Monday, March 30, 2009


Kunstler's take on the future of the American economy:

What’s going on now is nature’s way of telling you that America’s standard of living has to be reduced by something between 20 and 50 percent. You can have it in the form of a compressive deflationary depression, including widespread bankruptcies… or you can have by way of inflation, in which money loses its value. But there’s one basic qualification to this: the way down is not symmetrical with the way up. That is, it’s really not just a matter of ratcheting down to a standard of living half of what it was, say, in 2006, because in the event all the various complex systems that support everyday life enter failure mode before our society re-sets at a theoretically lower level of equilibrium.

I tend to agree with Kunstler here, and not Obama and other Clintonites (what else can we call him, when he has basically recalled every Clinton official for duty for both the economy and foreign policy. It makes me wonder why we were so tough on Hillary.) I do think that Obama and his people feel that we're going to be able to recover economically to the point where we can do all the things he wants (and I want as well), including transitioning to clean energy, transforming health care, providing college education for everyone, etc.

However, I am much less sanguine about our economic ability to do these things, after our national binge of the last 30 years. Which also makes me more pessimistic about the political stability of our country, which is necessary for us to make these changes politically, without upheaval.

Here's my abiding pessimism/realism shining through!

No comments:

Post a Comment