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Friday, November 18, 2011

The Photo That Says It All

Every now and then, a photographer captures the zeitgeist. This picture might be it, taken by Brian Smith for the NY Daily News.

The distraught look on the policemen's faces.  The outstretched arm, that cannot be received.  A system that sells its young (and old) out for the unpoliced, short-term greed of "The Big Short".  A mop of hair, soaked in blood.  A crestfallen fighter seemingly on the verge of tears...

We sold the national interest out to the Mortgage Bankers Association.  Politically timid-to-the-point-of-failure, didn't go far enough to fix incentives of loan servicers or set up oversight. 

We cut the stimulus from the wrong cookie cutter, so that the already cash-rich supply-side could "accelerate depreciation" and get richer (with no obvious "trickle-down" to be seen).

All the while, our politics remains mired in the bubble (often epistemic) that American exceptionalism implies that every wrong decision - even every bogus compromise - will somehow work out okay or not have consequences, short-term or cumulative, that America will always be "Great" and "#1".