Most Sports Dynasties Seem Inevitable. The Golden State Warriors are Simply Miraculous.
Curry and Co. are the great athletic team of our era.
In sports, the more a team wins, the more people start to hate them. The New York Yankees, Manchester United, and the Duke University men’s basketball team are three of the most successful teams in their respective sports, yet despite the many fans they have acquired over the years, they are also despised by the masses. It’s said everybody loves a winner, but winning can just as easily breed enmity.
Maybe it’s just a matter of over-familiarity: Spend enough Super Bowl Sundays watching Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots and soon enough you’ll find yourself rooting hard against them just to shake up the plot. We also have a desire to see an athlete who hasn’t won a title finally get their ring. Envy may play a role. I suspect, however, the bulk of it can be chalked up to a sense of unfairness, that in a just world, teams wouldn’t be able to fairly acquire the advantages—the talent, the money, the brains, the luck—that enable them to become dynasties. In some cases that makes sense. The Los Angeles Lakers bought themselves a championship when they signed LeBron James in 2019, which is why so many people savored watching them fall flat on their face this year. But there’s also a reason James signed with the perennially competitive Lakers and not the Knicks, who have made failure a habit despite the advantages that ought to benefit them.
That said, it’s hard to hate on the Golden State Warriors, who just made their sixth trip to the NBA Finals in eight years and walked away with their fourth title. If anything, it’s only gotten easier to root for them.
When this era’s Warriors won their first championship at the end of the 2014-15 season (their first with coach Steve Kerr) they appeared to have revolutionized the game by playing a fast brand of basketball that bombarded opponents with threes. In a matter of minutes, they could turn close games into blowouts, at times eschewing easy dunks on fast breaks for pull-up threes. Baby-faced sharpshooter Steph Curry came into range as soon as he crossed half-court, his shooting threat matched by his fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson. Golden State often played small, with 6’6” power forward Draymond Green able to guard centers and stretch the court on offense. The Warriors are the reason the traditional post-up center in the NBA is practically extinct.
Analysts that year believed a team playing in their style would fall apart in the playoffs. Instead, their opponents never stood a chance. It was effective and exhilarating basketball, and the most exciting thing to happen to the NBA since Michael Jordan took flight. They defeated LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals that year, but the Cavs had to play without two of their big three (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love) due to injuries. Fans understandably longed for a rematch.
The Warriors had a great team in 2015-16, when they set an NBA record for most wins in a regular season (a record that had been held by Jordan’s 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.) James’s Cavaliers wrecked their season that year, though, when, on the cusp of a Golden State victory in Game 4 of the Finals that would give them a nearly insurmountable 3-1 lead, James baited Draymond Green into a technical foul that got Green suspended for Game 5. The Warriors dropped Game 5 at home, lost Game 6 in Cleveland, and found themselves in an anything-can-happen Game 7 back in Oakland that swung to the Cavs as the result of the greatest block in NBA history, a clutch three by Irving, and a defensive stop on Curry by Love.
Left to lick their wounds, the Warriors in the offseason signed Kevin Durant, the only player who could challenge James for the title of best player on the planet, and proceeded to take eight of nine games from the Cavs in the next two NBA Finals. In those two years, only the Houston Rockets—who pushed the small-ball 3-point style of basketball to its extreme—posed any threat to Golden State. Beyond that, the Warriors were a juggernaut, possibly the best team ever assembled in the history of the NBA, so good every loss was perplexing. They only thing that seemed likely to stop them was their own team chemistry, a volatile compound of superstars with Durant in the mix that needed to be measured and balanced just right lest the gym explode. That isn’t the sort of problem that will earn you any sympathy from basketball fans, though. If anything, it will only encourage them to loathe you.
But then the Warriors crumbled in the 2019 NBA playoffs. Iguodala, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kevon Looney were all hobbled during the tournament. More significantly, Durant and Klay Thompson missed multiple games due to injuries. When Durant returned for Game 5 of the Finals, he tore his Achilles; in Game 6, Thompson tore his ACL. Both injuries would cost Durant and Thompson the 2019-20 season. They also cost the Warriors a threepeat.
