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Dougloid
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Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:18 pm

Here's what he said.

"We are in a global recession principally-and we have to face this-because a lot of people on Wall Street, because of a lot of people in the private sector more generally-homeowners or consumers-pushed or bought into a very unconservative idea:that they could live beyond their means.
Regulators may have failed to prevent it, but in the end, it was a failure of the private sector to live according to the values we conservatives know to be true."

He goes on to say that Canadians showed more restraint-although I've been watching Property Virgins and The Property Shop and Buy Me for the last year or so and I see nothing but a real estate bubble in Toronto and Montreal that has not yet burst and one that did blow up with the decline in housing prices in Alberta-that damned petrodollar, y'know-but nevermind.

The human drive to live without working for it is alive worldwide, and perhaps the inherently risk-averse nature of Canadian lending practices served as a useful check on the excesses that people would have otherwise indulged in. It's no sign of moral superiority, however, that people restrain you from your natural tendency toward wretched excess.

And be it remembered, part of the reason Canada did so well and now is suffering such high unemployment is that there was a knock-on effect as the Europeans say, the money tide washed north along with the flood of bootleg handguns, and now that tide is receding.

We're joined at the hip like tenants in the same apartment building and that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

The point is well taken about living beyond your means though, and there is much wailing, piteous yowyowing and various and sundry other kvetching noises here. The gnashing of teeth is becoming tiresome background noise in these parts.

Having said all that, it occurred to me that perhaps the problem lies, not in the fundamental belief that one could prosper without working for it-as speculators do-but in the belief that what was good for Wall Street and Citigroup was good for Joe and Jane Doaks-every man a speculator-and the money vault being unaccountably unlocked and unguarded.

That, I think, should be the fundamental inquiry: not whether average folk had more temptation placed within easy reach than a person could ordinarily resist, or that they had the understandable urge to live as large as they could grab, or that they saw housing prices escalating 20 per cent every year and thought the party could last forever-but why and how that notion was allowed to exist.

The breakdown of lending standards was a necessary precondition, methinks.


Ultimately, value has to come from somewhere, and it is only grown through productivity. The rest of us are merely moving stones around the board of the greatest game of Go ever invented.

It's no mystery that Yahweh says to Adam 'In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." There's much sage thought on the human condition in that Book.



http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1383013
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
767Lover
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:17 pm

I'm afraid that even if the current financial mess is cleaned up, we're still in trouble unless we change our habits as a society.

I think back to my childhood and how different it was then vs now. (We're talking a 30-year timespan.) It seems like over that time we have become a million times more consumption-driven.

My dad made a very good living as an upper-level manager at a major global company. In today's dollars I would guess his salary would have been around $160-$200K. Yet in retrospect I realize he did a damn good job of managing our family's finances.

We usually only ate out once or twice a week...usually every Friday night and maybe Saturday (or my parents went out on Sat. and I ate at home with a sitter.)

My parents drove cars until they reached at least 8 years old.

I remember when VCRs first came out (Beta!) and I BEGGED my dad for us to get one. He wouldn't. "Don't need it." (Of course, I was encouraged to entertain myself using my own creativity and brain rather than sitting in front of videos anyway.) We played a lot of cards together too.

We didn't spend a lot of money flying to places for vacation (therefore one of those -- gasp -- untraveled American families). We usually went to places we could drive to.

As a result, he is able to provide for himself and my terminally ill mother in retirement. He still provided me with a college education, and my brother a law degree.

It's amazing to me how many families I see spending money on extras. Around here, restaurants that really aren't that economical for a family of 4 are packed every night.

Do kids really need Blackberrys? Because I've actually seen kids using them. Do kids need new cars? I had a 7 year old car with no air conditioning.

And are people really planning for retirement? People live longer now, even without artificial means. I remember my financial guy told me I needed to put away $10K a year now in order to be able to live on $36K a year from age 65-80. What if I live beyond that? One of my inlaws is in excellent health and has a very good chance of living until 100. I'm not sure anyone planned for this. We'll support her if it comes to that. But these are real issues that I don't hear any of my friends talking about.

