By Brian T. Lynch, MSW
Before I had a blog, before the Wall Street “privateers of equity” crashed the economy, and long before the Occupy movement occupied anything, there were seemingly crazy folks like me trying to sound the alarm on our economy. I wrote Letters to the Editor in local newspapers and sent copies to every newspapers across the country for which I had an email addresses. What disturbed me back then was that no one in the media, or even in academia, seemed to be paying much attention. Event have consequences, and the crash in 2008 caught us flat footed.
It is unknown how social problems that exist for years suddenly become public issues to be solved. No one knows what triggers these tipping points. Even when a single individual is clearly associated with a change or a movement or a discovery (Einstein, for example), that person is responding to what ever came before. Sometime it is the consequential event rather than any alarm bells that finally get our attention. The firmament that precedes public cognition before a disastrous event remains a mystery to me.
My wife just came across one of my old letters. What startled me is that I could have written this same letter today, except the statistics are far worse now.
Here below is my Daily Record Letter to the Editor published on Christmas Eve, 2006.
I share your plight. I predicted the dot.com bust and the real estate implosion. I’ve been harping about the minimum wage and the decline of the middle class. My friends initially insist that I’m a doomsday naysayer. Then, when I’m correct, they challenge, “Yeah, but what did you do about it?” I’m no Einstein but when things are out of balance it’s obvious. If my friends would pull their heads out of the sand, turn off the entertainment and engage in what’s happening today, they, too, would see the signs. The nation has been collectively anaesthitized.
This is what I find so frustrating. It takes no special skill to see behind the curtain being pulled across the stage, but no one seems curious about what is being kept from them. If you tell them they would rather wait and see than check it out. When bad things happen, the say, “who could have known” rather than acknowledge they could have known if they wanted to.
I’ll join the frustration corner – I try to talk about this but find many are more interested in what happened on the latest sitcom last night! 🙂
I really thought the 2008 bust was going to be big enough that enough people would be affected and we would start seeing some changes – but we have the appearance of pulling back from the brink and those who wanted to hear after they got jacked in the collapse, have recovered enough to want to ignore it again – – sigh….
Thanks to people like you, I have wonderful links to share with the few others who are interested – and I appreciate what you do here –
And I really appreciate all of your comments and insights. It’s good to hear from you again. Keep up the good fight and I will do the same.