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- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
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- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
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HANSON: Lifeless populism
Neither right nor left yet influences the party establishments
Given the slow-growth, high-unemployment economy and the policies of the Federal Reserve, interest on simple passbook accounts has all but vanished.
The poor are not so affected. They are more often borrowers than lenders, and they are sometimes beneficiaries of federally subsidized debt relief. The rich have the capital and connections to find more profitable investments in real estate or the stock market that make them immune from pedestrian, underperforming savings accounts.
In other words, this administration’s loose-money policy has been good for the indebted and even better for the stock-invested rich. However, it is absolutely lousy for the middle class and for strapped retirees with a few dollars in conservative passbook accounts.
The aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown followed the same script. The crisis arose from a strange connivance between loans to the unqualified and huge profits for Wall Street. Its remedy was to have the lowly taxpayer pick up the walk-away debt of the former while offering bailouts for the latter.
Polls show the president’s approval numbers are tanking. Congress can hardly become any more unpopular. Maybe one reason is that neither seems to care much about those who are not rich and not poor.
America has plenty of community organizers and agitators, and even more smooth corporate lobbyists, but populist politicians disappeared long ago.
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
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By Brahma Chellaney
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