If Previous Presidents Reacted to Crises the Way Biden Is to the Covid Economic Crash

Even if Joe Biden’s proposed economic stimulus package were to pass intact, it is way too small to have an impact and truly help out. In comparison, it is less than 1/4 per capita relative to unemployment than the package that failed under Barack Obama. This is a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. And that’s before the Republicans get to it.

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  • alex_the_tired
    February 4, 2021 7:26 PM

    There’s a bit of dialogue from a Doctor Who episode that seems relevant.

    Goth: It is the custom, as you know, for an incoming president to pardon political prisoners. Is he to set free the murderer of his predecessor, or break with custom? Either course would be difficult.
    Borusa: Chancellor, all presidents are faced with difficult decisions. It is by their decisions that they are judged.

    I have seen that with every single president (American, at least), the decisions are, almost invariably, terrible. Reagan, Poppy Bush, Bill Clinton, Cheney, and Obama, collectively, crushed the middle class for 40 years. They did it without mercy and with a loud chorus of enabling centrists shoveling up the scraps at the trough while it happened.

    Do you want to know where all those Trump racists came from? They came from what Reagan through Obama caused to metastasize in this country, a middle class where hope is a cruel joke. Another bit of Doctor Who dialogue comes to mind:

    The Doctor: Since when is hope a bad thing?
    Priestess: Hope is a terrible thing on the scaffold.

    The midwest (and elsewhere) is filled with young people who have been convinced that studying hard would lead to a successful life. We now have a system where a college degree is both absolutely essential and utterly useless, and puts the scholar into a lifetime of economic slavery. Critical thinking? When was the last time you saw rational thought win the argument? Thanks to our computerized systems, anyone who ever did anything wrong on social media or in meatspace will have it hanging over his or her head forever. We’re all shuffling through the lobsterpot, convincing ourselves that there’s an opening just up ahead. And when we get to it, we won’t realize it’s just a larger cage that will make it easier for us to be sent to final processing.

    Ted’s point about the size of the current economic stimulus package is objectively correct. It will not be enough. That is not a criticism of, um, Biden. That’s just math. People who are now almost a year behind on their paycheck-to-paycheck lives are about to start getting evicted. Whether Biden has something else planned, I do not know. But, like I said, I’m giving him until July 20. By then we’ll all know, one way or the other.

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