I'm not a great economist. The only consolation I have is that I don't think anyone else really is either. Well, they do give those gold prizes away every year to somebody, but what do they know?.
The good old US of A is in another economic crisis. In spite of new Congressional authority for debt, Wall Street is crashing, bond ratings are downgrading, and everybody is blaming everybody else. America is rather exceptional that way. The only economic prediction I want to make is one that of course I also want to see happen. That is that the next bubble to burst will be the price of gold. I just can't wait to see all those crazed-eyed, jig-dancing Humphrey Bogarts and
I'm being a little flip, so I need to get to the point in my eternal, quixotic quest to follow Thoreau to the root of the problem instead of hacking away at leaves.
Here it is. (Drum roll, please.) Ta dah! Human nature (which is also very American). The only thing that will save our economy and save our country is a return to basic principles - and not the ones about being a holy "Christian" nation stomping on everyone else who are so obviously evil because they are not real Americans. I'm talking about the principles that really came from God to all the great religious leaders of the world, and even to the secular humanists who have that spark of hope for humanity that just might could be another spark of the divine (but don't tell them that!). Do unto others as you would have them do to you. I think that means we're going to have to compromise a little on what we think we want and even what we think others want to find the common ground.
I watched Chris Matthews tonight and what interested in his exasperation with the President who Chris thinks should just stick to his principles and take a stand and apparently, stick it to the Republicans and tea party as well. Chris, as so many others, continues to misunderstand our President. This President's principles are summed up in the sacred principle of our Founders: Compromise. Sure, he'll keep getting sand kicked in his face from the bullies on the beach to some extent. But I have better hope for him as I think more of us will recognize our stake is not in some elusive gold pile that exists only in our imagination, but in each other. When all the wimps stand up together, no bully has ever nor ever will be able to kick sand in our face. Not the rating brokers, not those who divide us up into categories of whether we're real enough Americans, and not even the Bin Ladens or the McVeighs of the world. We are the United States of America. We can do better than this.
Making these reforms doesn’t require any radical steps. What it does require is common sense and compromise. There are plenty of good ideas about how to achieve long-term deficit reduction that doesn’t hamper economic growth right now. Republicans and Democrats on the bipartisan fiscal commission that I set up put forth good proposals. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate’s Gang of Six came up with some good proposals. John Boehner and I came up with some good proposals when we came close to agreeing on a grand bargain.
So it’s not a lack of plans or policies that’s the problem here. It’s a lack of political will in Washington. It’s the insistence on drawing lines in the sand, a refusal to put what’s best for the country ahead of self-interest or party or ideology. And that’s what we need to change.President of the United States, Barack Obama, August 8, 2011 [emphasis added].