Stupid Genius

Wakemom is a middle aged woman with grown children, a rock hard body, very fit, and to my knowledge no advanced education in economics.   She sells boats for a living.   Last week she left this on our blog, I saw homes in my neighborhood sell to people I knew couldn’t afford them why didn’t the banks know? The greedy mortgage brokers and lenders knew and laughed all the way to the bank with their incomes and record profits. Who’s laughing now?

Attila emigrated from Hungary nearly thirty years ago.   When he got off the plane with one suitcase, twenty bucks in his pocket and his wife by his side carrying his one year old son, he didn’t speak a word of English.   He did have a skill, however, and found a job as a mold builder.   After many years of hard work and scraping together money for a down payment, he purchased a modest house in South Orange County.   When the housing market started going bananas a couple of years ago Attila complained, Jim, these illegal aliens are buying houses in my neighborhood.   Where are they getting the money to buy a $600,000.00 house?   They’ve got junky cars parked in the street, they don’t water the grass, no money down bullsh…

While Wakemom and Attila regretfully smile as houses in their neighborhoods go into foreclosure, McCain and Obama are bragging how they will use our tax dollars to save these homes from default because they want to insure our homes won’t depreciate in value.   Gee thanks, as if arbitrarily propping up the value of housing is going to do us any good.   Some of us just might like to move and purchase a new residence for its real value, not for some government induced and exaggerated price.

While regular people with common sense have marveled at the stupendous absurdity of our current financial debacle, Alan Greenspan has been up on Capitol Hill fielding questions from Congress.   At least we assembled all the idiots in one room!

Greenspan’s most notable quotation from the interrogation was this, I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms.

He then went on to say the crisis exposed a flaw in his strong market based ideology.

What a twit!   When all else fails in the face of tough questions by committed bureaucrats, blame the free-market.   If you want them to go easy on you, just acknowledge your capitalist ignorance.  

If Greenspan had any guts at all he would have declared that irresponsible government example is what tainted our laissez-fare system encouraging those men with low character at the head of many private financial institutions to take what they could get, their organizations be damned.

Our government consistently spends more than it takes in and encourages our citizens to do the same.   Spend, spend, spend, let’s drive our economy!   And what good little soldiers we are, people have been borrowing on their homes to fuel their gluttonous consumption, and those who can’t borrow on homes have done so on credit cards.   Americans now owe about a trillion dollars due credit cards.

And the governments answer?   Give’em a stimulus check and encourage them to spend more.

Harvard educated Barack Obama wants to build the economy from the bottom up.   How does that work?   Take from those who produce and give it to those who don’t?

We cannot spend our way out of this financial disaster.   To pay down our debt, at some point we are going to have to produce and save more than we use.  

How long could we keep our homes and feed our kids if we spent $2,000.00 more each month than we took in?   How long would our credit cards and our equity loans last?  

Home budgets are pretty much the same as government budgets.   Overspending will guarantee ruin.   The difference is, when government fails we are all responsible and even those who lived responsible and frugal lives will be on the hook.

It’s nice to have geniuses around government, they can figure out complicated equations, they can explain how the universe began and is continually expanding, they can analyze and postulate and even predict once in a while, but what they can’t seem to do very well are the day to day chores around which life most revolves.

Greenspan ran the Fed for nearly twenty years and probably did more good than bad, but in his lofty position he somehow became disconnected from our cultural foundation.   His comment to Congress suggests our free-market underpinnings are somehow deficient, and he has now invited in bureaucrats to once again skewer this free-market system and grab for themselves more regulatory control.  

As if Congress is our agent of cure.   This is after all the body which gave us The Financial Modernization Act of 1999 which was the de-regulatory mechanism which most experts blame for our current situation.  

We don’t need geniuses in government; we need regular people with common sense who have a good moral foundation and fiscal sagacity.   America would be better off with Wakemom Secretary of the Treasury and Attila Chairman of the Fed.


Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo