The people in charge of the economy are basically bankers. Not too many plumbers are involved in running the Federal Reserve or Treasury Department.
Bankers will say the economic crisis is a banking problem. Bankers think banks are very, very important to the economy -- the most important component. They say things like "Our economy runs on credit." And they say the way to fix this mess is to prop up the banks -- give them trillions and trillions of dollars until the economy is fixed.
And because bankers think bankers are so smart and important to the economy we can't fire them or put them in jail, or even ask for all that bonus money back.
So they are putting all the money in the world into the banks. For some reason it isn't working.
Of course, a plumber would say that the problem with the economy is that all the pipes are clogged. Keeping the pipes working is the most important component of our economy.
And a historian will tell you that the problem is a return of the Great Depression. Not repeating the Great Depression is the most important thing to the economy.
I'm a regular person. I think regular people are the most important component of the economy. I think the problem with the economy is that regular people stopped being able to share in the benefits of the economy. I think too many jobs were shipped overseas -- without the people getting those jobs being paid enough to participate in the economy themselves. I think that not providing health care caused too many bankruptcies. I think the people who still had jobs were asked to work harder and work longer hours and accept less, so that a few greedy executives could get more and more money. I think not providing sufficient vacations and day care and pensions and empowerment used everyone up. I think regular people used up their savings and then went into debt and then finally couldn't do it anymore.
I think we should fix THAT. I think our economy might work if regular people around the world received some of the benefits from that economy. I think that the economy might work better if people did not have to get into deeper and deeper debt just to get by. I think our government (which is us, isn't it?) should make sure businesses are engaging in honest and safe and sustainable practices, and provide us with human rights like health care, and make sure everyone gets good wages, and sufficient vacations, and safe & empowering workplaces and some choices and some say in things. Then maybe people would be able to participate in that economy and it would start working again.
But I'm just a regular person. What do I know?