In the Loop

In the Loop: September 15, 2008 Archive

If the U.S. economy was your child, what would you do?

Posted at 3:44 PM on September 15, 2008 by Sanden Totten (2 Comments)

When your kid does something really stupid and ends up in a heap of trouble, what do you do? Punish them? Let the consequences of their actions be punishment enough? Help them out or maybe try to fix everything they messed up?

U.S. financial institutions have done something really stupid. They are in a heap of trouble. A lot of people are wondering, how should the government handle this?

Experts often break parenting styles down into four different categories: authoritarian, permissive, authoritative, and uninvolved. Each has it's pros and cons, and oddly enough, each seems to have an economic equivalent. Authoritarian sounds a lot like hard-line communism. Uninvolved would be pure market capitalism. Authoritative might be like a tempered capitalist system, the kind with some big government thrown in on the side. The sad thing is, the one our current situation most closely resembles is permissive or indulgent parenting:

"These parents are generally lenient. They allow a variety of behaviours by their children that some would describe as immature. Essentially, they let the children look after themselves and avoid confronting them at all costs."

As far as the economy goes, the damage is done. The question now is - what to do about it? Do you punish the financial industry? Do you let the consequences of their actions be punishment enough? Help them out or maybe try to fix everything they messed up?

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