I have the same questions about climate change, Burke.
But for the economy, I guess I have a perspective that differentiates what we might call the real economy from the fictitious economy. The real economy includes tangible goods. Cars. Clothes. Heart surgeries. Ipods. The fictitious economy includes asset valuations. Stocks. Inflation. Debt. etc. Now this isn't to say that inflation isn't important (it certainly can change a saving person's real economic standing), but that wealth is produced by the real economy. After an economic crash, will we still have the knowledge and power to produce cheap and high tech cars? Yes. Ipods? Yes. Houses? Yes. Were their some wealth transfers and Mal-investments? Yes. Inefficient, but not totally destructive. Destroying our factories and blueprints would be totally disastrous.
I've tried to answer this question for you in a variety of ways now, Burke, so let me know how this one lands.
It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man.
-Richard P. Feynman