Category Archives: Japan

Is the “Hong Kong” Libertarian Model a Solution for the 3rd World, or for the West?

Gene writes:

If the author bothered to do some research, they would find that Hong Kong’s well-developed economy is the product of the deregulation that libertarians strive for. Furthermore, Japan offers very little for welfare, with some citizens starving before they receive aid.

Yes but Hong Kong has a ton of social housing or government housing. It also has a monumental problem of very poor people who are more or less festering in some very rundown areas. The gap between the rich and the poor is simply off the charts insane.

The Hong Kong solution (basically no state, no regulation of business whatsoever and little to no social spending) is the model for the 3rd World forever now. The “Hong Kong model” has been more or less tried and failed in both the current 3rd World and in the West in the past. I don’t even think it works that well in Hong Kong, but that’s just the socialist in me.

The results have been disastrous. The West, including the US, had a more or less libertarian society along those lines in the 1800’s. The effects were similarly catastrophic, similar to 3rd world societies today.

Japan basically has a welfare state, but the welfare state is provided by the corporations instead of the government. But that’s equally opposed to Libertarian profit-maximization theories to have corporations wasting so much money on such profit-deflating “inefficiencies.”

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Filed under Asia, Government, Japan, Libertarianism, NE Asia, Political Science, Regional

Which Countries are Socialist? Which Are Not?

I don’t know if I can agree that Germany is a socialist country. Its got a government and a public sector and a welfare system but its got a large private sector. I don’t know what percentage of the workforce work in the private sector for capitalist employers but its a lot. I might look it up. The means of production aren’t socially owned, right?

(Is America a socialist country by your definition?)

My position is that social democracy is a form of socialism. The social democrats call themselves socialists and their parties are typically called socialist parties.

America surely has socialist elements, but we don’t have any big socialist parties in this country. We don’t have a social democratic party or a party calling itself socialist in power in the US. We don’t have a ruling or large party that is a member of the Socialist International, as is the case with possibly most of the countries on Earth.

America has always been a Hard Right country as far as any kind of socialism goes. It’s basically a place for neoliberal experiments. Of all of the world’s richest countries, it is generally agreed that the US is by far the least socialist.

I realize that any social spending or social welfare projects are part of the social democratic project, but I doubt if many social democrats would describe the US as a social democratic country in spite of our meager and tattered safety net.

Now most of Europe is socialist. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are socialist. Japan is socialist. Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, China, Mongolia and North Korea are socialist. 40% of the Nepalese government is held by Maoists. Most of the Arab World and Iran are more or less socialist. Most of the CIS is socialist.

Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Paraguay, Bolivia and some Caribbean countries are at the very least run by socialists. Quite a bit of Africa is run by socialist parties. You can look at the list of the Socialist International and you will see that many countries have ruling or major parties that are part of the SI.

Which places are not socialist? Latvia, Estonia, Turkey, Afghanistan, India, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Gabon, Pakistan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong at the very least.

Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea are uncertain. Singapore has a lot of social democratic elements. Much of the housing is public housing for instance. That’s a socialist project. Taiwan and South Korea both underwent huge land reforms, and Taiwan now has national health care. Further, South Korea has huge state involvement in the economy, and I believe that Taiwan traditionally did too.

Neither Taiwan nor South Korea is run by neoliberal rightwing hardline free marketeers. Both of them seem to be following the Japanese model. The Japanese model is considered to be noncapitalist mode of production. No one really knows what it is. Some call it state capitalism. Others call it national socialism along WW2 German lines.

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Filed under Africa, Americas, Asia, Caribbean, Conservatism, Economics, Europe, Government, Japan, Latin America, Middle East, NE Asia, Neoliberalism, North America, Political Science, Politics, Regional, SE Asia, Singapore, Socialism, South America, South Korea, Taiwan, US Politics, USA

Is Fascist Economics the Answer?

How’s this sound? Accepting that capitalism isn’t stable, and that under communism everybody’s miserable, how about capitalism tempered by fascism? The whole theory of fascism was to effectuate the cooperation of the economic classes. China seems to be approaching that system bassackwards, from communism to capitalism controlled by what amounts to fascism. How much fascism is needed to adequately temper capitalism would naturally vary from country to country.

