Paul Krugman thinks the economy faces a demand side problem but that it is unrealistic to expect Obama to lay out the problem in advance of the election.
This gets at the heart of the “Obama paradox“: he is by instinct a radical (tutored by the stalinoid milieu of southside Chicago) but he tries to govern like a liberal. He has barricaded himself inside the White House and thinks he has real power.
There is a demand side vacuum in the political arena too not just in the economy. Liberals and radicals often share the same values but radicals know that entrenched interests like the Congressional Republicans only respond to social pressure.
Obama mobilized millions in 2008 and then abandoned his “Obama for America.” The Occupy movement and the Wisconsin labor mobilization provided new opportunities for Obama to create the political force to demand progressive change. But he failed to take advantage of that opening.
Without that social mobilization it will take a decade for the economy to “self-repair.” And now is not the time for the left to be demanding? Really?