The tarnished economy’s silver lining
The recent turmoil in the financial markets is actually good for “a lot of people,” says David Leonhardt in The New York Times, and “you may well be one of them.” Take stocks: a “huge chunk” of Americans have benefitted from the falling markets, “including most people under the age of 50.” The “typical” investor with a 401(k) is much better off when the market rises steadily. Also, the slump in housing has pushed people to save more, which is great news for the U.S.’s “long-term economic prospects.” High gas prices? People are buying more fuel-efficient cars. So cheer up. The economy isn’t a “local sports team,” and sometimes you want it to lose.
No laughing matter
The striking Hollywood writers “may look to be a chorus line of wise-asses,” but their struggle is ours, too, says Harold Meyerson in The Washington Post. The strike is a “deadly serious test” of “whether any American workers retain the clout to strike a deal” in the Internet age. The dispute is over whether the writers will get paid for their work when it’s shown via the Web, cellphones, or other “new media.” The studios say no, which is typical of “corporate elites” who greedily keep “almost all the revenue from technologically driven productivity increases.”