Global: The Candidates on the Economic Crisis

A small portrait of the translator

September 18, 2008 @ 2:56 UTC

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Countries:
Kenya, Rwanda
Candidates:
Barack Obama, John McCain
Issues:
Economy & Trade, International Relations, Globalization, Government & Politics
 

With  pessimistic views abounding on the economy, the two presidential candidates are pressured to each provide their strategy for exiting the crisis.

From France, Patrick Sabatier points out that John McCain has a tough task ahead of him because his basic philosophy on the economy, fewer regulations and less transparency on financial transactions, are at the very core of the current failing of the finance giants of Wall Street.

” Il y a quelques mois encore, le candidat républicain déclarait au Wall Street Journal “être en toutes circonstances favorable au minimum de régulation”. Mardi matin encore il expliquait en Floride “ne pas aimer les réglementations excessives et inutiles”. Sa colistière Sarah Palin promettait dans le Colorado que le tandem républicain allait résoudre la crise en “dégageant la voie pour le secteur privé en en écartant le gouvernement”. Propos en parfaite contradiction avec la politique suivie depuis des mois par l'administration républicaine et assez irresponsables puisque pratiquement tous les économistes conviennent que le krach des géants de la finance de Wall Street est la conséquence directe de l'absence de contrôle, de réglementation et de transparence de leurs activités, dont McCain reconnaît lui-même qu'elles tiennent plus de la table de jeu au casino que d'autre chose. Mais les candidats républicains ne peuvent ni dénoncer la politique passée de Bush, ni applaudir sa politique actuelle, sans auparavant abjurer leur credo ultra-libéral.”

A few months ago, the Republican candidate stated to the Wall Street Journal that he was under all circumstances in favor of minimal regulations. Tuesday morning, he was still explaining in Florida that he was against excessive, useless regulations. His VP Sarah Palin promised in Colorado that the Republican tandem will solve the crisis by moving aside the government to make ways for the private sector. Unfortunately, those statements are in perfect contradiction to the strategy followed by the Republican administration for a few months and quite irresponsible because practically all economists agree that the current crisis in Wall Street is a direct consequence of the absence of control, regulations and transparency for the activities of these financial giants. McCain himself recognizes that their activities are closer to gambling at the casino than anything else. However, the Republican candidate cannot denounce the politics of the past by Bush, neither his current policy without denying their ultra conservative credo first.

Mariane Enault from France argues that although one may think that this argument is only reserved to Europe, it is the same old debate all over again: interventionism vs laissez-faire. She explains each candidate's basic philosophy.

McCain argues that the foundations of the economy are sound:

“la crise bancaire, “ce n'est pas la faute des Américains”. Pour lui, les coupables sont tout trouvés, “les intérêts particuliers, la cupidité, l'irresponsabilité et la corruption qui ont miné le dur labeur des Américains”. Il promet s'il est élu “de mettre fin aux abus”. En la matière, le républicain se veut plutôt rassurant. “Les éléments fondamentaux de l'économie sont solides”

The banking crisis is not the fault of the American people. For him, the culprits are obvious: “particular interests, greed, irresponsibility and corruption have undermined the hard labor of Americans”. He promises to “put an end to the abuse.” For that matter, the Republican wants to be reassuring: “The basic elements of the economy are solid”

Democratic candidate Barack Obama has a different view:

“De quelle économie parle-t-il? Je pense que [McCain] ne comprend pas” [..] Obama souhaite ainsi renforcer l'autorité des organismes de régulation, restructurer le secteur des agences de régulation et améliorer la transparence du marché. En bref, une réglementation “qui protège les investisseurs et les consommateurs”.”

“What economy is he talking about ? I think he [McCain] does not get it.” He (Obama) wishes to reinforce the authority of a regulating agency, restructure the sector of regulating agencies and improve market transparency. In short, regulation that protects “investors and consumers”

Martin Even from Belgium notes that the economic crisis does not affect only the US. He writes in Jeune Afrique:

“Au Capitole, le sénateur de l’Illinois vient de parrainer et de faire voter, dans l’indifférence quasi totale des médias, le Global Poverty Act, qui engage les États-Unis à participer aux Objectifs du millénaire pour le développement adoptés par l’ONU en 2001.”

On Capitol Hill, amidst the complete indifference of mainstream media, the senator from Illinois supported and pushed to pass the Global Poverty Act, which commits the United States to participate in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) proposed in 2001 by the UN.

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  • 1 comment

    1. Charles Hill Says:

      According to the New York Times, Democrats blocked Bush’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reforms so low income people with bad credit could buy houses.
      ”These two entities -Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, and the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.
      http://strategicthought-charles77.blogspot.com/2008/09/democrats-blocked-bushs-fannie-mae-and.html

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