Everything you need to know about tonight’s debate in a handy pre-debate essay.
That’s the Dow Jones for the past year in graphic form.
The Dow closed at 9447 today. Last year on this day it was 14,198. That means (gross over simplification coming) for every $141 dollars in your 401k, your pension account, your SEP, your stock portfolio a year ago, you now have $94 because you’ve lost $47 in the market. That $47 is vapor. It’s gone. The only solace in this, if there is any, is that the Government didn’t get to put all of your social security money into this market so it could be vaporized as well.
The chart is a microcosm of what’s going on in the rest of the US economy. The credit markets aren’t functioning. Consumer confidence is in the dumps. With foreclosures going crazy, with gasoline and fuel oil prices still sky high, with unemployment way up at record levels, with housing prices way down, with the mortgage market in chaos, with the economy running a gigantic deficit, with a massive trade deficit, and with the dollar suffering, with 60% of the polled people saying the country is headed for a depression, what can the candidates possibly say to us about this mess?
Everything that doesn’t deal with the economy is wasted talk. Even the wars are off the front pages for the moment.
That’s what this debate has to be about.