Sunday, July 25, 2010


Under the Influence (Status Quo album)Image via Wikipedia
Dear You—

I’ve been asking myself why there has been so little outrage over both The Great Recession and the general decline in the economic wellbeing of about 80 percent of the population – otherwise known as the American Middle Class. This isn’t to say that many people aren’t decidedly upset, but more to observe that there has been no mass reaction against the status quo, but instead a whole series of different reactions which, not infrequently make little sense. The following are some thoughts on the subject.

  1. The decline of the Middle Class has been going on for so long – since the early Seventies – that most people aren’t aware of it.
  2. Relatively few people understand how much better many other countries are doing than the U.S. and therefore they tend to accept the propaganda that what is happening in the U.S. is unavoidable and an inevitable result of globalization.
  3. Although individual journalists do an excellent job, the media as a whole are corporately owned and focus more on infotainment than information. Further, there is a vast amount of self-censorship by journalists who may well know the issues, but also know full well that if they write about them, they won’t get published.
  4. Most people don’t understand that the current American Business Model – based upon largely unfettered Corporate power – is not the only way to run a free-enterprise economy.
  5. People prefer the devil they know to new and strange ways of doing things.
  6. Ignorance of the issues is pervasive to an extent which does not bode well for the future of this Great Nation.
 As you well know, all of this is much on my mind because of the work I have been doing on Titanic Nation: How To Avoid Icebergs: The Case For Fundamental Change In The American Way Of Life.  Amazing to think it will be out soon. I guess it may seem an odd thing for a thriller writer to spend several years researching but, of course, I trained as an economist and am strongly of the view that if anything brings America down, it will be its own mismanagement of the economy, not terrorism.

I think I’d better end with an economists’ joke:

Economists in parades

There is also a joke about the last Mayday parade in the Soviet Union.

After the tanks and the troops and the planes and the missiles rolled by there came ten men dressed in black.

"Are they Spies?" Asked Gorby?

"They are economists," replies the KGB director, "imagine the havoc they will wreak when we set them loose on the Americans" 

Farewell for the moment. Write soon. I miss your wit and your company.


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