Bailout or Bust
I’ve gotten lots of great comments to this post, including an unusually large number of emails from liberal bloggers who think I’ve pulled a Colin Powell. As I read over their extremely angry letters, I started to have the sense that as many folks who opposed the bailout went to bed last night, they had a sudden, terrible, thought. Which went something like this:
“What if I don’t know what I’m talking about, and we just deliberately hit an iceberg for the sake of short-term political gain?” And what if people, you know, held me to my words?
This morning, such doubts happily put aside as the stock market rose on bargain hunting and the still strong odds that we’ll get some kind of bailout, the blogosphere has erupted in defensiveness. We’re not celebrating Congressional fecklessness, we just hate bush/socialism!
As I’ve written back to these many commentators, this problem increasingly strikes me as one that facts won’t help to resolve. Individuals’ views of the risks of nonaction, and the costs of action, are bound up in their priors. So, it is with no expectation that I will convince any naysayer of the magnitude of the crisis that I simply call your attention to a little number that functions as the economy’s DEFCON.
Go ahead, read the writing on the wall.
And now, you should feel free to return to your regularly scheduled diversions.