The Republicans are fighting tooth-and-nail against Obama’s $800-plus billion stimulus package (so far, in the lower house, unsuccessfully). They say it’s unrealistic that it can actually work, that it would be money mostly wasted with no effect. Maybe they’ve got a point, but isn’t it a point based on a set of systems (financial, macro- and microeconomical, political, moral, etc.) that are of an old order, an order that has proven to a great extent unworkable? I think Obama is trying to turn the defect into an effect, to make the most of the ground-zero start-up point that the current crisis has put the American (and respectively, the world economy) into. We need to start clean anyway – why not build something new, something that we’ve talked about, wished for, but been unable to start up from the chains of an old, rigid system? Why not go into a somewhat more useful direction, work on problems as we go along, instead of needing to come back and fix them later?
Imagine you’re building a house, just off a river bank. It’s a decent house, and you’re about to put the roof on. Some time around finishing the second floor you realised there’s something wrong in the base, the house is kinda crooked, though stable enough. You scratched your head, cursed a bit, put up a supporting beam, thought to yourself “well, if the Pisa Tower still stands, so should this”. Then the spring came with great rains, the river gathered might up in the mountains, roared down five-fold, and took the house down and away, completely. You were lucky, you were away at the time. Now you have to build from scratch, and you have the chance to pick up a new location, far enough from the destructive river, and with a base that you now know how to make perfect. Can’t argue with a river, but you can do better next time. Change your system and do better.
A cautious optimist here. But what else is left?