Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 9, 2008

Obama’s economic advisers

Filed under: economics,Obama — louisproyect @ 5:06 pm

Austan Goolsbee: U. of Chicago neoclassicist and “Sicko” critic

David Cutler: Harvard economist who believes
that high health costs are good for the economy

Jeffrey Liebman: another Harvard economist and
former Clinton adviser who favors privatizing social security

Last night I was on my stationary exercise bike watching early MSNBC news coverage of the New Hampshire primaries prior to vote totals being reported. The pundits were falling all over each other in praise of Barack Obama’s campaigning skills. I was especially struck by Tom Brokaw’s describing the Black candidate as “A thoroughbred who has broken away from the pack,” a perfect encapsulation of the idiotic horse race character of these elections.

Despite the intense rivalry between Obama and Hillary Clinton, they both are cut from the same mold, namely the Bill Clinton presidency. In his 2004 speech to the Democratic Party convention titled “The Audacity of Hope”, Obama adopted the bipartisan, centrist pose perfected by Hillary’s husband during his regime:

The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an “awesome God” in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States.

Since Obama’s speeches are rather thin on substance, you have to extrapolate their meaning from sentences such as the following, which occurred in the same 2004 address:

Now, don’t get me wrong. The people I meet — in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks — they don’t expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead, and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don’t want their tax money wasted, by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.

Since welfare was gutted long ago, we can only presume that this reference was meant to establish Obama’s belt-tightening fiscal outlook. Although it is not widely understood, Obama is pretty much committed to the neoclassical economics outlook of his home-town University of Chicago. Since becoming Senator, he has relied on the advice of a professor named Austan Goolsbee, who calls himself “a centrist, market economist” (Washington Times, July 16, 2007).

Goolsbee has been a columnist for Slate.com and the NY Times, as well as a standup comedian. His economics are not meant as a joke, as I understand it. His columns are written very much in the same vein as fellow U. of Chicago neoclassical economist Steven Levitt’s “Freakonomics,” examining everyday problems such as “Why you get stuck for hours at O’Hare.” Most are fairly uncontroversial except for the swipe he took at Michael Moore’s “Sicko”, whose single-payer recommendations violate his free market principles.

Another adviser with a particular interest in health care is David Cutler, a Harvard economist who was also an adviser to Bill Clinton–surprise, surprise. Cutler wrote an article for the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 asserting that “The rising cost … of health care has been the source of a lot of saber rattling in the media and the public square, without anyone seriously analyzing the benefits gained.”

Anxious to show the good side of rising costs, Cutler and a group of other economists defend the idea that a powerful and profitable medical industry can serve as an engine of economic growth in the USA as the wretched Gina Kolata reported in the August 22, 2006 NY Times.

By 2030, predicts Robert W. Fogel, a Nobel laureate at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, about 25 percent of the G.D.P. will be spent on health care, making it ”the driving force in the economy,” just as railroads drove the economy at the start of the 20th century…

Other economists agree.

”We have to spend our money on something,” says Robert E. Hall, a Stanford University economist.

In a paper published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Dr. Hall and Charles I. Jones of the University of California, Berkeley, write: ”As we get older and richer, which is more valuable: a third car, yet another television, more clothing — or an extra year of life?”

David Cutler, an economist at Harvard, calculated the value of extra spending on medicine. ”Take a typical person aged 45,” he said. ”They will spend $30,000 more over their lifetime caring for cardiovascular disease than they would have spent in 1950. And they will live maybe three more years because of it.”

I guess this is why they call economics the dismal science. It should be noted in passing that the aforementioned Robert W. Fogel was the co-author with Stanley Engerman of “Time on the Cross”, a book that argued that slaves actually had it pretty good under the plantation system. His latest book is titled “The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100: Europe, America, and the Third World” that posits a “technophysio evolution” that is filled with Panglossian enthusiasm about capitalism’s ability to bring prosperity to the developing world.

Another Harvard University adviser to Obama is Jeffrey Liebman, a Harvard economist who co-authored a paper on the feasibility of privatizing social security when he was an adviser to Bill Clinton. Apparently, the momentum toward adopting such a proposal was halted after the Monica Lewinsky affair put the president on the defensive. Liebman has co-authored a book on social security “reform” with Martin Feldstein, another Harvard economist who was–appropriately enough–the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under Ronald Reagan. In an article titled “The Rich, the Poor, and the Economists” that appeared in the January 2002 Monthly Review, Michael Yates notes the following:

Before he became Reagan’s chief economist, he [Feldstein] was an expert on the economics of social security. In published papers, he claimed to have empirically demonstrated that the social security system in the United States inhibited savings. Since savings are the source of capital investment, the implication of his research was that the social security system also reduced investment and thereby reduced the growth rate of the economy, since investment is the engine of economic growth.

