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Protest Song of the Day: ‘If It’s Good for the Economy…’ by Justin Sane

To recognize the power of protest music, acknowledge its role in keeping dissent alive and how musicians translate social issues and systemic problems into song, The Dissenter has launched a daily feature that highlights a protest song every weekday.

FDL’s David Dayen summed up the presidential debate last night appropriately, “One is exploiting the jobs crisis without a plan to fix it, and the other doesn’t want you to know it’s there.” There was President Barack Obama, dull and wonky. Then there was Mitt Romney, who understood he had to go all out and win this debate yet he could not help coming off like some over-privileged rich man.

Both agree, however, on growth. The economy has to start growing again. Romney was concerned there were too many people on food stamps and that made “economic growth this year slower than last year, and last year slower than the year before.” Romney also said he did not want to raise taxes because that slows growth. Obama talked about the top 3% of businesses having their taxes increased so there could be growth. And Obama talked of cuts made to the budget to reduce the deficit so there could be growth. Neither appeared to care about the damage or suffering that their commitment would likely bring.

As lead guitarist and singer/songwriter of the punk band, Anti-Flag, sings, “If It’s Good for the Economy, I’m For It.”

The song makes the simple point that the political class will favor any policy or government action so long as it is “good for the economy.” If they can be convinced genocide, environmental devastation or wars are good for the economy, they will be for it. However, if genocide, environmental devastation or wars are not good for the economy, they will oppose it. They’d go for healthcare for all too, if that is good for the economy, but, if it isn’t, they definitely won’t.

Because politicians serve the corporations or business elite funding their elections:

This country’s gears can’t slow down/At any cost to anyone they must sound/Banker’s fortunes and power cravings too/To this machine are bound/So this country’s gears can’t slow down

It is one “rotten deal” after another that the American people are sold and it brings suffering that “far outweighs the minor benefits.” It means the death and destruction of so much but that is no matter to the politicians because they serve the 1%, whose greed and prosperity depend on the health of capitalism in the country, not the health of the people.

The experiences and suffering of the masses are a necessary byproduct of economic growth.

Here’s the song:


The Dissenter will be putting one of these up every weekday morning. If you have requests for songs that should be featured or if you have a protest song you recorded, which you would like to see featured, email

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."