Until people stop seeking instant gratification and believing that they deserve to have stuff at any cost, on a get-now-pay-later scheme, these kinds of financial crises are going to continue for years to come.
 
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seb146
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:00 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 1):
Until people stop seeking instant gratification and believing that they deserve to have stuff at any cost, on a get-now-pay-later scheme, these kinds of financial crises are going to continue for years to come.

People have been being told for years and years that they NEED to have stuff. They are told they can get stuff. That is the type of society kids are growing up in these days. "Here's a widget! Look! Here it is! It is great! It is fantastic! (it costs $10 000) YOU NEED THIS WIDGET!! Everyone has a widget, so you NEED one too!!! You can't live without a widget!!!" Then, through "creative" financing, everyone buys widgets because they are so convinced they NEED a widget or they will die.

I don't have an iPod. I bought a music player and I only payed $40. 2G, color screen, USB 2.0, standard headphone jack. I don't have an iPhone or Blackberry. I do, however, have a cell phone with a full keyboard. I have a second-hand laptop. I shop the clearance racks and second hand stores. Sure, I have stuff. No one even questions it.

The current problems are a two-way street: Yes, consumers share the blame, but so do those that decided it was okay to overextend people they knew would not be able to afford just so they could get their comissions and/or bonuses.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:29 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 1):
I remember when VCRs first came out (Beta!) and I BEGGED my dad for us to get one. He wouldn't. "Don't need it." (Of course, I was encouraged to entertain myself using my own creativity and brain rather than sitting in front of videos anyway.) We played a lot of cards together too.

Sounds a lot like my family.

On a recent thread, I was harassed by another A.net member for calling cable television an unnecessary luxury item. My father did very well for himself but we never had cable television or a landline "kids" phone (wow, 1990s flashback). They didn't even replace their 22 year old television until a few months before the DTV conversion.

When I moved into a house in college, my roommates and I naturally signed-up for a cable & internet package that cost about $20 a head. I started thinking how much it would cost for just one person to pay for that package over ~20 years and it would have been tens of thousands of dollars.

If you make value-driven purchases, use things until they break, and prioritize essential "needs" over "wants," it's very hard to get into financial trouble.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
LH423
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:52 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
and I see nothing but a real estate bubble in Toronto and Montreal that has not yet burst and one that did blow up with the decline in housing prices in Alberta-that damned petrodollar, y'know-but nevermind.

To be fair, Montreal has definitely not been in a bubble. It's still one of the cheapest, large cities (3+ million metro) in North America. Toronto, while it has definitely seen a bubble, is still only down about 10% since Q1 of 2008. The most overpriced cities are all in the West. Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Saskatoon, have all seen precipitous drops in their housing prices.

Anyway, Stephen Harper is a idiot. No one pays attention to him up here.

LH423
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Falcon84
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:03 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 1):
I'm afraid that even if the current financial mess is cleaned up, we're still in trouble unless we change our habits as a society.

Bingo. The man wins the Bernie Madoff action figure.

We have got to break the cycle of excessive credit spending, that has defined this nation for far too long. Like most people, when things were going well, my wife and I fell into that habit. There's nothing wrong every now and then to splurge a little, on a vaction or something like that, but when you put off the "we need" things for the "we want" things, that's when you get into trouble. And that's what happened to us. We're paying the piper for it ,and are slowly climbing our way out of that mess.

You cannot survive in this world without credit, but you cannot let it eat you up, either. It's called "personal responsibility", and unless more and more people heed that on a financial basis, I agree with 767Lover 100% on this one.
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Dougloid
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:21 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 1):
I'm afraid that even if the current financial mess is cleaned up, we're still in trouble unless we change our habits as a society.

I think back to my childhood and how different it was then vs now. (We're talking a 30-year timespan.) It seems like over that time we have become a million times more consumption-driven.

