Such as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. They’ve been tracking and analyzing the causes and effects of the Great Recession and the Not-So-Great Recovery for years, and their staff are skilled and thorough. Your typical Pundit, especially one you see and hear on television, is more likely to get her/his information over lunch or at a dinner party, chatting with people of a similar economic class and outlook. They aren’t trained in analysis and don’t perform it. They may read reports, but are likely only looking for the gist, the part they can use as a hook for their next column. While certainly not living in the highest stratosphere of the economy, they are nonetheless very well off, and rare is the Pundit who actually worked with her/his hands for a living. In short, they know what they are told and what they experience in their bubble world.
The result is drivel, delivered with the visual (the furrowed brow or the knowing smile) and rhetorical (“serious” language and pacing, with occasional references to research, particularly that research that confirms their views) trappings that make it sound full of gravitas.
Bottom line – the Great Recession and the Not-So-Great Recovery are the result of conscious policy decisions – laws and other regulations passed, funding allowed, tax code shifting – on the part of officials who likewise inhabit the bubble. They decided to erect protective walls around the large institutions and those who work in them and leave the rest of us to fend for ourselves. They, of course, never speak of it in those terms. No, no, they’re being “serious,” making “tough choices,” looking at the “big picture.” If millions of us go on suffering, or facing even less security in our lives, well, so be it.