Thursday, September 25, 2008

Blabbings of a Part Time Political-Economic Dilettante

Posturing is more important than delivering. Positioning is more important than content. Perception is more important than clarity. Emotion is more important than definition. I’m not complaining about this. I think this is pretty much just what the political weather is made of, especially in a national campaign. It is no use to complain about the weather. The best you can do is dress for it.

All of the above is just as true, if not more so regarding news about the national economy.

What ARE the fundamentals of our economy? Something tells me that securitized mortgage equities are not fundamental. Something tells me that the equities market in general is not fundamental. Influential certainly. But not fundamental. Could economic fundamentals have more to do with things like taking raw materials, adding value to them and selling them at a profit? Like manufacturing for instance. Aside from not being able to borrow money to run their businesses (which is admittedly no small thing) how are the makers of real goods faring these days? Fundamentally sound? The PTPED wants to know.

GWB has got to be pretty discouraged. This whole debacle is what he will be remembered for.

Many formerly Free market ideologues seem to have turned into lifeboat socialists. Suddenly why do all these once rabid free market people look like Christian Scientist parents praying over their dying child. Imagine a CS practitioner of many years suddenly standing up and shouting "Give the kid some antibiotics, for crying out loud!"

If these fair weather free marketeers were true to their ideals, they would admit that this is a natural market correction and must be allowed to run it’s course. Of course, it might kill the child, but that’s natural and that’s how free markets operate. I’m sure there are people out there like that, but I don’t hear them. I'm probably not looking hard enough. Probably because if they are out there, I don't really care. I'm not a total free market freak myself.

On the other hand, I’m not sure that all those people who believe that the only way to go is a heart/lung/liver/kidney transplant, with a complete resection of the intestines, have too much going for them either.


Anonymous said...

Of course, "free market" seems to mean different things to different people. Our crisis is not really a free market crisis. Much of the problem had to do with government policy in regards to sub-prime mortgages AND a willingness to print vast amounts of money. This is not private sector stuff.

The price of energy has also contributed to the lack of money to pay off debt. Who do we thank for the high cost of energy? That's right- the government, not the free market.

The cost of health care continues to soar, why? The medical profession and hospitals are not in the free market. The government regulates them in a way that ensures higher and higher costs and profit. Thanks Uncle Sam.

Bush's tax cuts helped the economy, but state and local taxes have gone up. Our city decided to reasses our homes at a few year back, when the price of homes skyrocketed. Wages have not increased, but our city seems to confuse the value of a home with the ability to pay more on taxes and utilies. Thanks government!

It is a joke to hear Senators running for President, when neither is willing to concede they have been a huge part of the problem. Do we really want our government to "solve" these problems?

Alright, I am done ranting.


Anonymous said...

You might want to watch this


Anonymous said...

From an AP article about the defeat of the bailout:

In her speech, Pelosi had assailed Bush and his administration for reckless economic policies.

"They claim to be free market advocates when it's really an anything-goes mentality: No regulation, no supervision, no discipline. And if you fail, you will have a golden parachute and the taxpayer will bail you out. Those days are over. The party is over," Pelosi said.

"Democrats believe in a free market," she said. "But in this case, in its unbridled form, as encouraged, supported, by the Republicans — some in the Republican Party, not all — it has created not jobs, not capital. It has created chaos."

Read this in contrast to the YouTube link I put up. Evil is the word I come up with.

Dubbahdee said...

You have just begun to rant. Don't stop now. You are just getting warmed up.

My point, of course, is that very few people really have the stomach for a true free market. Personally, I think that's OK.

The key of course, lies in the KIND of laws used, and in the AMOUNT of law used. I suspect that it is best to use the most efficient laws possible so that you can get away with the least amount of laws possible.

The idea is to set up the laws properly to encourage the right kind of market behavior, and discourage the wrong kind. Ultimately, ISTM, free markets are not about lawlessness. It is impossible to have markets without laws in a civilized nation. Market w/o laws (let's call them "natural markets") are rather like a field untended. There's lots of fecundity there, but it is unharnessed and will not yield much of use to anyone except the wild animals. What we want to call "Free Markets" are more like a cultivated garden. There are limits, the garden is weeded, plants are pruned. Put the gardner also puts up trellises so climbing plants can climb. He stakes the tomatoes, and fertilizes the plants. He lets plants go free in the best direction to create a bountiful and beneficial harvest for the gardener (the citizenry).

What kind of laws are those? What do I know? I'm a frikkin part time dilettante, for cryin out loud.

Anonymous said...

I think we are in agreement. I am not an anarchist. My problem is that our problems seem to stem from government incompetence and corruption, yet the powers that be blame the private sector with the pretense of more government control and take over.

Did you see the video? You have to see this. It will MAKE YOU VERY MAD!! They knew all this would happen four years ago and did nothing. Yes, the Dems were blocking it, but where were the Repubs yelling from the rooftops? I blame them all. Lets clean house.


Anonymous said...

Enron collapse = $60 billion more or less. Big investigation, people go to jail. Reason- bad accounting practices. Result- Sarbanes/Oxley Bill.

Credit Crunch (Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac) = $700 billion !!!. No investigation called for. No one going to jail. Responsible people not villified, rather are economic advisors to Obama campaign. Reason- a government run agency that was not under Sarbanes/Oxley.

Still Ranting

Anonymous said...

Ok- this seems a bit of a propaganda piece, but it was sent to me and backs up some of my thoughts. For what it is worth:

Still ranting,

Anonymous said...

One more thing. I don't want to only pile on the Dems. I have no confirmation, but 'others' imply the Bush Administration did not really push the Fannie/Freddie thing because of their pursuit of Hispanic voters... grrreeaattt!