Friday, April 27, 2012

The Gardens of Democracy

Due to the propaganda of the media, left and right, Americans are convinced that the "job creators" are the rich, the 1%, and that the more money they make, the more jobs they create.

That this is bullshit is one of the main topics of  The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government by Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer.  This is a book I'd like everyone to read, although it likely will have no effect at all on the Ayn Rand psychopaths.

America achieved a great middle class because of its many consumers, not because of its few very rich.  Demand comes before supply, and this works as a loop.  Take away the money consumers have to spend and there is no longer any demand.  The rich would be wise to help the middle class instead of trying to squash it.  We'll all be better off when we're all better off.

The authors were on the Charlie Rose show this past week, talking about their great new book incorporating the best ideas of Fordism.  Don't miss it.

Michael Lind also advances aspects of Fordism in his new book, Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States:

"When too much of the wealth of a nation or the world is channeled to too few people, industries are starved of the mass demand they need to keep running or to expand. . .'

"The series of asset bubbles the world economy has experienced in recent years--in housing, in stocks, and in commodities such as gold and energy--is a telltale sign that too much money is going to the rich, who use it to gamble on assets, rather than the middle class and the poor, who would have spent the money on goods and services generated in the productive economy."
Andrea Wulf

Liu and Nick Hanauer's metaphor of the economy as a garden which needs to be tended comes again to mind when reading Andrea Wulf's Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation.  This is all substantial reading and recommended.

I look out and see that the field of yellow buttercups down the road has just been plowed to await the planting of this year's corn crop.  It's a lovely time of year, a hopeful time of year.

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