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Obama in The Economist: Big Banks Are Good

Oct. 10, 2016 (EIRNS)—Pledging his allegiance to the dying trans-Atlantic financial system, this week President Barack Obama was given the feature spot in the British financial empire’s flagship publication, The Economist, in a piece titled, "The Way Ahead."

In what her majesty’s publicizers describe as, "a serious and thoughtful attempt to assess America’s economic strengths and weaknesses," the empire’s agent shows his determination to ride the sinking ship into the rocks—and says that you should stop complaining and rather learn to enjoy the ride.

While acknowledging from the start that it is economic disparity which is at the heart of the polarized—to the point of dysfunctionality—political horizon, Obama is most anxious to convince the citizen to think small, and to not try to tinker with what is, in reality, "an enormously complicated mechanism." Without mentioning them explicitly, then, come attacks on Glass-Steagall and defense of the Dodd-Frank Act, Obamacare, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He condemns the revolt against globalization manifest in the United States.

Most important, he writes, is to understand that "the profit motive can be a powerful force for the common good," and that it shouldn’t be destroyed, rather simply tamed.

"As appealing as some more radical reforms can sound in the abstract—breaking up all the biggest banks or erecting prohibitively steep tariffs on imports—the economy is not an abstract. It cannot simply be redesigned wholesale and put back together again without real consequences for real people."

It is certain that putting top bankers in jail is a "consequence for real people" which Obama has been working to avoid for eight years; therefore, he opposes restoring the Glass-Steagall Act ("breaking up all the biggest banks") as a wholesale redesign which must be prevented.

Better than trying to bake a larger pie, is his approach—which he demonstrates with oversize graphics—that of seeking ways in which to nibble off a larger bit of the existing pie for oneself. Chastising all nay-sayers, he says they should be "building on what we have already done [!], not undoing it."

The would-be Ozymandius ends by placing himself in the pantheon: quoting Abraham Lincoln, and claiming that his "stimulus" program was "larger and more front-loaded than even President Roosevelt’s New Deal." Reality, however, is that total U.S. economic growth during Obama’s two terms—roughly 11%— was equalled in each of FDR’s first three years as President. FDR launched the "golden age of American productivity" (annual productivity growth averaged 3% through JFK’s 1960s), while labor productivity growth through Obama’s presidency has averaged roughly half of one percent annually.

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