New Era

The economic meltdown has Americans reacting in exactly the wrong way - crying uncle. The majority are happily giving Barack a blank check to fix things.
Support for change...  is in the air, with seven in 10 Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll saying Obama has a mandate for "major new social and economic programs." Vastly fewer saw a mandate for George W. Bush eight years ago.
At coffee this morning, someone said that she was excited about the inauguration - "change is always good," she said.
But that demand for change reflects the troubled times: Seventy-eight percent say the country's seriously off on the wrong track, down from its recent peak but still the highest level of national dissatisfaction to greet any incoming president in at least a generation.
Crisis brings opportunity, and with opportunity comes responsibility. Barack's job will be to hold in check the natural movement toward creating a major expansion of entitlements - we already can't afford the ones we have.
Discontent with the economy is at a record high – 94 percent say it's in bad shape – and personal worries have soared, with 70 percent now concerned about their family's financial situation. Economic discontent is a powerful political force; the question ahead for Obama is whether it dissipates, bides its time – or turns on him.
We are at an incredibly dangerous moment economically. The challenge of emergency spending will be to design it in such a way that it doesn't leave behind a crushing financial burden at a time when our economic spirit may be fundamentally getting reconfigured.
Usually, frugality is good for individuals and for the economy. Savings serve as a reservoir of capital that can be used to finance investment, which helps raise a nation’s standard of living. But in a recession, increased saving — or its flip side, decreased spending — can exacerbate the economy’s woes. It’s what economists call the “paradox of thrift.”
Will the economic remedy do more damage to the country than the disease it's being designed to cure? The desire to buffer the pain caused by economic corrections hinders the ability of those corrections to successfully correct things. This leaves the problems unchecked.