Lesson learned: "experts" can't be trusted to alert us to critical risks that face our society.
Financial media and journalists should have SCREAMED bloody murder about interest rates being too low and housing prices climbing too high while incomes stagnated. But, they didn't want to be responsible for triggering a panic. And they didn't want to tell us what we didn't want to hear. Who wants to accept, before it's absolutely necessary, that the Titanic is sinking?
It wasn't just the centralized mass media. The blogosphere also failed to raise an alarm, for the same reasons. Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news when it's on this scale. Try doing it at your office and you will get your ass in trouble. Believing the mass lie is a means to survival. We invent our own truth until we get hit by the "Reality Bus" as Alec Baldwin put it in his recent post.
The situation with our national debt is no surprise. We've been hearing about its huge-ness forever. But the commentators and pundits preferred to talk about military strategies and election speeches and Sarah Palin and social issues like abortion, school prayer, and gay marriage. Important things, but distractions from the fact that the earth was crumbling beneath our feet.
I hope the situation we're in now teaches us that a false sense of security is no protection; and that the people who get paid to interpret events for us, and even the people who do it for free, can't be relied on completely. We have to rely on ourselves to connect the dots and fill in the gaps.
Why didn't we?