more reforms to slip by the Republicans' filibuster-fueled death grip - like health care reform - then maybe, just maybe, things can start to slowly turn around in 2010 before the ignorant masses send another wave of rightwing, America-hating morons back into office to screw everything up all over again.

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