Over the last few weeks I’ve watched up-to-the-minute Twitter updates about the world’s financial markets with a sort of morbid excitement. I just love a good shaking-up. Add to that the knocking-down a few notches of greedy rich dudes, and my excitement almost outweighs the morbidity. (Here’s a clear, high-level overview of the recent history of economic policy in the grander view of the “brand” of America.)
I’m keenly aware, however, that although I sort of understand what’s going on with the markets, I’ve had trouble really grasping what it might mean for individuals, myself included, on any given day.
We live in a city with excellent public transportation, and our one car sits for days on end without being driven. I work from home and the man is a student. We don’t have kids, we don’t commute, and from the comfort of such a situation I smugly announce that I think it’s good for the environment and, in the long run, for innovation and therefore for the economy, for gas prices to climb very, very high (in fact, I think gas prices should climb steadily as long as public transportation rates don’t have to be raised). I also, less smugly and more resolutely, think that pollution should be taxed heavily. And, while I’m spouting from the virtual mouth, I believe to my core that access to quality education and health care are basic human rights and that each should be provided by the government and be supported by the people. But I digress.
So, while I’m not painfully affected right now by the dramatic downturn in the economy, I’m a little excited in that idealistic part of my brain that deregulation and trickle-down economics are under fire and that the average citizen is truly at the center of election politics on both sides of the border.
What do you think? Are you feeling the crisis more than intellectually? Are you freaking out? Are you numb? Has it affected how you see the looming election(s)?