The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Paging Apollo . . . nope!

01/08/2019

In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of the King of Troy.  Legend says she had dark brown curly hair and coal brown eyes.  By all accounts, she was extremely beautiful.  In fact, the god Apollo fell in love with her beauty and wanted her as a lover.  They agreed he would give her the gift of foreseeing the future, if she would become his lover.  She received his gift but then refused his advances.  In revenge, Apollo cursed her by making her unable to convince other people of anything she saw.  Today, people who make ignored predictions, economic or otherwise, are often called Cassandras.

The central theme of Ross Perot’s presidential campaign in 1992 was the growing national debt.  After the election, one of his advisors even wrote a book in 1993 that predicted the financial collapse of the United States in 1995.  Obviously, he was spectacularly wrong.  So wrong, that Vice President Cheney was quoted saying “deficits don’t matter.”  I would only add “deficits don’t matter . . . until they do.”  I would love to ask him how many years we can add a TRILLION dollars to the national debt each year without  collapse?

I wonder if Cassandra could foresee the weakness of democracy is that one side wants government benefits and the other side doesn’t want to pay for them.

Sometimes, I feel like Cassandra, but I don’t blame her for not sleeping with Apollo . . .

 

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