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Thursday, June 02, 2011

How to Get Washington’s Attention

It's been awhile since we've checked in with Robert Reich:

How to Get Washington’s Attention, by Robert Reich: The current disconnect between Washington’s obsession with long-term budget deficits, on the one hand, and the frailty of the nation’s economy right now, is scary.
The question is whether today’s stock market wipe-out, coupled with the plunge in housing prices, discouraging news about economic growth, and what’s likely to be a paltry jobs report Friday, will be enough to force Washington to give up – or at least postpone – its games over the budget and debt ceiling, and take immediate action.
Maybe – especially now that Wall Street and big business have to face reality. The stock market is beginning to feel the effect of an American middle class at the end of its rope.
Even if Wall Street and big business don’t care about plummeting housing values, they do care about plunging stock prices. ... [T]hose who take a slightly longer view clearly worry the economy is running out of steam – and they’re right.
Never underestimate the power of Wall Street and big business to set the terms of the economic debate in Washington. Wall Street and big business pay the tab of politicians on both sides of the aisle.
If the leaders of Wall Street and big business begin to see that the troubles of the vast American middle class are pushing the American (and much of the world) economy back toward a deep recession, they’ll let Washington know.
Even if the middle class can’t get the attention our representatives in Washington, those who fund their campaigns can.

Unfortunately, I don't think Wall Street and big business will come to the conclusion that the problem with the economy is that workers need to be paid more. The solutions they'll promote will most likely be tax cuts for business and trickle down policies rather than policies targeted directly at middle class households.

    Posted by on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 03:42 AM in Economics, Policy, Politics, Unemployment | Permalink  Comments (39)


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