First of all, I would not say that under Communism everyone was miserable. That doesn’t seem to be the case in Eastern Europe anyway, and people in Belarus are very happy. Recent surveys show large numbers of Russians and East Europeans nostalgic for the days of Communism. I’m not sure that Cubans are miserable either; after all, they live longer than other Latin Americans. What’s true is the Communist economics leaves a lot to be desired.

There’s nothing wrong with fascist economics per se. The Japanese economy is run on more or less National Socialist grounds.

The Chinese economy is better described as state capitalist. Further, most of the economy, possibly up to 80%, is still collectively owned in one way or another. The 3rd largest producer of TV’s in the world today is a Chinese state firm that is formally owned by its workers. If forced to compete on a worldwide scale, state firms will either make it or die. The Cuban biotechnology industry successfully competes on a worldwide basis with capitalist firms.

Class collaboration under capitalism (fascism) doesn’t work, because class war is constant under capitalism. Therefore, fascism continues class war but says it doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a lie that benefits the upper classes because restrictions are placed on the class war potentialities of the working classes while few restrictions are placed on the upper classes.

Fascism says, “Class war is over, let’s all just get along now.” But it’s a lie. It’s not over. It’s never over under capitalism. So class war just continues, but the workers are strangled on their end. It’s a great big lie, and of course it’s popular with the ruling classes. The rich all loved Franco and Salazar for good reason.

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Filed under Americas, Asia, Capitalism, Caribbean, China, Cuba, Economics, Europe, Fascism, Japan, Latin America, Left, Marxism, NE Asia, Political Science, Regional, Russia

How to Decimate Corporate Finance Capital: The Japanese Example

Hacienda writes:

RL: All finance capital, Gentile or Jewish, is parasitical and treasonous by its very nature.

All? How about 95%. Start up financing can be an important. But the rest should be imprisoned. T.Boone Pickens. Donald Trump. Warren Buffet. George Soros. Most of Wall Street. Completely agree with this. And yes, Jews do not run Wall Street.

90% of US 30 year olds have less than $1000 in net wealth. It’s unbelievable. This is not a rich country we are living in by any stretch. It’s criminal what the financiers have gotten away with.

If rich people want to invest, that’s their business. No one is stopping them.

Check out the Japanese economy. It’s not exactly capitalism, but it’s not really socialism either. It’s more or less fascist economics, capitalism with central planning or state capitalism. The Japanese have wiped out finance capital as I understand it. The banks, investment and finance capital are all more or less run by the state, and the state determines where to invest. The economy is planned by both business and the state years if not decades in advance. The Japanese also have a stock market, but it’s nothing like our stock market. Much reduced in size and scope.

The Japanese have for all intents and purposes decimated private sector corporate finance capital, and they’ve put banking in general under an extremely tight rein. Private sector banking is a parasitical economic form and it needs to be either intensively regulated or wiped out altogether and just turned over to the state as some form of a national bank.

Germany also has huge national banks that more or less run the finance capital sector. In addition, the German stock exchange does not work like ours does. I understand that the vast majority of shares are owned by a few vast banks which have deep ties to the state.

When finance capital is allowed to run amok, it destroys the national economy, as we have just seen here in the US, an illness that then spread around the world. It also runs around the world destroying economies everywhere it goes. Finance capital or speculative capital produces absolutely nothing of value. All it does is engage is speculative bubble type runups in all sorts of industries, all of which eventually crash and cause horrible recessions or depressions.

The only valuable capital is productive capital, capital that actually produces objects which can be purchased and/or consumed. Everything is else is just a giant casino in the sky and produces absolutely no real wealth of any size, shape or form.

Up with productive capital! Down with parasitical finance capital!

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Filed under Asia, Capitalism, Economics, Europe, Germany, Government, Japan, NE Asia, Regional

Japan: A Refutation of Neoliberalism

Here.

Why everything you have ever been told about the Japanese economy by the lying scum in the media and the chattering classes is wrong. The scum control our media, and the US media is nonstop, neverending lie from page 1 to the last page.

The US media lies firstly because it is controlled by neoliberal capitalists, and almost no one on Earth lies more than a hardcore capitalist, or a capitalist period for that matter. One of the worst things about a capitalist society is that just about everyone is lying almost all of the time. All of the capitalists and everyone with a capitalist underlying interest is lying.

