I don't understand economics as much as I should (who does?) but I feel it dominating the agenda at the moment, whether its micro-economics of household spend, or macro-economics of global finance. And here's how I see it. I think. And with apologies for rubbish home-made graphics and links to flash sites.
So where do we start?
The Crisis of Capitalism. This is essential viewing, http://davidharvey.org/2010/06/rsa-crises-of-capitalism-talk-animated/ (12 minutes)
So zoning in to everyday life, I find that one of the annoying aspects of the rhetoric of the current government (and the media that supports it) is the representation of the crisis as ordinary people vs ordinary people.
So, tempting as it is, lets not get caught up in discussing the exceptions. We all know of some lazy public sector workers, but we also know of some lazy private sector workers. We all know of some people that seem to be taking advantage of the benefits system but we also know of some people that are struggling to make ends meet in incredibly difficult circumstances. Don't let the Etonians and Oxbridge graduates turn us against ourselves. (And if you went to one of those places and take offence at me saying that, read this http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/?p=2474 and try to understand why the majority of people feel alienated from politics).
I haven't got my head around how deep these cuts could go, how close they will come to me in my middle class bubble. What I do know is that I didn't have the option to vote for wealth redistribution and progressive tax reform. I can, will and should pay more taxes. I can't make that decision on my own. I can hope that by the next election there will be a real left-wing party, so that we can choose something better than all this.
And if you think this is just nimbyism about cuts ("efficiency savings sure, just not my job thanks"), then think bigger. Do this: http://www.globalrichlist.com/ (30 seconds) and watch this: http://www.miniature-earth.com/me_english.htm (3 minutes). Then read this and get ANGRY http://johannhari.com/2010/07/02/how-goldman-sachs-gambling-on-starving-the-worlds-poor-and-won
What am I going to do about it? I don't know yet. Tell me.