Fingers have been pointed at many targets in recent days as the Bush Economy's implosion came into focus.
Blame has been placed at the feet of greedy investors, clueless politicians, hapless regulators, and even bamboozled home buyers.
But one entity has generally avoided sharing the blame. And maybe that should change.
We are talking about citizens themselves, the great American masses.
Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop says the public should shoulder a major portion of the blame and should take the time for a hard look in the mirror.
Harrop compares the American public to a convenience store owner who left the cash register open while he went outside for a smoke. A bad guy comes in, sees bills hanging out of the register, helps himself, and leaves. Certainly the bad guy has committed a crime. But the store owner was in some way a party to it.
"And so are you, the voters of America," Harrop writes. "You did not demand the proper monitoring of the markets and the plunder that inevitably followed. The Bush administration's $700 billion bailout of bad debt is proof that, all along, the American cash register had been left open."
Kevin Phillips, author, of the recently released Bad Money, has seen this coming for quite some time. But many Americans apparently are too busy to pay attention to what Phillips says.
In an excellent post titled "Economic Bloodbath Foretold," our friends at WriteChic include a Bill Moyers interview with Phillips.
Here is a question to ponder: Is citizen cluelessness going to be the death of our nation yet? I could not help but wonder after reading about "Maxed Out Moms" in the current issue of Time magazine.
Maxed-Out Moms, also known as "Wal-Mart Moms," are defined as white women, between the ages of 45 to 64, with no college education. Supposedly they could decide the upcoming presidential election. And based on the Time article, that is one scary thought.
Time describes one Maxed-Out Mom:
* Her husband can barely afford the gas it takes to get back and forth from the job he is in danger of losing;
* She sometimes puts her utility bill on her Visa;
* She often does the family laundry at 11 p.m.
Sounds like this mom is prospering in the Age of Bush, doesn't it?
But according to a Time poll, John McCain leads Barack Obama 59 to 41 percent among Maxed-Out Moms.
My thought? If Maxed-Out Moms don't have the time to educate themselves or think with some clarity, they should do us all a favor and stay home on election day.
Meanwhile, there is some good news on the polling front. A Washington Post/ABC News poll has Obama leading McCain, 52 to 43 percent, with the lead driven largely by economic concerns.
Perhaps the public is starting to pull its collective head out of some deep, dark crevice. Let's hope the Maxed-Out Moms join us between now and November 4.