Why are they lying? If the truth is seen as injurious to profit-maximixation, the capitalist and his minions will always lie. If lies will assist profit-maximation, the capitalist and his hangers-on will always lie. So in capitalist society, we are bombarded with lies and liars from wake until sleep. Most of these people are lying for monetary motives. If there is a money interest involved, people will always lie.

This would not be such a problem except that all of the resources that gives us our news – newspapers, newsmagazines, TV and radio news and politicians, are also deeply tied into profit-maximization, and hence are part of the system. So where the truth hurts profits, the media will always deny the truth and where lies increase profits, the media will always tell lies.

What you end up with is a US in which the population is nearly as badly brainwashed as the people are in any stereotypical Communist country.

The Japan story is another gigantic lie. One faction of it is that Japan is the ultimate in neoliberal capitalism – a Libertarian paradise on Earth, as a recent commenter put it. Not so.

On the other hand, apparently Japan is “failing due to her socialism.” Apparently not true either, and Japan has the second largest economy on Earth.

So, just about everything you have ever heard about Japan is a lie told by a person who is lying for some sort of ulterior motive.

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Filed under Asia, Capitalism, Capitalists, Economics, Japan, Journalism, Libertarianism, NE Asia, Neoliberalism, Political Science, Regional, Scum

Is Japan a Libertarian Society?

John UK insists that Japan and Hong Kong are Libertarian societies, and this is all that Ron Paul is proposing – a socioeconomic structure along Japanese or Hong Kong lines.

At least in Japan’s case, this is simply untrue. Evidence follows.

Japan has set up a social contract of a socialist or social democratic variety. I believe that the corporations have agreed to provide most of the social welfare services for the population including guaranteed lifetime employment, full medical insurance, sick leave, etc. This is not normal in a capitalist system. In a typical modern capitalist system, capitalists will seek to provide the least possible benefits for the workers.

Further, Japan has an extremely well developed national health care system or socialized medicine if you will.

In addition, Japan has long had an extensive social security system.

Japan also has a welfare system for the old, the sick, the disabled and single mothers. If your income is low enough, you qualify.

There has also been a minimum wage for a very long time.

There is a system of social education of “lifetime education” along the lines of a typical socialist model. Companies and local municipalities offer courses in all sorts of things to ordinary people for low cost.

The public education is extremely well developed all the way through the university level and has some of the finest schools in the world. University education is expensive, but there are many scholarship and loan programs to defray costs.

The Japanese government spends a tremendous amount of money on all sorts of things, including developing the economy and building all sorts of infrastructure.

Lastly, Japan has the most equal distribution of wealth on Earth. That would not be possible under a Libertarian system. It’s only possible under a heavily socialist system of one type or another.

In any possible Libertarian system on the planet today, things would rapidly evolve into a neofeudal situation with a small group of rich having so much money they don’t know what to do with it, a smaller group of upper middle class making out well, and possibly 80% of the population precarious, losing money and wealth and frankly losing out.

Poverty would skyrocket as would all forms of social misery. Slums of the Latin American, Filipino, Indian and African variety would rapidly appear, grow to huge sizes, and fester in the worst way. Infrastructure and society at large would collapse down to a 3rd World level.

This is because Libertarianism can always and everywhere only create a 3rd World country, either a rich 3rd World country or a poor 3rd World country. That’s what it is set up to.

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A Great Political Party

The Japanese Communist Party. This is the largest communist party in the developed world after Russia. The party polls well; the latest results were 7.5% in national elections. There is increased interest in the party after the global economic downturn in 2008, but this has not yet translated into electoral gains for the party.

This was the only party to oppose the Japanese war efforts in WW2. That counts for something.

All other Japanese political parties have been co-opted by the rightwing. Although they have different names, they are more or less all running on the same ticket. They often have power-sharing agreements so it doesn’t really matter which party wins or loses, sort of like the worst of the Republicrats in the US. Given this reality, the JCP is really the only opposition party in the country. The party sends more women to office than any other party in Japan.

This is more or less a Eurocommunist party and they do not have a particularly radical agenda in Leftist terms.

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Being Black in Japan

The race realists and White nationalists frequently say that the Japanese absolutely detest Black people.* Based on this video, I would say that that is somewhat of an exaggeration. However, also based on this video, I would say that the Japanese aren’t the biggest Negrophiles on Earth.

