I got a chance to talk to Senator Dick Durbin around midday and asked him if the current mess prompts any reflections on the broader issues of inequality in the American landscape. He offered a pretty strong thematic answer:
I would say something a bit more literal: The growth in consumption inequality has been much smaller than the growth in income inequality. In general, increasing access to credit has done a lot to help compensate for sluggish or nonexistent income growth for the middle class. And make no mistake — access to credit is a real benefit. But insofar as that increased access to credit was built on something of a house of cards, as now seems to be the case, we won’t be able to rely on that in the future to provide people with a decent standard of living. We need to do something to boost the real fundamentals of our economy — the wages available to ordinary Americans (more on this from Durbin in a later video clip).