No, it's NOT the "economy," stupid. I'm not even sure what that word means. Huike asked Bodhidharma to pacify his mind, to which the great sage replied: "Bring me your mind and I will pacify it." By the same token, we might ask all those wishing to save "the economy" to first tell us what it is, and where it is, so we can go there and rescue it. As I wrote in an earlier post, with respect to the Euro zone, "the whole dog and pony show of recapitalization, austerity, growth, default, EFSF, ESB, TARGET 1, TARGET 2, etc., etc. is nothing but a huge misdirection, intended to confuse the workers of the world as to the true nature of what is taking place."
The liberal version of this charade: A bunch of greedy bankers decided to make loads of money by foisting questionable mortgages on naive victims who couldn't afford them. One thing led to another, a huge financial bubble formed, which then inevitably burst, threatening the world "economy." The conservative version: a bunch of do-gooder liberals decided that all citizens, regardless of whether they could afford it or not, should own their own home, and then pressured the banks to make "low interest" mortgages available to them. When, inevitably, they started to default on these loans, the whole banking system tanked, due, "naturally" to government interference.
On the European front, the most popular version goes like this: a bunch of European politicians cynically decided to garner votes by instituting "welfare states," hiring lazy bureaucrats, offering outsized pensions, and generally cow-towing to the unions. When it became clear that all the "entitlements," along with union demands were unaffordable, they decided to borrow their way out of their problem, and when these loans ultimately had to be repaid, an "economic" crisis developed.
In my opinion, all of the above interpretations are "correct," while at the same time not only completely off base but oddly deceptive. The real problem at the heart of this fiasco is the one thing no one wants to talk about: an old old story -- the exploitation of the working class.
"What," you ask? "Working class? What's that? Gee, I thought we were all middle class."
(more next time)