The Sciences

Dear Tea Party: Didn't We Warn You Not to Mess With the Markets?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyAug 9, 2011 12:18 AM

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The Dow closed at 10,809 today. On July 21, it was closer to 12,700. That's nearly a 2,000 point drop. I know much of this has to do with Europe. But let's face it: Much of it has to do with the debt ceiling brinksmanship and its fallout, including the recent U.S. credit downgrade, by an institution that may not deserve its influence but nonetheless seems to have much of it--S&P. I hate to say that rational people have been, uh, vindicated by this--but as usual, they have. It was insane and pointless to have the debt ceiling fight, and the economic consequences to people's wealth and well being now probably measure in the trillions. Hopefully this loss is only temporary and the market will come to its senses--because really, not very much has changed. But it just goes to show that economic stability is very hard to attain, and all too easy to lose. Rational people know this, too. Not that I expect any introspection--after all, Tea Partiers will just say this is President Obama's fault. One of our commenters even blamed him today for the 2008 financial collapse, which happened before Obama was even elected--although, rather impressively, this person actually backed down upon being corrected. That's rare these days. And so the polarization continues, despite the cost and the damage to every last one of us.

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