Most Americans are spending their summer not worrying very much about the debt ceiling crisis, not really seeing it as a crisis at all but more or less as a just-the-same argument between dysfunctional politicians, an all too predictable policy tempest without much meaning belong the Washington beltway. As far as the politicians go, most of them see the debate as a kind of political chicken game of point scoring destined to end in a face-saving compromise, Washington style, as always. For a few of the inexperienced but suddenly powerful neophyte politicos, it is all about high principal and right certainty and the kind of misplaced idealism that prevents one from seeing, much less appreciating reality or acting upon it. Most economists see an unfolding economic car wreck that never had to happen but just might because few in Washington or on the net or airwaves seem to know little about macroeconomics, much less care.
Come the end of the summer, we will either be trudging on, having barely avoided disaster but not truly recognizing that we did so, or we will be in denial that the disaster we could have easily prevented is upon us. We will be busy forgetting or finding avenues of blame that flow away from us. If the worst does happen, we will be busy putting off future reckoning. The rich, as always, will have bought protection by betting upon disaster. The non-rich will just have to hang on as best they can, as always, give up a little bit more of their future and sleep bitter dreams, as always. They won’t even know who to blame and consequently may reward with power those most guilty. Such is the pattern of misplaced memory. And, the country? Well, it will be, just be, although a little less perhaps, or a lot.
Sad. It didn’t have to work out this way. Maybe if…..but then, it is summer. No one is listening?
Have a happy 4th.