WASHINGTON -- Regarding the present economic apprehensions, may I counsel calm and good sense. As for those agitated voices in the chorus, ululating of our dire straits and even of depression and doom, remember they have been out there for years. Generally speaking, they are opportunistic liberals itching for power. It is not surprising that their lamentations are so frequent but that they are so monotonous, for they have yet to be occasioned by either depression or doom. A pause here, a pause there, otherwise the American economy just keeps growing.
At The American Spectator, we have maintained a department, "The Current Wisdom," wherein we have over the decades recorded the neurotic, albeit often opportunistic, jeremiads of these prophets of doom. In reviewing these lamentations, the perceptive reader will note two things: their failed prophecies and their unchanging bugaboos and rhetoric through all their head-on collisions with reality. In modern times, no political point of view has been more out of sync with the facts than liberalism. Yet somehow the liberal point of view endures, failed prophecies and all. To the liberal jeremiahs, America is forever on the hem of financial disaster, along with other calamities. Our bellicose foreign policy threatens worldwide cataclysm. We are destroying habitat, impoverishing the poor, and impeding the progress of "the developing countries" toward the happy condition of, say, Sweden.
As this is an election year -- and there are problems in the economy, mainly in the financial sector -- we are hearing ominous forecasts from the liberals as they plot a return to the White House. Their gruesome scenarios are chilling, but to those of us who have kept abreast of "The Current Wisdom" through the decades, the alarums are familiar to the point of tedium.
The other day in The Washington Post, there was a report that Sen. John McCain, presumptive Republican presidential candidate, had enlisted among his economic advisors former Sen. Phil Gramm, whom liberal critics are trying to implicate in the troubled subprime sector of the economy. In the Post story, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich described Gramm as an advocate of "dog eat dog capitalism."
Jared Bernstein, an economist who, like Reich, frets over free markets and volunteers his services to return the American economy to the delights of stagflation, is quoted as saying, "McCain is counting on people having very short memories" regarding the economy.