On Wednesday, one of our readers posted the following comment: “This website offers hope. Is there a way readers can help the cause?”
I’ve been thinking about that ever since, and I don’t have a good answer. The key decisions are being made by the central bankers and ministers of finance (we call ours the Secretary of the Treasury) of about ten countries, and most of the decisions they make are at their own discretion.
But I can’t avoid noticing that here in the United States we are less than a month away from a general election, which is the principal mechanism by which the public can affect the policies of our government. I watched the presidential debate on Wednesday, intending to write about the candidate’s positions on the financial crisis, but frankly there was nothing to write about. The most newsworthy moment was when, asked if the economy would get much worse, both candidates said no – which was, let’s say, wishful thinking.
It would be a good thing if the thousands of politicians up for election in a few weeks would acknowledge that we already have a serious economic problem, and that the current credit crunch is making that economic problem bigger. It would be good if they could talk about how they will get the credit markets flowing again and, once that problem is solved, how they will limit the damage of falling housing prices and stimulate the real economy. And it would be good if they could identify the reasons why this crisis came about and talk about how our financial system should be modified or regulated in the future.
As a voter and a constituent, those are questions you can ask your elected representatives. I have no experience in electoral politics and am not asking you to call or email anyone. But if you are so inclined, those are some questions you might ask.