What's the impact of the 2009 financial crisis on American culture?
I was recently asked this question by a reader of my blog -- and thought it was such a good question that I'd ask all of you.
My initial answer -- "I don't know" was accurate but insufficient. I think that this past year is going to be perceived as having a significant impact on our culture. Below are some random thoughts on the question in the title of this post:
- The crisis was self inflicted and could not be externalized that easily. It's a little like a smoker who develops a bad cough.
- The crisis was not bad enough to cause real crisis in the streets -- or more specifically, the crisis wasn't so bad as to unite people in an emotion of grief, frustration, anger.
- The Madoff story gives both an externalized bad guy and a mechanism for uniting people emotionally.
- People who were conservative with debt are the ones that worked through this period the easiest.
- Our way out of the crisis includes the issuance of massive amounts of country debt -- the repayment of which remains a question.
- I like the idea of Pres. Obama and Gov. Schwarzenegger as the best bond salesman in the history of the world.