This is an interesting article from MSNBC. I found a couple of points particularly interesting. First, the notion of arrogance and hubris. We always assume that we, with our amazing technology, have everything under control. We never really think about what we would do if that technology failed us for any reason. Second, the recognition that while some aspects of our technology, mostly the lucrative, have leaped ahead while others, the more costly safety oriented, have lagged seriously behind. In this case the technology that allows us to tap oil fields under a mile of ocean and several thousand feed of earths crust have surged far ahead of the technology for dealing with a catastrophic failure. Third, the notion that if we got away with ignoring possible warning signals in the past, we will necessarily get away with such behavior in the present and future.
I found this NewsWeek article by way of MSNBC and I have some mixed thoughts about it. It turns out to be one of the 'booster' articles that dismiss the negatives in the economy while playing up the so-called positives. I think the author would be dismayed at where his medical analogy led my wandering brain. As he outlined all of the money the Federal government pumped into the economy over the last two years, I thought of the several articles I have read on when in our life cycles we spend the most on medical care--during the last medical crisis before death. And I almost involuntarily asked--are we using extraordinary means to resuscitate a terminal patient? Then the author went into a far more rosy and all too predictable path. He thinks we will, with our resilience and innovation and ability to "ride the Global economy," surf out of the recession on the China wave. That completely ignores the fact, which many of the economic pundits have been discussing for the last month or more, that China is taking steps to cool its economy. And it ignores the fact that China is hardly an open economy. American companies may sell good to the Chinese but those goods are going to be made in China--not here. American companies will benefit but America won't. And this guy, like most other economic commentators, expects the American people to both save and spend. I have yet seen any explanation of how that miracle of having your cake and eating it can be accomplished.