American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

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drbubb's picture
drbubb
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American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

Obama's State of the Union speech is coming up in a hour or so, and many are wondering if we will hear more of the same, or if he will take us somewhere new. My opinion is that the USA is now sorely in need of real leadership.

Despite the promise of his impressive campaign, Obama has been a mere "head cheerleader", pushing the detailed programs of others. Last year's massive "stimulus" program was a pork barrel program, designed by Nancy Pelosi and greedy congressmen. The unpopular Obamacare is a hodge-podge of initiatives whose main purpose seems to be to buy enough votes to get it approved. And both of these were frightfully expensive at a time when the government should be tightening its belt.

The big beneficiaries of the spending so far appear to have been Wall Street and big business. Obama has become unpopular (possibly for the first time in his "charmed" life), and people are saying that "Wall Street bankers have bought Washington."

There is some sign that Obama "gets it", that he has a serious problem. His recent press conference, with the highly-respected and fiscally-disciplined Paul Volcker standing him is a sign that he may be ready to change direction, and turn on the plutocrats who have been stealing the wealth of the country. But is this real, or mere posturing?

+ + + + +

These issues are discussed in this free-ranging ...

3-way discussion/ podcast with: Bill Sharon, Michael Hampton, & Dominic Frisby:

http://commoditywatch.podbean.com/2010/01/26/bill-sharon-and-mike-hampton/

A Discussion circling on American politics It is a bit slow in getting started, but is interesting overall, and touches on some issues of keen interest to people posting on this website. Chris Martenson's possible role in new leadership is touched upon.

BTW, I discovered Bill Sharon's website through an interesting podcast interview that he did with Dr. Martenson: http://podcast.com/show/83979/

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branshew
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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

You mean Obama is going to turn into a Republican?

 

There is no real leadership in America anymore.  Leadership requires a sense of responsibility and moral character.  Nobody is willing to take responsibility for their actions, they all want to blame someone else.  Moral character is completely lacking as evidenced by affairs, bankruptcies, influence peddling, etc. You can't be a good politician ("leader") if you are worried about being re-elected.  Real leadership won't return to the USA until special interest money is taken out of politics and term limits are imposed.

 

I'll be interested to see if he still pushes for his healthcare agenda or if he plans on introducing something else to distract the zombie population.  If he can't follow that through...

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drbubb
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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

I agree with you that "there is no real leadership in America anymore."

Here are my notes on Obama's speech as he was making it:

NOTES:

[email protected] Obama's back to counting phantom job's from Pelosi's awful stimulus program.

Now he's talking tax cuts for businesses. Where is the money going to come from?
And roads and highways ! (sheer idiocy)

"I do not accept 2nd place for the United States of America."
He should pray for second place. America is now #17 globally in education.

Bashing the banks is popular, so he's "going to fight them", if they resist change.

He's talking Solar AND NUCLEAR ! (there's some good news)
And opening offshore oil areas. And a "Clean carbon bill" (carbon tax?)

"The nation that leads the clean energy economy, is the nation that leads the global economy.
And that nation must be America." (Tom Friedman will be pleased.)

We will double our exports. (time to bash the dollar?)

Oh no. Now he is promising to forgive college loans. 
After only 10 years for government employees. (vs 20 years for those in the private sector.)
The stench of malinvestment is making me ill. He should be CUTTING benefits in the public sector,
not increasing them.

He is talking about health care. And open the door a crack to some modifications.

Now the Budget deficit part...
All this (huge deficit drivers) was before I walked in the door.
"Tightening belts... the Federal government should do the same."
Freeze govt spending for three years : with certain areas excluded ...???

Now he's bashing the Republicans for "saying No" to everything, when he should be
turning around and telling the woman behind him (Pelosi), that the Democrats need
to come up with sensible programs with less pork and waste.

 

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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

In all honesty I think we already had it.

Like Enron, reality is lagging perception. 

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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

Throughout both speaches, I couldn't help but cringe when Obama and McDonnell kept talking about the "return to growth."  I keep hoping against hope that some politician will ask "Is a return to growth the correct goal?" 

I keep hoping to grow wings and learn to fly, too. 

We'll see which happens first...

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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

One thing for sure Obama is the best conservationist I have ever heard....he keeps recycling his speeches.

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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

There is some sign that Obama "gets it", that he has a serious problem. His recent press conference, with the highly-respected and fiscally-disciplined Paul Volcker standing him is a sign that he may be ready to change direction, and turn on the plutocrats who have been stealing the wealth of the country. But is this real, or mere posturing?