Golden State spent the next two seasons in the wilderness. Curry missed much of the 2019-2020 season with an injury, and the team finished with the worst record in the NBA. Before the start of the 2020-21 season, Thompson tore his Achilles, costing him another campaign. Golden State began the 2021-22 season strong, earning the NBA’s best record through Christmas. Curry would break the NBA’s all-time three-point record that same month. But when Thompson finally returned in January, Green had to take time off to heal an injured back, and then when Green returned, Curry suffered an injury that kept him sidelined until the playoffs, which the Warriors started as a 3-seed. With Curry, Green, and Thompson (who, despite flashes of brilliance, was not yet back to full strength) having played only eleven minutes together over the past three seasons, many wondered if Golden State’s big three would be able to recreate the magic that had fueled their earlier runs, particularly since they were taking the court with many players who were new to the team.
But there they were, the team that FiveThirtyEight gave a 0.1% of winning the title when the season began and that only last Monday finally became title favorites after going up 3-2 over the Celtics, hoisting the championship trophy Thursday night in Boston. And who outside New England wasn’t actually rooting for them to pull it off?
Boston came into the series with the depth and defensive tenacity that was supposed to give the Warriors trouble, but in the end, the Celtics looked completely discombobulated. Golden State knows how to take advantage of their opponent’s weaknesses (i.e., Jayson Tatum’s left hand, a big’s lack of defensive mobility) and have too many options for most teams to account for. By the second half of Game 6, it appeared there were two different eras of basketball competing against each other on the Garden’s parquet floor, with the Warrior’s motion offense running circles around a Celtics team that had settled into iso sets. Out of options, it was like the Celtics simply hoped they could come out on top of a make-or-miss game.
The 2021-22 Golden State Warriors weren’t as sharp as the other Kerr-led teams that had reached the Finals before them. At times they struggled to find a rhythm as a result of their own sloppy play, and they went on fewer of the patented backbreaking runs that had made them so exciting to watch in the late 00s (although they effectively ended the Celtics’ season with a four-and-a-half minute 21-0 run in the middle of the first half that announced the Celtics had been solved and were out of adjustments.) This Warriors championship felt more workmanlike, the product of a team that knew they had the talent to win four out of every seven games if they just stuck to their brand of basketball. Kerr’s Warriors have always been an unflappable team—they came back from a 3-1 deficit in 2016 against Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder and after being down 3-2 to James Harden’s Houston Rockets in 2018—but this year that demeanor seemed earned through wisdom, experience, and perspective rather than the product of the sort of ridiculous overconfidence young athletes need to psyche themselves up if they hope to have the guts to jack-up long-range 3s with seasons on the line.
This may have been Golden State’s fourth title in eight years, but this championship doesn’t feel like their last two. It feels more like a sequel to their first, proof that the big three of Curry, Thompson, and Green didn’t need Durant (currently languishing in Brooklyn with a flat-earther who only shows up to work half of the time), that their style of play is the stuff of championships, that together they ought to be mentioned in the same breath as Magic-Kareem-Worthy, Bird-McHale-Parish, Jordan & Pippen, Shaq & Kobe, Duncan-Parker-Ginóbili. It brought them back to what made them so likeable back in 2014-15: An undersized sharpshooting team, scrappy and witty by necessity, reliant on team defense. And they do it all without a dominant big man like Shaquille O’Neal or Tim Duncan or an imposing supernova athlete like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or Giannis Antetokounmpo. And they keep winning championships even though every team with title aspirations in the NBA has adopted their approach to the game.
How can you not root for Klay Thompson as he recovers from not one but two devastating injuries, who approaches every game as though he’s playing with house money, whose determination to channel the outlook of Bill Walton and the style of Jackie Moon hides a fiercely competitive player who just doesn’t have the time anymore for whatever it is the other team thinks it’s trying to do? It’s possible he’ll end his career as the second greatest shooter in NBA history, behind only Curry.