Feldstein’s work fit nicely into the growing conservative movement which arose after the post World War Two boom came to an end in the early 1970s. The Keynesian economics that was gospel during my college years was giving way to a return to the pre-Keynesian theory that “freely” operating markets (free from the poison of government control and regulation) were the only solution to all economic problems. Led by the famous “Chicago Boys,” especially Milton Friedman, the anti-Keynesians carried the day in the economics profession and still do. No wonder, then, that when Ronald Reagan became president, he tapped Feldstein to chair the Council. For years, Reagan had been railing against social security from his General Electric radio pulpit. Now here was an economist who could lend professional credence to Reagan’s reactionary views. Social Security would be a tough nut to crack. It was an extremely popular program, run with great efficiency and effective in sharply reducing poverty among the elderly.

There was just one problem. Feldstein’s research was fatally flawed. Two staff economists at the Social Security Administration asked Feldstein for his supporting data. After three years of repeated requests, he sent the data to them. When they tried to use Feldstein’s numbers to replicate his results, however, they could not. They uncovered an error in the computer program Feldstein had used, and when they corrected the error, the results were exactly the opposite of Feldstein’s. That is to say, the social security system actually encouraged savings and, according to Feldstein’s cherished “free market” theory, facilitated capital formation and economic growth. (For more on this, see “‘Superstar’ Feldstein and His Little Mistake” in Dollars & Sense, Dec. 1980, pp. 1-2 and the citations therein.)

One imagines that the average primary voter in Iowa or New Hampshire has not even the slightest clue that Obama is carrying around such baggage. For most of them, the mantras of “change” and “hope” are supposed to be sufficient to earn their vote, at least that was what was expected in New Hampshire. In utter defiance of the media coronation of Obama, Hillary Clinton was the choice of the people in this miserable, economically stagnant New England state. The World Socialist Website, whose political insights are sometimes undermined by their boilerplate calls for building revolutionary parties (i.e., their own) has a rather astute explanation for Clinton’s victory:

The outcome of the Democratic primary suggests that Clinton benefited from a growing concern among working class voters over the state of the US economy. Clinton was the only candidate to raise the growing danger of recession in Saturday’s televised debate, and exit polls showed that the economy was the number one issue of those who turned out to vote, whether they cast a Democratic or a Republican ballot. A staggering 98 percent of those who voted in the Democratic primary said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried about the economy.

Clinton ran ahead of Obama in the working class industrial city of Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest, and there were significant class and economic distinctions between their voters. Clinton led Obama by sizeable margins among those with family incomes less than $100,000 a year, among union members, among those without college degrees, among those who felt that the state of the US economy is poor, and among those with children in the home. Her largest margin was among single working women.

Perhaps the most striking distinction between Clinton and Obama voters concerned feelings about their family’s economic futures. Those who said their families were “getting ahead” backed Obama by 48 to 31 percent. Those who said their families were “falling behind”—a much larger group—voted for Clinton by 43 to 33 percent.

Of course, they will eventually be disappointed in a Clinton presidency because her economic program and his are virtually identical. In considering the “differences” between the two, I am reminded of what Fred Halstead used to say when he was running for president on the Socialist Workers Party ticket exactly 40 years ago: “Whoever wins the election, the American people will end up the losers.”

32 Comments »

  1. Louis Proyect: Obama’s economic advisers

    Austan Goolsbee: U. of Chicago neoclassicist and “Sicko” critic; David Cutler: Harvard economist who believes that high health costs are good for the economy; Jeffrey Liebman: another Harvard economist and former Clinton adviser who favors privatiz…

    Trackback by www.buzzflash.net — January 9, 2008 @ 6:41 pm

  2. All is nausea… “Changes” to believe in, “changes” to hope for, “changes” to vote for, “changes” to reject and “changes” to approve, “changes”… And here we are , “educated analitics” ( thanks to the Internet) , delivering to masses the “truth”…Is there any CHANGES which we, educated analitics, would believe in or hoped for?…The System is nausea. That it is. And we better would started to look how to cure our own stomacks… Obama- Bzejinsky or Clinton- Clinton?…Or ABC – AnythingButClinton?…This is the “change” we are analyzing?
    Information Clearing House : “The System’s Achilles’ Heel” is the deepest analyses for today… But all “buts” are there. And so will be till we will DO SOMETHING AVOUT IT!!!

