Amazing Times, Who Knows Where the Ball will Stop

Posted: April 11th, 2008 by: h2

Here’s some things to think about, courtesy of the Market Ticker. I’m not sure, as I will try to say again and again, who is 100% right, but what is becoming more interesting is who has tended to be right, especially in the macro areas of the economy and other global issues. One cost of globalism, of course, is now clearly being revealed: problems quickly escalate to a global level.

Let me be clear – if we cross this line in the sand there will be no warning and no way to “take it back” once it happens. Consider your daily life – could you survive for more than two weeks if you suddenly had no access to credit of any sort? If you were forced to pay for each and every thing you buy, from gasoline to groceries, with cash from your bank? If your credit card was suddenly reduced to “zero available”, irrespective of how much you paid off?
A more appropriate response would be to go after the lenders who made knowingly-inappropriate loans to people, and force them to eat the bad paper in a court of law. That would take courage too – get some injunctions against the bad actors, including the Wall Street investment banks who securitized and effectively bribed the ratings agencies, halt the process, and let it grind through the courts. Get a few “unconscionable contract” rulings and voila – we have a couple of insolvent Wall Street “icons” and we can sell their office buildings off to pay the judgements.
Where’s the truth – you can’t spend more than you make for very long, and now the gravy train has run out!

I had to quote a bit more today because he’s really on a roll.

America simply will not stop being foolish. We have no leaders in this nation who will tell it like it is, and give it to us hard and straight, even when that is exactly what we need. Stocks are always supposed to go up, even when there is no consumer income growth to support rising sales. Home prices never go down. Incomes never decline and people never get laid off and businesses never fail.

This is the fantasy land that America lives in, and it sucks.

I fight the outrageous consumerism that is drilled into my daughter’s head by everyone she comes in contact with each and every day. No, you cannot have a $500 cell phone, and I don’t care if your friend has one. No, you don’t need a $100 pair of jeans; the $20 pair is just fine. No, you don’t need three more swimming suits; you have two that fit. No, you don’t need a new IPOD, you have an MP3 player and it works perfectly well.

This is not an accident. It is a matter of ingraining greed into our youth and ultimately into us, and it will destroy us. When times are good its fine to spend on vacations and toys, but not beyond what you can afford, because times are not always good.

His article today is actually a more generically interesting one than his straight out attack on the Fed yesterday (make sure to watch the video too, it’s very disturbing…):

because he’s not discussing some quite specialized financial stuff, but the more common malaise hitting usa people, basic greed.

On a cultural level, his above points are important for people to understand, because greed is what is pushing this all, I just read Reich’s SuperCapitalism, which if you had any doubt about the spinelessness of Democrats, especially Clinton democrats (he was secretary of labor for Bill Clinton), that book will remove it. But even he keeps pointing out that we are all sharing in this greed, but then makes the absurd decision that if we all do it, it’s not greed, but normal. How he can make such an absurd conclusion is absolutely beyond me.

That book, alone, is basically enough to confirm everything Ralph Nader is saying about demos/repubs at the moment.

I suspect that many of you may not quite realize how serious the current situation is.

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