Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Crisis Deepens by Norman Markowitz

While the "bailout" creates ripples and contradictions across the
political spectrum, the economic crisis itself is deepening. While the
stock market fluctuates wildly with speculators both buying and selling
the way gamblers make their bets on teams, horses, or numbers, the
credit "market" is worsening. Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota are reporting
huge sales declines in September. If the dollar is weak, as it is, the
purchasing power is not there(as it really hasn't been for decades) and
the "credit" to purchase on the installment plan is sharply reduced,
what will prevent a general depression under the present economic
system.? I am an historian, not an economist, but I don't think that
anything can, unless there is change of direction in U.S. economic
policy which looks at the crisis in terms of fiscal, not monetary
policy, in terms of mass purchasing power, which means of course the
creation and maintenance of enough well paying jobs to sustain such
purchasing power, and adjust credit to the interests of the purchasers
and the debtors, not the creditors.
As I have written for our blog and our online edition, it isn't a
question of "bailout" or "no bailout." Under the present circumstances,
that is a lose lose situation for the working people. We have got to
struggle to make as some comrhave said to me very recently, t any
direct aid to finance capital matched dollar for dollar with a stimulus
package to guard against depression by producing jobs and re-investing
in health care, education, housing, and other public sector programs.
We have got to move to adjust and restructure credit in the interest of
working people, and make capital out of present and future profits pay
for their bailout(the working class will "pay" for its aid through
greater productivity, higher taxable incomes, and less of a debt burden
that helps to drag down the economy.
Norman Markowitz