Great post!Comment Posted By bsjones On 8.03.2009 @ 01:05
It's well thought out and well written.
Sara in VA,
I just saw your new website. I saw some funny photo shop. Loved the clip of Obama's wife calling black college kids ignorant right to their faces!!
You should allow responses on your site. It would make things more lively.Comment Posted By bsjones On 28.02.2009 @ 22:12
Sara in VA,
Am I missing something?
Are we in agreement?Comment Posted By bsjones On 28.02.2009 @ 21:57
I try to be as articulate as I possibly can, but I realize words often fail. I saw a movie last night called, WHO THE #$&% IS JACKSON POLLOCK. It demonstrates perfectly well how this system operates.
Please rent it from NETFLIX. You won't regret it.
http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Who_the_Is_Jackson_Pollock/70064699?lnkctr=srchrd-sr&strkid=218500358_0_0Comment Posted By bsjones On 28.02.2009 @ 18:01
I want to summarize.
Business and government elites work together to pass and repeal legislation as needed to ensure that ALL OF THE ELITES (both public and private) have a place at the trough. Many fairy tales get told to prevent citizens from looking at the system in its entirety in an attempt to prevent them from seeing what is happening. The press does its part in retelling the false narratives of the Ruling Classes in an effort to curry favor and stay in with these "master's of the universe". The secret they do not want let out is they are all in it together. The adversarial relationships we sometimes see are just another part of the fairy tale.Comment Posted By bsjones On 28.02.2009 @ 17:43
That point about the mis-allocation of resources belongs to angulimala (post #17), although I do essentially agree with it.
The point of all my recent posts is this: I simply refuse to live in a world of fairy tales anymore.
Government is not simply a helpful and "benevolent" older sibling, any more than big business is a mean spirited and spiteful step mother. This is a childish narrative concocted by Democrats that (primarily) serves that party and its masters.
Government is not an evil ogre that always wants to create dependency and destroy America's greatness, which, can only be combated by the gallant knights of the GOP who will slay the evil ogre with tax cuts, finally freeing the oppressed peasants to explore their God Given freedom. This is a silly narrative concocted by the GOP to serve the party and the interests of the party masters.
I'm tired of false narratives that, when believed, pit American against American while the country sinks into the swamp.
I'm railing against this simple minded retreat from the reality that our senses present to us on a daily basis when we embrace silly, simple minded narratives that are designed to stupefy us.
As most of my posts clearly state, the current mess required complicity by all the parties involved including: business leaders, government leaders, ordinary citizens, regulators, and every other "elite". I have never said, and never will say, that this is the fault of any one group.
Yet, if we do not acknowledge the colossal screw ups of Bush, figure out what went wrong, and then correct it, we should move in next door to Shrek and his donkey.
As to your specific point, Fannie and Freddie were massive enablers to the ridiculous CDO market and the crisis that followed. They, along with everyone else involved, neglected their responsibilities and jumped on board the gravy train. All parties then bribed members of both parties in Congress with campaign contributions and fact finding trips to ensure Congress looked the other way.
So,I disagree that this is a case of too much or too little regulation. It was a combination of bad regulation, bad legislation, negligence, sticking the head in the sand, story telling and fraud.
In other posts, I have said citizens use the ballot box to hold government accountable for their actions and government holds business accountable for its actions. We could add that the press also helps hold government and business accountable by properly informing citizens about what their government and business are doing.
THIS ENTIRE SYSTEM HAS COMPLETELY BROKEN DOWN.
There is a huge trough of wealth created by American citizens. Political elites working with (and often on behalf of) business elites do there damnedest to drain the trough. When it is empty, you and I will have to fill it back up.
That's my three little pig narrative.Comment Posted By bsjones On 28.02.2009 @ 17:09
Sara in VA,
I think Republicans need to admit to massive failure for the sake of responsibility and to regain credibility. Only when we take responsibility and regain credibility will we win elections.
