Sunday, January 27, 2008


Author Benjamin Barber has a post on his blog about the economy and why giving people more money to spend is not going to help in the long run.

Too often capitalism has tied itself to American vices: an arms race, shopoholism, dependency on imported oil, and then cried foul when reformers try to treat the dependency. “See what you’ve done? You’ve stopped people from taking out mortgages they can’t afford and now the housing market has collapsed! Shoppers are staying away from the mall and refusing to buy all those goods they don’t need, and the economy’s going down the tubes! Next thing you know, Americans will start taking public transportation instead of driving gas-guzzling cars, will start saving instead of spending – acting thrifty! – and then we real really be in a mess!”

Almost all of the proposals for dealing with the looming recession are about getting bucks back in the hands of consumers so they will start spending again! But exhuberent spending is what is inflating the trade deficit, wrecking the dollar, draining savings, and allowing foreign investors to buy up America — not to speak of corrupting American morals.

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