All in all, the Black experience in Japan is more nuanced than either the Negrophobic or Negrophilic extreme. It’s somewhere in between. This guy has had some difficulties, but he doesn’t say he’s been living in Hell. On the other hand, he’s a quite civilized young Black man, and he also seems pretty smart, so even here in the US most Whites are going to be pretty nice to him. How will the more common ghetto Black type to one degree or another go over in Japan? Probably a lot worse, I would imagine.

He does say one interesting thing. In Japan, a foreigner is a foreigner. So a Black man is likely to be treated about the same as a White man in Japan. They’re all the same – foreigners.

There are few Blacks in Japan period, and most of the ones over there are Oreos like this guy. Nevertheless, I have heard that of all ethnic groups in Japan, the small group of Blacks have the highest crime rate. Which should surprise no one.

Good video – check it out.

*What I have seen is more the case is that many Japanese-Americans have a strong and abiding racism towards Blacks. I know this from some of these types that I have known, generally 2nd or 3rd generation. As an example, see the all too common ghetto Black behavior of a man running around and making babies with  a number of different women,and then not supporting any of them (also relatively common in Africa by the way).

To a Japanese man, that is perfectly normal behavior – for a dog! Because that’s what a dog does – he runs around and knocks up various bitches down the years, then takes off and refuses to support any of the whelps. So to a Japanese man, a Black man who does that is not even human – he’s simply a dog. Japanese men are supposed to be husbands and fathers, and a man who refuses to support his kids is treated as the lowest sort of garbage.

Japanese in Japan are probably a bit differnt because they simply don’t have much experience with Blacks. Japanese-Americans have dealt with Blacks in their families and extended circles for two or three generations, and I think they don’t like what they saw.

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Filed under Asia, Asians, Blacks, Culture, Japan, Japanese, NE Asia, Northeast Asians, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional

“Was the Atomic Bombing of Japan Necessary?” by Robert Freeman

Was the Atomic Bombing of Japan Necessary?

by Robert Freeman

Few issues in American history – perhaps only slavery itself – are as charged as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. Was it necessary? Merely posing the question provokes indignation, even rage. Witness the hysterical shouting down of the 1995 Smithsonian exhibit that simply dared discuss the question fifty years after the act. Today, another eleven years on, Americans still have trouble coming to terms with the truth about the bombs.

But anger is not argument. Hysteria is not history. The decision to drop the bomb has been laundered through the American myth-making machine into everything from self-preservation by the Americans to concern for the Japanese themselves-as if incinerating two hundred thousand human beings in a second was somehow an act of moral largesse.

Yet the question will not die, nor should it: was dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a military necessity? Was the decision justified by the imperative of saving lives or were there other motives involved?

The question of military necessity can be quickly put to rest. “Japan was already defeated and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary.” Those are not the words of a latter-day revisionist historian or a leftist writer. They are certainly not the words of an America-hater. They are the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and future president of the United States. Eisenhower knew, as did the entire senior U.S. officer corps, that by mid 1945 Japan was defenseless.

After the Japanese fleet was destroyed at Leyte Gulf in October 1944, the U.S. was able to carry out uncontested bombing of Japan’s cities, including the hellish firebombings of Tokyo and Osaka.

This is what Henry H. Arnold, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Forces, meant when he observed, “The Japanese position was hopeless even before the first atomic bomb fell because the Japanese had lost control of their own air.” Also, without a navy, the resource-poor Japanese had lost the ability to import the food, oil, and industrial supplies needed to carry on a World War.

As a result of the naked futility of their position, the Japanese had approached the Russians, seeking their help in brokering a peace to end the War. The U.S. had long before broken the Japanese codes and knew that these negotiations were under way, knew that the Japanese had for months been trying to find a way to surrender.

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, reflected this reality when he wrote, “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan.” Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, said the same thing: “The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.”

Civilian authorities, especially Truman himself, would later try to revise history by claiming that the bombs were dropped to save the lives of one million American soldiers.

But there is simply no factual basis for this in any record of the time. On the contrary, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey reported, “Certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped.” The November 1 date is important because that was the date of the earliest possible planned U.S. invasion of the Japanese main islands.

In other words, the virtually unanimous and combined judgment of the most informed, senior, officers of the U.S. military is unequivocal: there was no pressing military necessity for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan.

