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Nemo’s Lessons About The Economy

Finding Nemo gets screened a lot at our house.  Having a five year old is an excuse to watch funny cartoons over and over again.  The artwork is mesmerizing — those Pixar guys are geniuses.  The script is hilarious, even the 90th time through (did I mention the five year old?).

The other day we were watching the movie and it hit me that it isn’t just a tale of parents and kids and overcoming fear, it’s also a fable about how people deal with the economy.  To wit:

We’re in the "first day of school" phase at the moment.

What do we have to remember about the ocean economy? It’s not safe. First you go out, then you go back in, then out, then back in, then again.  And sometimes, if you want to do it four times…

Welcome to everyone’s fear about the stock market in a little YouTube snippet. One of these days, everyone will head out into the great unknown…just not quite yet.

What lessons have we learned from past mistakes? I dunno.  I think half the pundits and political "how can I game this for my own personal benefit" types have caught Dory’s short term memory loss (YouTube) about causation.  

Krugman hits this head on:

Somehow, Washington has lost any sense of what’s at stake — of the reality that we may well be falling into an economic abyss, and that if we do, it will be very hard to get out again. 

It’s hard to exaggerate how much economic trouble we’re in. The crisis began with housing, but the implosion of the Bush-era housing bubble has set economic dominoes falling not just in the United States, but around the world.

Consumers, their wealth decimated and their optimism shattered by collapsing home prices and a sliding stock market, have cut back their spending and sharply increased their saving — a good thing in the long run, but a huge blow to the economy right now. Developers of commercial real estate, watching rents fall and financing costs soar, are slashing their investment plans. Businesses are canceling plans to expand capacity, since they aren’t selling enough to use the capacity they have….

Isn’t it time we all moved on from the crapola that got us here in the first place?  Say no to zombie lies.

How about all the greedy SOB’s who keep screaming "mine, mine, mine" grow up and realize that it’s not all theirs?  And that when others don’t have anything, that pile of "mine" starts shrinking.

Yeah, not holding my breath on that one, either.

But wouldn’t it be nice to see some discussion about the demand side of the economy, too?  Stimulating things by making sure people actually have jobs where they can earn decent wages for a day’s work so that they will then be able to buy food and housing and all those little things we like to think of as essentials in life for…survival. (YouTube)  

Of course, that presupposes that those who give a crap about regular people’s needs don’t get railroaded by those who can afford K Street survival mechanisms (a/k/a/ lobbyists).  

So, what’s a freaked out, economically worried person to do?

Grab shell, dude, and go with the flow:

Or, to put it a different way: just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming. (YouTube)

Because, honestly, what else are we all going to do except keep moving forward until we finally get out of this trench?  

And, if we are really lucky, we’ll all make it out of the swirling vortex of financial terror.

Just keep swimming…together.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com