[OPE] US Pledges Top $7.7 Trillion to Financial Institutions -Bloomberg.com

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Thu Nov 27 2008 - 15:50:31 EST

In defense of Mr Obama, I would say that his primary aim is not to lower people's living standards, but somehow get them to handle money in a new and different way, more sensibly. It's called behavioural economics, and the program is behavior modification. You have to think at a very high level about this, at a level beyond freedom and dignity.

But obviously it's not really economics as such, it's politics, it is the utilisation of power to carry through a policy, and Mr Obama is in the position where he can say like Truman, "the buck stops here, and you are going to get with the program, because if you don't, I am going to kick ass." Lowering living standards is just one penalty in the game. So you don't want to get with the program? Then you lose the living standard you had. It's your choice. Economics is just one tool in a total, you know the word, total something... anyway, it's a total strategy. You have a whole lot of policy tools, and you use them to get better behaviour out of people. You have norms and standards, and you are going to enforce and reinforce them.

We are all spectators, but to the extent that we are workers working to earn a living, we have our struggles everyday. We don't have to intervene, we just have to be ourselves and do what we need to do, and talk to our own people.

Mr Obama's philosophy is basically, "don't tell me what I cannot do, and what can't happen, but what I can do, and what can happen". That's where he has the edge. Yes we can! The other guys can have all the negatives, we will have the alternatives. It makes us more flexible, after all.

Just because they say they are prepared to shell out 7 trillion dollars, it don't mean they are actually going to do that. It means that they want to get confidence back in the marketplace, to show people, "look these are the resources we have, so don't think we're helpless".

You think that the talk of confidence is a ruse, but if the working population doesn't buy goods and services, although they have enough money in the bank, and the banks themselves don't lend although they could, the whole system is in deep shit. As I said before, a market where people don't buy and don't sell, isn't a market. Then you don't have a market at all. If you don't have a market, people don't make any money. If people don't make any money, capitalism is in deep shit, because in order for it to function, people have to make money. That's all it is. The debate is only what carrots and sticks you use to get things back to business as usual. The 7 trillion dollars is a sort of carrot for Mr Moneybags, a sort of security blanket.

Problem is, that if, for years, they have bombarded people with all sorts of nonsensical propaganda through the media, then what the hell are people going to believe? The psychology of persuasion tells us that ultimately people will not believe things that do not cohere with real life as they really experience it or at least they are very resistant to it (see on this e.g. an old classic, J.A.C. Brown, Techniques of Persuasion, Penguin 1963). So if you get a lot of media bullshit, people are just going to say "well that is just some TV crap, it has nothing to do with my life." So then somehow you have to persuade people, sway them, in a way that's believable to them. That is what Obamarama is all about.


Call out the instigator
Because there's something in the air
We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here
And you know it's right
And you know that it's right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now

- Thunderclap Newman, "Something in the Air"

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Received on Thu Nov 27 15:52:24 2008

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