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Big ideas. No, REALLY big ideas

By Owen Paine on Wednesday May 31, 2006 02:16 PM

Are you for YOYO or WITT -- You're On Your Own or We're In This Together?

Too glib -- too smarmy for you? Do you feel both left out and left in as well as left over?

Well, Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute is throwing all his weight behind WITT. (EPI is a thriving inside-the-beltway outfit -- mission: build a better bigger lunch box.) Jared is rejecting "YOYO economics," which slips us all the corporate alibi

...for why we cannot shape our participation in the global economy to meet our own needs, or provide health coverage for the millions who lack that basic right, or raise the living standards of working families when the economy is growing.... WITT policies target these challenges head on....
Ready for the beef? Sorry, there's an important disclaimer you have to hear first:
These outcomes occur not through redistributionist Robin Hood schemes.
Robin Hood? What's the guy rabbiting about here?

A few chin strokes later I figure it out -- no prole blandishments, no class war, no retake threats, no hefty 'high net worth' tax promises, like that Bolshie, Bobby Reich is proposing. No, instead we're talking about

... creating an economic architecture that reconnects our strong, flexible economy to the living standards of all, not just to the residents of the penthouse. As the pie grows, all the bakers get bigger slices.
This Way To The Egress, suckers. Give us time, we'll rebuild the deal. We'll grow the system so results get to be more equal -- over say 30 -50 years, right about at the pace we grew less equal. Only guys, there's a fire to put out first:
restore some fiscal sanity and basic competence at all levels in national government....
Aiieee! Oh no, oh no -- not Doc Rubin, no, just shoot me, anything but Doc Rubin, der Weisse Engel with his smart-axe fiscal surgery. Jesus, gang -- sounds like a lot more 'down' ahead before we see any 'up'. And shit, we're scheduled for surgery "hopefully ... in November."

So what light are we asked to see at the end of this tunnel?

There are actually a number of good, big ideas floating around to create precisely the architecture America needs.... There are doable plans for universal health coverage....
Good, cause we're gonna need one of them after the Doc performs his 'painless' amputations and extractions.

Here are a few more good big ideas:

...boosting retirement savings.... creating an ambitious partnership between business and government to seriously pursue energy independence... There are roadmaps for tapping the growth-enhancing benefits of globalization to replace the domestic labor demand it saps from our job market.... Put it all together, and we create the potential to reconnect the well-being of working families to the growing economy.... The YOYOs' chickens are coming home to roost, and many of us await with great hope the arrival of the much more optimistic, can-do, WITT agenda.... The only question: who has the vision to lead the way?
The question should have been "who doesn't have the vision to lead the way?" And of course there are two ways to read that question, and two answers.

Answer One: Who doesn't, indeed? Either or both big parties can fuck us. Answer Two: I know one that doesn't -- Jared and his pals in the donkey jamboree.

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