Wednesday, February 04, 2009
The Minority OpinionLike nearly everyone else in the country, my 401k has taken a hit in the last 8 months, and I am concerned about becoming one of those impoverished old bag ladies, picking up cigarette butts off the sidewalks, and scouring the dumpsters for dinner. I've always been careful with money. I've always done what the experts have told me to do. Work hard, invest for the future, don't count on Social Security, invest in the market, and you'll retire in comfort. Today, we are so deep in the shit, that no one is even talking about saving Social Security. The present situation is so dire, that no one is even thinking about the future. And if we are expecting the next generation to support us comfortably in our rocking chairs, in Florida, or some other warm climate, I think we are deluding ourselves. The next generation will be so pissed off at the debt we will leave them, that they will most likely vote to put us all away in a state institution. I mean after all, the next generation waiting in the wings was raised on reality TV shows, where the useless were voted off the island, and the weakest link subjected to serious humiliation. I'm not expecting any kindness from this next generation.
So basically, I'm trying hard to re-build my meager savings by buying stocks that are dirt cheap, and hoping that the Democrats will make things just a little better for us. I mean, they can't do much worse than George Bush. I have been an avid visitor to the CNBC website, I've subscribed to Morningstar, because I think that there is a slim chance that the nation will recover, now that the smart people are in charge. And if the market recovers, I want to be in it, I trust the Last Throes of American Capitalism more than I trust the viewers of Survivor. But looking at market websites makes me a little freaked out when I see a headline like this:
U.S. Debt Default, Dollar Collapse Altogether Likely.
And to be fair, these headlines of gloom and doom are few and far between, most definitely the minority opinion. But if you sided with the majority these last eight years, you will find yourself, with the majority of Americans, but on the wrong side of history, dead wrong. If you had by some slim chance, listened to the few voices that were scorned, the voices of opposition, the voices urging you to think before jumping into war, if you had thought before you bought that house for half a million, you and many other of your fellow citizens would be in a different place today.
I wasn't in favor of President Obama's reaching across the aisle to Republicans, if they had not been the majority these last 8 years, we would be in a much different place today. But I'm not opposed to Judd Gregg, with the President in a place where everyone is begging for money that we don't have, you might want to have one or two people who disagree with the majority. We are about to authorize our government to borrow and spend another trillion dollars, the first few trillion didn't do jack for the economy, and we know very little about where the money went. I'm not crazy about borrowing, or printing more money that we don't have. I agree that the money should go to tax-payers, because we will spend it on real things like food and rent, unlike the banks who got the money, and still continue to report loss after billion dollar loss. I'm in favor of having a couple of guys in the Administration who don't agree with Tim Geithner. In fact, I'm thinking that every time Geithner says anything in a Cabinet meeting, you might want to have a few people hanging around with a calculator, just to make sure the math is correct. Are Democrats math deficient? There sure are a lot of them who can't calculate taxes.
I don't know jack about money. And I'm pretty sure our elected officials only know what the experts tell them. And that's why we might need a guy who can use a calculator in the mix. What Democrats should not do, is repeat the mistakes of George Bush. President Obama is doing exactly the right thing by surrounding himself with different opinions, so that hopefully, in some Cabinet meeting, someone in the room will shout out the minority opinion.
We all hope, and I think, expect, that those people in the room have correctly calculated their tax returns .
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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