Story by Steven Blomquist
Norris Covers Economic Issues
“Capitalism messes with a lot of things up but it’s better than the alternatives” said Floyd Norris.
An audience of eager students packed the Marriott Library’s Gould Auditorium to discuss the challenges with the US economy with Floyd Norris, chief financial correspondent for The New York Times.
Norris began by remembering one of the most influential men in American government Andrew Mellon, who served as Treasury secretary in the early 1900’s. Who is said by many “three Presidents served under him.” according to Norris. Mellon was supporter of free-market ideas, urging government to refrain from getting involved.
Quoting Herman Cain, Norris said “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a good job blame you.” There is a lot of talk lately about the struggling job market and expectation for the government to provide jobs for the people.
“While we don’t really have a lot of faith in government now, that lack of faith may have been earned” through a stimulus plan that hasn’t fulfilled on its promises and bad regulation, according to Norris.
This country needs more stimulus, Norris said, comparing it to a student who studied for an exam and did poorly on it doesn’t mean the student shouldn’t study. The student may need to take the next step and study a bit more or in this case of the economy it may need more stimulus.
“Bad regulation and lack of regulation got us into this mess,” Norris said. “The financial crisis would not have happened if either the financial system or the government regulators had performed better.”
Norris said that the banks are also partly to blame for the today’s economic issues, for allowing people to purchase houses knowing they wouldn’t be able to pay back the loans. Norris said, “We should have intervened before the foreclosures happened.”
Norris also said that it is time to extend a helping hand. One thing Norris mentioned was to give lower interest rates. That would make it so the American people can begin to dig us out of economic downturn. He said we the economists/American public don’t know how long it is going to take to bounce back but went on to say bounce back could take an upward to seven years from the time economy blew up.
Norris began to close the forum by saying “I love this country… proud to pay taxes and wouldn’t mind paying more to help us get out of this crisis.
“Norris also went on to say, “ (while) capitalism messes… a lot of things up but it’s better than the alternatives.”
Rachel Thomas, a communication major, said it was a good opportunity to learn about the complicated issue of the economy.
“There is so much going about the state of the economy its hard to follow with all the homework we have,” said Thomas. “Opportunities like this allow for college students to take a brake and get informed on what’s going on in the economy.”
Makaylee Pettit, a communication major, said “It was very informative and a great opportunity to hear a national financial journalist take about the current state of the economy.”
“Norris’s presentation was great opportunity for college students to understand why we are in this economic downturn. For college age students don’t have time to focus on todays issues as they are so busy studying textbooks.” Thomas.