Friday, April 24, 2009

The Economy: "The Boiling Frog Analogy"

“Mike made the point that most people in developing countries are more exploited and miserable than the typical American, mortgage crisis or not. He has a point. I know just what it means to be able to buy bananas for 69 cents/lb at the local supermarket. It’s just that this level of exploitation seems to be slowly creeping into the middle class of the heartland. There is a famous story about the "boiling frog". The allegorical moral is that if you put a frog into hot water it will hop out, but if you heat the water slowly it will never take alarm and you can boil it. For years it’s been clear (at least to me) that a similar process was at work with the steadily rising levels of debt in the U.S. The inexorable pressure on families is mostly happening quietly and in private, one payment, one notice at a time.”

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