Perry Glasser

The End of Reagonomics

In Business, Economics, Economy, Politics, Wall Street on September 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Ronald Reagan’s presidency is oft-heralded as marking the dawn of a new era. Reagan implemented the winning Republican political strategy that, except for the Clinton years, dominated American elections for 25 years.

But this week, Georgie Bush called for swift, new, regulatory changes in how business operates.  Regeanomics is ended.

Prosperity was supposed to trickle down, but this past week Americans saw catastrophe coming at us like an avalanche of crap.  It seems both shit and money flow downhill–shit with far more velocity.

For 25 years, Democrats were tarred with the phrase “liberal” meaning “tax and spend.” Democratic dolts believed political office to be about effecting and affecting economic and social betterment. Crazy fools. Reagan changed that by lowering taxes and lowering spending.

Georgie Bush got Reagan’s economic lesson half right. He lowered taxes (for the wealthy), but spends like a drunken liberal on anything except social programs. Our infrastructure is in ruins; we are driving around in the same technology that motorized America in 1920; we are the only industrial nation in the world that does not consider healhcare an entitlement. But we got us a war! Two, in fact.

To finance Georgie’s wars, we mortgaged the United States to the hilt and beyond. We sold so many bundles of mortgages, that the world can’t take anymore. The dollar is worth less than the loonie. Still, as the longest war in US history goes forward as our national nightmare, we can rest easy knowing shepherds in Iraq will never unleash weapons of mass destruction upon us. (Rumors that a dreaded contagion like anthrax was originally contracted by those shepherds after having carnal relations with a goat are likely false.)

Politics and money are inextricably intertwined. Back in the 1980s, Republicans forged a winning strategy. The spiritual purity of the nation’s soul somehow became a voting issue.

Forget that the US Constitution gives no hint that the Founders imagined an American president consulting with the likes of Billy Graham or Jerry Falwell. Never mind that Jefferson had a slave mistress or that Franklin bedded any number of French aristocrats. Roosevelt died of a stroke in his mistress’s pool. Eisenhower slept with his chaffeur. John Kenndy bedded more women than we will ever know.

No doubt. In the 20th century, Satan walked astride the land. Roosevelt’s New Deal was conceived in Sin; Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway system was spawn of the Devil; Kennedy’s leading us to the Moon must have been an offense to God. As penance, we need to put the moon rocks back and maybe tear up Interstate 40.

But with 33% of all US citizens identifying themselves as “born again” and with 40% of the population certain angels care for them, Republicans saw a good thing. Such statistics should have been an argument for spending more on public education, but why bother? Republicans had the voters of Ohio and Kansas “crawl[ing] on their knees over the shattered glass of their economies to vote against their own best interests.”  Who needs jobs when homosexuals might be marrying in any neighborhood!  What fool wants universal access to state-sponsored healthcare when some 15-year-old might demand an abortion! Why, during  the Clinton years Amerca was shocked–shocked!–to learn that a middle-aged man might enjoy dalliance with a 21-year-old not his wife!

There’s no carryng on like that in the Bible. No sirree bob-a-roonie, now, is there? (All right, maybe just a little. Those Old Testament types just could not get a zipper on it.)

Ah, hell, if nursery school children could vote, Republicans would have run the Easter Bunny.

Dollar$ notes that a nation preoccupied with the private lives of its fellow citizens, its leadership, and the imperative political questions governing each woman’s uterus may have missed how Wall Street’s Wizards and Bucanneers elevated the Open Market to secular religious status. Deregulate! Deregulate! Deregulate! Downsize! Downsize! Downsize! Wouldn’t Jesus outsource??

Still, some pesky rules remained–we persist in wanting milk purer than the poison China serves, and we become uneasy at lead paint on children’s toys. But what self-respecting Buccaneer can’t get around a rule or two? Change the rule or invent rhetorical dodges!

As long as the population is kept ignorant of basic financial education, they’ll get away with it. Our kids are taught how to slip a condom on a banana and to parallel park, but how to balance a checkbook or the ruinous nature of consumer debt on plastic at 21% is not a fitting subject for school.

So when Georgie Bush calls for new regulations, the world is upside-down. Georgie is acknowledging the failure of his policies: deregulation coupled with the sanctity of open markets at modern technological speeds just brings ruin.

The Wizards and Buccaneers have slaughtered what was the the envy of the world, the Golden Goose Economy. We are just laying an ordinary egg these days, and probably will for the foreseeable future, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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