Thursday, July 10, 2008

Phil Gramm

There has been a lot of sound and fury today about McCain's economics advisor, Phil Gramm (he and his wife are largely responsible for much of the deregulation of the energy business that some are blaming for the soaring price of oil --- others, including Paul Krugman disagree with this analysis: I'm not sure where I stand on it).
Anyway, Gramm was interviewed by the Washington Times (motto: "We bring you the news, from the time the Sun rises, to the time the Moonie shines") and reportedly said

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners," he said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline" despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.

Now, the focus that I've heard is on the "nation of whiners" comment: and it is a bad thing to say --- after all, who wants to be called a whiner? But I think that the coverage has missed the bigger point: he's not talking about the recession, whether or not it's happening: he's not talking about the people at all: he's talking about those who are whining about a loss of competitiveness: and the people whining about that are not those suffering: he's completely ignoring the ordinary folks who would never use the phrase "loss of competitiveness", and focusing instead on the "movers and shakers" who've worked so hard over the past few years to ship jobs overseas....

Yours, trying to figure out the conversion factor between gramms and ouches,

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