Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
... of that ... given that any progressive movement in American politics is always an ephemeral thing in the longer scheme of things, campaign finance reform would be one of the things that the movement would work to push through as a structural reform to consolidate the ability to defend whatever progress has been achieved.

The formative enterprise for a progressive movement would be taking advantage of the gross gerrymandering of Congressional Districts to elect a solid Progressive-Populist caucus and using peer-to-peer small donation networks to ambush opposing members within the Democratic majority to spook them into going along with the Progressive-Populist caucus. On the back of that, real campaign finance reform might be attainable.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Oct 12th, 2008 at 08:40:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That may be a way to get there.  If so, 2010 would be the earliest possible date to accomplish anything.  I have my doubts that the current financial problems can be solved without directly attacking the problem, which will be strenuously resisted by the financial industry.  I don't see how incremental bail outs of the scale of $700 billion at a time are politically sustainable and I don't see how the existing bail out can succeed.  It will cost vastly more than $700 billion to blunt the effects of all of the excesses from the collapse of the bubble.  The decline in real estate values alone is wiping out over $2 trillion.  With around $50 trillion of derivative contracts coming due every month, who knows what further damage awaits?  Banks are right not to trust each other.

Were the food chain for our country contaminated from one end to the other by poisons, and people were dying in droves, adding a small portion of known good food to the supply would not solve the problem, even though that is probably what the Bush FDA would try to do.  The only certain way I can see to provide reliable credit in a relatively short time span is to create new banks operating under new rules with their capital provided by the US Treasury and taxpayer.  With a 3% reserve requirement $250 billion of the "bailout money" could capitalize new banks with a lending capability of  over $8 trillion.  These banks would be free of taint.  They would also be strenuously opposed by the financial industry.  Creating them would essentially be like releasing the real economy from being held hostage by the existing financial services industry.

The market to Bush and Paulson:

"Hands up! Your money or the economy!"

Bush and Paulson to the market:

"We're thinking, we're thinking!"

What they are thinking is that they would rather give the money to the existing financial services industry, even though there is no reason to think it will help.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 12th, 2008 at 11:45:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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