Peter Montague: The System in Crisis

The weekend edition of Counter Punch has part one of Montague’s Slow Economic Growth: The System in Crisis.Montague is editor of Rachel’s Health and Democracy where the essay originally appeared*. This opening review of our economic woes is as succinct and comprehensive as I can think would be possible. It is well worth the read. The bigger and better our collective understanding of what is wrong and how we got here; the sooner brainstorming of what needs to be done can be given a more targeted focus. What are the priorities, what needs to be done first so that others can be attempted.

The other result of wider understanding can combat the widespread system failure Montague describes:

As a result of these changes, the main historical difference between the two political parties disappeared at least two decades ago. The Democrats now find, for the first time in living memory, that they have no political agenda of their own. As a result, voter disaffection has risen to historic proportions. Cynicism spreads like kudzu. Political apathy then cements the status quo in place.

Obviously, I think that the Democrats have been in a position where they have no chance of carrying out their political agenda – not that they haven’t had it. It’s a small piece of Conventional Misunderstanding in an otherwise eyes (and mind) wide open look at what Editor & Publisher has labeled A Crisis Almost Without Equal.

The cement on political cynicism and apathy is crumbling. The more people sense they can understand this complex situtation and that something can be done about it, the sooner the ennui will change into productive national debate and constructive action.

I will be waiting for the next part(s) with hope.

*(Go there in a week or two, the site is undergoing reconstruction).

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7 Responses to Peter Montague: The System in Crisis

  1. The Economy Sucks!

  2. Teresa says:

    Very interesting Gin Gin. Thanks. I didn’t know about the slow growth trend for so long.

  3. Gin Gin, LMAO Teresa you are my blooger babe!!

  4. Teresa says:

    Your Blooger Babe forever!!

  5. Ginny in CO says:


    There were several things in there I hadn’t understood very well until reading it. I think the amount of revenue money lost due the slowing of the economic growth rate since ’70 was my biggest revelation. Not so much that it slowed, since it has happened in other developed countries as well. What ticks me off is that after 2 decades, the economists did not start factoring it in to their calculations and reccomendations. They seemed to have continued using the growth patterns that had clearly changed and did not show signs of reemerging.

    So we kept putting the wrong fertilizer on. Reagan’s trickle down BS economics. So 16 years later, an unbelievable number of people still believe it – even though our financial situation is basically in the sewer.

    The other real kick in the solar plexus is what I could have done with that extra 5k a month from ’82 to ’93. Like an IRA that wasn’t laughable. We got off to a great start, then the kid and business expenses kept interfering with making the annual contributions.

  6. Teresa says:

    I think they only thing we can bank on is our awareness and this really might be coming. It’s our responsibility to monitor the people we employ to run our government. A long trend of just having someone somewhere to take care of everything while we enjoy our luxurious lives is winding down, so it seems. And leaving it up to the rulers to deliver our longed for commodities no matter how. You gotta watch ’em.
    But there really is no way of knowing if the economy would decline anyway.

    We have to get over the cynicism and get to work.
    I’ve stayed out of the game as much as possible not wanting to get caught in their web, and have done pretty well. I think people will have to learn a lot of new ways of living. Debt keeps a man in bondage and we’ve been led to believe it is necessary, but I don’t buy it. People will have to take charge of themselves, learn new ways of cooperating on local levels, learn self discipline and impulse control, and all those good things. It’s cyclic so we’re due for leaner times.

  7. Ginny in CO says:

    Teresa 6:37 am

    AMEN !!