January 11, 2004

Alexander Cockburn: Bush and Dean Could Learn from (the Early, Keynesian) Hitler

"Hitler, genocidal monster that he was, was also the first practicing Keynesian leader. When he came to power in 1933 unemployment stood at 40 per cent. Economic recovery came without the stimulus of arms spending. Hitler wanted a larger population, so construction subsidies produced a housing boom. There were vast public works such as the autobahns. He paid little attention to the deficit or to the protests of the bankers about his policies. Interest rates were kept low and though wages were pegged, family income increased by reason of full employment. By 1936 unemployment had sunk to one per cent. German military spending remained low until 1939.

Not just Bush but Howard Dean and the Democrats could learn a few lessons in economic policy from that early, Keynesian Hitler, whose hostility to unions they also echo.)"

Alexander Cockburn, writing in Counterpunch, and embarrassing himself throughout his piece:

"My problem with the Hitler-Bush pairing is not so much the comparison per se which is solidly in the respectable mainstream of political abuse, but in the strange hysteria of Democrats about Bush as a leader of such consummate evil, so vile that any Democrat would be preferable. Any Democrat? George Bush is by definition a warmonger, but Wesley Clark, one of the contenders for the Democratic nomination, actually issued an order that could have sparked Armageddon. ."

Bush as Hitler occupies the respectable mainstream of rough and tumble politicking? Says who? No one with any sense of historical proportion or judiciousness.

Oh, not that I'm a big Clark fan, but it's worth noting that a potential little tussle over the Pristina airport doesn't Armageddon make....despite the hyperbolic sputterings of U.K. military personnel about WWIII or such.

As I said, not one of Cockburn's better essays.

Posted by Gregory at January 11, 2004 11:39 PM
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