But if dropping the bombs was not driven by military needs, why, then, were they used? The answer can be discerned in the U.S. attitude toward the Russians, the way the War ended in Europe, and the situation in Asia.

U.S. leaders had long hated the communist Russian government. In 1919, the U.S. had led an invasion of Russia – the infamous “White Counter Revolution” – to try to reverse the red Bolshevik Revolution that had put the communists into power in 1917. The invasion failed, and the U.S. did not extend diplomatic recognition to Russia until 1932.

Then, during the Great Depression, when the U.S. economy collapsed, the Russian economy boomed, growing almost 500%. U.S. leaders worried that with the War’s end, the country might fall back into another Depression. And World War II was won not by the American laissez faire system, but by the top-down, command and control over the economy that the Russian system epitomized. In other words, the Russian system seemed to be working while the American system was plagued with recent collapse and a questionable self-confidence.

In addition, to defeat Germany, the Russian army had marched to Berlin through eastern Europe. It occupied and controlled 150,000 square miles of territory in what is today Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. At Yalta, in February 1945, Stalin demanded to keep this newly occupied territory. Russia, Stalin rightly claimed, had been repeatedly invaded by western Europeans, from Napoleon to the Germans in World War I and now by Hitler. Russia lost more than 20,000,000 lives in World War II, and Stalin wanted a buffer against future invasions.

At this point, in February 1945, the U.S. did not know whether the bomb would work or not. But it unquestionably needed Russia’s help to end both the War in Europe and the War in the Pacific. These military realities were not lost on Roosevelt: with no army to displace Stalin’s in Europe and needing Stalin’s support, Roosevelt conceded eastern Europe, handing the Russians the greatest territorial gain of the War.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, Stalin agreed at Yalta that once the War in Europe was over, he would transfer his forces from Europe to Asia and within 90 days would enter the War in the Pacific against Japan. This is where timing becomes critically important. The War in Europe ended on May 8, 1945. May 8 plus 90 days is August 8. If the U.S. wanted to prevent Russia from occupying territory in east Asia the way it had occupied territory in eastern Europe, it needed to end the war as quickly as possible.

This issue of territory in east Asia was especially important because before the war against Japan, China had been embroiled in a civil war of its own. It was the U.S.-favored nationalists under General Chiang Kai Shek against the communists under Mao Ze Dong. If communist Russia were allowed to gain territory in east Asia, it would throw its considerable military might behind Mao, almost certainly handing the communists a victory once the World War was ended and the civil war was resumed.

Once the bomb was proven to work on July 15, 1945, events took on a furious urgency. There was simply no time to work through negotiations with the Japanese. Every day of delay meant more land given up to Russia and, therefore, a greater likelihood of communist victory in the Chinese civil war. All of Asia might go communist. It would be a strategic catastrophe for the U.S. to have won the War against the fascists only to hand it to its other arch enemy, the communists. The U.S. needed to end the War not in months, or even weeks, but in days.

So, on August 6, 1945, two days before the Russians were to declare war against Japan, the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. There was no risk to U.S. forces then waiting for a Japanese response to the demand for surrender. The earliest planned invasion of the island was still three months away, and the U.S. controlled the timing of all military engagements in the Pacific.

But the Russian matter loomed and drove the decision on timing. So, only three days later, the U.S. dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki. The Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945, eight days after the first bomb was dropped.

Major General Curtis LeMay commented on the bomb’s use: “The War would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the War at all.” Except that it drastically speeded the War’s end to deprive the Russians of territory in east Asia.

The story of military necessity, quickly and clumsily pasted together after the War’s end, simply does not hold up against the overwhelming military realities of the time. On the other hand, the use of the bomb to contain Russian expansion and to make the Russians, in Truman’s revealing phrase, “more manageable,” comports completely with all known facts and especially with U.S. motivations and interests.

Which story should we accept, the one that doesn’t hold together but that has been sanctified as national dogma? Or the one that does hold together but offends our self concept? How we answer says everything about our maturity and our capacity for intellectual honesty.

It is sometimes hard for a people to reconcile its history with its own national mythologies – the mythologies of eternal innocence and Providentially anointed righteousness. It is all the more difficult when a country is embroiled in yet another war, and the power of such myths are needed again to gird the people’s commitment against the more sobering force of facts.

