by Eleanor Arnason • 9/24/08 • I come from a family that never recovered from the Crash of ’29. My parents never invested in the stock market. My father didn’t pay much attention to money, as far as I can tell; and my mother kept waiting for the next crash. I have lived my entire adult life expecting capitalism to unwind any day now. In addition, over the past few years, I have been reading economists such as Dean Baker and Brad Setser and (for that matter) Paul Krugman, who have pointed out how crazy the housing boom was and how fragile the financial system and the world economy have become; and I believed them.
I am still surprised by what’s happening now.
I tried to explain it to one of my co-workers this way:
When you know someone with a fatal illness, from which there is no chance of recovery, you think you have come to terms with his or her death. But when the dying finally begins, you are still surprised and shocked.
I also discover that my chief response to the current crisis is not “I told you so” or “Ha! Ha! I’m right.” It’s “This could be a problem for me.”
Maybe capitalism will recover without a major depression. But I am not cheered by the fact that the people responsible for solving the problem, who are getting a trillion dollars from Congress to use as they see fit, are the people who gave us the rebuilding of Iraq and the rescue of New Orleans.