As for Draymond Green, well, few recent players have played the heel better than he has. Other teams try to rile him up as much as he tries to rile them (and the referees as well; I can’t confirm this, but I read recently he’s about $5,000 shy of accumulating $1 million in league fines.) Despite taking all the heat for the team, he has to drive Kerr and his teammates nuts at times. But he’s also one of the smartest players in the NBA, a point forward and defensive maestro who is just about as close as it comes to having a coach on the court. The king of the “triple single,” what he accomplishes is hard to quantify with stats. The team nearly falls apart when he misses games. Shooting guards like Damian Lillard, Trae Young, and Luka Dončić can approximate what Curry does for Golden State, but with the exception of Kawhi Leonard, no player has managed to match what Green does for the Warriors. As a defining player of this era, it’s a crime he wasn’t included on this year’s list of the 75 greatest NBA players of all-time. The kicker is that the more time you spend listening to him, the more you get to like him. He’s insightful, loyal, frank, honorable, and funny, a next generation Charles Barkley who’s become more endearing with each passing year.
And then there’s Steph Curry, who, after winning his first Finals MVP at age 34 this year, is making a pretty strong case that he needs to be regarded alongside LeBron James as the definitive player of this era. While James feels like the successor to MJ and Kobe, Curry feels like an entirely different prototype altogether. No one is supposed to be able to shoot from that distance. No one that short is supposed to be able to score so effortlessly at the rim. No one is supposed to have that many tricks up his sleeve. But as impressive as his highlight reel is, it’s also his play ethic that sets him apart. On offense he’s almost always in motion, wearing out defenders who were hoping to recharge for a few seconds. Curry also holds is own on defense, even against players who are much taller than him; when they beat him by elevating over him, he looks genuinely disappointed to have given up a bucket to a guy with an eight-inch height advantage.
Curry’s presence seems to bend peoples’ expectations for the way basketball is supposed to be played at its highest level. This playoffs, we heard a lot about Curry’s “gravity,” that is, his tendency to attract the attention of the opposing team’s players. For example:
Four Celtics end up guarding Curry, leaving nearly every other Warrior wide open. Curry would somehow manage to get the ball to Kevon Looney (#5) for a dunk. This is an excellent example of how Curry doesn’t expect the Warriors’ role players to do what is necessary to maximize his own offensive potential, but how Curry will use his talent to allow his teammates to thrive.
Another reason it’s hard to root against the Warriors is that the core of their team is homegrown. Golden State drafted Curry (7th overall in 2009), Thompson (11th in 2011), and Green (35th in 2012), as well as key contributors like Jordan Poole (28th in 2019), Kevon Looney (30th in 2015), and Jonathan Kuminga (7th in 2021). Additionally, the Warriors have been adept at filling out the rest of their roster with free agent signings and trades. If it felt like they were stacking their lineup when they signed Durant back in 2016, the same couldn’t be said when they traded for Andrew Wiggins, a former number one pick whose underwhelming career suggested he would only play a complementary role in the Bay Area. But playing with the Warriors finally turned Wiggins into an all-star this season, and he played the two best games of his career in the Finals, logging 17 points and 16 rebounds in Game 4 and a team-leading 26 points and 13 rebounds in Game 5. His heroics proved critical in both games.
Other teams can only dream of putting together a roster like the Warriors. Some, in fact, could have. Take the Minnesota Timberwolves as an example. They had the 5th and 6th picks in the 2009 draft and chose Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn ahead of Curry. They had the 2nd pick in 2011 and selected Derrick Williams rather than Thompson. They sent the 18th overall pick in 2012 to Houston in exchange for Chase Budinger and the draft rights to Lior Eliyahu rather than pick Green. They had the 11th pick in 2019 and drafted Cameron Johnson instead of Poole. The T-Wolves traded Wiggins and the pick that turned into Kuminga to the Warriors for D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans, and Omari Spellman. The Timberwolves had the same opportunities as the Warriors. They capped this season going crazy after winning a play-in game; Golden State capped it by asserting themselves as a dynasty.
