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Politicians Fail, Markets Plunge

It is the old and now familiar story.  In Europe, a paralyzed political establishment is watching the steady deterioration of the financial system like the proverbial deer in the headlights.  In the US, the oncoming train wreck of entitlement spending elicits the same response: fatalistic passivity. Add growing worries about the Chinese and Indian financial systems, and you have a toxic cocktail no one really wants to quaff.

Quaff it we will, however, and to the dregs.  Markets are plunging this morning as I head off to give some lectures on American history; it’s all the more remarkable because in America at least more and more signs point to an economy that is trying to recover.  The index of leading economic indicators is rising, GDP growth (still modest) is getting stronger, and even holiday spending looks to be higher.

Hopefully by the time I come up for air later this afternoon — and return to blogging — some politician somewhere will say something mildly intelligent and the markets will find their footing.  But between our not so supercommittee, the European meltdown and the rickety Asian financial systems, the world does not look as cheery as one would wish at the start of Thanksgiving week.

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  • Silverfiddle

    Excellent headline, Professor, and it sums up what’s wrong with us.

    The federal government has so spilled out of its constitutional bounds that every time it twitches its horny tail, it sweeps a path of destruction.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    You are so a “Glass is half full” kind of guy.
    I on the other hand think that if you give the Politicians an opportunity to kick the can down the road, they will kick the can down the road.
    We desperately need a George Washington or Ronald Reagan to lead us out of the darkness we are plunging into.

  • Luke Lea

    Politicians Fail, Markets Plunge, People Get Hurt.

  • Kenny

    Remember, Jacksoinan, George Washington was not a reformer. He was a revolutaionary.

    And maybe that’s what we need to to purge the sickly leftists out of the system.

  • Tim Brynteson

    I am always amazed at those who seem to believe that the politicians unique failure is that the “government” has done too much and the politicians have not stopped it. It seems to me that our government has done far too little and our leaders sin is not one of commission, but ommision. The constant harping on government overreach actually undermines any constructive conversations about helpful things WE can do through our elected representatives. There was a time when the source of our strength was a vision for collective action rather than a hope for vaguely defined individual heroism, if the government would just get “out of the way.”

  • Silverfiddle

    Tim: I think any examination of the evidence would show that government has done quite enough, and racked up an unprecedented debt in the process.

    Collectivizing everything just spreads the misery and removes individual sovereignty over one’ own life. Judgment and prudence are snuffed as a result. Look around you, from wall street bankers to everyday people. The evidence is everywhere.

    We are not a one-size-fits-all nation, and our government was not designed to solve everyone’s problems.

    Government doesn’t work because it was not designed to work the way the statists of all parties are trying to make it work.

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