    Comment by vernica — January 9, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

  3. It is scary how little PROGRAM matters in American bourgeoise politics.

    There is no match between Obama’s politics, and the progressives who support him.

    Comment by Renegade Eye — January 10, 2008 @ 5:08 am

  4. This is the strongest indication that Oblahblahblah will privatise Social Security when he becomes President. I always suspected it after he criticized Clinton from the right about Social Security in the debates. Now it is crystal clear. Poor Americans, they are going to be played for suckers again and again. It is a sad fact that Electoral Democracy always brings the worst of everything. Only the most ruthless, backstabbing, double speaking, double dealing and corrupt are going to get ahead of the pack. This is the fact in every nation, not just America.

    All those suckers who are supporting this guy because he represents “Change” are going to be sorely disappointed.

    Comment by Ajit — January 10, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  5. I reprinted this on my blog. It’s the best post about Obama I’ve seen.

    Comment by Renegade Eye — January 10, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

  6. The Center for Responsive Politics is a good website for following the money trail in U.S. politics. If you go into the breakdown of Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate(FIRE) & the sub-category of Securities & Investment; I added up the contributions from HEDGE FUNDS and PRIVATE EQUITY(excluding Venture Capital) These two are arguably the apex of hyper-capitalism.

    Giuliani, Romney, Clinton ,Obama far outpace anyone else in receipts…

    The L.A. Times had a front page story on this July 21, 2007 with a chart on p. A21(their website has updated numbers)

    Comment by m.c. — January 10, 2008 @ 9:28 pm

  7. Can you believe Kucinich endorsed this guy? I mean, I knew he was a liar and shameless shill for the DP, but that’s a new low, even for him.

    Comment by Binh — January 11, 2008 @ 5:40 pm

  8. Louis
    You might find these of interest.”Democracy Now-Debate on Obama between Micheal Eric Dyson and Glen Ford(Black Agenda)
    http://freedomrider.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_freedomrider_archive.html#7708830900718504933

    Comment by dirk — January 13, 2008 @ 10:29 am

  9. Obama’s Right Wing Stimulus Package

    I am woefully unimpressed by Obama’s $120 billion economic stimulus plan. It’s primarily tax cuts, the Republican way.

    I would note that his policy is not surprising given that Obamas economic advisers are all wingers: (hat tip to Louis Pr…

    Trackback by 40 Years in The Desert — January 15, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

  10. do you have a counter to brad delong’s argument?

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2008/01/economic-stimul.html

    Comment by jello — January 16, 2008 @ 5:47 am

  11. Brad DeLong believes that Obama’s proposal to issue $250 checks will stimulate the economy. I can’t take that very seriously. Basically, this is the same logic used by the Republicans in pushing for tax cuts. Supposedly all that extra cash will also have a stimulating effect, although the Republicans argue that it is directed more toward investment than consumption. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have an answer for the underlying structural problems of the American economy, which have to do more with the disappearance of well-paying jobs and the downward pressure on wages associated with being a “lean and mean” competitor in the world market. Corporations might do okay, but ordinary people do not–and this is in the best of times. Now, with the onset of an economic slump, those problems will only be exacerbated.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 16, 2008 @ 3:05 pm

  12. [...] Via the indispensable CorrenteWire we discover that Obama has been talking to some very bad people. [...]

    Pingback by John Edwards for President « D2 route — January 17, 2008 @ 5:09 am

  13. Greetings,

    Thank u for this article on Obama’s economic advisers. Obama is old politics in a new suit. Those of us who want to see the infrastructure of this country rebuilt by US citizens doing the work, will be greatly disappointed if Obama gets to apply Chicago School of Economics free market policies to this country.
    The working class and the middle class can kiss it good bye. Some one needs to ask Obama tough questions.

    Meanwhile hope is sometimes a gilrs name. I have a dollars woth of change in my pocket. Wake up America!

    Eric

    Comment by Eric — January 21, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

  14. [...] that with the very creepy disaster capitalism crowd that is advising Obama and it doesn’t look [...]

