The economic consequences of Mr. Bush
When we look back someday at the catastrophe that was the Bush administration, we will think of many things: the tragedy of the Iraq war, the shame of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, the erosion of civil liberties. The damage done to the American economy does not make front-page headlines every day, but the repercussions will be felt beyond the lifetime of anyone reading this page.
I can hear an irritated counterthrust already. The president has not driven the United States into a recession during his almost seven years in office. Unemployment stands at a respectable 4.6 percent. Well, fine. But the other side of the ledger groans with distress: a tax code that has become hideously biased in favor of the rich; a national debt that will probably have grown 70 percent by the time this president leaves Washington; a swelling cascade of mortgage defaults; a record near-$850 billion trade deficit; oil prices that are higher than they have ever been; and a dollar so weak that for an American to buy a cup of coffee in London or Paris—or even the Yukon—becomes a venture in high finance.
And it gets worse. After almost seven years of this president, the United States is less prepared than ever to face the future. We have not been educating enough engineers and scientists, people with the skills we will need to compete with China and India. We have not been investing in the kinds of basic research that made us the technological powerhouse of the late 20th century. And although the president now understands—or so he says—that we must begin to wean ourselves from oil and coal, we have on his watch become more deeply dependent on both. [complete article]
Superb article. If a European may make a comment: I fear that no Congress, no Senate and particularly no future President will change “the course” fundamentally. Take the case of “ultra-liberal” Jimmy Carter. Just to quote (an excerpt of) Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”: “The presidency of Jimmy Carter … seemed an attempt … to recapture a disillusioned citizenry. But Carter …, remained within the historic political boundaries of the American system, protecting corporate wealth and power, maintaining a huge military machine that drained the national wealth, allying the United States with right-wing tyrannies abroad. … But on close examination, these more liberal policies were designed to leave intact the power and influence of American military and American business in the world.” I am afraid that corporate and media power has become too great for any President to change the course. With the new economic world powers growing to “super” status, how long can the American “empire” prevail?
I agree with the above remarks from Mr. Lookman as I see no one attempting a current run for the White House in ’08 who will change course. We are far from hitting bottom in this slide and although most do not see it, we are on the backside of “Empire”. Most of us will not be alive when turnaround for this catastrophe begins–If it does.