Greenspan vs Klein on Democracy Now

Just an FYI related to recent postings here. Democracy Now for 9/24 has about a 38 minute discussion with both Naomie Klien and Alan Greenspan. The remaining minutes is with Jeremy Scahill.

This particular exchange caught my attention:

AMY GOODMAN: Alan Greenspan, you write in the end of your book, “A Federal Reserve System that will be confronted with the challenge of inflation pressure and populist politics that have been relatively quiescent in recent years” is something that is very significant. You say the year — the United States in 2030 is likely to be characterized by populist politics that have been relatively quiescent in recent years. How important is populist politics, and what do you envision those to look like?

ALAN GREENSPAN: Well, remember what populist politics is. It’s a very special brand of short-term focus, which invariably creates very difficult long-term problems. A goodly part of the book, as you know, is written about how populism has gripped, say, many Latin American countries to their detriment. And the term “populist politics” is essentially another way of saying short term versus longer term. And people who emphasize short-term benefits for long-term costs end up with very little in the way of economic growth and prosperity.

Personally, I have never viewed populism as short term viewing. Infact, I read nothing at Wikipedia that suggested such.

Populism is a political doctrine or philosophy that purports to defend the interests of the common people against an entrenched, self-serving or corrupt elite.

I think Mr. Greenspan has a little projection (in pysch terms) happening here. Naomie Klein furthers the question and raises his policies as playing a part in the rise of economic populism. His answer, we have bad education. She follow up on his example of Latin America:

But you also mentioned economic populism in Latin America in your book, and you blame it for inflation episodes and the collapse of regimes and the toppling of governments, and one of your examples was Chile in the 1970s. Was Chile — was Salvador Allende’s regime toppled because of inflation, or didn’t the CIA have something to do with that?

ALAN GREENSPAN: Well, look, let’s — I’m using Latin America as an example. The key question is not Latin America. Let’s get back to the United States. Let’s get back to the world at large and face the issue of populism here. Remember, the populist issue in Latin America goes back to the roots of Spanish and Portuguese colonization.

I’m sorry, but if that answer wasn’t a classic “troll” response I don’t know what is.
Enjoy.

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