Friday, January 23, 2009

Hold on there, Aloha Man

Thus, in his speech Mr. Obama attributed the economic crisis in part to “our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age” — but I have no idea what he meant. This is, first and foremost, a crisis brought on by a runaway financial industry. And if we failed to rein in that industry, it wasn’t because Americans “collectively” refused to make hard choices; the American public had no idea what was going on, and the people who did know what was going on mostly thought deregulation was a great idea.
Paul Krugman, Stuck In the Muddle
This was a line in Barack's speech that made me go, "Whoa, hold on there, Aloha Man." The American people tried mightily to prop up the damned economy, in productivity & purchases. & the American people felt it slipping away long before guvment whispered the word "recession." We had little idea that what we thought was helping the economy was ruining it. The banks said, "Buy a house, here's a loan," & Americans are programmed to think that banks are conservative institutions, & if they say you're qualified, then, despite whatever personal doubts you may have, you must be qualified, because the bank said so. Few of us were in a position to tell the banks, corporations, auto companies what to do. We didn't get the huge bonuses & golden parachutes & executive perks. We elected a Repug congress & they screwed up, so we threw them out & elected a Democratic congress & they didn't do much. There are institutions & individuals at fault, & they ought to be punished, & the ones that aren't punished must be put on a very short leash as the billions flow their way, lest they spend that money on more personal goodies keeping themselves afloat & contented - this is their nature - rather than using it to lift everyone up.


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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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