But the purpose of history is not to sustain myths. It is, rather, to debunk them so that future generations may act with greater awareness to avoid the tragedies of the past. It may take another six or even sixty decades, but eventually the truth of the bomb’s use will be written not in mythology but in history. Hopefully, as a result, the world will be a safer place.

Robert Freeman writes on economics, history, and education. He can be reached at robertfreeman10@yahoo.com.

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About That $4 Trillion Obama Wants to Cut

Obama’s crazy “Gang of Six” plan to cut $4 trillion in the next 10 years out of the federal budget is nutty. Everyone I read says that that’s guaranteed to cause a recession or a depression. Some say it is a recipe for 10 years of recession or depression.

Obama has drunk from the Koolaid of the deficit hawks. According to Obama, when the government spends too much money by engaging in government spending, it “crowds out” private investment and thereby raises interest rates.

So if we cut government spending and the government stops borrowing so much money, that money will be freed up for the private sector. Government spending takes money out of the economy when it spends. If you reduce government spending and borrowing by $400 billion a year over the next 10 years, you will have an extra $400 billion for the economy and for the private sector to spend and borrow.

It’s looks sensible on its face, but in reality it makes no sense at all. Further, government has been running high deficits for some time now, and interest rates have been near zero. Nor is there any inflation on the corner. If you read nutty blogs like Zero Hedge, the deficit hawks there are always yelling that the sky is falling. Rising interest rates and inflation are right around the corner.

But they’re always right around the corner and never happening. There’s nothing to worry about. There has been some inflation in gas prices, but that’s been caused by excessive speculation in the commodity markets in London. Demand for gasoline is sinking, and supply is the same. There is no supply-demand reason why the price should be going up.

Nor is there any theory explaining that whatever small inflation we have now is being caused by borrowing or deficits. That’s because it isn’t being caused by borrowing or deficits. We have a demand problem. Demand is dead in the water. The economy is so screwed that it can’t even supply jobs for 10% of the population. That’s hardly an economy operating at full employment or at full capacity. In fact, a lot of our capacity is lying vacant due to poor demand. In such a scenario, not only is there is there no inflation but there is also none on the horizon.

The last ten years have proven the “crowding out” theorists wrong over and over. Look at Japan. Their debt is 210% of GDP. Supposedly they should have sky high interest rates and skyrocketing inflation. That they don’t is of no consolation to the deficit hawks. They keep screaming that these catastrophes are right around the corner for Japan.

Japan’s interest rates, instead of being through the roof, are near zero. They have been very low for years now. There is no inflation in Japan. Instead they have the opposite – deflation. The deficit hawk notions that high deficits lead to high interest rates and inflation like day follows night have been proven to be wrong.

Yet this is Barack Obama’s philosophy.

And that $4 trillion he wants to cut? That was the price of the Bush tax cuts. If we would have let the Bush tax cuts expire, that would have resulted in the entire $4 trillion in savings that he wants to get by cutting.

The debt problem was run up and will be run up by a variety of things. Most importantly, it is being driven by the rotten economy. Research shows that at the moment, the deficit is being driven almost entirely by a decline in tax revenues, which is caused directly by the downturn. To the extent that Obama’s plan wrecks the economy for the next 10 years, it will continue to drive deficit spending by declining tax revenues.

In addition, Bush deliberately ran up the deficit in order to create a debt crisis down the road. He admitted as much in statements and interviews. He started two wars that he declined to pay for. He instituted massive tax cuts which deprived the state of needed revenue. And he put in a prescription drug plan with no cost controls that he also refused to pay for. The drug plan is a great idea, but it needs cost controls and it needs to be paid for.

Most of the deficit run-up in the next decade is projected to be over the wars and the Bush tax cuts. A lesser amount will be due to lousy economy. TARP and the stimulus added nothing to the debt or deficit.

By instituting George Bush’s insane reactionary theories, Obama has done tremendous harm to the liberal label at the same time that he has tried to wreck the Democratic Party. Obama is trying to undo 100 years of progressive change.

That he is doing so under the banner of a liberal shows that the label has next to no meaning anymore. If liberal means to undo a century of progressive change, then liberals are just reactionaries, and the label has no meaning. At the same time, he is ruining the Democratic Party. Without the crown jewels of the Great Society and New Deal, the Democratic Party is nothing anymore. It’s just another Republican Party. The damage that Obama is causing to the Left is breathtaking and appalling.

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