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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, March 12, 2010

    Obama and the Stimulus have helped our Economy

    Among my investments is an investment in the Eaton Vance Greater India Fund. I was lucky, or smart. Back in 2004 I saw the restoration of the Congress Party in India (over the Hindu extremist BJP party), combined with Bush's horrible economic policies, as a sign I should invest in some India mutual funds. I was convinced that India would be doing well and that Bush would ruin America's economy. So I invested in the Eaton Vance Greater India Fund.

    My Annual Report today had some interesting quotes that SPECIFICALLY attribute better times now to the government funded stimulus. So right wing claims that the stimulus didn't help is contradicted by mutual fund managers.

    While Bush was clearly, in my mind, ruining the American economy, I started to shift my investments to foreign stocks. And I made money on almost all of those foreign investments whether European, Asian or Latin American. I started these investments in 2004 in response to the stupid policies of Bush when he was given a second term. I knew American investments were going down under such awful policies, but I wasn't quite as sure whether foreign investments would go up. But I suspected there was still some money in foreign investments.

    I didn't realize it at the time, though I suspected, but I invested at EXACTLY the right time. By 2007 I had MORE than doubled my investment, so I sold enough shares to make up my initial investment and kept the rest as profits. A good chunk of what I sold for profit went to investing in Sunpower which, in turn, doubled in value, so I sold enough to make up for what I invested and still have the rest (which has gone down in value) as profit.

    Bottom line is I bought and sold as the India market bottomed and peaked. The part of my India investment that I kept plummeted as the Bush recession hit full force in 2008. It has now been recovering.

    What strikes me, though, is the statement made by the fund manager about what is going on. It is in direct contradiction to what right wing extremists are saying about government intervention in the economy. Basically, the recovery from 2008 (when the Bush economy dominated and markets were bottoming out) to 2009 (when the Obama economy was just beginnning) there was a real recovery in investment value. To be fair, how much of this filtered down to the working and middle class is a fair question. The stimulus helped investors...how much it helped working and middle class remains an open question. But, Republicans have claimed that the kind of government intervention that the Stimulus represents is some kind of socialism that hurts business.

    I have clear evidence that this is bullshit. In the Annual Report I just received from the Eaton Vance Greater India Fund investment I have, is the following statement by the fund manager:

    Equity markets the world over staged a dramatic comeback during the 12 months ending December 31, 2009 [Obama's first year in office], most clawing their way back into positive territory from the depths of a global recession that began to reach historic proportions in the second half of 2008 [the end of Bush's adminstration]. Significant infusions of government monetary and fiscal stimulus helped moderate the economic downdraft early in 2009...

    In other words, that government intervention called a "stimulus" that Republicans are calling "socialist" led to a "dramatic comeback" from a global recession of "historic proportions." Those so-called "socialist" infusions of government monetary and fiscal stimulus saved the day according to this mutual fund manager.

    So the Republicans are against the policies that have been responsible for the current recovery. Sure, us leftists think we need MORE of this for MORE recovery. But the Republicans currently are attacking the very policies that mutual fund managers are saying saved us from the worst of the Bush recession.

    So thanks to the Stimulus. I know my job is more secure thanks to the Stimulus. And this fund manager is attributing the change from the Bush recession to the Obama recovery to the government intervention in the stimulus package. So I really think it is time to stop paying any attention to the delusional Republicans and start listening to the FDR Democrat strategy of government stimulus. THAT is what has driven the recovery so far, so why aren't we going even further along this road to recovery?

    What now is the big question. I think we need to realize that the so-called "socialist" policies, which, in reality, mirror those of FDR America, Sweden, Israel, Britain, Canada, and other of our democratic allies, are what we need for economic recovery. Republican rhetoric is devoid of ANY facts, devoid of reality. So lets focus on what has been PROVEN to work, even in the words of mutual fund managers. Government intervention...in terms of stimulus packages, public option or even single-payer healthcare (which works well in Sweden, Israel, UK, Canada...), green and local energy policies ( which create local jobs as well)...etc. Let's stop listening to right wing fanatics who have NO IDEA what they are talking about. And let's honestly fix our system using methods we already know work.


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