🗂 Don’t forget people

“When you invest in education and health care and benefits for working Americans, it pays dividends throughout every level of our economy. . . . I think that if you polled many of the people in this room, most of us are strong free traders and most of us believe in markets. Bob [Rubin] and I have had a running debate now for about a year about how do we, in fact, deal with the losers in a globalized economy. There has been a tendency in the past for us to say, well, look, we have got to grow the pie, and we will retrain those who need retraining. But, in fact, we have never taken that side of the equation as seriously as we need to take it. . . . Just remember . . . [t]here are people in places like Decatur, Illinois, or Galesburg, Illinois, who have seen their jobs eliminated. They have lost their health care. They have lost their retirement security. . . . They believe that this may be the first generation in which their children do worse than they do.” 4 This was a betrayal of the American Dream of endless uplift, and that risked spilling over into a political backlash. As Obama put it: “Some of that, then, will end up manifesting itself in the sort of nativist sentiment, protectionism, and anti-immigration sentiment that we are debating here in Washington. So there are real consequences to the work that is being done here. This is not a bloodless process.”

From Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World,, @cote