"Mature people, when they go bananas, have a number of options for complicated bereavement. One option is to take on all that unconscious hostility and subsequent guilt ("I could have done more for him!— a few more bullets to the head!") and develop a pathological, obsessive guilt. That’s the French way. And the 1950 American way. (The cure for which, if you’re not much interested in auto-analysis, is to re-run the rituals, and run them right. It worked on Regan in The Exorcist, and she wasn’t even Christian, let alone a Greek Catholic. And if that doesn’t work, you run the rituals every so often, like memorials, keep retraining the unconscious. (And what about the person who doesn’t want to do the rituals? When something is true for a trillion people over thousands of years, and you are firm in your belief that it is pointless, that’s called resistance, and now the question changes to why you won’t. The young are particularly susceptible to this, they don’t want any part of your silly rituals and unskeptical beliefs because that would be to accept that they’re no different than the trillion who have died before them. Don’t worry ages 15-30, it’s natural part of ego development. But keep in the back of your mind that no one is bigger than history, and certainly no one is bigger than death or it’s consequences, and when the zombies come it wouldn’t kill you to remember the rules.)) ”
But the people who invested absurdly, especially “savers” who lent money but permitted themselves ignorance and indifference to how their wealth would be mismanaged, have not suffered the costs of their recklessness. Instead, they have been almost entirely bailed out. It is lenders and investors more than any other group who determine the patterns of our macroeconomy. There are always people willing to overconsume or gamble on foolish enterprises. We do and must rely upon those with resources to steward to ensure those resources are used wisely. They did not, and their recklessness has brought us to catastrophe. But rather than condemn them for negligence and permit their claims to be appropriately devalued, we applaud them for “prudence” and let government action be bound by commitments to sustain their destructive and ridiculous claims. You don’t counter that sort of villainy with technocratic arguments about liquidity traps. You point out that the motherfuckers who are calling themselves prudent, who are blocking both writedowns and government action that might risk inflation, are hypocrites and thieves. You state clearly that their claims are illegitimate and will be written down one way or another, unless we can generate sufficient growth to ratify them ex post, which would require claimants to behave less like indignant creditors and more like constructive equityholders. It is not technocratic economists who will win the day and pull us out of our cul-de-sac, but angry Irishmen and Spaniards who challenge, on moral terms, the right of German bankers to impose vast deadweight costs on current activity because they lent greedily into what might easily have been recognized as a property and credit bubble.