Otis Page’s call for consensus (“Find consensus first,” Feb. 5) fails to specify how this will help anything. Otis implies that consensus on the solution to economic problems must be preceded by consensus on the definition of the problem, as if the latter consensus were to be found easily. There is no reason to believe this, and an example of the difficulty of defining the problem is his own take.
He says the American consumer is sated, that the economy needs an adjustment, that this is part of the business cycle, that the consumer doesn’t know where to turn, that confidence in an undisclosed something is exhausted. We are to believe this part of the cycle is where the consumer is jaded. Otis apparently is not aware that consumer debt, not jadedness, is a large part of the problem.
He says nothing about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, or the defense budget, or corporate venality that has off-shored most of our industry. He lays the problem at the feet of the Democrats. And this bit of partisanship explains the vacuousness of his analysis. There are good reasons to object to any stimulus package but they won’t be found in his article.