vendredi, juillet 11, 2008


The Republican top dogs can't seem to get it right. The latest gaffe came from former Senator Phil Gramm, who said we were in a "mental recession."

Does that mean this is a bad dream?...does he believe we will wake up to oil under $100 a barrel, gas at the pump the $3.00 a gallon it was less than a year ago, milk that isn't sneaking towards $5.00 a gallon?

I'm not poor. I don't constantly have to measure the cost of what I feed our family against what I need to put in our ancient Volvo. Many folks in our nation are facing suffering that Senators Gramm and McCain and even Obama really can't imagine.

But the shocking increase in food prices and gasoline is a sign to the middle class that we are in a real recession.

Of course, it may only be shocking to some of us because we are used to paying prices that are extremely low, relative to the way many others live.

When I first heard Gramm's comment, I thought the Senator was attempting to figure out the cause of our national malaise-how had we become the world's bargain basement?

The term 'mental recession' seemed apt for a nation that has become complacent, much less interested in incentivizing innovation in our globalized culture than in shaking a big stick and trying to create democracies in former dictatorships.

What predictable hubris.

There's something so tedious about pondering the rise and fall of empires, and wondering where we fit. As I said in an a post back when I started this 'blog- as a historian's child I think it's all been said before, and likely said more eloquently.

At the least, we are in a moment of crisis-there's nothing fantastical about that. Unprepared, we have an awful lot of work to do if we are to emerge as we went in-a leader in a world evolving in a direction we cannot control...

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