Monday, April 14, 2008

A Global Economy without Global Responsibility

In the New York Times article “Housing Woes in U.S. Spread around Globe,” we are finally forced to face the frightening reality of the libertarian dream of unregulated free market capitalism.

The article points out for instance, “The collapse of the sub prime mortgage market and housing bubble in the United States is mutating into a global phenomenon, with real estate prices swooning from the Irish countryside and the Spanish coast to Baltic seaports and even parts of northern India. This synchronized global slowdown is hobbling economic growth worldwide, affecting not just homes but jobs as well.”

Should we be surprised? Since the U.S. is the driving economic force in the world, you would think it would be a no-brainer for the government economic guru’s to exercise some monetary caution. Instead, what we have is global economic policy without global responsibility.

The story reveals two more undeniable consequences; “When faulty American mortgages end up on the books of European banks, the problems of the United States aggravate the world’s problems. ‘The U.K. followed the U.S. into never-never land,’ said the managing editor of Property Finance Europe, a newsletter for investors.”

Never-never land! We’re talking about the ideological underpinnings of the U.S. economy.

Over the last seven years the Republicans have changed one of the most fundamental rules of discussion: opinion has the same weight as facts. Or as one administration official put, and I’m paraphrasing, “we create our own reality.” Yes it’s the “we should always consider both sides” argument, despite the irrevocable certainty of facts. It’s also known as relativism.

In a relative world, an opinion trump facts, and your first amendment right to say anything at all allows you to confuse the most simplistic solution. We’ve gone down the path of relativism and live in a never-never land of systemic chaos.

Bizarre unintended consequence note: "In Ireland, taxi drivers complain that their ranks are being swollen by laid-off home builders."

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