now to some realities

“It’s very hard to get any agreement if there’s no consensus on what the underlying facts are.”

Jerry Brown via Huffington Post:
He was California’s youngest governor and now its oldest.

Very gradually, the productivity rate of our country declined. “We used to export oil,” Brown noted, not long after the Arab oil embargo. “Cars, television, cameras, watches… We had no peer.”

Then the decision was made to expand war abroad and to pursue a Great Society at home, a strategy of “guns and butter.” We began to decline, Brown said, as we did not fund these projects “from current dollars, but from fiscal gimmickry, borrowing from the future.”

“This country,” Brown declared, “has pursued a path that Rome and Germany after World War I have pursued, running the printing presses of money.” Three percent a year growth in wealth declined in the ’70s to less than one percent, and “we began to fight over our decline in purchasing power.”

The Republican response to this decline was ‘to avoid regulation and taxes.’ This was the time, Brown said, that “the credit card came into vogue.” Private and public debt accelerated to prop up the slowing economy that was once the giant of the planet.

Japan, Germany, Korea, Taiwan, all manufactured cars, watches, and other products of great quality, entering “the latter part of the century with great momentum.”

Our great cities, he said, were declining, and poverty was on the rise.

It’s time, he said “to reindustrialize.” Surely, he argued, we don’t have to rely on a war to revitalize the economy. Time, he said, to invest in new technologies, protecting environment, educating people, to make America “once again a society with upward momentum.”

“Our leaders,” he declared, “can’t tell us the truth. We’re in decline.