Monday, November 02, 2009

TV at Its Best



I’ve said it before but this episode of Global Public Square demands that I say it again. Fareed Zakaria is providing a show that is TV at its best.

The first segment is with Matthew Hoh, the young man that is causing such a stir with his resignation over our policy in Afghanistan. This is a powerful interview on its own and well worth watching. But the part I want you to see starts at the 19:00 minute mark of the podcast. (Yes, you can fast forward. Click here to view the podcast on your web browser.)

This part is an interview of Robert Shiller, a Yale economist and Martin Wolf, chief commentator at the Financial Times. First, they give a “first look back” (if you will) at the history of this financial crisis. As all the rhetoric falls away, I hope you see that the people I’ve been quoting were right. We did narrowly avoid a second Great Depression. The stimulus and bank bailouts did work. But even that isn’t truly the important part. And that is saying something when you consider the enormity of a Depression.

So, when you hear Robert Shiller say, “It is breaking our sense of social compact.”, I want you to really start paying attention. Pay attention like your country depends on it. To paraphrase his words, the increasing financial inequality of the last 30 years cannot continue for another 30 years without a revolution.

Think on that for a moment. As painful and unthinkable as a Second Great Depression might be, it pales in comparison to a Second Revolutionary War or a Second Civil War.

Take a look at who is saying these things. ”Shiller is ranked among the 100 most influential economists of the world.“ Listen to the frustration in Wolf’s voice when he talks about the bankers and their bonuses. He knows that this bit of greedy silliness is making the enormous problems we face that much more difficult to solve. These are some of the brightest people on the planet saying these things.

I wonder. Do my fellow controllers and union members see where we fit into all this ? I doubt the younger ones do. But the older ones -- especially the retired ones -- should. Income inequality. 30 years ago. PATCO. Are you getting the Flick on just how historical the PATCO strike in 1981 was ? I hope you see it. But if you don’t, the next blog will have a picture to help you.

Don Brown
November 2, 2009

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