How I Killed the Economy

As noted before, I like to work by microcosm. I often detect something going on in my own life, some slightly shifted perspective  or unsettling of a question I had taken as settled, and use that awareness to open a window on the larger world.

I’ve found this method valuable because it ensures that my thinking on the subject is grounded in at least one humble fact. My idea may not explain everything (ours is a world of fragments, and I lack a system), but it is based on something real and known.   Thoreau put it better:  

Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe… till we come to the hard bottom of rocks in place, which we can call reality.

It’s not easy to find those hard, reliable rocks  beneath the muck, but we need them to stand on  if what we say is to have any value.

That’s what I find worrisome about so many loud and rabid commentators on the scene today: They deal in theories, conjectures, rebuttals of rebuttals, categorical denunciations. They seem to cover so much territory, and they have five instant answers for every question, and yet, sometimes it all seems like. . .just  words. Attitude.  Air. How do you know what you know? I want to ask these hyper-confident yakkers.  

Anyway, having come across one of those “rocks” in my thinking about the economy, I put s0me thoughts into a  KERA/NPR commentary that aired today.

Read and/or listen here if you like.

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