Creative Responses to the Financial Crisis
I suppose it’s just another a sign of our warped, contemporary values that we have a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (“SPR“) — heaven forbid our SUV’s become idled — but nothing equivalent for food.
Clearly, the ongoing financial crisis is going to be with us for awhile longer. In the meantime, wouldn’t everyday Americans find it reassuring to know that the country has an emergency stockpile of food at the ready?
The implicit message would be that, come what may, society’s basic needs are going to be met: no one’s going to be allowed to starve. (Need an over-sized soup Kitchen? What better use for our mostly idle sports palaces — subsidized if not paid for with public funds — than to feed the hungry. I’ve even got a suggested name: ‘Katrina Kitchens.”)
Once Americans feel that their basic, daily needs are provided for, they might actually relax a little bit. Once they’re more relaxed, they’re likely to . . stop panicking!
As FDR knew, step #1 in fighting a systemic economic collapse is addressing people’s collective state of mind (curiously, a challenge made both easier and more difficult by the advent of the Internet).
While soothing words are definitely an important ingredient, so is concrete action.
Directing hundreds of (borrowed) billions towards insolvent, irresponsible banks fans people’s anxieties. Taking obvious steps to safeguard the public’s safety and welfare would do wonders to calm them.