Friday, October 24, 2008

I've been following the economy and markets for a number of years and I've always thought the laissez-faire, self-regulated market was the right thing to do. The free, capitalistic market would be the great equalizer. After all, it is the free markets that are slowly changing countries like China and Vietnam into more docile, friendly and human countries. Extreme governments are slowly coming around to democracy. Besides, why would market leaders choose self-destruction by leading their companies into high-risk gambling with investor and depositor money? I persuaded myself that all was good and that most, if not all, financial managers would honestly asses risk and use other people's money wisely. But, in 2005 I sold a condo for twice what I paid for it only six years earlier and my wife sold her mothers estate house for a whopping $700k in a middle income San Francisco Bay neighborhood. I was stunned at how much we got and bewildered at how people could afford the high prices. In August 2006 when the real estate bubble began to burst I began to look closer at this deregulated system I believed in and I began to see that I was mislead. I've now come to believe that nearly all Americans were mislead on basic economic policy just like many have been mislead by the Bush administration. Bill Maher has it right; Americans are too dumb to be governed. Being stupid, it seems, is pervasive in American society.

I came to the conclusion that Americans are politically stupid when I woke up in November 2000 and heard that George W. Bush was president elect. Four years later it was obvious to the world that Americans had a loose screw; as noted when Bush was reelected in 2004, the British newspaper The Guardian ask the question on its front page, "How could 57 million people be so dumb?" Good question! Now, after eight years of Bush and even more years of Republican backed corporate deregulation, most Americans wonder what happened.

Why do we have an overabundance of ignorant, stupid people in America? Oh, I know that ignorance and stupidity are not the same, but continuing ignorance when information is so readily available is being stupid. I think the answer is that ideologues and demagogues have become extremely sophisticated in conning everyone with their crap. Ideologues of every stripe whether it be political extremists, religious fundamentalist, corporate libertarians, neo-conservatives, neo-liberals and other stripes have some utopia in mind for all of us. Utopias have a common flaw in that not all who will be forced to live in it will like it. Marx, Stalin and Hitler had a solution for those who either couldn't or did not want to live in the utopia they imposed: death or imprisonment.

One thing is obvious from the market crash and that is that ideology is forgotten when a meltdown threatens the livelihood of our population. Oh, there are still too many staunch ideologues screaming "socialism" and "big government" that still threaten a full recovery. What would they have us do? Let the entire economy fail completely and return to the breadlines of the 1930s? Think about that. That would be stupid. Others, however, such as Paulson, Bernanke and even Greenspan, appear to have come to their senses, at least to some degree, but not with a full admission that free market laissez-faire is the wrong path. But they are making an effort so save us.

If the latest presidential poll averages are any indication, too many Americans are still ignorant; with 42.6% favoring McCain-Palin. A McCain-Palin administration would be disastrous and no matter what your argument is, it would be a continuation of the Bush presidency because the vast majority of administration positions would be filled with the same people currently in office. In order for a new administration to gain control over the government it will need to fill approximately 4,000 to 5,000 political appointments; from the Treasury to Defense Department to Homeland Security to the Justice Department. If the positions are not filled, the same ideology existing today will continue in those positions and a McCain-Palin administration would not likely fill those positions with anyone believing in different ideology. Think about it.

Not to mention the overwhelming evidence provided by some of the highest conservative thinkers in our country that Palin is not qualified to be Vice President. She doesn't know anything about the United States Constitution or the constitutional duties of the Vice President. She has no knowledge of any aspect of U. S. Government and worse, she has no curiosity about learning. She is another Bush and the fact that McCain could at his age die in office, she could be our president; with her finger on the nuclear trigger. I can't think of a better reason to vote against McCain-Palin. She is dangerous.

Unfortunately, I've started my blog too late in this election to have any affect on anyone, but my advice to you if you are one of those 42.6% supporting McCain is to take another look at Obama. Turn off Hannity and Colmes, O'Rielly, Limbaugh and Savage (representative of the most dangerous propagandist in this nation today) and tune in to other, more reliable news and opinion sources. If you continue a daily diet of right-wing propaganda, you will continue to be dangerously ignorant of the truth about where our country needs to go and about Obama.

I hope in future posts to be more specific toward encouraging people to find better sources of ideas, to be more tolerant of other ideas and, perhaps, find the center of extremes. Maybe more of those 42.6% will change their mind. I hope so. I also hope to figure out blogging and to make this blog a little more presentable. At the moment, though, the information is more important than appearance. I apologize if the appearance is needful of improvement.

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