Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A False Sense of Security

 for you, PC

Work hard, pay your bills (on time) and save some money.  Keep everything in balance and take a vacation, buy a boat.  Shore up the rainy day fund, the retirement account(s) and the kids' college funds.  Generational wealth is within the grasp of many who never thought it possible for them.  As we climbed on the backs of the baby boomers (our parents or for some, grandparents) whose unparalleled work ethic made it possible, life is good.  Capitalism at its finest.

Wall Street f***ed over Main Street and threw the global economy into a tailspin that affected every aspect of LIFE. Who's to blame?

Who am I kidding, globalization and creative financing have (collectively) turned the American dream into a global nightmare.  Business and financial gurus on Wall Street have been deceiving the public for decades, yet the road to prosperity was still attainable.  Now, not so much.  Sell debt to the middle class (who are almost non existent now) and you've got the makings of an incredible sink hole.  The Great Recession was inevitable.

We've been sold out by laissez-faire capitalism while the S.EC turned a blind eye, because there's no way they couldn't know of BigBusiness' politricks.  In the meantime, they continue to outsource our jobs, not caring that there's not much here (without an education) to replace them.  High dollar manufacturing jobs and those created by the housing boom are long gone.  With the high cost of living, the current minimum wage is barely sustainable for an average family of four.  A majority of workers who entered the job market right out of high school and who've been on the job for 20-30 years, have no desire to go back to school to learn something new.  Unfortunately, they risk falling further through the cracks of a broken economy.  Unemployment benefits and public assistance aren't always a sure thing. 

Let's face it, there are only so many service-type jobs to go around. I'm not implying that these are the only jobs available, and something's always better than nothing.  One would have to work two maybe three to break even; and forget about benefits.  Poverty and prosperity are directly related to higher education or the lack thereof; however, going to college and/or finding a good job doesn't guarantee security anymore.  People are living paycheck to paycheck, and now that shit has hit the fan, the haves don't want the have-nots to have nothing.  Sadly, anger and resentment have replaced compassion in this me-myself-and-I society.

Pundits argue that people shouldn't have bought homes they couldn't afford.  Those people weren't the only ones at fault for this crisis.  During the housing boom everyone and they're damned momma sold real estate, refinancing their homes multiple times to buy and flip houses to beef up their own net worth.  It's a great idea when done properly and not at the expense of those ignorant of the true ramifications of owning a home. 

Greed had become the American way; builders, bankers and mortgage brokers were all in bed together having a grand ole time.  A lot of the jobs in the financial sector were created by Big Banks that wouldn't finance less credit worthy individuals but who still wanted a slice of the pie. Everyone was eatin' good and livin' good.  Predatory lenders offered financial products that were bound to fail, and now their employees, who probably also bought homes during this period, are unemployed too.

Again I ask, who's to blame?  Everyone wants to point the finger, but no one wants to shoulder the blame. All of us must take some responsibility for maintaining the status quo and not demanding change. Bipartisanship be damned, they passed the buck and we fell for the okie doke.


Anonymous said...

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Kit (Letters To A Young Sista) said...

Hey Penny, glad to see you have your comments working again.

Who's the blame? A few culprits come to mind:

1. the Reagan years of deregulation,

2. Outsourcing,

3. Clinton repealing part the Glass-Steagall Act, pushed by Phil Gramm (R) and the GOP. See here, it explains how Wall Street was able to do what it did and is really interesting.

I'd also add that a high tech society is more complex. We haven't been a nation of individual farmers, followed by being factory workers for a very long time. People are now required to remain in school beyond 8th grade and this has delayed adulthood.

In the past that was all you needed to eek out a living, and people often started their families between ages 16 - 19.

School isn't for everyone, especially the way they teach now, so now we have labor surplus where 1/3 to 1/2 *drumroll* haven't passed 9th grade. But, there's no farming or factories for these people to work in.

Add in peak oil issues, and well, we're a nation suffering from too many crisis at once.

And all this is only part of the story... dang, it's endless.

Penny Wize said...

Hey Kit!
Re: GLBA Interesting read indeed. Thanks for the link.

I remember my Dad raising hell about 'Reaganomics' as a youngin back in the '80's. I understood his position better as I got older and paid attention to the issues, thus allowing me to form my own opinion(s).

The level of bureaucratic b.s. is sickening; eh, such is the nature of politics.

The state of education in this country sucks and with more budget cuts looming it's only going to get worse because of, you know, budget cuts. *snicker*

"..we're a nation suffering from too many crisis at once."

That's it in a nutshell.

And yet, our President is vilified daily because *gasp* the magic dust he sprinkles over the issues is ineffective.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...