The Democratic Party’s “Centrist” Leaders Remain Clueless

By William K. Black
December 12, 2016      Bloomington, MN

On December 10, 2016, a New York Times article entitled “Democrats Have a New Message: It’s the Economy First” that unintentionally revealed that the Party’s “centrist” leadership and the paper remain clueless about how to improve the economy and why the “centrist” leadership needs to end its long war against the working class.  This is how the paper explained the five “centrist” leaders’ framing of the problem.

It was a blunt, plain-spoken set of senators who gathered last Monday at the Washington home of Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, dining on Chinese food as they vented frustration about the missteps of the Democratic Party.

To this decidedly centrist group, the 2016 election was nothing short of a fiasco: final proof that its national party had grown indifferent to the rural, more conservative areas represented by Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Jon Tester of Montana, who attended the dinner. All face difficult re-election races in 2018.

This non-centrist group was a gathering of five New Democrats.  President Obama self-identified himself as a New Democrat.  The Clintons and Al Gore are leaders of the New Democrats.  The leadership of the Democratic National Committee was, and remains, New Democrats.  On economic issues such as austerity, jobs, and full employment, the New Democrats are far more extreme than the (stated) views of Donald Trump.  The New Democrats are infamous for their close ties with Wall Street.  This means that the paper’s description of the Chinese nosh is as clueless as the five New Democrats kvetching about policy “missteps” that they championed for decades.  Of course, neither the paper nor the non-centrists mentioned that critical fact.  The blindness of the non-centrists to the fact that it is their policies that launched the long war by the New Democrats against the working class is matched by the blindness of the paper.

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – Not Austerity

William K. Black
December 5, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Bob Rubin and Alan Greenspan convinced the New Democrats, over a quarter-century ago, that the key to economic growth was to out-Republican the Republican Party in the fervency of their embrace of austerity.  This began the long war of the New Democrats against the working class that culminated in the loss of their candidate, Hillary Clinton, to Donald Trump.  Rubin’s and Greenspan’s support for austerity constitutes economic and political malpractice.  Austerity is the enemy of the general economy and the people of the world, but it targets for its greatest harm the working class.  As I have explained in earlier columns, Hillary was so devoted to austerity that she made it her major new policy theme in the closing weeks of her campaign – even as every poll warned her that she had enraged the white working class, a principal victim of austerity.

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Donald Trump, Why are You Aiming to Destroy the World of Barron, Arabella, Joseph, Theodore, Kai, Tristan, Chloe & Donald III?

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

Listen Donald,

Becoming President-elect was a grand coup for you, yet, with the path of climate denial and destruction you are headed on as President, you will be personally responsible for some extremely bad, real impacts on all Americans, even on all human beings, making you and them big “losers”.  It is no longer a matter of you playing a game for yourself in which you might be a “winner” but it means protecting and taking care of the destinies of all Americans, including your family, by making better decisions in policy and government actions.  It means moving from rhetoric in a campaign to real-world consequences that are potentially a HUGE catastrophe for all Americans and for humanity, caused or made immeasurably worse by you personally and your chosen actions.

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Billionaire ‘King of Bankruptcies’ to Head Commerce Under Trump

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network. “Despite promises to ‘drain the swamp,’ Trump chose a man for Deputy Secretary of Commerce who enriched himself at expense of labor and consumers and shipped jobs overseas.”

You can view the transcript here.

Trump Picks Ex-Goldman Banker Known as ‘King of Foreclosures’ to Head Treasury

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network discussing Trumps choice for Treasury Secretary. “The joke’s on you if you thought Trump was going to do anything less than deregulate Wall Street,” says former financial regulator Bill Black

You can view the transcript here.

 

The Washington Post’s Propaganda about Russian Propaganda

By William K. Black
November 28, 2016     Kansas City, MO

The Washington Post has published a fevered piece of propaganda about Russian propaganda.  The trouble begins in the headline and the first sentence of the article.  The headline is: “Russian Propaganda Effort Helped Spread ‘Fake News’ During Election, Experts Say.  The first sentence reads:

The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

The article provides no basis for its claims about “experts” and “independent researchers” who purportedly used (unspecified) “Internet analytics tools” in their “study.”  The first group, which does not purport to have used any scientific methodology explicitly resurrects 1992 USIA word pictures and charts in lieu of analysis.

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Howard Dean Wants to Continue Austerity’s Assault on the Working Class

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN     November 28, 2016

Howard Dean was attacked by the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) for the high crime of opposing the second President Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq.  While I strongly support the candidacy of Representative Keith Ellison to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC), I am not arguing that Dean is not a progressive voice that needs to be part of the leadership team transforming the Democratic Party.

I write to urge him to learn the foundation of the economics of sovereign currencies.  I urge his progressive supporters to encourage him to undertake this study.  It is vital to his success and his input to transforming the Democratic Party.

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Krugman’s Failure to Speak Truth to Power about Austerity

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN      November 22, 2016

In the first column in this series I explained how Hillary Clinton, during the closing 40 days of her campaign, showcased repeatedly her promise to assault the working class with continuous austerity.  I explained that her threat represented economic malpractice – and was insane politics.  I showed that the assault on the working class via austerity was such a core belief of the New Democrats that their candidate highlighted that assault even as the polls showed massive, intense rejection of her candidacy by the white working class.  I also noted that in this second series in the column I would discuss the failure of her campaign team, and her de facto surrogate, Paul Krugman to speak truth to power about the dual idiocy of her campaign promise to wage continuous war on the working class through austerity forever.

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Hillary’s Threat to Wage Continuous War on the Working Class via Austerity Proved Fatal

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN     November 22, 2016

I’ve come back recently from Kilkenny, Ireland where I participated in the seventh annual Kilkenomics – a festival of economics and comedy.  The festival is noted for people from a broad range of economic perspectives presenting their economic views in plain, blunt English.  Kilkenomics VII began two days after the U.S. election, so we added some sessions on President-elect Trump’s fiscal policy views.  Trump had no obvious supporters among this diverse group of economists, so the audience was surprised to hear many economists from multiple nations take the view that his stated fiscal policies could be desirable for the U.S. – and the global economy, particularly the EU.  We all expressed the caution that no one could know whether Trump would seek to implement the fiscal policies on which he campaigned.  Most of us, however, said that if he wished to implement those policies House Speaker Paul Ryan would not be able to block him.  I opined that congressional Republicans would rediscover their love of pork and logrolling if Trump implemented his promised fiscal policies.

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Bloomberg Notices Paul Romer’s Indictment of Macroeconomics

By William K. Black
November 21, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Bloomberg has written an article about the origins of Paul Romer’s increasingly famous critique of modern macroeconomics.

His intention actually had been to write a paper that would celebrate advances in the understanding of what drives economic growth. But when he sat down to write it in the months before taking over as the World Bank’s chief economist, Romer quickly found his heart wasn’t in it. The world economy wasn’t growing much anyway; and the math that many colleagues were using to model it seemed unrealistic. He watched a documentary about the Church of Scientology, and was struck by how groupthink can operate.

So, Romer said in an interview at the Bank’s Washington headquarters, “I just thought, OK, I’m going to say what I think. I don’t know if I’m the right person, but no one else is going to say it. So I said it.”

The upshot was “The Trouble With Macroeconomics,” a scathing critique that landed among Romer’s peers like a grenade.

A bit of background makes the first paragraph more understandable.  Romer’s specialty is developmental economics.

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