Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Bush legacy, in part

Fareed Zakaria, in the latest Newsweek says this:

"Even in the depths of the Iraq War, when much of the globe was enraged by George W. Bush's unilateralism, people everywhere believed that the United States had the world's most advanced economy and that its capital markets in particular were the most sophisticated and developed.

"American officials, businessmen and economists lectured far and wide on the need to copy the American system. That system is now seen across the world as a sham, a risky casino game in which the highly paid participants mismanaged risk and highly respected speculators cheered them on.

"I have traveled to Europe, Asia and the Middle East in these last three months and am writing this from Canada. The attitudes of officials and businessmen range from shock to rage at what they see in the United States."

While one might question the statement that people "everywhere" considered the U.S. economic system as God's gift to humanity or something like it, there is little doubt that Zakaria is right on with the "shock and rage" bit.

And this, too, is part of the Bush legacy: a disregard for the rule of law, a disregard for rules, generally, a financial free-for-all blessed by the Bush administration and its cronies, many, if not most of which, were tied like an umbilical cord to the financial industry.

Now we are left to clean up the mess while Bush clears scrub in Crawford and meditates on how he might resurrect his image already buried in the trash bin of history.

To do that, though, we have to move beyond "Yes, we can," to "Yes, we will."

That means the Obama administration will probably have to jettison its dream of bipartisanship, and tell the Republicans to take a hike in order to get the job done.

1 comment:

Bob Poris said...

Eventually the Republicans that helped create the problems will have to admit that they do not know how to cure the problems. They were the problem, not government. Bush installed socialism with the banks. Somehow the Democrats are being accused of wanting to make us a socialist nation. Bush started it I guess we need some definitions. Terms are thrown around by ignorant people so they become meaningless. At this point, we need the government to pour money into the economy. Call it whatever you want. The free market took much more than it gave. There was little trickle down. Had there been more, we would have had a booming manufacturing base and a prosperous middle class. We have neither because pushing paper around, creates nothing but wealth for the paper pushers. A handful of people have enormous amounts of money, which is not doing much for the nation. They did not create jobs, or even enough new small businesses that employed the masses of workers that factories used to hire..

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