It didnít take long to crank up the backlash against European voters. This is inevitable whenever a socialist wins a major election, but particularly now, when new French president FranÁois Hollande rode to victory shouting, "Austerity can no longer be inevitable!"
This sounds like the beginning of what will be a very heated debate over who has to pay for the excesses of the financial crisis. It was previously assumed that everybody but the actual financial services sector would have to pay, but voters in Europe now are refusing to go along, sparking a wave of eye-rolling editorials in the financial press. Even David Brooks got into the act today, penning a lugubrious editorial about the errant political instincts of the populist masses here and abroad.
Markets all over the world freaked out over the prospect of having ignorant European voters meddling in the recovery process the geniuses of the high finance world had already painstakingly laid out for them. The model for economic progress in the financial bubble era, after all, is supposed to go something like this:
1. Let banks inflate massive asset bubbles with the aid of cheap or even free government cash, and tons of leverage;
2. Before it all explodes, carve out gigantic sums for bonuses and compensation for the companies that inflated those bubbles;
3. After it explodes, get the various governments to bail those companies out;
4. Pay for it all by slashing services to whatís left of the middle class.
Everyone wants "it" fixed, but no one wants to pay for it.
This is what happens when too many people organize together to try and collectively achieve anything.......at the family/village level you can call stupid what it is....stupid...because resources are limited....and seeing the limits of those resources is more immediate and granular and tangible.
But when you get to the nation state level with so many people we lose that perspective and just start acting like things occur by magic.....rather than through the application of work and limited resources.
Just because there's more people in the village and we do have a bit more stuff per person on average....doesn't mean resources are somehow magically unlimited.
It's so easy to say "He will pay for it." When you've never met "he", and "he" is no longer your next door neighbour.
We have become too disconnected to how things work.......when we gained scale moving from the village to the nation state we lost our perspective...and our common sense.
French folks love to protest.....how long until Air France is shutting down traffic and they're blocking traffic in Paris with tractors?