In Europe, we fought two senseless wars. World Wars, we called them, started over nothing but childish games of gain and loss. Whatever dreams of wealth and power were imagined to come from those conflicts were as nothing compared to the real gains that would have been made had the money, time and talent gone into the laboratories, schools and factories.
Now we have a slightly different problem: everybody has lent money to everybody else, at fierce interest, and now there is not enough money for all to be paid back. This has the name “crisis” not because it takes the bread off the shelves but because the rich cannot own a little slice of every life, and expect to get their share. The state worries not on their behalf, but on principle.
But let me tell you where we started. In the age of Ford, the poor starved, and we did nothing. In the age of SUVs, the poor starved, and we did nothing. In the age of the Internet, the poor starved, and we did nothing. This so-called crisis is a crisis because it is happening to us, and not to our designated punching bags in the developing world who watch their children die with one eye, and coca cola advertisements with the other.
Is it not true that this terrible thing we are afraid of now has been elsewhere eating into the human race for our entire lives, and because it was other people, we did not act? Why, then, when it is us who face the end of the money, would we expect others to act on our behalf?
Poverty. The result of the banking crisis may well be poverty. But it is not the first poverty to exist in the world. Think about it.