And it sounds remarkably like my childhood in the fifties and sixties-I was born in 1948.

I remember when Mother got the first Bamberger's charge account-the "card" was a metal adressograph plate in a special folder-and she proceeded to tilt it out, much to the old man's dismay.

That should have been a storm warning for the nation, I think.

The major point, I think, is that self restraint and self control is a traditional 'conservative'-I hate that word for what it has come to mean in the present age-value that Edmund Burke would have recognized. I may have a bit of appreciation for it because i was in credit card hell for a number of years and got my manumission from Ole Massuh, a/k/a, the credit card industry and moved off the plantation on July 17, 2007.

Indulging children with all sorts of expensive gewgaws has mostly made them stupid, I think, and incapable of the discipline that takes a useless eater and turns him or her into a producer of wealth. What will Guitar Hero or Nintendo teach a boy about the ways of the world? Nothing of value.

It was a fun ride, America. But it's over. Or at least, it'll never be what it was.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
767Lover
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:06 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 5):
Bingo. The man wins the Bernie Madoff action figure.

I'm a "she", but thanks.  Smile

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 5):
Like most people, when things were going well, my wife and I fell into that habit.



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 5):
We're paying the piper for it ,and are slowly climbing our way out of that mess.

I got into that mess myself about 15 years ago when I was single and overcome with the joy of having disposable income. I racked up too much credit card and line of credit debt (around $30K worth.) It amazes me how much stupid stuff I spent money on. About 6 years ago I came to my senses, buckled down and paid it all off. My husband was debt-free when I met him, so now we are a debt-free couple with only mortgage debt.

You guys will get there too...and you'll be so happy when you do!  Wink
 
TheCol
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:47 pm



Quoting LH423 (Reply 4):
Anyway, Stephen Harper is a idiot. No one pays attention to him up here.

Nobody pays attention to anything up here, or aspires to improve the status quo. I may not be a huge fan of Harper, but I do agree with what he said.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
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seb146
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:02 pm



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
On a recent thread, I was harassed by another A.net member for calling cable television an unnecessary luxury item. My father did very well for himself but we never had cable television or a landline "kids" phone (wow, 1990s flashback). They didn't even replace their 22 year old television until a few months before the DTV conversion.

I lived without cable for 6 or 7 years. I just never felt a need to sign up for it. I have had it for the past two years, but I can live without it. My mom has DirecTV because the cable company there only carries 12 channels. She does not feel to subscribe to every single channel. I still own (and use) the "tube" style television. I don't get rid of my TV because I like playing Gamecube and watching DVDs sometimes.

Then, there is my 9 year old nephew. When he finds out I am coming to visit, he has to remind me constantly to bring my Nintendo DS. He gets upset when I don't bring my DS. He was upset when his dad (my brother) cancelled cable. Wah...

I am constantly told by the TV all this stuff that I need: I need an iPhone; I need a plasma TV; I need a new car and/or truck; I need new clothes; I need.... Why? My bank account says I can't afford it, so I guess I don't need it. I don't have any credit cards, either. Don't need them, don't want them.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:33 am

Problem is, if people started all of a sudden to consume much more conservatively and reasonably, that would bring back the state of the world economy about 10-15 years back. Which is precisely what's happening I suppose.

What worries me is that when the dust has settled and things start to finally look up, people won't be any less greedy and will start finding dubious ways to make fast money again. Let's see if that strict government oversight we've be promised really is able to do anything about what is, unfortunately, basic human nature....
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:57 am



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 7):
I racked up too much credit card and line of credit debt (around $30K worth.) It amazes me how much stupid stuff I spent money on. About 6 years ago I came to my senses, buckled down and paid it all off.

Maybe only the former slave appreciates the taste of freedom, when he turns his back on Ole Massuh for the last time?

