Ever since the housing bubble burst and the market crashed for financial derivatives tied to home mortgages, it has been a mystery to me how citizens and politicians could have let this happen. My theory to-date is this – the citizens who fell into this trap were financially illiterate, and the financiers who engineered the trap were financially hyperliterate. That is – ordinary people abandoned their common sense and felt they had to buy a home because prices would keep going up – accepting mortgage obligations no financially literate person would tolerate, and elite financiers were similarly unable to see the forest for the trees because they knew so much they lost their perspective – their hyperliterate quantitative models gave them a false sense of security.
No wonder the science of economics is not only dismal these days, but in the grip of a well deserved intellectual crisis. But there is another theory that is taking hold among a sorely disgruntled American population, a theory that if it spreads, will abruptly and severely rearrange the American political balance of power – hopefully for the better. That theory holds that this crisis was caused by a decade or more of bipartisan, elitist abandonment of the interests of hard working American citizens in favor of big government, big labor, and big finance.