Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Economy Just Happened

It kills me how clueless the supposed brightest lights in our nation often are. Yesterday on Morning Edition, Inskeep interviewed Gail Collins about a book (When Everything Changed) she wrote looking at the transformation of American women since 1960. I heard this little exchange and scratched my head.

Inskeep: "I feel like reading this, that you do get a sense of women not necessarily grasping an opportunity, but assuming an economic obligation."

Collins gets around to explaining this as follows:
"Before World War II, we lived very simple lives....then the war changed, the post-war economy came in. Everything boomed and suddenly on one person's salary, because of the GI bill and the loans, the home loans, you were able to have a house, to have a car, to have a TV, to expect to send your kids to college....And they got it on one person's salary often in those early years.

But then the '70s came and the economy just no longer could support families like this on one person's salary. But that was really the point at which people realized that if you wanted to have a middle-class lifestyle, you needed to have two people working. And it - now I believe women grow up with the same expectations men do for the most part, that it's their job."
You know, this kind of aggressive-passive assertion just drives me nuts. Where was the interviewer saying, "Yes, that postwar boom was POLICY driven." During and right after WWII national loan, tax, and education policies pushed the income gap a bit closer and helped create a larger middle class."

It wasn't that the economy just magically stopped supporting single income families in the 1970's. It was that the 70s marked the beginning of a new policy of directing the nation's wealth up. This policy really gained steam under Reagan, of course, and has only accelerated of late. It's pretty sad - that as we are living through a virtual financial coup d'etat by the wealthy and further economic depression of the middle and lower classes in this country, all we get from NPR is such vacuous, sloppy analysis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It kills me how clueless the supposed brightest lights in our nation often are."

If the "journalists" and "experts' on NPR are our brightest lights, then I'd have to say that someone forgot to turn on the switch.

Then again, NPR is Wonderland, where torture is "enhanced conversation", single payer is " ..........(dead silence)", white is black, Vivian Schiller, Steve Inskeep, Anne Garrels, Don Begoneaway, Alicia Shepard, Meeeeshell Nooooris are journalists and dumb is smart, so i guess maybe by that standard, darkness is light.

Wake me up when it's all over (said Rip van Winkle)