I did a Google on this, and it told me this phrase was an idiom, which is often used to describe a futile action, in the face of impending catastrophe.
The catastrophe back then was for the passengers on the ship. The catastrophe now is for all of us – since we are all part of the global economy. We should all be paying attention to this – but instead, everyone is doing his best to ignore it. And keep saying “It couldn’t happen to us, because our ship is unsinkable!”
I subscribe to Finextra, that worries about this constantly. It keeps saying “Banking is better than ever!” And “Banking is in more trouble than ever!” It does not predict the End of the World – only flat tires, here and there – that it can see happening right now.
Plenty of other people can see these flat tires – right in their backyard. They worry about them, and notice nothing is being done about them – and hope they will not get worse. Then put the whole subject out of their minds.
The Economy is such a big subject, no one wants to tackle it – so no one does. Even though they can see it is in big trouble.
What should be done? The first step, as always – is to recognize the problem. The Economy is unstable, and is heading downward.
Next step – refine the problem. How is the Economy in trouble? How big is the problem? This investigation would have to be financed by the Government – the American Government, to begin with. It would not be cheap – perhaps the cost of a carrier fleet, or two.
This analysis assumes we can identify what things cause other things to happen – and the feedback loops involved. A complicated analysis, to be sure – but the world is complicated. Trained people would have to get lots of data – where is the money, who owns it, and what is it used for?
The Computer could easily handle this modeling of the Economy. A model would be constructed, and then compared to what is happening in the real world. And then modified to make it better.
Eventually, we would know what is going on in the Economy. We could control it – instead of it controlling us!