Monday, December 28, 2009

Economic Recovery or Continued Addiction?

I recently came across a commentary written by Brian McLaren about the concept of economic recovery. He brings up some interesting questions about what we mean by the term “recovery”. When a drug addict hits rock bottom and starts on the path to recovery, we usually mean that this person is reforming their ways, learning from their past mistakes and moving forward to a better life without their former addiction. We don’t mean that they are trying to reestablish their more tolerable state of drug dependency similar to what they were experiencing a few months before hitting rock bottom.

Yet when we talk about economic recovery, there is disappointingly little talk in the national media about learning from our past mistakes and moving forward to a better life without the former addiction to the illusory phantom wealth from complex risky financial mechanisms, excessive debt,and unsustainable speculative bubbles. Instead, the goal of economic recovery seems to be to return to how things were a few years ago before the bubble bursts, plus or minus a few minor regulation changes. It has become a call to get back to our former addictive economic high without addressing the root problems with our addictions, with the hope that we won’t end up back in the gutter again next time. Brian McLaren goes on to discuss some of the addictions we need to face and recover from: material greed, weapons, carbon fuels, quick and easy answers, etc. This struck me as an interesting way to frame these discussions in the national debate.

1 comment:

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Joan Stepsen
Gifts geek