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Sunday, September 14, 2008

 

moderation or contempt?


let's see. we have a stunning housing collapse, joblessness skyrocketing, investment banks failing or being forced into commerical banks, the world's largest insurer failing, the largest deposit bank in the united states failing...

... and don luskin thinks what? that the obama campaign is making it all up? as a political tactic?

it's clear that luskin -- an adviser to the mccain campaign -- is writing with a deep bias and a political agenda. if his favored republicans are to win the presidency, one supposes that the bush adminsitration's economy cannot be tanking. so -- speaking of tactics -- if the democratic talking point is that the economy is awful, then the republican talking point is that the economy isn't bad. and republican hacks of a much lower order than luskin are hammering it through fox news with all their might. the recent GDP report, which many in the marketplace have already discounted as an unduly optimistic aberration due to the method by which GDP is calculated, has become a central reinforcing meme.

that's too bad, because -- contra luskin and others -- the economy is indeed is pretty dire straits. what's more, there must at some point be a national dialogue about how many years of declining real wages and understated official inflation have conspired to radically deteriorate the median american financial condition, and examining proper solutions to the evaporation of the middle class. the role of deregulation in fostering a massive debt bubble and now bust, not to mention that same middle class deterioration, has to be discussed. perhaps luskin will have no important role to play in that discussion, but it must come.

nevertheless, it is fit to note -- particularly on days like today, when the american financial world is being shaken to its foundations -- that, while this may indeed be the onset of a depression, it is not The Great Depression. at least not yet. and that moderation has to inform a balanced opinion.

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