September 16, 2008
The Great Whine (Bob Franken)
@ 9:14 am
I agree. We have to be careful not to use words that are so heavy with emotion that they drag the economy down by their own weight.
So OK: What's going on right now is not yet a "Depression.” Perhaps, like Phil Gramm, we can call it a "Whine."
Whatever it is, it's mighty damned sad … dreary, even. In this case, we can say that each “day WITH 'Whine' is a day without sunshine.” That's because of all the dark clouds on the horizon.
Obviously, this is no laughing matter. What is happening right now is a meltdown that is scary, mainly because we have no idea how much worse it's going to get. It's also infuriating. For good reason.
There were plenty of warnings. For years, actually for decades, it has been clear that the money system had grown so deregulated it resembled the Wild West. Like any lawless frontier, it attracted and elevated slick but incompetent hustlers whose only real skill was enriching themselves.
We've ended up with a Darwinian "Survival of the Fittest" system, except in this case the only winners are those UNfit to have so much influence over how we all do survive.
They also recognize how to use their ill-gotten gains to control the lawmakers and opinion makers. As a result no one is willing to impose constraints, no matter how reasonable, or minimal.
Maybe, out of the ashes, we need to construct a saner system. We need to realize that those who benefit from operating our economy must be watched closely. We no longer can tolerate an ethic that celebrates only profits without any regard for anything else, or anyone else.
We need to declare an end to the Age of Deregulation. It's time to create henhouse monitors and give them the weapons and the authority to guard the foxes. While we're at it, time to ignore all the fat-cat propagandists who preach free markets as an excuse to keep government out of their business. Obviously, what we're discovering is it's bad business.
Maybe we need to punish more of those who robbed us. If not prison, at least we could impose a "Whine Fine" against the slicks whose greed is taking us all down.
Maybe we won't be so depressed because we'll have less to whine about. And after that, we can turn to the really big task of setting limits on clichés.