From a piece in the New Yorker on income inequality, written by Columbia Journalism School dean Nicholas Lemann:
Politics does feel sour and contentious in ways that seem to flow from the country's economic distress. Yet much of the ambient discontent is directed toward government—the government that kept the recession from turning into a depression. Why isn't politics about what you'd expect it to be about?
As a reader — "you," in the third sentence excerpted above — I would not expect politics to be about what Mr. Lemann or his editors at the New Yorker seem to think I should expect it to be about, because I don't share his confidence that it was the government that kept the recession from turning into a depression. I think the government had something to do with causing, and worsening, the recession in the first place — via easy money from the Fed, the home-mortgage-interest tax break, Fannie Mae, and other government policies and actions that helped inflate the housing bubble, and via asset seizures ( of AIG, Fannie Mae, WaMu shareholders, of Chrysler bondholders) that helped destroy investor confidence — and that the economy might well have recovered on its own, and faster, without the stimulus and TARP.
Mr. Lemann's a smart guy and a fellow former Crimson president who gave me my first job after college and has always been nice to me in our limited interactions since, so I don't want to be too critical. His review essay encompasses a large number of books, including some that, speaking of assumed expectations, one wouldn't necessarily expect to see reviewed favorably in the New Yorker. But as a sometimes reader of the New Yorker who doesn't share the expectations or assumptions the writer and editors seem to think I do, I thought the point was worth mentioning.