Wednesday, July 07, 2010
The question I have is if we did what Krugman suggests (something that is very debatable given the political climate in the United States), would we still face this in a couple of years but deeper in debt as a nation? I have a lot of questions right about now.
When people talk like this man or Krugman, do they create an environment of fear that guarantees the crash?
Are we actually in a historic time of realignment and the jobs that were here before will never return no matter how many people the government employs temporarily?
Can a government assure an economy or does it require the people?
Sometimes, do we just have to accept change is coming and nobody can hold it where it is for long?
A lot of people are holding onto their money right now possibly out of fear or possibly like the economist above suggests, waiting for the bottom to enable them to scoop up the profits. They will be taking those profits from pension funds, from small investors, from the same type of people who suffered the worst during the Great Depression (which might be no longer known as the Great if this prophecy of what is coming turns out to be true). In a culture that values greed as a virtue, does that even matter?
The biggest question I have now is what can we, as individuals, do about it? If we pull our money from the market, we guarantee a monumental crash. If we let it ride there, we might find it happens anyway. If we are facing a time of transition, which history has seen many times before, what is our best approach to prepare our families and ourselves for a new era? History tells us that nothing stays the same forever. Any culture or person who thinks they are guaranteed anything has not been paying attention!
Is part of the problem our accepting that our tax system has become unbalanced with favoring the richest, incidentally, who will not be hurt by a crash. We could rebalance our tax system and recognize that the strength of this country has been the engine of the middle class.
We could, but will we? Not likely when so many in that middle class are not only clueless what is happening but actually are working to benefit the richest because they have been duped into thinking having nearly half our wealth in the hands of 1% of the people is good.
In a changing economy, jobs may never come back where they were. We could help re-educate people for new jobs except do we know where those will be? Possibly the salaries will never match what they once were. So much has gone overseas and only tariffs might reverse that. Where do you see the stomach for that? Jobs that used to seem very secure, like teaching, are now anything but guaranteed to be there.
The writer below agrees with Krugman and makes some interesting points. I am not sure any of this can be done given the atmosphere today. When fear overcomes reason, there isn't much you can personally do but ride out the wave-- hopefully ducking to avoid the worst of it. It is worth reading his viewpoint though.
It is guaranteed that if we roll over and play dead or put our heads in the sand, we won't be part of the solution at the least. On the other hand, is there a solution? Joe Bageant has a lengthy piece with his take on it. It is long but worth your time.