Lighter side: A museum memorializing the recession

by Justin da Rosa17 Jul 2015
The Golden State may be the perfect place for a recession museum, according to one writer who believes it is responsible for much of the economic turmoil that took place.

“There are more productive ways than austerity to make sure we don’t forget the economic lessons of the recent past,” Joe Mathews wrote in a Ideas article. “For starters, why not create a museum to help us remember?”

Mathews argues that California is the perfect place to house a museum dedicated to the economic downturn since California “practically invented” the economic meltdown that occurred in the mod-late 2000s.

“Our middle class, in its aspirational desperation to buy houses and keep up an unaffordable standard of living, led the way into ever growing consumer debt,” Mathews wrote. “And California-based Countrywide Financial, once the nation’s largest mortgage lender, led the way in making bad subprime loans that were turned into risky securities.”

Mathews believes the museum could remind Californians – and all Americans – of the dreadful time when unemployment reached double-digits, the housing market took a turn for the worse, and municipal bankruptcies as a result of the economic crisis.

“Bottom line: This was our Great Recession, and we shouldn’t let anyone—particularly those vultures on Wall Street—open their own museum first,” Mathews wrote.

And in an absurd turn – as if the whole idea wasn’t already -- Mathews calls on Disney and video game designers for support.

“To illustrate the Federal Reserve’s failures in financial regulation, Disney could produce audio-animatronic versions of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and New-York-Fed-chief-turned-Treasury-Secretary Tim Geithner to take visitors’ questions—just like the Abraham Lincoln robot at Disneyland,” he wrote. “Gamers could create immersive, room-sized infographics to explain the shadow banking system, credit default swaps, and that whole business with Fannie and Freddie.”


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