For more than 35 years, the neoconservative movement has worked to re-create the political conditions that led to the collapse of the economy in 1929 and the 10-year-long Great Depression. Their efforts finally became evident in 2007, when the country slid into a predictable deep recession.
The Great Depression only ended when World War II forced massive government expenditures that created jobs, greatly expanded the industrial base, established price controls and implemented a rationing system. Private savings increased because there was little to buy. The national debt rose to 125 percent of the gross domestic product, but we were able to pay down the debt because of our expanded industrial base and a population of potential consumers with savings to spend. What followed was 25 years of unparalleled prosperity. That began to change in the mid-1970s.
What conservative politicians now propose to get the economy back on track is a Hooveresque implementation of austerity, immediate debt-reduction programs and still lower taxes. As Ronald Reagan once said, There you go again.
The reality is that long-term debt reduction is essential in the country, but without a short-term massive investment to create long-term employment and increase our production of marketable products, our grandchildren will inherit an economy that cant pay off anything.
The conservative movements policies weakened America by stagnating wages, offshoring jobs and industry, siphoning off the fruits of labor to the wealthy at the expense of the working middle class and crippling a once-trusted governments ability to counterbalance the excesses of a so-called free market economy. Instead of providing medicine for the ailing, but treatable, economy, conservatives offer only palliative care.
Political extremism from the right or left and leadership crippled by their ideology never solve problems in this country. The far right just happens to be todays dominant form of extremism.
Rather than providing evidence to support their cause, many ideologues simply defend with anger and personal attacks against people or groups who question their policies. Policies that are disproven or disconnected from reality need to be discarded and replaced with evidence-based solutions.
Glenn E. Rodey, Hesperus