Saturday, January 23, 2010

National Strike?

When labor represented a larger share of the private sector, they were able to effectively use strikes to slow down the economy to force the resolution of issues they felt needed attention.

Today, only capital has that power and finance capital is using it. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal headline "New Bank Rules Sink Stock" tells the story. Two years ago, America's bankers brought the national economy to its knees throwing millions of people out of work and forcing government to slash the safety net designed to help the poor and unemployed. In response, the President advanced rules and legislation designed to reign in reckless behavior.

This is the dilemma that Obama faces and the impact on Congressional Democrats is dire. If Obama comes down too hard on banks and finance capital they will strike. The animal spirits of capitalists will become depressed. They will hold back investments and hamper the recovery. Whether that is a conscious choice or an effect is irrelevant.

However, if he doesn't come down on them, the American people will be angry and will take it out on Congressional Democrats. You can see it in the headlines and hear it on the streets. They don't hear us and they don't listen.

Behavioral and neuroscience tells us that people respond to symbols and emotions not ideas and policies. The recession was either caused by reckless finance capitalists or the political incumbents. Is Obama's only responsible choice to back off, lose seats and lose the ability to achieve much of his agenda?

No comments:

Post a Comment