So where do the Warriors rank among the modern-era NBA dynasties? Let’s check the numbers (Years in the Finals listed; championships in bold):
-Magic’s Lakers: 1980, 1982, 1983,1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991 (80-88 w/ Kareem)
-Bird’s Celtics: 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987
-Jordan’s Bulls: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
-Duncan’s Spurs: 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2014
-Kobe’s Lakers: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 (00-04 w/ Shaq)
-LeBron’s Teams: 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020
-Curry’s Warriors: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
The Warriors’ fourth title certainly moves them past Bird’s Celtics. Curry and Co. now have as many rings as LeBron. A fifth title would tie them with Magic’s Lakers, Duncan’s Spurs, and Kobe’s Lakers, which they have to know. The only knock on the Warriors is that they don’t have the long-term success that those teams had, but then the Warriors might say they have another 4-5 years to work on that.
Is a fifth championship (or even a sixth, which would tie them with Jordan’s Bulls) in the cards? Jordan (35) and Duncan (38) were both older than Curry when they won their last titles; Kobe and Magic (32) were both younger. But age might not be as much of a concern for a jump-shooting team that plays team defense the way the Warriors do. Additionally, young players like Poole, Kuminga, and injured center James Wiseman could keep Golden State spry enough long enough for Curry, Thompson, and Green to collect another ring or two. The bigger concern would have to be whether Thompson can regain his pre-2019 form and if all the wear-and-tear on Green’s body finally starts taking its toll. A healthy Clippers or Nuggets team could certainly challenge Golden State, as could retooled teams in Brooklyn and Dallas. A showdown with Giannis Antetokounmpo feels inevitable. Still, if we’ve learned anything over these past eight years, it’s not to underestimate the Golden State Warriors.
Instead, appreciate the way the Warriors and their big three of Curry, Thompson, and Green have always defied expectations. Late-stage dynasties aren’t supposed to surprise us. The Warriors always have. Every other NBA dynasty in retrospect seemed inevitable. The Warriors seem downright miraculous. It’s what makes you want to see the Warriors—the great athletic team of our era—make history.
Signals and Noise
“Threats to freedom and democracy don’t simply fade away. And avoiding one disaster doesn’t mean you’ve prevented the next one.”—Tim O’Brien, for Bloomberg
Misleading Headline of the Week Award goes to Ron Brownstein of CNN for this autopilot take: “January 6 Committee is Testing Whether Americans Can Still Agree on a Shared Reality”. No, it’s not like there are competing realities out there. This isn’t a pox on both parties problem. A more accurate headline would be (and the body of the article reflects this) “January 6 Committee is Testing Whether Republicans Can Come to Grips with Reality.” A better take: From the New York Times, “Amid Jan. 6 Revelations, Election Lies Still Dominate the G.O.P.” (“[T]the most striking revelation so far may be how deeply Mr. Trump’s disregard for the truth and the rule of law have penetrated into the Republican Party, taking root in the fertile soil of a right-wing electorate stewing in conspiracy theories and well tended by their media of choice. The Republican response to the hearings — a combination of indifference, diversion and doubling down — reflects how central the lie of a stolen election has become to the party’s identity.”)
I would add one of the most striking things about the hearings is how all the damning testimony comes from Republicans and Trump’s inner circle.
“I decided I should be on the pardon list.”—Trump legal adviser John Eastman, who encouraged the White House to steal the 2020 election by having Vice President Mike Pence overturn the results, in an email to the White House after 1/6. A lawyer like John Eastman should know pardons entail an admission of guilt, but then again, John Eastman is a bad lawyer.
Bill Stepien, who told the 1/6 House Select Committee that he quit the Trump campaign because he couldn’t stomach the lies Trump was spreading about the election, continues to work for Trump and other Republican candidates who spread the Big Lie. Is it testifying under oath that gets him to tell the truth? Or is it that he knows he can tell two different stories to two completely different audiences with the confidence the side he’s lying to will never get a whiff of what he says under penalty of law.
One of the more interesting revelations to come out of the 1/6 Hearings is how Trump raised money to fund election-related legal activities in the weeks after the election but then funneled all that money into a PAC. In other words, Trump used false claims of election fraud to raise $250 million to pad a campaign account rather than actually pay lawyers to litigate his case for him. As Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said, this wasn’t just the “Big Lie,” but the “Big Rip-Off.”
