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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/13/20

How Deep Will the Depression Get?

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How Deep Will the Depression Get? - Rana Foroohar and Mark Blyth

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RANA FOROOHAR AND MARK BLYTH - How Deep Will the Depression Get? Rana Foroohar, Financial Times columnist and author (Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles), and Mark Blyth, political economist and ...
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Rana Foroohar, Financial Times columnist and author (Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles), and Mark Blyth, political economist and author (Angrynomics), join Paul Jay for a wide-ranging conversation about the deepening depression, inequality, and China. On podcast.


Paul Jay

Hi, I'm Paul Jay, and welcome to podcast. Don't forget; we need you to click the donate button if you haven't already because, without your support, we can't do this.

So, after the sh*t show debate and the ongoing warnings of a second or even third wave of the pandemic, I'm left with some questions.

First of all, does the sh*t show debate reflect an even more profound problem with the U. S. economy and political structures? Two, the financial and tech elites, how are they responding to the campaign, the debate? Have they bailed on the maniac or just doubling down on the Senate? How deep and how long will the recession, depression go? It looks like there could be more lockdowns. Four, if there is another full lockdown, which many scientists are saying will be necessary to contain the second, third wave. What, if any, are the limits of how much money the Fed can pump into the economy? What are the economic limits? What are the political limits? Six, how serious is the split over the new Fed money? Does Wall Street want a big new stimulus package? Are there really serious concerns about the U.S. dollar? And finally, seven, if we have time to get to it, is Wall Street getting the danger of the climate crisis? Will they do anything about it? Will they accept the government intervening in a serious way with regulations and massive investments in green infrastructure, including phasing out fossil fuel, not just relying on carbon capture, which is mostly what the Biden plan is about.

Now, joining me to break this down, our two guests that are not only brilliant analysts of all this, but they also have unique access to the minds of the lords of Wall Street.

First of all, Rana Foroohar who is a business columnist and an associate editor at the Financial Times. She's also CNN's global economic analyst. And her books include 'Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance in the Fall of American Business' and 'Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles,' and returning Mark Blyth is a political economist at Brown University. He researches the causes of stability and change in the economy. And as he told me, why people continue to believe stupid economic ideas despite buckets of evidence to the contrary.

So, first of all, Rana, let me ask you. So, first of all, your reaction to the debate and the bigger question, what does this tell us about the disarray in American politics, and why is there? Is there something going on in the U.S. economy and basic political structures that kind of give rise to this craziness?

Rana Faroohar

Well, thank you, Paul, for having me, and first, let me tune my earpiece so I can hear the Lords of Finance speaking to me. I was stunned by the debate. I mean, on one level, at the most surface level, the debate was just kind of this toxic mud-slinging wrestling match. You've likened it to Trump's debating style in general to pro wrestling. I think that's true. But I guess I would take a step back and say, all right, how did we get to a place where, frankly, anybody watching would be embarrassed as I was to be an American, although thankfully I have dual passports, but he's a symptom.

I mean, we cannot forget that. He's certainly done a lot of horrible things that I'm sure will dive into. But he's a symptom of what I consider to be a problem in the political economy in the U.S. that's been going on in its current form, you know, for 40 years. And I would peg that as the neoliberal shift, the Reagan Thatcher revolution, the sort of movement to the privatization of everything, but more particularly to the embracing of a kind of globalization and economic paradigm that holds the capital, labor and goods can all move freely and equally across the world. Well, capital can do that. Money can do that. Big companies can do that. People and goods can't do that so easily. And that's one of the reasons why we got many of the things that helped to bring Donald Trump to office, the hollowing out of the Rust Belt, the embrace of a set of neoliberal economic principles by both sides of the aisle. There was not a lot of air, as I wrote in my first book, between certain policies around trade and financial regulation within the Clinton administration, as there was during the Reagan period.

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