There is and always will be disagreement among economists as to the best way to handle massive recessions. Keynes is on one side of that debate. No matter what some people insist, his ideas are not completely discredited. If anything the idea that tax cuts always get the economy moving again is the belief that is now on shaky ground.
The real debate among economist right now is about how much "crowding out" public investment will do to private investment.
Look at these graphs:
How many businesses are willing to invest in this climate?
Keynes point was that when an economy is producing WAY below its capacity because of insufficient demand, government can stimulate that demand through spending and investment. As the economy recovers, the government pulls back on spending, thus, allowing the private sector to resume its rightful place in the economy.
All protestations to the contrary, this is not crazy talk. Obama also included massive tax cuts in his porkulus to get Republicans on board.
I may be proven wrong, but I genuinely believe that hoping for or facilitating an Obama failure will lead us deeper into the wilderness than an actual successful Obama presidency.Comment Posted By bsjones On 28.02.2009 @ 15:22
If you are right, the credibility of the GOP and conservatism have been damaged.
What should be done? How do we win back credibility?
I'm really interested.Comment Posted By bsjones On 28.02.2009 @ 13:32
First of all, I am not against the tea party protests in any way. They have historical significance and tap into the rebellious aspect of the American spirit. All good.
Second, the protests were organized at short notice and not logistically thought through. Point taken.
Third, in time, a small spark can ignite an enormous bush fire. Patience is a virtue. Got it.
Fourth, anybody can criticize. What are YOU doing about it? Stop being a jerk.
Fifth, man does not live on bread alone. We need red meat on occasion to keep our anger and motivation at effectively high levels. Agreed.
Yet, I did not go to a tea party and I am concerned these tea party protests are happening too soon because we are not addressing our fundamental problems with the GOP.
Responsibility. The Republican party is largely (not entirely) responsible for the huge mess we are in. Insisting that our current crisis is the result of Obamanomics is just not credible and smart Americans know it. We look like self serving hypocrites. Almost everything that we blame exclusively on Democrats, we had a hand in creating. A party that preaches responsibility without taking responsibility for its own mistakes looks childish and ill prepared to lead.
Principles. Small government. Responsiblity. Tax Cuts. Balanced budgets. Our principles are not addressing real issues. The primary issue right now is that the economy is in free fall. These principles do not address the real economic concerns of real Americans. Right now Americans do not want smaller government, they want effective government that addresses real human needs.
Accountability. Americans need to believe that America is a just society. Right now the perpetrators of the largest malfeasance in 100 years, in both the public and private sectors, are not being held accountable. We imprison ordinary criminals. Why not our leaders when they commit crimes?
Credibility. Republicans are not credible. We want smaller government, so we expand medicare. We want balanced budgets but we start a war on two fronts, cut taxes, and use accounting gimmicks to conceal the debt we create. (Maybe the tax cuts were not big enough?) We want people to invest in Wall Street and manage their own retirement accounts, while wealthy sophisticated investors are being defrauded on a daily basis and sometimes committing suicide after being punked.
Our response, Caveat Emptor! Republicans say, "We will keep you safe from harm!", then we get 9/11, and "Heck of a job!! Brownie". How about "Mission Accomplished"? Credibility is crucial for a political party. We don't have any.
You may not agree with everything I have posted here, but the point is valid. We need to remove the plank from our own eyes before attempting to remove the speck from our bother's eye. I feel like some of this tea party stuff is Santelli magic. It is a slight of hand designed to make it easier for us to delude ourselves. When we act responsibly, admit our mistakes, apply real principle to real problems, demand accountability from OUR OWN PARTY, we will have credibility. We will also be ready to lead, and we will get elected.Comment Posted By bsjones On 28.02.2009 @ 12:55
Thanks Wendy Herman,
It makes more sense now.
Upon reflection, I've decided real conservative change will be most likely by focusing our energy on and, possibly replacing, Republican members of Congress that do not meet our expectations, rather than complaining about Democrats that are representing their 54% of the citizenry.
Thanks again WendyComment Posted By bsjones On 1.03.2009 @ 13:22