Hey NY Times, How About Some NEW Ideas?

This Sunday’s Times magazine has an article that unintentionally illustrates a big problem with the political/economic system today. The “respectable” debate — that is, the debate Obama and others in power listen to — is restricted to one between the failed ideas of W Bush and the only slightly better Clinton policies.

This article holds a debate between Glenn Hubbard, adviser to Bush and Romney, and Larry Summers, Treasury Sec. under Clinton and adviser to Obama.

It is surprising, and appalling, that Hubbard gets any respect at all. He is the “architect” of Bush’s failed policies. Haven’t we had enough of that? Unfortunately cutting taxes on the rich is a policy that will never die. Quelle surprise, as Yves Smith would say.

Summers isn’t quite as discredited. Not everything went wrong in the Clinton years. But Summers was a prime mover in squelching regulation of derivatives and getting rid of Glass-Steagall. He was also instrumental in the earlier rounds of bank bailouts — remember the “Committee to Save the World”.

Even the principals in the merger that killed Glass-Steagall, John Reed and Sandy Weill agree that was a mistake.

The problem is that we keep going back to the old, failed ideas. There is a mystique that only the bankers and business people know how to run the economy. Well they know how to run it to their own benefit but it is not working for the 99%. Their arguments have all the substance of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

Hey Adam Davidson, if you like sports analogies, shouldn’t we look for a coach with a new playbook. There are lots of people out there with new, better, ideas. How about James Galbraith or Dean Baker?