June 14, 2008

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Don't listen to the Federal Reserve or economists, dagnabit! You're better off now than you were eight years ago. George Will thinks so, and he's never wrong, correct? The problem--as Will sees it--has nothing to do with economic indicators but with people like Robert Reich pointing out that the economy is benefiting the very wealthy and those in the middle class aren't seeing any improvement for them.

So for all you who haven't been able to find a job for months because yours has been outsourced and you've fallen off the unemployment rolls, or you purchased your home through companies like Countrywide, which used predatory lending tactics and are now facing foreclosure, whose IRAs and investment portfolios still haven't recovered from 2001, who have felt the pinch and had to make hard choices in your standard of living due to the higher cost of groceries and oil, quit yer whining!

Transcripts below the fold:

REICH: I don’t think you can separate economic security from national security. This is why I find John McCain’s position so interesting, because he wants to and needs to separate himself from Bush, a failed presidency, particularly if you look at the polls. And yet, on Iraq and on the economy, he is going beyond what George Bush has done. I mean, his tax cuts are beyond anything that –particularly for the wealthy—beyond anything that George Bush has proposed or did implement.

WILL: But Bob, today we have a bifurcated economy. The export sector is doing wonderfully, it’s pulling the country along, and the Democratic Party is raising doubts about its commitment—indeed, it’s affirming its lack of commitment—to free trade.

Now it is true that I think there is a disjunction in the public mind without precedent in 200 years of American history. We’ve always assumed that the very process—the dynamic market capitalism—produces increased national wealth simultaneously produced increased family and individual security. Now the doubt is that today’s capitalism on steroids, if you will, globalized capitalism increases national wealth, but undermines family and individual security which will produce a great flinch from free economics.

REICH: That’s exactly the point. That’s exactly the problem, George. Americans now have lost their faith in free trade; they’ve lost their faith in economic growth because they haven’t seen the benefits of it. It’s all gone to the top. That’s why Obama’s tax cuts for the middle class and for the poor are so critical for this campaign.

WILL: Because friends like you are misinforming the country by saying that they have not seen benefits. Even housing, Bob, housing today after the big decline, the average American house is worth a third more than it was in 2000.

REICH: George Will, you tell average Americans that they are better off today than they were in 2000-2001…

WILL: I will.

REICH: …and they will not believe you.

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