Meanwhile, I know this is King of the Road bait, almost as much as if I'd mentioned Bill Maher, but James Kunstler starts the day making sense:
I'm not one of the economists that Mr. Krugman talks to (nor am I an economist). But it's sure interesting to know that the ones palavering with Mr. Krugman imagine that that the US can possibly return to an economy based on the fraudulent securitization of reckless debt. Does Mr. Krugman think that the production housing industry can resume paving over the nether exurbs with half-million-dollar houses (to be bought with no money down loans by the sheet-rockers working inside them)? Does he think all those people receiving cancellation notices from their credit card issuers are in a position to flash their plastic at the Gallerias this Friday? Or ever will be again? Is he perhaps misusing the term "recovery?" After all, that is generally taken to mean resuming a prior state, which is, in turn, presumed to be a healthy prior state. Is that what the economy of the past decade was? And, incidentally, what exactly is a "consumer?" And why, at the highest levels of journalism in this land, do we refer to citizens that way? As if the American people have no other purpose except to buy things? Or is that that the only way an "economist" can imagine them?He then goes into lots of stuff I find dubious at best, much of it flat wrong, and sometimes quite objectionable. But the conclusion still resonates with me:
At the moment, going into Thanksgiving 2009, America's leadership has dedicated itself to worst action it could take under the circumstances: a campaign to sustain the unsustainable. This is what's embodied in the foolish term "recovery." The way we try to explain things to ourselves matters, if we don't want to be crushed by history.Make no mistake. Geithner should get a ticker tape parade like John Glenn. Statues should be put up to him everywhere. He and Obama brought us back from what might well have been a vast and sudden catastrophe. The lack of appreciation for Geithner's achievement is absolutely grotesque. He should be strewn with medals and prizes.
And then he should be fired. Summarily dismissed. The short term crisis is brilliantly resolved, and now the core economic problem is not about restoring the status quo, but about moving to a new, sustainable arrangement. Geithner has no way of knowing how to do this. He probably doesn't even understand the problem.