Only weeks ago, we were assured by both Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that all was well. To hear them tell the story about the financial crisis, no one could see it coming. This is true only if you count as “nobodies” the thousands of people labeled by these globalization cheerleaders as “kooks,” “wackos,” “weirdos,” “alarmists,” “nut cases” and “protectionists” – the people who have been warning us for many years that our trade, economic and monetary policies were heading us toward financial disaster.
And make no mistake, we stand at the precipice of the worst economic catastrophe in the history of the world, one that would make the Great Depression pale by comparison. This morning, I watched Senator Dodd and Representative Boehner on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos. Dodd recounted that he and Boehner and other congressional leaders have been briefed on many scary things over the years, but nothing like what they heard from Paulson and Bernanke. When Stephanopoulos pressed them for details about what exactly Bernanke said, they refused to answer. They were so mindful of the the fear and panic that could be provoked in the general population that they wouldn’t paraphrase, summarize or even characterize what was said. But Dodd did say this: “When Bernanke finished speaking, there was a stunned silence for 10-15 seconds. It was as though all the air had been sucked out of the room.”
I can take a good guess at what he said. I believe Bernanke revealed that, within days, if nothing was done, everyone in America would be bankrupted and the economy would grind to a complete halt. Our foreign creditors were on the verge of pulling their money out, a sum of money that exceeds the cumulative net worth of the entire population of the U.S.
Now we see that the Henry Paulsons, the Alan Greenspans, the Ben Bernankes and all of the globalization cheerleaders and fans of deregulation have been ultimately proven wrong. Their theories and philosophies have been atrocious, abysmal failures. Now, in a panic, they’re ready to trade it all away for a Grand Plan that smells an awful lot like socialism or something worse, something more akin to a corrupt communist state or a dictatorship, set up to benefit the ruling class, at the expense of the proletariat.
They had their chance. They’ve failed badly. It’s time to give all of the “kooks” and “weirdos” out here in the blogosphere their due. They got it right. It’s time to consider that it is they who are the real economists we should be listening to, and cast aside the buffoons who have held sway for far too long. Our next president would be well-advised to gather a meeting of the minds of the best of these people and hear them out. Study their blogs and give careful consideration to what they’ve been saying for years. It’s time to pay attention to the people who had it right all along. History can either mark September, 2008 as the beginning of the end of American prosperity, or as the turning point in economic philosophy that pulled our nation from an economic abyss and propelled it to new heights.