The Depression: They Still Don't Get It

Here is James K. Galbraith, writing in Washington Monthly, on the need to face up to the magnitude of the economic mess we're in (No Return To Normal: Why the economic crisis, and its solution, are bigger than you think):
Barack Obama's presidency began in hope and goodwill, but its test will be its success or failure on the economics. Did the president and his team correctly diagnose the problem? Did they act with sufficient imagination and force? And did they prevail against the political obstacles-and not only that, but also against the procedures and the habits of thought to which official Washington is addicted?

The president has an economic program. But there is, so far, no clear statement of the thinking behind that program, and there may not be one, until the first report of the new Council of Economic Advisers appears next year. We therefore resort to what we know about the economists: the chair of the National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers; the CEA chair, Christina Romer; the budget director, Peter Orszag; and their titular head, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. This is plainly a capable, close-knit group, acting with energy and commitment. Deficiencies of their program cannot, therefore, be blamed on incompetence. Rather, if deficiencies exist, they probably result from their shared background and creed-in short, from the limitations of their ideas.
Go. Read: Washington Monthly (March/April 2009).

See, also: "AIG. Was the Bailout From Hell a Mistake?" (Simon Gornick's There Is No Plan)
"Financial Policy Despair" (Paul Krugman, The New York Times)

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