The Corner

It’s Not Anti-Intellectualism to Say This Mess Is a Confusing Mess

Another e-mail:

Dear Ms Lopez, Usually I’m pretty quick to jump on anti-intellectualism in American culture, but I think your correspondent is wrong about the “I don’t understand one in three sentences” line.  It’s not anti-intellectual to admit that you’re confused and Americans mostly are confused by the financial crisis. I participate in a weekly meeting of fellow professors here at [my university].  We all have PhD in varying fields – math, neuroscience, English, and theology.  Every week we have a similar conversation.  What’s happening now?  What does mark to market mean?  Is Fannie Mae a government entity or a private company?  Who deregulated what?  Did McCain play a role in this?  Did Obama? What exactly does the bailout do? Have you looked at your 401k lately?  It’s not the “Sam’s Club crowd” that’s confused and angry, it’s everybody.  These financial deals are complex, the government explanations make less sense the longer you listen to them, and none of us know what to think.

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