    Pingback by Obama’s messianism « D2 route — January 23, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

  15. Well, we’re going to have to push him to the left, aren’t we? Thanks for this bit of observation about Obama’s rightward economic centerline.

    My position this election is that any candidate center-to-left that can raise a grassroots base of support will have my support, because that base can continue after the elections to provide political pressure on the candidate. I remember the sixties which was all about “the movement”. We need a movement now and Obama is basing his strategy on growing one. But he can’t necessarily control it.

    It’ll take a lot of effort by a lot of people, but we should be able to give the Obama-originated movement a direction of its own. Here in California, most postwar liberal political grassroots activity up to 1966 can be traced back to the EPIC movement grown from Upton Sinclair’s campaign for governor in 1933.

    The best you will get from a left-liberal politician will be “I’ll do the right thing if you make me do it”. FDR said it and so did Bill Clinton – actually complaining about the lack of a movement from the left – he went on to act like to behave like the best Republican president we’ve had since Lincoln).

    It won’t happen if we take the position of spectators, of course. It will require ongoing involvement by many people. That’s what I plan to do, and I hope the readers of this blog will do so also.

    Don’t engage in magical thinking – they won’t move unless you move them.

    Comment by LeeF — February 6, 2008 @ 12:16 am

  16. [...] to Argue – New York Times Yale Daily News – Goolsbee ’91 puts economics degree to use for Obama Obama’s economic advisers Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist ( ) __________________ We must hang together, gentlemen, else we will surely hang [...]

    Pingback by Obama's Personality Cult - Page 4 - The Political Hotwire @ Ballot.com — February 20, 2008 @ 12:12 am

  17. I found this blog post very much by accident. Honestly, I am impressed. I always liked Obama for his ability to act as a leader. After 8 years of the dismally inept Bush and his pathetic attempts to speak (much less inspire), I am aching for a candidate who can do more than sign off on every bill that passes his desk. A vast portion of being the president is simply representing the country and mobilizing it to action by building popular support. In this regards, Bush has been the worst of failures and Obama seems to be his polar opposite. I also like Obama’s liberal leanings when it comes to social freedom. A president that babbles about homosexuals getting married some how being the great moral challenge of our time is both an idiot and wasting everyone’s time. A president who babbles about offing a few cells that might one day grow into a human must commit murder every time he relieves himself without impregnating a woman. In all these regards, I dearly like Obama.

    My one problem with Obama was always that he came off as a protectionist leftist who is hell bent on thrashing the economy true to the style of supremely misguided President Carter. This article has changed my mind and made me very excited for Obama. The article is very right that his health care program is extremely odd for a supposed radical liberal. My opinion is now altered and I agree that he does indeed seem to be something of a neo-liberal. I personally am deeply excited. A president that doesn’t cower in terror at globolazation, recognizes the value of the market, an excellent leader able to inspire, and is in every other way liberal? I think Obama might be my man.

    Of course, I imagine I am in the minority opinion here.

    Comment by Jon — March 1, 2008 @ 3:05 am

  18. i’m glad someone like you is out there to report stuff like this. It’s also interesting to read the articles of a trotskyist who doesn’t support most trotskyist parties. I’ve grown up around people who criticize Trotskyist parties solely because of their sectarian ways as well as their persistence on considering china a deformed workers state. I’m going to read a lot more of what you have to say, and I’ll definitely stay tuned to your writings.

    oh yeah, I have no clue what the hell is wrong with the person who commented above me.

    Sorry if i don’t leave my name and mail on here, i’m just a lil worried about leavin that type of stuff around on the internet.

    Comment by Jack Jingleheimer — March 2, 2008 @ 12:16 am

  19. [...] Translation: don’t worry, Obama is just telling voters what they want to hear. Given the free-market ideologues he has surrounded himself with, lying about NAFTA shouldn’t be a [...]

    Pingback by Dissident Voice : The Mendacity of Hope — July 1, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  20. [...] Translation: don’t worry, Obama is just telling voters what they want to hear. Given the free-market ideologues he has surrounded himself with, lying about NAFTA shouldn’t be a [...]

    Pingback by The 2008 Elections: The Mendacity of Hope « Dissent Mag — July 1, 2008 @ 3:51 pm

  21. [...] Translation: don’t worry, Obama is just telling voters what they want to hear. Given the free-market ideologues he has surrounded himself with, lying about NAFTA shouldn’t be a [...]

