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to deal with the crash. Otherwise, the already existing institutions, such as American Enterprise Institute, will win by default.

For further reading:

The Economics of Outsourcing: How Should Policy Respond?, the title is self-explanatory,

and,

The Fallacy of the Revised Bretton Woods Hypothesis: Why Today’s System is Unsustainable and Suggestions for a Replacement is a call for replacing the current system of a totally "free market" of currency exchange rates, with a system of managed exchange rates. Remember, the foreign exchange markets are now trading trillions of dollars EACH day, compared to a world GDP of $48.2 trillion.

by NBBooks on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 10:40:50 AM EST
Well, my favourite policy would be a large government (federal in the US, concerted at EU level here) program in sustainable development.

And long term. If the State committed to buying this kind of equipment on a grand scale for a couple of decades, then small companies would get created to provide the supply (especially if we guarantee them a large share of the orders). Which would then make it possible for individuals to join in the purchase, help technology get better...

We have, regrettably, let complacency build up huge State debts which do limit what can be done. But I'm very happy to help finance that through a carbon tax.

Think. Whatever capital would join in that program would be truly productive. It would make economies more competitive than those not doing it in a world where primary resources are going to be increasingly expensive. It would reduce healthcare costs. It would provide jobs unlikely to disappear with a bubble bursting...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 10:59:19 AM EST
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exchange rates may be a feature of some kind of New World Order - not necessarily a bad thing - but that is a form of window-dressing in the current situation (hey, look - we're doing something). Assuming that such a system (and concomitant bureaucracy) could be negotiated and implemented, the Chinese (and Japanese) are not going to approve a substantial revaluation of their currency. So an agreement would try to perpetuate a relationship that is already skewed.

Jerome's article is about the games that have been played (in the U.S. particularly) by the oligarchy's frontmen to the detriment - intended - of working people. Policy change is certainly needed, as you have written above, but there are particular steps that need to be taken to get to policy change.

In the U.S. we have to elect a majority of Congresscritters and a President who support the working class, rather than the super-rich, ruling class. Lacking a revolution, this is the level at which the game is controlled. If we can achieve this control, then we need:

    1.   higher taxes on the super-rich to support:
         1a) Cyrille's renewable-source-energy-generation project;
         1b) infrastructure maintenance and creation;
         1c) repair of the social 'safety net' (which is currently full of holes);
         1d) nationalized health-care 'insurance';
         1e) port security and a whole bunch of other things.

  1. to get our butts out of all of the places where our noses are currently stuck in;

  2. establish fair-trade, rather than 'free' trade, agreements with all trading partners;

  3. re-establish regulatory control (if not nationalization) of energy-related, "defense"-related, and communications-related industries.

The results of two special elections yesterday may be somewhat disheartening in this regard. However, both elections were in Republican-dominated districts. Moreover, the Ohio Democrat is being criticized on DailyKos for downplaying her opposition to the Iraq occupation. In other words she did not differentiate herself from her opponent on an important issue.

The Virginia election was a different matter in a way that is instructive. Less than 20% of the electorate voted in total. If Democrats cannot generate more support than that on their own side of the ballot, well then - here we are, talking about how Greenspan screwed us for the last 25 years.

The good news may be that progressives - defined as Democrats who oppose international aggression and who support policies that work well for working people - have a whole lot of potential electorate out there.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:29:34 PM EST
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