OBAMA’s ECONOMY: RECOVERY FOR THE FEW, by Jack Rasmus, Published by Pluto Press and Palgrave-Macmillan, April 2012, 190 pp., $24.95.
By Dr. Jack Rasmus
After a $9 trillion bailout of banks and financial institutions by the U.S. Federal Reserve, and more than $3 trillion in fiscal stimulus by Congress and the Obama administration, nearly four years after the onset of recession the U.S. economy is still mired in the weakest, and most lopsided, economic recovery since 1947. U.S. stock markets have risen more than 100%, corporate profits have exceeded 2007 levels, CEO pay and bankers’ bonuses have once again returned to pre-recession levels, the largest U.S. companies continue to hoard $2.5 trillion in cash, and banks dribble out loans to small businesses. In contrast, more than 23 million American workers remain jobless or underemployed, home foreclosures exceed 12 million, 15 million homeowners struggle with negative equity, income growth for 80% of households continues to stagnate at best, while state and local governments lay off workers and teachers by the hundreds of thousands, cut services, and raise taxes.
This book explains how the weakest and most lopsided economic recovery since 1947 has been the direct result of the failed economic policies of the Obama administration and the U.S. Federal Reserve. The book provides seven specific reasons—not just insufficient fiscal stimulus argued by liberals—that explain why recovery programs under Obama’s first term in office have failed to generate sustained economic growth. Tracing the evolution of Obama policies from his presidential election campaign in 2008 through the passage of his 2012 budget, the book explains how the US economy got where it is today and continues on a ‘stop-go’ trajectory of short, shallow relapses followed by weak and unsustained recoveries. A sequel to this writer’s previous 2010 book, Epic Recession: Prelude to Global Depression, this book, Obama’s Economy, argues and shows, based on extensive data, why the U.S. economy will once again suffer a ‘third relapse’, or a worse double dip recession, in 2013.
The book concludes by offering an ‘Alternative Program for Economic Recovery’ to the policies of the past four years, which focuses on jobs, housing, and local government immediately, and by introducing concurrent major structural economic reforms targeting the tax system, retirement system, and banking systems in the U.S. The ‘Alternative Program’ concludes with proposals for fundamental, longer term change necessary to reduce household, small business, and State-Local government debt and to restore historic rates of income growth for working and middle class households.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
RECOVERY FOR THE FEW
INTRODUCTION: A Systemic Crisis of Recovery
Subtitle: ‘The Wasted $12 Trillion’
Chapter 1: The Weakest, Most Lopsided Recovery
Subtitle: ‘Who Recovered, Who Didn’t, and Why?’
Chapter 2: From Tax Cuts to Tactical Populism
Subtitle: ‘Obama’s 2008 Campaign Promises’
Chapter 3: Obama’s Jobless-Homeless Stimulus
Subtitle: ‘The 1st Economic Recovery Program (2009)’
Chapter 4: A Record Short, Faltering Recovery
Subtitle: ‘The 1st Economic Relapse of 2010’
Chapter 5: How More Is Less of the Same
Subtitle: ‘The 2nd Economic Recovery Program (2010)’
Chapter 6: Historical Parallels and the Midterm Elections
Subtitle: ‘Obama as Franklin Roosevelt or Jimmy Carter?’
Chapter 7: Deficit Cutting on the Road to Double Dip
Subtitle: ‘Economic Recovery Policy in Reverse’
Chapter 8: Sliding Toward Global Depression?
Subtitle: ‘The 2nd Economic Relapse of 2011’
Chapter 9: From Failed Recovery to Austerity Recession
Subtitle: ‘The 3rd Economic Recovery Program (2011)’
Chapter 10: An Alternative Program for Economic Recovery
Subtitle: ‘Fundamentals of Economic Restructuring for the 21st Century’
Obama’s Economy: Recovery for the Few
By Jack Rasmus
“Jack Rasmus has written in Obama’s Economy: Recovery for the Few a revealing exposé of Barack Obama’s economic policies since 2008. Explaining in detail why Obama’s programs have failed to generate an economic recovery for all but big bankers, corporations, speculations, and the 1% wealthiest households, Rasmus predicts more of the same economic stagnation, or perhaps worse, by 2013 if current economic policies continue. Rasmus concludes the book with his own detailed ‘Alternative Program for Economic Recovery.’ It is time to seriously begin public discussion and debate of economic alternatives to the past four years, which Rasmus’s book clearly has begun.”
- Nancy Wohlforth, Co-Convenor, U.S. Labor Against the War
“Obama was elected because he represented hope and the expectation of change. But as Jack Rasmus details in Obama’s Economy: Recovery for the Few, little changed for tens of millions of unemployed, homeowners, and those dependant on local government services for whom economic recovery has been anemic to non-existent the past four years. Rasmus describes in detail how Obama was the most conservative and business oriented of the Democratic candidates in 2008, and how his first term economic policies reflected that pro-business orientation.”
- Chuck Mack, Former International Vice-President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union
“Jack Rasmus in his new book, Obama’s Economy: Recovery for the Few, connects the dots and gives new meaning to common sense economics. While working people reel in the downward spiraling economy, Rasmus analyzes how we got where we are and makes recommendations for sustained economic growth and recovery. It’s the kind of reading that makes every leader stop and say ‘Wow! That makes perfect sense. Why didn’t I think of that?’ Then ask yourself, ‘Why wouldn’t our President think of that?’ When you’ve read the book I’m confident that you will conclude that Rasmus has done a brilliant job of defining the impact of the Obama policies and decisions to this continued economic crisis.”
- Donna DeWitt, President, South Carolina AFL-CIO