The financial crisis is hard enough for some adults to understand, but US Senator Chris Dodd, was tasked Friday with explaining it to a room of 150 Middletown High School students.
Dodd talked about how capital in the financial system is like blood in our bodies circulatory systems. He said if the blood gets clotted or stops the person will have a stroke or a heart attack and the same is true of the financial markets. He said the lack of confidence in the financial markets was clogging up the free flow of capital, which is why the government needed to step in and help.
Dodd said he can’t promise that anything the government has done over the past few weeks will work to get capital flowing again. However, “I have confidence we’re going to get out of this,” he said.
Dodd was impressed when one student asked what his fellow students can do to help boost confidence in the financial system.
Dodd said Bill Bradley, a former US Senator, called him the other day with this idea. The idea was based on war bonds, which were sold in 1941 as a way to raise money for the war. Dodd said what Bradley was suggesting was a way in which the average American could help get the country back on its feet.
“I like the concept and idea that as individuals we can participate in this,” Dodd said.
Secondly, he said, as students, you may know families out there that are hurting during these tough economic times.
“Finding a way to quietly be of help to someone else is what people did during the Great Depression in our country,” Dodd said. “That strengthens a country.”
Bruce Bardos, one of the social studies teachers at Middletown High School, said they’ve tried to talk to the students about the economic meltdown and teach them how its is directly related to their lives.
Emelle Pascoe, 16, said Mr, Bardos has definitely hammered home the idea that it’s her and her classmates that are going to inherit this debt. Pascoe said she doesn’t get an allowance and every time she goes shopping with her parents they’re “very careful to make sure they’re getting the best bargain.”
“I don’t have stuff I just want anymore,” Dania Gomez, 17, said. She said there are times when she wants new clothes, shoes, or phones, but after week passes she doesn’t think about those things anymore. The desire for those things she wants seems to disappear with time.