It's pretty rare for me to pay much attention to Mr. Corporatist Larry Summers. But in a Financial Times interview, at least one hears some realistic acknowledgment on what is going on with the economy:
“I don’t think the worst is over ... It’s very likely that more jobs will be lost. It would not be surprising if GDP has not yet reached its low. What does appear to be true is that the sense of panic in the markets and freefall in the economy has subsided and one does not have the sense of a situation as out of control as a few months ago.
But then....we get what their vision is:
This new American economy, Summers hopes, will be “more export-oriented” and “less consumption-oriented”; “more environmentally oriented” and “less energy-production-oriented”; “more bio- and software- and civil-engineering-oriented and less financial-engineering-oriented”; and, finally, “more middle-class-oriented” and “less oriented to income growth that is disproportionate towards a very small share of the population”. Unlike many other economists, Summers does not believe that lower growth is the inevitable price of this economic paradigm shift.
Summers admits that this rosy scenario depends on a lot more than the White House. Foreign policy watchers have tended to focus on the security issues this administration faces – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the challenges of Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. But Obama’s most important international assignment may turn out to be coaxing the rest of the world into accommodating this reshaping of the US economy.
As Summers puts it, “The global imbalances have to add up to zero and so, if the US is going to be less the consumer importer of last resort, then other countries are going to need to be in different positions as well.” On this possibility, Summers is bullish. “The very great enthusiasm for accumulating reserves that one saw globally is likely to be a smaller factor over the next decade than it has been in recent years,” he predicts.
Ya know, we've been hearing similar agendas for some time now, so Obama administration, where are the policies to reshape the U.S. economy to improve the lot of the middle class?
Don't tell us that somehow bad policies, like offshore outsourcing our jobs, or more bad trade deals, ignoring the importing of foreign workers, less opportunities in education...the list goes on and on and on are good. We know they are not good, by the results themselves. Plus spins, public relations only goes so far and I believe the Bush administration ran out the clock on the American people snow job.