Economic Lemmingism

Now that we’ve been through these last few years of economic misfortune, what have we learned?

Perhaps we’ve learned that the words “financial” and “advice” should sound a large alarm whenever anyone puts them together and pretends to predict the future.

Of course, no one can predict the future, especially not economists who mostly failed to predict the 2008 global financial collapse. Oh sure, there are always going to be a few who make accurate predictions because of either blind luck, or because they make hundreds of predictions knowing the law of averages guarantees at least a few winners.

Now that so many have lost their jobs, their homes and their futures, what is the solution to these tragedies? Why of course it is to keep interest rates so low that the credit pushers can trick recovering credit addicts into going back on the drug.

Yes, this idea of economic recovery depends on millions of us spending money we don’t have on things we can do without.

Meanwhile, those of you who believe it might be a good idea to save some of your income just in case more bad things happen; those of you who can put off remodeling your kitchens; those of you who can get by with your ten-year-old Japanese cars; those of you who might actually want to lose weight and improve your health by not consuming a week’s worth of calories in a single sitting at overpriced restaurants . . .

Yes, those of you who actually want to plan ahead for the unexpected by moderation and saving; you, O virtuous, self-disciplined and thrifty citizens, you are rewarded with near zero interest rates for your frugality.

In America, frugality is punished.

So shall we all just keep running blind toward the edge of insolvency? Pay no mind to those that fall, for the intoxication of the stampede is all.

~ by Russ Allison Loar (2019)