From Open Secrets: “Trump’s Political Operation and Republican Party Committees Have Paid Over $12.6 million to Jan. 6 Rally Organizers Since the 2020 Election Cycle”
“The January 6 defendants are having their lives totally destroyed and being treated worse than terrorists and murderers despite most being charged with parading through the Capitol….And if I become president, someday if I decide to do it, I will be looking at them very, very seriously for pardons. Very, very seriously.”—Donald Trump speaking at the Faith and Freedom forum last Friday. It should go without saying this is a complete mischaracterization of those events designed to excuse his and others’ bad behavior. Earlier that day, a rioter was convicted of bringing a loaded weapon into the Capitol and assaulting Capitol Police officers with one of their own batons.
“In the bitter end, [Trump] was just a man with a mob. Not a Republican. Not a politician. Not a president. Not a member of any political party but his own cult. A mindless, raging, bullying thug.”—Andrew Sullivan
“He’s purging. He’s purging. He’s trying to set the Republican Party up as a bunch of yes-men loyalists. Think about that. That’s scary.”—South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice, who voted to impeach Trump in early 2021 and lost his primary in the Republican Party this week. This Politico article details his experience facing the wrath of Republican voters during the primary.
Rice is the first Republican who voted to impeach Trump to lose his primary. Four others—Adam Kinzinger (IL), John Katko (NY), Fred Upton (MI), and Anthony Gonzalez (TX)—chose not to run for re-election. The other five (each up for re-election in their state’s Republican primaries in the coming months) are Liz Cheney (WY), Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA), Peter Meijer (MI), David Valadao (CA), and Dan Newhouse (WA).
Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina—who criticized Trump after 1/6 but couldn’t bring herself to impeach him, then shot a video of herself outside Trump Tower in NYC to prove her MAGA bona fides—won her primary against a Trump-endorsed opponent.
The Texas Republican Party has officially gone off the deep end. From the Texas Tribune: “Meeting at their first in-person convention since 2018, Texas Republicans on Saturday acted on a raft of resolutions and proposed platform changes to move their party even further to the right. They approved measures declaring that President Joe Biden ‘was not legitimately elected’ and rebuking Sen. John Cornyn for taking part in bipartisan gun talks. They also voted on a platform that declares homosexuality ‘an abnormal lifestyle choice’ and calls for Texas schoolchildren ‘to learn about the humanity of the preborn child.’” Witnesses also confirm GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw and his staff were assaulted by a right-wing social media activist and members of the Proud Boys at the convention.
Nevada Republicans have nominated Jim Marchant, an election denier, as their candidate for Secretary of State, a post that oversees elections in Nevada. Marchant has said he would not have certified Nevada’s 2020 election results and advocated for submitting an alternative slate of fraudulent electors. He has spoken at a QAnon conference, would end mail-in balloting, and believes it is statistically impossible for Biden to have won in Nevada. On the campaign trail, he told Nevada Republicans, “Your vote hasn’t counted for decades. You haven’t elected anybody. The people that are in office have been selected” by what he described as a “deep state cabal.” Marchant joins Republican nominees in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Michigan who oversee elections who consider the results fraudulent. He also joins over 200 national and state legislative nominees who took steps in office to overturn the 2020 election. Still, Marchant has yet to question the validity of the results of the election he just won.
The Otero County, New Mexico, election commission this week refused to certify the county’s primary election results because of their unfounded concerns about Dominion voting machines. One of the commission’s members is a co-founder of Cowboys for Trump and is awaiting sentencing for taking part in the Capitol Riot.
The RNC is spending millions in the name of “election integrity” to recruit poll watchers for this year’s midterms. As I wrote last week, it appears the GOP plans to use poll watchers to challenge ballots and electoral procedures in order to cast doubt on the validity of the process, which they could then use as a pretense to overturn election results.
Not only is Trump’s social media platform Truth Social overrun with QAnon content (Q actually got an account on the site before Trump) but Trump has repeatedly promoted QAnon content via his account.
The newest Republican member of Congress, Mayra Flores of Texas, claims she has nothing to do with QAnon but her social media accounts are packed with references to Q.
