This is what is happening when leaders tell lies for so long that they cannot go back and tell the truth when it is absolutely necessary. In this case, it has to deal with our economy and how we have lived our lives since the grand old Reagan years. It is called living a lie and ignoring reality.
My friends at Washington Monthly forwarded me this post on the article that Jame Galbraith “No Return to Normal” in regards to what happens when a country’s culture makes it bad to be honest. We don’t want anyone to commit the truth, I say almost on a daily basis. That means we have to fix the problem and make hard decisions. That is called leadership. The biggest crisis today is not oil, the economy or education, it is lack of leaders of character.
We can fix our problems the day we start electing leaders that tell like it is, based on cold hard analysis with hard recommendations. Otherwise, we will continue to see the demise of our nation.
No Return to Normal
President Obama has predicted that the stimulus package will revive the economy by next year. Recent upticks in housing starts and stock prices give some hope to that view. There are many other reasons, however, to fear that in this economic crisis, the worst is yet to come.
In the cover story of the upcoming March/April issue of the Washington Monthly, economist James K. Galbraith makes the case for a much darker picture of what’s in store. He begins by questioning an assumption held by nearly all modern economists, including those around Obama: that economies are naturally self-stabilizing, and therefore that economic slumps can be righted with relatively modest, short-term nudges from government. That idea fits the experience of every post-War recession. But what if the current crisis is less like those downturns and more like the Great Depression, when the economy famously failed to return to normal? In that case, the actions that official Washington has taken are bound to be woefully inadequate to the challenge.
If Galbraith is right, tens of millions more Americans will be out of work in a year or two or five, even if the stimulus creates all the jobs the president expects. Banks will not resume significant lending for years, no matter how much money the Treasury pours into them. And the economy will not recover for many years to come, until the balance sheets of average American households are rebuilt.
Based on these conclusions, Galbraith lays out an agenda that establishment Washington can hardly bring itself to contemplate, but had better start thinking about–from creating millions of government jobs for the unemployed to increasing entitlement spending.
A sneak preview of Galbraith’s article, “No Return to Normal,” is available here.