A Costly Denial

As the debt ceiling debate fades, a new reminder of a dangerous collective malady emerges with the ill-defined protests that started in New York and have spread throughout the country.  The protests, despite the message the media works so diligently to construct, represent another scene in the vacuous western between employers and employees, owners and renters, the haves and the have-nots. Simple vilification, while emotively luxurious, describes nothing but immaturity and ignorance.  Moments that fit a clean dichotomy are rare and historic, and this is not one of them.  Attempts to diagnose economic troubles with shallow slogans and proscribe solutions with simplistic statements only articulate our crude view of a complex subject. Our current anger over all things economic should yield self-examination and the realization that the true villain is our own fiscal illiteracy.  As Bill Clinton stated in a CNN interview aired a few weeks ago, in a democracy, disgust with elected officials should be directed at ourselves–they’re who and what we chose; they’re a reflection of us. This echoes a basic management maxim–the product, whether success or debacle, will always be the natural result of our decisions within our chosen structure.  With economics, we choose poorly. Our economic ignorance exposes us to manipulation, misinformation and self-inflicted hindrances that have enormous consequences.  Relying on publically floated ideas, we’d think the Laffer curve implies that tax cuts from any...

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