A spending freeze? That’s the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback?
It’s appalling on every level.
It’s bad economics, depressing demand when the economy is still suffering from mass unemployment. Jonathan Zasloff writes that Obama seems to have decided to fire Tim Geithner and replace him with “the rotting corpse of Andrew Mellon” (Mellon was Herbert Hoover’s Treasury Secretary, who according to Hoover told him to “liquidate the workers, liquidate the farmers, purge the rottenness”.)
It’s bad long-run fiscal policy, shifting attention away from the essential need to reform health care and focusing on small change instead.(Paul Krugman, “Obama liquidates himself,” Salon, 26 January 2010)
Good growth -- that is, growth in something other than the military, which is just wastage, if not worse -- makes a lot of people anxious. They simply did not grow up in nurturing-enough environments to believe that they DESERVE good things in life, even if this just means the equal opportunity to see a doctor as anyone else. If growth continues, if Obama seems a president to some extent still intent on making America more peaceful, fair, and hopeful, he would increasingly make many, many Americans feel nervous, if not hysteric. To them, good things, the chance at good things, means they can expect punishment for aiming at something they cannot believe they can have, seek to have, without being punished for their greedy aspiration. To them, it is the parents -- the ones kids grew up trying to placate, entertain, please, not disturb -- are the ones who MUST be attended to, lest they abandon you and make you feel absolutely vulnerable. That these kids are now adults, doesn't matter -- their parents are still in them, in the form of the superego, who/that rules over the rest of the psyche.
Krugman grew up in a healthy background, and thus can't make sense of what Obama is going through -- what many Americans are going through.Obama is now in to make Americans feel less prey to being punished, and he can accomplish this, by inhibiting America's chance at good growth.
Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…
A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.
The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …