Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words of Wisdom

As always, Robert Reich provides clear thinking while others are losing their heads.

What Scott Brown's Victory Really Means

”Don’t believe any of it. Here’s what’s really going on. In Massachusetts, in New Jersey, all over the nation, voters are petrified of losing their jobs, their homes, and what’s left of their savings. Nothing counts more than the economy. Rightly or wrongly, presidents and the party in power are blamed when the economy is lousy. “

I think you should pay particular attention to the last part.

”What really worries me is a basic fact, borne out by history. Deep and continuing economic stresses bring out demagogues, xenophobes, racists, and opportunists who channel people’s fears and anxieties into resentments against other people. “

I seem to see a pattern here. Many of us see the past history and recognize the dangers. And yet, we are trapped by our human nature and unable to change it. We needed a large stimulus plan but couldn’t find the political will. China did and now their economy is growing at over 10%. We are on course to repeat Japan’s fate. We can’t find our way out of Afghanistan despite all the lessons of history. We know that the demagogues are coming and they will hurt us. But still, we give them their own TV shows.

It’s kind of like the air traffic control system. You wake up every day and are surprised that -- somehow -- it works.

Don Brown
January 20, 2010

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