This, from someone I correspond with regularly...not a blogger; as I've said many times (mainly to Busyman), I don't do blogs.
I’ll begin my rant/dissertation with a few age old quotes that I’ve never seen challenged. I’ll put them in order of succession as it lends to their accuracy and weight in the predictability of human nature.
“All forms of government destroy themselves by carrying their basic principles to excess— The democracies become too free in politics and economics, in morals, even in art and literature, until at last even the puppy dogs in our homes rise up on their hind legs and demand their rights. Disorder grows to such a point that a society will abandon all its liberty to anyone who can restore order.” - Plato - approximately 400 B.C.
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. -- Cicero , 55 BC
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage." - Alexander Tyler - No, he wasn't writing about the United States. This quote is well over one hundred years old. Tyler was writing about the fall of the Athenian Republic.
Lastly, I wind up with my present day favorite:
"Anyone can avoid reality but no one can avoid the consequences of avoiding reality". Thomas Sowell
What dovetails with all of the above that is the reality of human nature, which has been around for a few years and virtually downplayed, and/or totally ignored by today’s politicians!
The cowardice of the press, the under-educated ignorance of the dumb masses, to many of those allowed to vote, and the “keep myself in office at any cost politicians” put us and much of the present world in the financial crisis we face today.
The average citizen, and even the educated one, who have a great deal of difficulty comprehending this crisis, might get a better handle on it if someone would identify some major DOTS and connect them.
I’ll take a stab at it.
The leaders of the world’s heavy duty economies are presently meeting to address a world-wide financial meltdown. The how, when, and why are questions akin to what a doctor would ask in diagnosing an illness/disease.
How did this occur?
U.S. banks and lending institutions caved and crashed because borrowers could not repay loans. - DOT
Why did this occur?
Banks and lending institutions made loans that they would not have made under normal circumstances, circumstances they’d been operating under for years. DOT
Why did this occur?
About 30 years ago politicians trying to garner votes cried foul and said every American has a right to own a home! While loans were generally being denied to anyone with questionable payback ability, many of those were African-Americans and the democratic politicians whose large voting base was African-American created the phrase “red-lining” when that happened. - DOT
Buying votes is a process as old as the word vote. All politicians do it and no one is exempted from the process but in my lifetime no political party has fine tuned it as the democratic party of the last 50 years. Their exploitation of folks along class and racial lines and labor has become a science, particularly within the African-American community and recently the Hispanic. They have purposely and intentionally fought educational reform by siding with the teacher unions such as the NEA, etc, that would produce schools that would educate and produce an informed electorate. The last 40 years have seen a catastrophic drop in our educational performance. The U.S. ranks about 14th in math engineering and sciences among the world’s industrialized nations! The greatest example of that is in Washington, D.C., where a majority of the population is African-American. Those folks, who are the democrat’s voting base, have been begging for charter schools etc for years and they have been thrown under the bus, to use a modern day expression. A horrifying statistic seldom heard in the media is that D.C. schools are at the bottom of the 50 states in performance and graduation rates!
Back to the DOTS!
Red-lining - begin the purchasing of the votes...
Along came the main hitters, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, decrying the mean rich folks. They pressured the passage of more lenient lending rules with Freddie and Fannie and another instrument of government intrusion called, I believe, the Community Reinvestment Act. DOT
Banks and lending institutions were coerced by politicians and their politically-enabling community organizers, such as ACORN, to enact rules and use political intimidation that dictated, in effect, they must make such loans or suffer harassment and even be forced out of business! Fannie Mae and Feddie Mac were the two government “businesses” that were prime movers.
(One of these 2 was headed by Frank Raines, who after 5 years as the CEO left with a $90 million, yes, $90,000,000 parachute. Guess who was and is one of Barak Obama’s top advisors?) DOT
ACORN was a key instrument in pressuring the lending community by invading their banks, boycotting, and promoting legislation baring many bank activities such as merging and acquisitions if they did not make these bad loans to folks that were not likely to make payments. DOT
Banks caved and made the loans! DOT
HUMAN NATURE now enters into the equation! DUH? DOT
What happened next?
Wall Street, bankers, financial institutions, etc., etc., etc., all staffed with damn smart lawyers, wondered, "how do we handle the riskiness of these loans?" The banks' and institutions' smart lawyers took the questionable loans, bundled them, and sold them as derivatives (?) to other folks looking for an "easy" profit. DOT
Would anyone with any knowledge of finance, political sense, the CYA syndrome and HUMAN NATURE (DOT) not be able to predict that someone in those institutions would sense what the consequences of Barney’s and Chris’ actions might be? DUH?
What about Barney and Chris themselves, or did they care?
"Oh hell, Chris, you and I will be out of here in a few years anyway!" DOT
Now when the shit hits the fan, Barney goes on TV and blames it all on greedy Wall Street, deflecting attention from himself and Dodd and their past actions. DOT
By the most basic reasoning, the “sub-prime” situation in the U.S. kicked down that house of cards, starting an economic crises that rolled around the world - DOT
In addition, I recall that several folks going back to the 90s spoke up, warned about the dangers, but were silenced and or ignored. What’s even more grating is how when the faults were recounted by those folks Barney stoutly defended Fannie and Freddie when HE KNEW BETTER!
Thank you Barney, Chris and all the political enablers on both sides of the aisle.
Human nature being what it is, and politicians being what they are, I can say we’ve been shot in the ass!