    Pingback by The Mendacity of Hope : Stop the Propaganda / Feed the Truth — July 2, 2008 @ 4:17 am

  22. I have no doubt Obama will be the next President of United States. We had the republicans for 8 years and getting Mccain as a president it would be the same story as the bush administration… We, the american people are tire of too much abuse from the republican parties. I can’t wait for the November election
    to see the final of this terrible administration.

    Comment by Axel — July 15, 2008 @ 5:28 am

  23. Obama’s advisors on Social Security and health care are hopeless eggheads.

    To fix Social Security you need to make it a real defined benefit pension plan instead of the fake Potemkin village one it is now.

    It has been called a Pay-As-you-Go defined benefit pension plan, but I have news for you: there is no such thing.

    They are all actuarially advance funded using a legitimate actuarial cost method–far and away the best of these is The Entry Age Normal Cost Method. Had we done it back 44 years ago when I first said to as a young 24 year-old actuarial student at the NY Life Insurance Company, we would have paid off the initial past service accrued benefit liability long ago, had an additional 8 trillion dollars in assets, over and above the two trillion we now have, most of it invested in private securities, the most important of which is common stocks.

    We would also be paying a maintenance cost, the Entry Age Normal Cost of no more than about 3.5% of pay.

    We would also have a second major component missing in action these many decades: strong laws with teeth to protect the assets and the past service benefits from being cut back–just as ERISA tried to do way back in 1974 for private pensions, but failed miserably.

    Assets by the tens of billions of dollars have been taken from defined benefit pension plans beginning in the 80s with Michael Milken and continuing after that with a while assorted list of stratagems, all designed to help corporate plan sponsors by taking pension plan assets and use it for corporate purposes never intended.

    These include: Open Window programs, devices to fire groups of older people, and avoid getting sued; retiree health benefits; severance benefits; ad hoc subsidized benefits; and the latest and worse yet, by dumping CEO and other executive compensation pensions, heretofore not funded by law, into the plans thus weakening the plans ability to withstand bad times–which I guarantee will surely come. In fact it is already here with the current big one, the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, in which I fully expect to see many pension plans go out of existence or being curtailed and many participants losing benefits.

    And what about Medicare and health care? The very same two components are also necessary to fix those systems but in addition a lot more. We need a universal single payer national health care system.

    There is room for health insurers but not as insurers, instead as administrators under ASO contracts (Administrative Services Only) competitively bid and in accordance with a standard benefit package developed at the federal level and with them accepting everyone–no pre-existing conditions cherry-picking the health lives while leaving the worst to the tax payer to pick up.

    They would compete with Medicare of course–and this competition will raise Medicare’s costs slightly and lower the insurers cost, the latter far more than the formers increase. The net effect would save a minimum of 25%.

    ‘Single Payer’ in this case means that all bills go through Medicare before being reimbursed to the insurer that the individual chooses, less a suitable charge for this function. No more 2000 + insurance company forms to deal with by doctors and hospitals–a huge savings all by itself!

    We also need to reduce and make more efficient the whole system. Read Whay Hillary said to do and The Commonwealth Fund and McKinsey consulting report on fixing health care.

    It will take a decade though, but and at the end we will save a minimum of around 50 % of the total health care bill of around 2 trillion dollars and probably much closer to 75%. That’s right–a potential savings of a whopping $1.5 trillion dollars per year!

    There are three major reasons why we have not fixed Social Security, despite knowing exactly how to do it for 92 years, and have such an awful, immoral, wasteful and expensive health care system:

    1. Bad federal accounting–cash accounting intead of accrual–which masks long term problems;

    2. Bad actuaries who have made plenty of money screwing millions of people out of corporate pension benefits and retiree medical benefits and who have been doing their best to privatize Social Security and Medicare. Ironically, and sadly, once upon a time from 1917 to 1982, it was independent pension consulting actuaries like myself who developed the right way to fund these systems; and

    3. Bad politicians–most, but not all of them Republicans.

    The New Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is upon us: Perfidy, Politics, Stupidity and Ignorance.

    The first two are largely the Republicans, while the last two are largely the Democrats.

    McCain-Palin will surely privatize Social Security and Medicare and will also push the same kinds of failed overly aggressive foreign policy and wrong economic policies too.

    Obama, if all he does is listen to his economic ‘experts’–all academics– Goolsbee, Cutler, and Liebman, will be a disaster too. Get some people with long experience in the financial industry, will you?

