May I quote from NY Times’ economist Paul Krugman’s article yesterday?
“…the next time you hear some talking head opining on what we must do to satisfy the markets, ask yourself, “How does he know?” For the truth is that when people talk about what markets demand, what they’re really doing is trying to bully us into doing what they themselves want.”
Ironically, this concluding paragraph sat just above a headline questioning the “competence” of the Center for Disease Control in its mishandling of ebola-related measures recently.
But back to Krugman. He’s weighing in as he often does, as a critic of U.S. (and beyond) economic policies and warning that things may be about to get much worse — as in, ‘depression’ worse. Served up of course with a heap of growing income inequality (which ironically, another headline tells us that Fed Chair Janet Yellen is ‘alarmed’ at!!).
It all reminds me of a dream I had in my 20s during my student years. I was living temporarily in a university residence-style building while I worked in Toronto for the summer. It was a skyscraper – well over 20 floors – and we would sometimes sit on the roof and look out over the cityscape facing southward. In the near distance we could see Lake Ontario just beyond the mirrored fortresses in the banking district.
One night I had a terrifying dream. I was standing on that roof looking out at the city when suddenly the building bent forward, sprung wheels and began to roll south down the street! In a flash, it picked up speed and was rushing forward at a terrible speed. Toward the lake. And certain death. Oh god, the terror. The confusion. How could this be happening? Buildings did not – could not – have wheels. Skyscrapers were solid structures with deep foundations embedded firmly in the ground. Born of blueprints and calculations by architects and engineers. There was math behind this for god’s sake.
Oh, prophetic dream. The betrayal by the certainties of math; and experts. The waning comfort of faith that things are going to be ok – eventually. Young adults like my son now scoff at the effort demanded by post-secondary degrees and diplomas that lead to a life-time of student debt and an uncertain living wage. At midlife,we find ourselves blinking from fatigue, working harder now than ever before. Those from the right families in the right neighbourhoods carry on as they place their children in the right schools that lead to a life-time membership in the club.
I awoke from my nightmare with the building at full acceleration a few blocks away from the lakefront. Nowadays, I live in a house further north.