Realitology

“The Study of Reality”

Warning! This Blog Contains Social Commentary, Brilliant Observations, Dry Wit, and Rampant Sarcasm. Use At Your Own Risk.

 

The economy’s great and here drink this kool-aid
* Comments(11)

The other day the prez came on TV to reassure everyone that the economy’s great and that people should keep on spending themselves into a debt blackhole because it’s good for the economy. The first thing I thought was "This guy’s on crack!" But then I remembered that he’s detached from reality and a fucking moron. Then it made a lot more sense.

Then he started with the standard scare tactics straight outta "dictator 101"…"The evil democrats are gonna raise your taxes so watch out."  Gee maybe it’s because they have to pay for your fuck-up in Iraq. ($452 BILLION and counting!) Or how about the $1.2 TRILLION for your unfunded prescription drug benefit. Or how about the wasted BILLIONS from your failed no child left behind policy. I guess the Bush policy is "promise it but don’t pay for it". Any self-respecting republican and/or conservative has got to hate Bush for all of this crap.

Even if we didn’t have to eventually pay for the president’s fucked up decisions, we still have the problem of our "house of cards" economy that’s been growing out of control for years. (Personally I blame the 80’s and the selfish yuppie fucks that Reagan spawned for starting it all. Although I guess you should properly go back to Nixon and taking us off the gold standard. Causing the dollar to devalue by 75% so far. Yea!)  The economy is totally screwed and we’re all living on borrowed time. Buy, buy, buy, and never thinking of having to ever pay it back. The credit card economy. The selfish and short-sided "I want it now (and cheap from China)" mentality. (Remember what happened to Veruca Salt when she tried to have it all NOW!)

Of course the prez’s speech was prompted by the stock market tanking because of the collapse of the sub-prime lending market. (Economy.com [Moody’s] says: "the nation’s housing market will slip like it hasn’t slipped since the Great Depression.") Damn, that’s gotta hurt!

(God I hope we don’t have another savings and loan collapse/bailout type debacle.) For once and for all, regardless of what the politicians and TV news reporters want you to think, THE STOCK MARKET IS NOT THE ECONOMY! REPEAT—THE STOCK MARKET IS NOT THE ECONOMY!

Let me put it plainly—in rough numbers and in real dollars, the average American worker is making less now than they were in the late 1960’s and prices have increased by dozens or hundreds of percent (depending on the product/market). Meanwhile the average CEO is making 600x more than they were in the late 1960’s. Does anyone see a bit of a disparity? I know you don’t mr. prez, but do any of you regular folks see anything fucked up about this? And people wonder why mom and dad both have to work now and still can’t pay the bills. That and they’ve fallen for the buy, buy, buy mentality.

Of course I could go on and tie this short-sided, childish, and selfish economic mind-set into the recently "discovered" infrastructure problems, but I don’t want to write that much today. Suffice it to say, we live in a "plastic surgery" world, where if it looks good then it must be good. Don’t look behind the curtain or behind the boob-job because it ain’t pretty.

 

I’ll just leave you some fun facts here from Will Marre’s latest blog post.

     * We live in a country of 300 million people in which the richest 3 million own more than the bottom 256 million. 1% owns more than 90% of us put together!

    * Profits are at a 40 year high for Fortune 500 companies ($705 billion) nearly 2X previous high, and worker productivity is up 48% between 2000-2006, but average wages are only up 1% (inflation adjusted) (Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)).

    * Median personal income is actually down, below 2000 levels (BLS), and also below 1977 levels in real dollars! (The real median income in 1977 was $51,223 (inflation adjusted). In 2006 it was $50,700.) (National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)).

    * Prices in real terms of housing, college education, and health care have risen nearly 300% more in the past 30 years, while individual incomes are stagnant. (College Board and U.S. Census Bureau).

    * The amount of monthly income it takes to buy a house today is nearly 23% vs. 17% in 1970. People who pay 50% of their income for rent or mortgage payments are at an all time high.

    * The average home price adjusted for inflation in 1970 was $115,000. Today it’s 2X as much in real dollars ($219,000). (Fetterman, Mindy. (2006, Nov. 19). Young people struggle to deal with kiss of debt. USA Today.) In many markets it’s 4X more (475,000+).

    * The average debt of a college graduate is nearly $20,000+ (College Board).

    * 47 million are medically uninsured. Most are in families with at least one full time worker.

    * In many communities, teachers, policemen, and firefighters cannot afford housing.

    * Medical Insurance Premiums of an average American family exceed $1000 per month.

    * Loan defaults and foreclosures are doubling monthly in many parts of the country.

    * In Cleveland, Ohio nearly 10% of the homes are vacant and abandoned due to foreclosure caused by job loss.

    * Retail sales are declining due to increase costs of gasoline, insurance, and housing.

    * The savings rate for the average American 30 years ago was 9%. Today it is at zero.

