I have tried to follow discussions of the continuing economic/financial crisis, here and elsewhere, for the last few months, to the best of my ability. And little enough good it has done me. For such discussions invariably leave me, as the late, great Anna Russell might have put it, "as befogged as before."
This despite the fact that (as I have pretty good reason to believe) my basic smarts and my grasp of basic economics single me out among somewhere between one thousand and ten thousand average Americans.
From which I can't help drawing a couple of (I think) obvious conclusions:
(1) Such is the complexity of the modern financial system that nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine out of ten thousand citizens simply have no real choice, if they wish to keep said system chugging along, but to trust the one remaining "expert" to get them out of the soup - even if he's the very same "expert" who was running the show while we all got into the soup in the first place. (Question that, and you can expect a nasty spanking from Zippy!)
(2) In such a system - i.e., a system where public decisions of tremendous moral import must be left to the judgment of one in ten thousand, lest the heavens fall, old-timey ideals like "self-government" and "freedom" simply count for nothing. Nothing at all.
I've done my best to try to imagine what sort of economic armageddon could possibly be worse than that.
I find that I cannot.