I wish I could believe that but I don't. I think there is just too much complacency inertia, corruption inertia, status quo inertia and so on. I don't mean to be fatalistic but the past, both distant and recent, proves that the lack a true leadership has been steadily declining and even worse is the lack of concern to have true leadership.

I think most people are just overwhelmed at how screwed up things are and just don't have faith in this bloated self serving system any longer and have just mentally walked away from it leaving the politicians to do whatever they wish.

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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

There is complacency, but I think voter anger has reached critical mass.  The only problem is most candidates have no clue about economics.

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Johnny Oxygen
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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

Two good points:

Voter anger. Yes but so what? What are you going to do about it? Just vote in another liar that knows how to say what people want to hear?

Economics: That purposes that any canidate is even concerned about it. They just want to get ellected. Even if they did care they would have to fight the bankers and all their worldwide cronies who have had their own well established system in place for decades. Seems unlikely they could topple that large of an oligarchy.

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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

The only way I can figure to fight back is to stop feeding the beast. Without money in the form of interest payments and taxes, it will either starve to death or look for other patsies. 

Or, we could shove it out of a 20 story window.  I like to think I'd help push.

And like a previous poster, yup, it's way past time we started questioning the 'growth' meme.  If we didn't have the whole fiat debt based economy, we wouldn't need 'growth'; another term that presumes there are slaves and slaveholders.  Instead of learning to live within our planetary means, we're still presuming interest payments will save the day.  It's insanity.

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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

Counterpunch,

January 26th, 2010

 Article by Michael Hudson

www.counterpunch.org/hudson01262010.html

             The State of the Union address is in danger of purveying the usual euphemisms. I expect Obama to brag that he has overseen a recovery. But can there be any such thing as a jobless recovery? What has recovered are stock market averages and Wall Street bonuses, not disposable personal income or discretionary spending after paying debt service.

            There is a dream that what can be “recovered” is something so idyllic as to be mythical: a Bubble Economy enabling people to make money without actually working, by borrowing and riding the tide of asset-price inflation to make capital gains. Corporate Democrat Harold Ford Jr. writes nostalgically that Bill Clinton’s eight years in office created 22 million jobs, “balanced the budget and left his successor with a surplus. This can be done again,” if only Obama moves further to the right (which Ford calls the center, meaning the Bayhs and Republicans).

            It can’t be done again. Pres. Clinton’s administration balanced the budget by “welfare reform” to cut back public spending. This would be lethal today. Meanwhile, his explosion of bank credit and the dot.com boom (rising stock prices and bonuses without any earnings) fueled the early stages of the Greenspan bubble. It was a debt-leveraged illusion. Instead of the government running budget deficits to expand domestic demand, Clinton left it to banks to extend interest-bearing credit-debt pollution that we are still struggling to clean up.

            The danger is that when Obama speaks of “stabilizing the economy,” he means trying to sustain the rise in compound interest and debt. This mathematical financial dynamic is autonomous from the “real” industrial economy, overwhelming it economically. That is what makes the present economic road to debt peonage so self-defeating.

            Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. So defaults are rising. The question that Obama should be addressing is how to deal with the excess of debt above the ability to pay – and of negative equity for the one-quarter of U.S. real estate that has a higher mortgage debt than the market price is worth. If the hope is still to “borrow our way out of debt” by getting the banks to start lending again, then listeners on Wednesday will know that Obama’s second year in office will be worse for the economy than his first.

            How realistic is it to expect the speech to make clear that “we can’t go home again”? Obama promised change. “We simply cannot return to business as usual,” he said on Jan. 21, introducing the “Volcker plan.” But how can there be meaningful structural change if the plan is to return to an idealized dynamic that enriched Wall Street but not the rest of the economy?

 

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drbubb
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Re: American Leadership - Are we awaiting an implosion?

"Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. So defaults are rising. The question that Obama should be addressing is how to deal with the excess of debt above the ability to pay – and of negative equity for the one-quarter of U.S. real estate that has a higher mortgage debt than the market price is worth. If the hope is still to “borrow our way out of debt” by getting the banks to start lending again, then listeners on Wednesday will know that Obama’s second year in office will be worse for the economy than his first.

            How realistic is it to expect the speech to make clear that “we can’t go home again”? Obama promised change. “We simply cannot return to business as usual,” he said on Jan. 21, introducing the “Volcker plan.” But how can there be meaningful structural change if the plan is to return to an idealized dynamic that enriched Wall Street but not the rest of the economy?"

amen.  That is well said.

But let us try to find answers to the question that you ask

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