Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It isn't just John McCain who doesn't have a clue about the economy. Neither do the people advising him.

Today, Hewlett Packard announced another 24,000 job cuts, officially associated with its merger with Electronic Data Systems.

The job cuts however represent eight percent of HP's total workforce, suggesting that there are some intrinsic structural problems that are also being addressed. In fact, current CEO Frank Hurd has been very aggressive about cutting jobs since he was first hired in 2005.

While I might complain about Hurd's image as the new "Chainsaw Al" or point out that he is far from the only one doing it in these times (the unemployment rate has risen a full point since April) there is one thing that it also points out: the company that Hurd took over was unprofitable, bloated and badly in need of the overhaul he has brought to it.

And who did he replace? The answer is Carly Fiorina. Apparently she is at least partially responsible for the slow, lumbering company that Hurd has been riding herd on (and with some success, at that-- I'll give him credit for that.)

Hmmm. Not long ago the same Carly Fiorina stepped up to become John McCain's chief economic advisor, after Phil Gramm had to step down for saying that the bad economy was just in people's heads and that we had become a 'nation of whiners.'

Just today, John McCain said at a rally in Florida that the 'fundamentals of the economy are strong.' This on a day when the Dow fell 500 points and National Public Radio reported that the International Monetary Fund will be conducting a stability assessment of the United States economy, a 'privilege' usually reserved for third world debtor nations that are in danger of defaulting on their loans.

Well, remember that McCain admitted back during the primaries that he doesn't know very much about economics.

So who else can he get economic advice from? Palin? Whatever her strengths and weaknesses are, has anyone even from Fox News suggested that she knows anything at all about subprime mortgage defaults or has a clue about how to get people back to work?

Keep in mind that the standard Republican playbook of 'tax cuts for the wealthy, loosen regulation and let the market drive the economy' has been in force for eight years and it's clear that it doesn't work.

Electing McCain would be a disaster. Not only has he pretty much appropriated the Bush economic strategy as his own (apparently not being able to figure out a better one) but the people around him, even his economic advisors, seem to have no better a record on the economy than he does.

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