Tuesday, September 30, 2008
While the stock market self-destroyed we watched; some of us waited. We're still waiting. Some folks panicked. They moved their money around, lest they have nothing to move if the bleeding didn't stop soon enough. What shall we do with our money? Do we have any money left to do something with? When will this stop? Who is to blame? All good questions, but the wrong ones.
There is really only one question, as I see it. How much of what I care about is related to money? That is, what do I care about, and how will my life and ability to live it according to what matters most to me be affected by all the financial crises and maneuvering going on around me?
I'm not at all surprised at the Congress' inability to act. Anyone remotely familiar with our national legislative branch knows it's been broken for years. Some of the corporations that are major players in this fiasco have a few legislators in their pockets. When the stock market losses hit -777 yesterday, it looked like the huge slot machine it is. What an appropriate metaphor for those who see.
Maybe, just maybe, in the middle of all the anxiety and anger will come the realization that it's "a fool's errand" to be about the money, nothing but the money. My hat is off to George Santayana*...yes, they are condemned and they will repeat it.
*Perhaps best known as an aphorist, and for the oft-misquoted remark, "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it," from Reason in Common Sense, the first volume of his The Life of Reason.