Thanks, President Bush, for taking care of the problem! Now all let’s get back to our wasteful, ignorant, self-indulgent American lives! Let’s add another new big screen TV to the credit card!
What else is a reader of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch supposed to think when scanning this headline: “Stock market smiles, thanks to bailout. Administration unveils plan to rescue tottering financial institutions.” No mention that the U.S. dollar is going to become the first and only world currency backed by rickety subprime mortgages.
I’m not making up the headline. take a look for yourself:
Many economists, of course, have a different point of view. Many have wondered out loud whether this is the end of the United States of America, as we have known and loved it. For instance, consider the following somber discussion: Bill Moyers’ interview of Gretchen Morgenson (assistant business and financial editor and a columnist at the NEW YORK TIMES) and Floyd Norris (the chief financial correspondent of THE NEW YORK TIME). This interview is not for the faint of heart.
Also, consider watching Moyers’ interview of Kevin Phillips. Phillips, a former Nixon White House strategist and economic critic, is author of a new book, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism. Here are a few excerpts from Phillips book, written well before the recent bursting of the bubble:
This is the denouement of the 25-year debt buildup which was undertaken mostly by the financial sector putting themselves on steroids to– get bigger and bigger and bigger. And we’ve finally gotten to the point where the bubble isn’t sustainable anymore but a lot of Wall Street is dedicated to minimizing the spattering of the bubble, so to speak . . .
But we’ve seen the central component of the rise of the financial sector is the rise of the debt industry. Mortgage, credit cards, all these gimmicks that Wall Street sells– just all kinds of products. And, of course, the products are laying an egg all over the world right now.
Phillips caught my eye previously when he proclaimed that the U.S. government has been cooking the books on the American economy for a long time.
As I’ve stated before, I think that the kind of “journalism” that produces headlines like the PD’s proclamation that the economy has been “bailed out” is worse than useless. It causes people (more than 70% of whom get most of their news from local newspapers and local TV newscasts) to think that they are educated enough to make important election decisions when they don’t have a clue. Headlines like this one in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (once a proud and reputable newspaper) remind me that we in St. Louis would be better off without any local newspaper at all.
Epilogue: Notice the “Millionaire Money” contest promotion in the PD headline. Talk about tactless, at a time of national emergency . . .