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Mr.JB Wrote: Its the economy stupid.
This campaign focus proved to be a big winner for Bill Clinton, and I think it should be a focus for most national campaigns. There is a huge vacuum in national politics for candidates with populist messages. The Tea Partiers are populists, but their economic populism is overwhelmed by their distrust of government. Democrats are centrist and not populist under Obama's leadership. The Green party is populist but perhaps too populist and radical with regard to non-economic issues.
Populist economics can succeed with the following objectives:
- higher wages
- lower taxes on wages
- inject more money into the economy via government infrastructure programs
The key is in understanding that these proposals can be fundamentally sound, from an economic perspective. Lower taxes and higher government spending should be proposed as a package of automatic stabilizers, that go into reverse should inflation become a bigger problem than stagnation of wages and high unemployment.
The notion that federal government "debt" will be a burden down the road should be aggressively countered, as this argument as commonly expressed is based upon bad economics. Government debt is more like money than it is debt. If we (Democrats and other liberals) can learn this, then we will be much more effective in spreading a populist economic message.
The central bank (Federal Reserve in U.S.) swaps money for "debt" all the time in order to manage interest rates. The two are largely interchangeable. The US debt outstanding has been reduced by trillions of dollars in recent years via so-called QE (monetization of debt), and few have noticed. People claim to care about the "debt" and deficit, but few vote based upon these items, and for good reason. More important to people are wages and prices, job opportunities and benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.