We Have To, Or Else

I picked this up from CNN. The Barack Obama soundbites, Jonathan Mann noted, are changing from 'Yes We Can' to 'We Have To, Or Else'. Can't blame Obama too much, as the economy looks dire and the President-Elect knows that his honeymoon will not last too long. He has, at best, three months to reverse the biggest economic downturn in generations. People seems to expect Presidents hold a magic button to bomb away the problems. On a second thought, they can't be blamed too.

I heard bits of Obama speeches too. He sounds wary, and he ought to be. The picture looks worse every day. There is no light at the end of the tunnel and the New Year feeling is fading away fast. 2.6 million unemployed isn't a joke too far: It is staring in the face of every policy maker in the United States.

But one wonders whether the Keynesian stimulus Obama is pushing will work. I confess - don't know the details of the plans. But, generally speaking, those measures are bound to have a limited impact in our cascaded economic system. That's what seems to have happened to the past stimulus - the last ones worked like life-support but stimulated little.

It sure seems that the old ways won't work, but no one is ready to see that yet. This recession, which is happening right under the noses of enormously activist governments all over the world, isn't going to go away. It is actually entrenching itself and eating up the billions thrown at it like a hidden Godzilla. The measures are not working as all they are designed to do is to maintain the status quo, the same, failed system which brought about this recession in the first place.

I conjectured, let's say, hoped, that this is going to be a shallow recession, almost an unfinished one, thwarted by government activism and spent billions. I shall still keep my faith, but it seems that by trying to prop up our failed institutions and maintaining our damaging habits. We continue to burn as much oil as we did earlier, now that the oil prices subsided. We kept our banks, our super-inefficient car manufacturers and allow unjust wars to go on in different countries which divert our attention and undermine our resolve.

The problem starts when we treat this recession as a problem, not an opportunity that keeps our society recession-prone. As of now, we are trying to get out of this recession as quickly as possible, and that is more like trying to jump our way out of quicksand. We have an opportunity to treat this recession as a lesson and help rearrange ourselves.

Consider this. Barack Obama has not even taken office. He has at least two years before he has to seek any kind of mandate again. This is the time for him to say - Yes, We Can.

Like saying - Yes, We Can reduce our consumption. Yes, We Can let some of our banks fail or get sold off. Yes, We Can provide reeducation and reemployment to people laid off by auto companies. Yes, We Can spend these billions in providing universal health-care rather than propping up failed institutions. Yes, We Can say NO to Israel. Yes, We Can try to build a global world, to face enemies from without - a dying environment, corrosive recession and likes of it.

In fact, We Have To, Or Else.


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