Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

How to Feel About the Meltdown

Suddenly, prescribed treatments for the ailing economy have turned psychiatric.

*Dr. Bill Clinton calls himself in for consultation and urges Dr. Obama to dole out anti-depressants: “I just want the American people to know that he’s confident that we are going to get out of this and he feels good about the long run.”

The new Physician-in-Chief immediately announces plans to cut the budget deficit in half.

*Professor Frank Rich analyzes national stages of grief and finds no movement past the first: "Obama’s toughest political problem may not be coping with the increasingly marginalized G.O.P. but with an America-in-denial that must hear warning signs repeatedly, for months and sometimes years, before believing the wolf is actually at the door."

*Elsewhere CNBC's clinic for the money-mad produces its version of Paddy Chayevsky's loony "Network" anchorman in Rick Santelli's rant against rewarding bad behavior with bailouts against a backdrop of cheering inmates at a Chicago trading ward.

All this may simply reflect postpartum depression after Washington's giving birth to trillion-dollar bailout babies with no more assurance of future financial security than the Suleman octuplets.

In their dismay, some Americans seem to have stopped listening to politicians and pundits and turned to a more traditional source of guidance, getting financial advice in church.

As it gets crazier out there, Dr. Obama is going to have to find new ways of dispensing hope.

1 comment:

LazySusan said...

I think that rather than Obama's it is our responsibility to maintain hope and optimism. There's a superb essay by Dean Baker called "From Financial Crisis to Opportunity" that lays out a plan for getting us out of this mess and inoculating us against the next one. It's in the book Thinking Big - a collection of progressive essays for the new administration.