Let us drown

Recession

Further evidence for my claim that neoliberalism is an ideology rather than anything its proponents claim it to be can be found in Kate Aronoff’s article in the New Republic.[1]

[Nancy] Pelosi was evincing a preference for allowing some of those drowning to go without life preservers, if that’s what it took to prevent wasting preservers on those who were perfectly capable of swimming to shore on their own.[2]

Even the Republicans don’t believe in it anymore—not that, with their budget deficits, they ever really did.[3] This morning, I noted that “for all that earlier denial and minimization, the Republicans are better prepared to present proposals than the Democrats.[4]” I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be the only one to have noticed.[5]

Yet instead of reclaiming their place as the party of the New Deal, several senior Democratic lawmakers seem stuck in a different decade. The mantra of New Democrats like Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, and Bill Clinton in that era was that the “solutions of the thirties will not solve the problems of the eighties.” They pushed for the party to embrace market-based solutions and reject Roosevelt and Truman’s big welfare state policies as they triangulated around Reaganomics. But as the U.S. and perhaps the world currently face what might be the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, the solutions of the 1980s couldn’t be worse suited to solve the problems of the 2020s.[6]

FireShot Capture 110 - DJIA - Dow Jones Industrial Average Advanced Charting - WSJ - www.wsj.com
Fig. 1. Screenshot of a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Averages, from January 20, 2017 (Donald Trump’s inauguration) to March 20, 2020 (today) created using the Wall Street Journal’s advanced charting tool.

Wall Street’s meltdown over the past month has erased all of the stock market gains since President Trump entered the White House. On Feb. 12, the Dow peaked at 29,551.42 — a 49 percent jump from its close on Trump’s Inauguration Day in January 2017. But within a span of weeks it has lost a third of its value as the coronavirus crisis has played out. On Friday, it lost an additional 913.21 points, roughly 4.6 percent, to close at 19,173.98.[7]

Kate Aronoff, “The Democrats Screwed Up,” New Republic, March 20, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/156994/democrats-screwed

Thomas Heath and Taylor Telford, “U.S. markets wrap up worst week since the 2008 financial crisis,” Washington Post, March 20, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/20/stocks-markets-today-coronavirus/


Pacific Gas and Electric

Dale Kasler, “PG&E makes deal with Gov. Newsom on bankruptcy demands. ‘End of business as usual,’ he says,” Sacramento Bee, March 20, 2020, source


  1. [1]Kate Aronoff, “The Democrats Screwed Up,” New Republic, March 20, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/156994/democrats-screwed
  2. [2]Eric Levitz, quoted in Kate Aronoff, “The Democrats Screwed Up,” New Republic, March 20, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/156994/democrats-screwed
  3. [3]Kate Aronoff, “The Democrats Screwed Up,” New Republic, March 20, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/156994/democrats-screwed
  4. [4]Jeff Stein et al., “Senate Republicans release massive economic stimulus bill for coronavirus response,” Washington Post, March 19, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/19/trump-coronavirus-economic-plan-stimulus/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Why do Republicans seem better prepared to present proposals on coronavirus relief than Democrats?” Irregular Bullshit, March 20, 2020, https://disunitedstates.com/2020/03/20/why-do-republicans-seem-better-prepared-to-present-proposals-on-coronavirus-relief-than-democrats/
  6. [6]Kate Aronoff, “The Democrats Screwed Up,” New Republic, March 20, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/156994/democrats-screwed
  7. [7]Thomas Heath and Taylor Telford, “U.S. markets wrap up worst week since the 2008 financial crisis,” Washington Post, March 20, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/20/stocks-markets-today-coronavirus/

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