"Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn't know that. The truth is the unemployed will spend as little of that money as they possibly can."
—Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona and Economics Nobel Prize laureate
Actually, of course, since Shadegg is right that is the unemployed will spend as little of that money as they possibly can, and since as little of that money as they possibly can is, for most of the unemployed, all of the unemployment compensation they receive, unemployed people who receive unemployment compensation, unlike unemployed people who don’t, do hire people. Or at least prevent the layoffs of people.
Shadegg might want to consult the waitress at the coffee shop he stops at in the morning. Or better yet, the real estate agent who’s trying to sell that house down the street from his that isn’t quite yet in foreclosure.
Shadegg’s economics theory, of course, would make a perfect subject for our president to use as an object lesson for the public about the Republicans—and as a call to action, or rather anger, by the public. But then, he’d have to actually speak to the public about policy. And since that’s not in his repertoire of things he thinks a president should do, or is not in his repertoire of things he’ll trouble himself to do, Shadegg & Friends will win, on the policy itself and politically; when the economy begins to collapse again, no one will know why, and even then Obama won’t explain or remind them.
I would so love to see a Howard Dean-type Dem come out of the blue and challenge Obama for the 2012 nomination—and start now to educate the public and vociferously push back against the Republicans by turning the tide of public opinion. This Dem also could make the Afghanistan-war bottomless money-and-lives pit a hot topic, too.
This uninterrupted rightwing monologue we’ve endured throughout the last 20 months or so will continue uninterrupted until a countervailing force of that sort emerges.
Oh, and as for wealthy people: They hire people? I didn’t know that.
UPDATE: I just read an interview of outgoing Ohio Governor Ted Strickland interview by Sam Stein published on Huffington Post on Dec. 1, I think I’ve found my candidate—if only he would consider doing it. The interview is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/01/exclusive-ted-strickland-_n_790489.html.
SECOND UPDATE (12/9): Upon further thought, I think a better candidate would be outgoing Virginia congressman Tom Perriello.
Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, in his Dec. 6 column, quotes Perriello as saying that voters are less interested in "bipartisanship" than what he calls "postpartisanship," noting that "[w]hat they're looking for is someone who solves the problem, not for a solution that happens to be halfway between the two parties." Indeed.