    * America has fewer manufacturing jobs (14.3 million) than it did in 1950 with 2 times the population. SOURCE

    * Since 1977, inflation-adjusted medium income for U.S. males has declined 7.5%.

    * U.S. productivity in terms of output ranks 8th behind Norway, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Germany (OCED).

    * U.S household debt exceeds $12 trillion.

    * U.S. Federal Deficit is $8.8 trillion!

 

Please read Will’s post. He’s always got something great to say.

To be fair, to the current prez, it’s not all his fault although he’s made things much worse. Most politicians are weak spined and won’t make the hard and necessary choices, because they’re scared of the people not reelecting them. Whatever happened to "leadership"? The pols and the people all need to pull their heads out of the sand and start fixing things. It’s selfish and irresponsible to keep pushing this disaster upon later generations. People say they care about others, and their children, but they don’t act like it.

Excuse me now. I’m gonna go bang my head against the wall…

11 Responses to “The economy’s great and here drink this kool-aid”

  1. Chad, on August 15th, 2007 at 9:35 pm, said:

    Hey homey,
    It’s not just the war; it’s the pork-n-titlement program and definitely (like you said) the spend all you want, someone else will make more mentality. I suppose it’s a lot easier to spend the money when it’s someone else’s money you’re spending and when you can simply vote yourself a raise whenever the mood strikes you. Here’s a couple of ideas: How about we quit rewarding mediocrity in this country. How about we drop the victim mentality and take a little personal responsibility. That’d be nice. One very pragmatic suggestion, if we could control the price of energy in this country that’d go a long way toward bringing the price of goods and services down. But the American people haven’t the backbone to do what’s necessary to make that happen. It’s supply and demand…like you said, holmes, we want it all and we want it now.

  2. ClapSo, on August 16th, 2007 at 7:14 am, said:

    Dead on! Those idiots in washingtOOn are screwing us but good!

    Third parties are our only hope, vote for anyone NOT a dem or repub.

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  3. pissed off patricia, on August 16th, 2007 at 7:34 am, said:

    Bush will walk away (I hope) in 09 and basically declare bankruptcy as far as his responsibility for our economy. We’ll be left looking all confused with our million inch plasma screen tv’s, Ipods and Iphones. We’ll turn to one another and say, can he do that? Meanwhile a couple more old bridges fall into the water. Another coal mine falls in and eats human beings. And FEMA still can’t find it’s ass with both hands.

    It’ll be too late then to return the merchandise.

    Oh yeah, we are truly financially fucked! Not enough lipstick in the world to make that pretty.

    And on a happier note, your post was excellent!

  4. Realitology, on August 16th, 2007 at 10:42 am, said:

    How about we quit rewarding mediocrity in this country. How about we drop the victim mentality and take a little personal responsibility.

    I totally agree. In many ways I think we’ve turned into a nation of sniveling, weak, cry-babies. Of course there’s plenty in the world to cry about, and often government and corporations make it worse or are themselves to blame for it.

    To me it all comes down to selfishness. People tend to make decisions based on what they want without considering its impact on other people, later generations, the earth, society, etc. It’s all about “I want it now” in the true 5 year old mentality.

    I read this somewhere and I try to abide by it at all times…”The decision that benefits the most people in the most ways is the correct decision.”

    There’s also a saying I’ve heard attributed to different native american populations…”Before you make a decision, consider how it will affect the children 7 generations in the future.”

    Third parties are our only hope, vote for anyone NOT a dem or repub.

    Unfortunately, they’ve pretty well rigged it so it’s impossible for a 3rd party to have a chance. But I agree with you. And personally I’ve never voted for a dem or rep presidential candidate in my life. It’s always been a 3rd party. That’s a whole other post in itself.

    Bush will walk away (I hope) in 09 and basically declare bankruptcy as far as his responsibility for our economy.

    Yep, I’m afraid he’ll walk away scott-free just like they all do. He’ll write a book, go on the speaking circuit, get on a few boards and consultancies, and will make millions. Meanwhile the rest of us will be working in the salt mines paying for his indiscretions.

    People have the power to change things (I think there’s still a chance) but they probably won’t.

  5. fairlane, on August 16th, 2007 at 11:16 am, said:

    “Yep, I’m afraid he’ll walk away scott-free just like they all do.”

    I wonder about that sometimes. Will he leave?

    “How about we drop the victim mentality and take a little personal responsibility.”

    What in the Hell do such statements mean? We’re all victims in this madness. Such statements are so vague they are essentially meaningless and amount to nothing more than parroted slogans.

    It’s easy for Millionaires to tell people to “take responsibility” when they know in their world there’s no such thing.

    If these fucks running our country were in the business world, on their own, they’d be fucked fucks.

    They manipulate and shape reality to suit themselves and then tell us “it’s your fault.”

    What makes it worse is they enlist the poor to spread “Their Message.”

