From NYTimes, the latest article in its “The Reckoning” series: Chinese Savings Helped Inflate American Bubble. The title might be a true statement, but pointing to Chinese savings for the crisis is as ridiculous as suing McDonald’s for causing the obesity problem.
One could blame McDonald’s for selling the fattening BigMacs in the first place. One could also point to the fact that the BigMacs are priced very low, so that now it’s possible for people on a small budget to load up on the calories. One could also argue that the regulatory scheme is lacking: the FDA could have banned the BigMacs, the USDA could have declared the beef patties unsafe, etc. But if you ask me, I’d say the 300-pound guy who eats BigMacs three times a day only has himself to blame for his obesity and heart attack.
But when it comes to the economic crisis, the NYT seems to blame everyone but the 300-pound guy. In its almost 20-article series, it blames the regulators, the risk-takers, and now the Chinese savings that enabled cheap credit. But it seems unwilling to say the obvious: ultimately it’s the consumers, stupid. American consumers over-borrowed, and over-spent. Everything else, including regulatory failure, aggressive risk taking by the banks, and yes, Chinese savings that enabled cheap credit for the US government and American consumers, might have failed to put out the fire, but they didn’t start the flames.
Liberal media of this country need to stop portraying middle-class America as the victim rather than the culprit of the economic downturn. The U.S., as well as the average American consumers, have been able to borrow very cheaply in the past decade, but instead of investing, they blew the borrowed money on supporting a war and consuming beyond their means; and instead of being thankful for the cheap credit, they are now criticizing how cheap it was. But then again, being quick to criticize others is so typically American, just like America’s habit of overborrowing and overspending.
My officemate and I will be moving to another office very soon, so we took a picture from what had been our office for the past three months. I haven’t seen our new office yet, but it will most certainly not have this kind of view.
This is one of them.
Symphony of Butterflies, Serigraph, by Susan Point.
$1500 CAD—when it was available for sale. It’s been on my mind ever since my visit to the Steinbrueck Native Gallery in Seattle earlier this year, and now it’s sold out everywhere.