By Molly Ball, for Time: “How the 'MAGA Squad' Is Building Power to Control the Next Congress” (The story looks at how House Republicans like Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene plan to wield power if Republicans win control of Congress in the 2022 elections. If you thought the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus was bad, these guys would be a nightmare.)
MAGA Squad member Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado joked Christ didn’t own enough AR-15s to keep his government from killing him, which, OK, it’s a joke I guess, but also suggests Boebert doesn’t quite get the whole Christianity thing. (See John 10:18: “No one has taken [my life] away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative.”)
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was asked what he would tell the families of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting. His answer: “If I lost one of my children I’d be pretty devastated, especially in a way that is so senseless and seemingly has no purpose. I think…I would just have to say, if I had the opportunity to talk to the people I’d have to say, look, there’s always a plan. I believe God always has a plan. Life is short no matter what it is. And certainly, we’re not going to make sense of, you know, a young child being shot and killed way before their life expectancy.” Life is short no matter what it is. If a child’s life is nothing more than dust in the wind, why isn’t a gun worth even less than that? If our lives are just a blip in the grand cosmic scheme of things, why does this guy work so hard to make life miserable for so many people? Makes me think Paxton is just destined to be a terrible human being.
Ohio decided this week they needed to make it easier for teachers to bring guns into classrooms. All you heard from Republicans over the past year is how teachers can’t be trusted to teach and that some books were too dangerous for teachers to put on their shelves, but apparently Ohio is fine with educators wielding firearms.
You know when Republican New York congressional candidate Carl Paladino ends a statement with “I don’t think of myself in any way as a racist,” what he’s said is probably pretty racist. From a 2016 interview: “Someday, somebody like a Donald Trump is gonna come in and force that stuff on them – OK. And maybe then, OK, we’ll get some change because the Black people deserve better. They shouldn’t be held captive in our inner cities. They shouldn’t be held hungry and dumb so as to provide a base for the Democratic Party, that’s what’s been going on. You can’t teach them differently because they’ve been so conditioned to think that way.”
Tom Nichols at The Atlantic writes in defense of a president who has dealt with a pandemic and an economic slowdown he has little control over, the aftermath of an attempted coup d’etat, and a conflict that could still tip over into World War III.
Jonathan Chait takes note of Biden’s bipartisan achievements. But are any of those bills—including the infrastructure bill and the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (hung up in the House, strangely)—real game changers?
Here’s FiveThirtyEight’s breakdown of the recently completed round of redistricting. Their conclusions: 1.) The map is still biased in favor of Republicans, but not as much as it was last election cycle (if the national vote for the House ended up tied, Republicans would win roughly 225 seats and Democrats would win 210 seats); 2.) Democrats made big gains until a series of court rulings cost them additional seats; 3.) There are fewer competitive districts, making the Republican advantage a little more durable; and 4.) The number of seats represented by minorities (and their clout in other districts) is likely to decline.
According to Ruy Teixera, Democrats are losing so much ground with Hispanic voters that it threatens to cancel out the natural gains they expect to make as the white population in the United States declines. That’s bad news. I believe, however, that if Democrats calibrate their message to winning this group (or, more accurately the groups that constitute the Hispanic voter bloc) they’ll develop a winning national message.
The EPA has found that the presence of forever chemicals in our drinking water, food packaging, and cosmetics is more dangerous than previously believed.
Democrats are making good progress with Joe Manchin. Meanwhile, the COVID funding bill looks doomed, and talks on gun control are hung up on how to define a “boyfriend” so that guns can be kept out of the hands of domestic abusers.
From Bloomberg: The bottom 50% of Americans are in the strongest financial position they’ve been in for a generation. “The bottom 50%, generally households with net worth of $166,000 or less before the pandemic, now hold a bigger share of the nation’s wealth than they’ve had for 20 years, the Federal Reserve estimates. Their collective net worth, $3.73 trillion, has almost doubled in two years and is more than 10 times higher than in 2011, the nadir after the last recession.” Yet American households are spending about $433 extra per month to keep up with their normal consumption habits and the markets are in meltdown.