The groaning in the sky

Can you hear the rumblings from on high? Giants of finance and industry are battling to keep their lives and – as they would have you believe – all of humanity, together. We doubt we are alone in finding this all very confusing and frustrating. The story is an exciting one, but it isn’t clear why we should care. How will this affect us? It seems that there is no definitive answer – the variables are too many and their movements too huge. The cause and effect relationship is simply unable to be understood or put in simple, clear terms. But there are movements that we can understand, and they are not of the kind that require the shuffling-about of vast oceans of money. The every-day transactions that we feel in our back pockets are changing. Food and fuel prices are increasing and every day our dollars seem to get us less and less. So why should we pay so much heed to the fortunes of these titanic institutions? The question on our minds is not, “How will we dig ourselves out of this ‘financial crisis?” but “How, or in what manner, will we continue to live?” What will the changing fortunes of indus?try mean to the people standing in checkout lines and gas pumps across this land? What kinds of changes will we feel years down the road, and what can be done about that? It is time that we re-focus on the mundane. Though the groaning from the sky makes for a compelling drama, it tends to lead us away from concern for the human beings that lend this crisis real urgency and importance. Why are billions being spent to prop-up these stumbling titans, but not on us? How do we justify welfare for the elite, but not for “the people” of America? The common justification is that these shiftings will affect ordinary people – like a tectonic shifting below our feet that quakes the ground – these little-felt financial changes threaten to flatten our neighborhoods. But we can’t continue to delude ourselves into thinking that these things are understandable – let alone within the reach of our controlIf anything, this crisis proves that – even with extraordinary education and experience, the managers of this vast wealth just don’t know what they are doing. Let us care not for these blindly and power-drunkenly stumbling monsters. Let us let the storm pass overhead, and in the meantime hunker down with our friends and families and make sure they can weather. Good luck.