The Katrina Economy
Note that this is a one hour Charlie Rose clip, with guests: New York Times' Floyd Norris and Gretchen Morgenson as well as PIMCO's Mohamed El-Erian, and New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini -- about the economy we inherit from George Bush.
If you watch the clip, you may agree with me that Chris Matthews was utterly wrong today on Hardball in asserting -- if Obama can somehow articulate a bridge to the future for the next generation -- that white, middle-class mothers under age 45, with whom he's apparently slipping in national polls, will vote for him.
The reason he's wrong is that Matthews, an elite media celebrity with a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract, is incapable of a legitimate assessment of the true state of the U.S. economy -- in its frightening middle-class context -- given the ongoing housing collapse and in the wake of taxpayer-funded bailouts of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
And the reason Matthews' too future oriented strategy would fail is -- because each passing day leading to this election, millions of mothers (and fathers) in this country are feeling increasingly panicky. Like 2004, such troubled people may yet again not vote for change. Instead, they may again mistakenly vote for normal, for a fictional, nostalgic Andy Griffith past, when America was happier, as a natural avoidance to the bleak future they see every day in the news and the Dow Jones' Industrial Average.
Today, millions of working Americans are stranded on the rooftops of George Bush's Katrina Economy. The water is rising -- and they're praying a helicopter is on its way!
But if that helicopter arrives, there seems a growing fear among them that the pilot may be different (young, black, thoughtful, highly-educated and articulate). And America is not used to different. So, as in the aftermath of 911, some could be fearful enough to again vote Republican -- for Grandpa, the War Hero and a common, white, pretty, eerily familiar mother that would carry a disabled child to term, no matter the defect.
Thus, like 2004, this election has again unfortunately descended -- to personality, values, and added race. Panic, after all, is an emotion. And emotions muddle clear thinking.
How can any woman's children cross a bridge to the future when parents lose their houses, their jobs and their tiny, but highly coveted, trickled down slice of the American dream?
Yes. It's insane! With McCain-Palin, the helicopter never gases up, let alone rescues anyone -- anyone not already listed on the Fortune 500. Whereas, with Obama-Biden, and a new Congress, maybe America's middle and under class still has a fighting chance?
So, Messers Obama and Biden, please do all that you can to empathize with gnawing, growing middle-class economic panic. Like Reagan in 1980, level with us daily and especially during the debates. Americans need to better understand why things are so bad and how much more likely they are to worsen under the disregard and profligacy of the Bush administration's 3rd term Presidential candidate, John McCain. Like Ross Perot, use pie charts and statistics if you must. Unemployment is rising. When it reaches 8 percent, that giant sucking sound will be so loud we won't be able to hear ourselves think.
So, first, calm us down! Then clearly and rationally demonstrate exactly why and, most importantly, how you will help those of us most in need first -- instead of providing yet another victory lap for globalism's winners' circle . Then Democrats may win, for once, and finally get an opportunity to provide some overdue relief.