    He and his advisors should read Bill Clinton’s January 1999 State of the Union Address to see the basics of how to fix Social Security. I helped him with it by sending a major package on how to do it.

    He is the only head of state, by the way, to ever say the right thing about how to fix Social Security–all of which in the world are in big trouble and not just ours.

    Bu there is a lot more to it and the devil lies in the details, as always.

    If Obama personally wishes to talk with me then he should call, ASAP. I can help him win by taking on these big issues. I think he will lose without them, and even if he doesn’t, his Presidency could fail because he doesn’t fix them.

    Andy Lang 610-738-9678 andyclang@comcast.net

    Comment by Andy Lang — September 13, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  24. Do you think when Obama raises taxes on your boss that makes $250K + their going to be able to afford or even motivated to give you a big raise? Or have the extra money to hire additional employees to grow their company? So the philosophy of the more you make the more the government takes away is the right thing to do? Is that really fair to those that take risks so people like us can have jobs? Example: My boss took our loans, second mortgages, put up his life savings and spent over $500K of his own money to start a company. He took a risk that others wouldn’t have and he created over 300 jobs by do so. Because of that 300 families have a better way of life. Now, you want to penalize him for taking risks and being innovative. Whats the motivation to start a business if the government is just going to take most of it away because other feel it’s unfair their making all this money.

    Comment by Think about It — October 3, 2008 @ 4:06 am

  25. I love Obama!! hed be a great president!! :) I LOVE YOU OBAMA!!:)

    Comment by Brooke! — October 30, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

  26. [...] Of course, for this kind of harangue to have any effect, you must make sure to put words in the mouths of your adversary. As somebody who has written a fair amount against Obama, including an article on his economic advisers that has been read by nearly 18,000 people to date, I don’t traffic in crude reductionisms like “Obama is a capitalist”. My main problem with Obama in fact is that he does not even operate as a Democratic Party liberal. Here is a snippet from the aforementioned article: [...]

    Pingback by Marxists for Obama: a bumpy road ahead « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — November 20, 2008 @ 5:04 pm

  27. As Obama tries to reform the medical welfare system people protest because they don’t want to help others then them selves!!, let me elaborate… In a debate yesterday in Wheeling, West Virginia. A woman carefully asked if they please could hurry up with the reform so that her daughter could be helped with her rheumatism since at the moment there was no way of paying for it. The response came quick… A man in a shirt stood up and said loud and clear: why should I pay for your daughter? Well there you have it people, the actual American reason for protesting against the reform… The product of a Supercapitalistic society. As soon as ones tax money helps other people people shout out Communism and Socialism as if they knew the meaning of these words!… is equality for all wrong? I call it Welfare. In Sweden we have a higher tax which everyone is willing to pay because we care for the less fortunate in our nation… as a matter of fact we have the best welfare in the world because of this… are we Communists now suddenly.. No definitely not! Maybee Obama sees the countries with the best welfare in the world and believes America has something to learn… who knows!

    Comment by Bob van den Eijkhof — August 16, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

  28. 6.The Center for Responsive Politics is a good website for following the money trail in U.S. politics. If you go into the breakdown of Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate(FIRE) & the sub-category of Securities & Investment; I added up the contributions from HEDGE FUNDS and PRIVATE EQUITY(excluding Venture Capital) These two are arguably the apex of hyper-capitalism.

    Giuliani, Romney, Clinton ,Obama far outpace anyone else in receipts…

    The L.A. Times had a front page story on this July 21, 2007 with a chart on p. A21(their website has updated numbers)

    Comment by mj — May 5, 2010 @ 6:30 am

  29. [...] look beyond Obama’s fluffy rhetoric and see that his choices– primarily his choices of advisers– could not have been predicting much different from his current actions, or even anything [...]

    Pingback by idwarrior — September 16, 2011 @ 12:23 am

  30. [...] what makes John Roberts tick or how the decision impacts the 2012 presidential race, I remembered something I wrote about health care before Obama became [...]

    Pingback by Reflections on Obamacare « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — June 30, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

  31. [...] wing frames far more often than Edwards or Clinton, Obama’s senior economic advisers are virtually reactionaries, and talk of “hope” doesn’t make you a progressive. (Remember Mr. “Morning [...]

    Pingback by Accounts of the Electoral Death of John Edwards Are Perhaps Premature « The Agonist — September 24, 2012 @ 3:27 am


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