There is a video circulating online – at least until Disney’s lawyers kill it – that combines old footage of Donald Duck in a dire financial situation with current recordings of Glenn Beck. The point being made seems to be that much of the stregth of the Tea Party movement and individuals like Beck derives from the fear that individuals have about their current financial situation, or near financial future.
I am always curious about the readership of this site, partly because being aware of the situations in which participants find themselves could help illustrate why general currents of thought run in the way they do. To that end, I would be curious to get responses to these questions:
- Has anybody reading this site suffered a major financial blow, in response to the global economic crisis that has been ongoing since about 2008? Examples would include getting laid off, having your house foreclosed, etc.
- Has anybody suffered a more minor financial blow, such as having to cancel a vacation, experiencing a notable drop in the size of your investment portfolio, etc?
- Has anybody suffered from a great deal of anxiety about the state of their current or future economic circumstances, to the extent that it has been one of the top things on their mind?
Whether it is reflected in the readership of this site or not, the difference in perspective between those deeply concerned about current economic conditions and those for who they are a somewhat secondary issue could help to explain much of the political confusion in North America. For instance, the frustration of some people who think we are failing to act on critical long-term problems, because of our obsession with short-term economic performance. And, in contrast, those who are frustrated by the ambition of others to press on with major long-term reforms, at a time when they feel immediate relief is the most pressing priority.