Vent de panique et de fureur

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Vent de panique et de fureur

Les commentateurs et économistes les plus huppés du camp démocrate, aux USA, ont été particulièrement frappés par les dernières nouvelles sur l’emploi et l’image générale qui est en train de se dégager de l’évolution de l’Amérique. Leur préoccupation concerne pour le court terme les élections de novembre, pour le presque aussi court terme l’Amérique elle-même. Leur appréciation critique, implicite et explicite, va à l’administration Obama, pour ce qui semble être sa complète absence d'appréciation de la situation.

• Le 8 août 2010, Paul Krugman signe un commentaire crépusculaire dans le New York Times (le titre pourrait se traduire par “L’Amérique s’enfonce dans la nuit”,– avec cette phrase pour conclure le texte : «America is now on the unlit, unpaved road to nowhere.»)

«The lights are going out all over America — literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

»Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.

»And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead.

»We’re told that we have no choice, that basic government functions — essential services that have been provided for generations — are no longer affordable. And it’s true that state and local governments, hit hard by the recession, are cash-strapped. But they wouldn’t be quite as cash-strapped if their politicians were willing to consider at least some tax increases.» […]

»The antigovernment campaign has always been phrased in terms of opposition to waste and fraud — to checks sent to welfare queens driving Cadillacs, to vast armies of bureaucrats uselessly pushing paper around. But those were myths, of course; there was never remotely as much waste and fraud as the right claimed. And now that the campaign has reached fruition, we’re seeing what was actually in the firing line: services that everyone except the very rich need, services that government must provide or nobody will, like lighted streets, drivable roads and decent schooling for the public as a whole.

»So the end result of the long campaign against government is that we’ve taken a disastrously wrong turn. America is now on the unlit, unpaved road to nowhere.»

• Fureur froide de Robert Reich, le 9 août 2010 sur Huffington.post, concernant l’effondrement et la disparition en cours de ce qui a fait la colonne vertébrale de la puissance économique et sociale des USA, – la fameuse “middle class”. Désormais, les USA se divisent en une extrême minorité de riches et le reste qui s’appauvrit et s’abîme dans le chômage. (Sur son site Rich.org, le même 9 août 2010, Reich demande une réunion d’urgence du Congrès, – actuellement en vacances, – et de l’administration.)

«…What happened? It wasn't just greed. It was also the systematic and ever cleverer manipulation of laws and rules by those able to pay lobbyists, legislators, lawyers, accountants to do their bidding. As income and wealth have risen to the top, so has the power to manipulate the system in order to acquire even more money and more influence.

»To be sure, globalization and technological change have bestowed gains disproportionately on those with the education and connections to benefit most from them, while burdening Americans without the education and connections most needed. But instead of enlarging the circle of prosperity so that the vast middle class could come out winners as well – instead of strengthening trade unions, improving public education, deepening public investments, enlarging safety nets, and making the tax system more progressive – the nation took direction from those at the top, and did the opposite.

»It is not surprising America's middle class is increasingly frustrated and are venting their anger – at politicians, the leaders of big business and Wall Street, as well as global traders, immigrants, and others who are easy targets of resentment. A politics of audacious hope has turned into a politics of fear – meaner spirited than at any time in recent memory.

»I am not a class warrior. Call me a class worrier. Our choice in the years ahead is either demagoguery that turns Americans further against one another and the rest of the world, or genuine reform that enlarges shared prosperity. It is the responsibility of all of us to fight the former and work toward the latter.»

• Robert Kuttner, le 9 août 2010 sur le même Huffington.post, prend à partie l’un des “hommes de Wall Street” dans l’administration Obama. Fondateur de The American Prospect, Kuttner est l’auteur d’un livre dont on pourrait juger le titre prémonitoire : A Presidency in Peril.

«Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's Op-Ed in the New York Times is titled, with no intended irony, “Welcome to the Recovery.” His story is essentially this: Don't believe what you experience in your own life; believe us. The economy is really a lot better than it looks (true on Wall Street, but not on Main Street.) Geithner had the bad timing to write this just before the economy lost another 131,000 jobs. This is Geithner's variation on Marxist economics – in this case Groucho, who famously said in the movie Duck Soup, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”»

• Pour l’économiste Chris Martenson, l’Amérique est “dangereusement proche d’une situation de stagflation” (situation où l'inflation augmente et où l'économie stagne).

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