Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The March of Folly*

Eons ago a college history professor of mine repeatedly said that people won't so much as lift a finger to fix a problem until it becomes a crisis and then only if it affects them personally. Sadly, it's so true. Global warming must be the ultimate case in point -- we've been warned about its dire consequences since at least the mid-70s (the earliest that I can remember first hearing such warnings) and nothing but squat has been done about it and here we find ourselves damn close to if not past the "point of no return" (do a Google search).

Well, this housing bubble and debt-financed lifestyle is the same sort of deal (but to a lesser extent of course; I mean, the Great Trashing of the Planet has to take precedence).

Here are the comments of Rick Wolff, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, for your reading pleasure.

*Shamelessly taken from the book by the same title by Barbara W. Tuchman.

4 Comments:

Blogger marin_explorer said...

"The American working class is very likely in for rough economic times made more dangerous by their huge personal debt."

In other words, we'll be forced to rediscover those timeless ethics of thrift, financial modesty, delayed gratification, etc: concepts bound to sting the ears of some Marin residents.

Jul 25, 2006, 2:16:00 PM  
Anonymous LJR said...

marin_explorer -

The American working class hasn't been living in Marin for years. We commute from Pittsburg and Antioch. Marin will just hire private security jocks and create the first "gated county."

Jul 25, 2006, 3:33:00 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

The American working class hasn't been living in Marin for years.

Perhaps this is just a semantic difference, but I'd include working professionals in the Bay Area "working class*," Many are up to their eyeballs in debt, hence my comment on consumer ethics.

*They're buying working-class homes in Marin, after all.

Jul 25, 2006, 3:49:00 PM  
Anonymous trailer trash said...

"Sadly, it's so true. Global warming must be the ultimate case in point -- we've been warned about its dire consequences since at least the mid-70s (the earliest that I can remember first hearing such warnings) and nothing but squat has been done about it and here we find ourselves damn close to if not past the "point of no return" "


In addition to Tiny Tim's "I am the Viper! I've come to vipe your vindows!", I distinctly remember this:


"The ice caps are melting, tra-la-la-la!,

all the world is drowning, tra la la la la!,

the ice caps are melting, the tide is rushing in;

here comes the water to wash away our sins ... ."


By Tiny Tim, from "God Bless Tiny Tim", 1968.

http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/45760

Jul 26, 2006, 9:33:00 AM  

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