« NOBODY expects the Knights Templar | Main | In Queens, yet? »

Bro. Doug preaches it

By Michael J. Smith on Sunday October 31, 2010 10:03 PM

Owen will probably demur, but I like this tour d' horizon from Doug Henwood. One thing Owen might agree with is putting Carter appointee Tall Paul Volcker (from Teaneck, New Jersey) in the dock:

Paul Volcker came into office[in 1979] declaring that the American standard of living had to decline, and he made it happen by driving up interest rates towards 20% and creating the deepest recession since the 1930s. (We just beat that record, but it took 30 years!)
It was the Carter administration that first suggested to me the metaphor of the ratchet effect. But now I think this may have been a little too kind. The Carter administration was actually Reaganism avant la lettre. It didn't retrospectively legitimize the revanche from the 60s; it led the charge. Carter was to Reagan as John the Baptist was to Jesus of Nazareth.

Needless to say Doug's remarks produced some comedy on my lefty mailing lists. Here, for example, is one dependable defender of the Dems -- let's call him Brunellus:

> Reagan and his minions established many more aspects of
> Reaganism than Volcker's interest rate hike. Even economically,
> Volcker didn't do "supply-side" and deficit hawk cuts of welfare. But
> critical in Reaganism is the whole political, cultural and ideological
> change. Volcker played a relatively small role in the whole of
> Reaganism compared to Reagan.  
This suggests an addition to Smith's Laws Of Life: anybody(*) who uses the word "minions" is an idiot. Particularly in connection with Reagan, of course, who was a minion himself to the extent that he was anything.


* Anybody born later than Chris Marlowe, anyway.

Comments (7)


"this is not France. The unemployed do not burn cars, the already employed do not fight austerity, and high school students do not go on strike to defend old-age pensions (and stage enchanting kiss-ins in the process). You can draw lots of parallels between our recent bubble and the Gilded Age of the 19th century, but at least the First Gilded Age was spiced up by troublesome rural populists and urban socialists."

objection !!...yer honor ... objection !!!
this is monsterous horse shit "

"over ruled mr paine " bang !!!!!
"and sir if there's one more out burst
i'll hold you beneath contempt by this court " bang !!!

"proceed mr hen "


" My working hypothesis was that nothing coherent has replaced the old northeastern WASP elite as a ruling stratum. Though it was often greedy and brutal, it also had a disdain for commerce.... Its members went to the same schools, belonged to the same clubs, and married from the same small and homogenous pool"

it also had a disdain for commerce
it also had a disdain for commerce
it also had a disdain for commerce

give away gut reaction
unintended objective

anti semitism !!!!!!

take it from a past master

doctor doug needs rectification


"I don’t really have good answers for them."


Wasn't everyone, just months ago, calling for Obama to bring Volker in to stop the madness of "quantitative easing"? Can one era's goat can be another era's hero?


It is amazing how Paul Volcker has managed to rebrand himself. The guy is one of the worst, most thoroughly discredited, wildly destructive central bankers of all time.

Paul Adolph Volcker is from Teaneck? I didn't know that. I was born there.

Who is this wanker who claims that Volcker played a small role compared to Reagan? That's nonsense - and that's fact, not opinion. The recession that Volcker created was central to the whole neoliberal restructuring not only of the U.S. but of the globe. The Latin debt crisis led to the "liberalization" of the entire hemisphere. The working class in the U.S. was scared shitless by 10+% unemployment. According to the standard story, Carter didn't know what he was in for when he appointed Volcker - he was just doing what David Rockefeller told him to do. (Bert Lance told him it would cost his re-election.) But Volcker himself was a Democrat. There's no doubt that RR intensified a lot of what JC started. Transportation dereg, for example, started under Carter, and a lot of it emerged from Teddy Kennedy's office.


Doug -- 'Brunellus' is our CP friend cb.

I too always had the sense that the turn started under Carter. I felt it quite distinctly at the time, in fact.

Liberals seem to love this idea that clowns like Reagan and Baby Bush are independent actors rather than compensated spokespersons. It's curious. They're not stupid people, in other areas of life.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Sunday October 31, 2010 10:03 PM.

The previous post in this blog was NOBODY expects the Knights Templar.

The next post in this blog is In Queens, yet?.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31