    Reps still fixate on “Welfare,” yeah that’s what is killing this country. It’s not Corporate Greed or a Government that uses the Constitution like a diaper. No, it’s the poor, it’s the Unions, it’s people that have nothing. They’re responsible because we all know they are the ones who have the real power.

    Why not just say, “Do something?” It has as much meaning.

    This shit going on isn’t an accident, and only a goddamned fool thinks or believes that it is.

    Personally, I believe anyone who supports the Reps or Dems is a fucking traitor.

    I’m finished for a minute.

  6. Larry, on August 16th, 2007 at 1:05 pm, said:

    I was talking with Countrywide about a 100% investment loan for a Apartment unit I’ve been considering for some time now. I heard today that they are asking for 11 billion dollars of credit. What happened to the assets they say that they had just last week?

    The sub-primes will bounce back maybe one of these days, but I am not waiting for it or this mortgage company to stay afloat.

    Bush talks about a tax cut to corporations and we are having problems with the mortgage companies. Our Federal Reserve has started to put millions into our banks and the Commercial Paper is becoming a problem.
    This President as all has stated, will walk away trying to put the blame for his mess on the Democrats, as he did just before he came into office. Remember before he became President he started saying that we were headed for financial troubles.
    He has been America’s financial troubles!

  7. Realitology, on August 16th, 2007 at 1:12 pm, said:

    “How about we drop the victim mentality and take a little personal responsibility.”

    What in the Hell do such statements mean? We’re all victims in this madness. Such statements are so vague they are essentially meaningless and amount to nothing more than parroted slogans.

    It’s easy for Millionaires to tell people to “take responsibility” when they know in their world there’s no such thing.

    I also agree with your cynical viewpoint of that statement. If everyone took “responsibility” to heart then we’d all be in better shape. But you’re also correct that the “take personal responsibility” mantra is often used by the powerful to make the regular and/or poor folks cut their own throats and be happy doing it.

    It’s easy to complain about welfare bums and all that, but most corps have no qualms about taking millions or billions in subsidies and bailouts do they? It’s welfare just the same, but what’s good for the goose is obviously not good for the gander in their eyes.

    Additionally, as I noted in the original post, the same corporation and people complaining about unions, welfare, social programs, education, etc. often have a vested interest in keeping the regular guy down. And it’s sad and amazing how the regular folks have fallen for it and are actively participating in their own demise. Hello Stockholm syndrome.

    Look at the history of the world. It’s been kings and the elite that have traditionally controlled everything. There was a brief period in the US (and other western countries) after WW2 when the regular guy started to get ahead and actually have a decent life (largely due to good paying blue collar jobs, unions, and GI bill education). That peaked in the 60’s and has been going downhill ever since. The elite are taking control once again and the common man, the serf, is glad to help them along.

    I guarantee that one enron, worldcom, or savings and loan collapse, has caused more pain, suffering, and wasted money, than all the welfare payments and unions combined. Personal responsibility indeed!

  8. Realitology, on August 16th, 2007 at 1:21 pm, said:

    Bush talks about a tax cut to corporations and we are having problems with the mortgage companies. Our Federal Reserve has started to put millions into our banks and the Commercial Paper is becoming a problem.

    The lenders brought this all on themselves. I’ve been involved in that market for years and have seen it first hand. They *chose* to extend credit to people who had no business having it. Now when it all crashes down, we the taxpayers will be left footing the bill once again. Yeah, take personal responsibility my ass!

    Once we came off the gold standard, the federal reserve became legal counterfeiters. Just print more money and everything will be fine. Before long we’re gonna have to start getting loans from Brazil and Mexico instead of the other way around.

    Don’t ever forget that Reagan took us from being the largest creditor nation in the world to the largest debtor nation in the world. All in 8 short years. Quite an accomplishment! Thanks Dutch!

    Grand-master Bush is just extending the mess and the butt-fuck of the country.

  9. Tengrain, on August 16th, 2007 at 5:28 pm, said:

    An excellent post, and I thank Fairlane for recommending reading this.

    I still maintain that the secret (or not so secret) GOP plan all along has been to bankrupt the country, just destroy the economy completely, because then and only then can all the “entitlement programs” have to be defunded, and never started again.

    Regards,

    Tengrain

  10. JollyRoger, on August 16th, 2007 at 9:39 pm, said:

    Yep, I’m afraid he’ll walk away scott-free just like they all do. He’ll write a book, go on the speaking circuit…

    Got to be able to write and speak to do either of those things. Chimpy’s dementia gets worse every day; he’ll be lucky to be able to say “goodbye” by the time 2009 gets here.

  11. Realitology » Blog Archive » Reflecting on my economic collapse post from last year, on October 9th, 2008 at 11:00 am, said:

    […] August 15 2007 I wrote this post about the impending economic collapse and how the prez was lying and saying that the economy was fine. Well, I’ll be damned if it […]

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