It took us five years. We didn't particularly stint on things like food, clothing or heat, but I've been driving junk since 1993. That's likely to change in fairly short order as, thanks to Uncle's largesse we are in a much better position financially with owning a modest home than we were before.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:00 am

I recieved my first credit card when I was 21 years old, that was 49 years ago, I have never been in debt that I could not afford to be in. Even today, I use my credit cards constantly. I never liked carrying too much cash. I was taught that cash in your pocked did not earn you anything, it was just easier to spend. I do not understand the lack of common sense by some people. It must be good old selfishness, or stupidity.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:34 am



Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 12):
Even today, I use my credit cards constantly. I never liked carrying too much cash. I was taught that cash in your pocked did not earn you anything, it was just easier to spend. I do not understand the lack of common sense by some people. It must be good old selfishness, or stupidity.

Not me. I'm done. If I don't have the money in the bank it pretty much doesn't get bought, period. I use one credit card-a survivor of the half dozen I used to have-for ordering from Amazon and other on line vendors of things I need. If it's here in town, they're either going to take my paper or wait until the bank opens for cash because I do not have an ATM card or a debit card, either, and I do not want one.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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casinterest
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:44 am



Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
We are in a global recession principally-and we have to face this-because a lot of people on Wall Street, because of a lot of people in the private sector more generally-homeowners or consumers-pushed or bought into a very unconservative idea:that they could live beyond their means.
Regulators may have failed to prevent it, but in the end, it was a failure of the private sector to live according to the values we conservatives know to be true."

I think this is only a minor portion of the problem. The other real portion of the issue has been the socialized job loss promoted through Free Trade. Free Trade and offshoring has allowed CEO's to slowly start leaking jobs overseas and destroy the previous inflationary state of the US and European Economies. There are now less jobs being created in the US than any point in the last 25 years. Even with all the Stimulus, companies like JPMorgan, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, CITIBank, and others , are all reveling in their ability to "reduce costs" by firing qualified US labor and hiring cheaper foriegn labor.

The housing crisis will eventually work itself out, their was far too much excess in housing. However without a fix to the "Free Trade" crisis, their will be no recovery anytime soon.



For those above that grunble about the DS, or cable. These are just consumer items that make life a little easier. Without Innovation and imagination, we would all just be prey for predators on the African plains.
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
baroque
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:14 am



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 9):
I lived without cable for 6 or 7 years. I just never felt a need to sign up for it. I have had it for the past two years, but I can live without it. My mom has DirecTV because the cable company there only carries 12 channels. She does not feel to subscribe to every single channel. I still own (and use) the "tube" style television. I don't get rid of my TV because I like playing Gamecube and watching DVDs sometimes.

Seb you are beginning to worry me. I have far too much "stuff" but I don't think you have listed one thing you DO have or you don't have that I have, and most of them I don't even know what they are!

Maybe we need to compare "stuff" lists?  chat  Mind you having about 4000 photographs of oil source rocks puts me back a bit and I don't suppose you are cluttered up with even one of those! As for cable, I figure I waste more than enough time on 5 channels of free to air. Trouble is to see anything, I am soon going to have to go digital at which point another 3 or 4 stations "emerge".

The really worrying thing about the fixes to the bubbles, is that they seem to be various methods of perpetuating them, which is a bit like depending on the invention of perpetual motion.
 
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seb146
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:05 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 15):
Seb you are beginning to worry me. I have far too much "stuff" but I don't think you have listed one thing you DO have or you don't have that I have, and most of them I don't even know what they are!

Don't worry. It just amazes me how some of us were able to get through life with no "stuff" and, now, we can not live without it. Or, rather, how we are told we can not live without some of this stuff. That was the point I was trying to make. You have 4000 pictures of oil source rocks and only 5 television channels. As long as you are happy, who cares? No one but you, just the way it should be.
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Dougloid
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:17 pm



Quoting CasInterest (Reply 14):
I think this is only a minor portion of the problem. The other real portion of the issue has been the socialized job loss promoted through Free Trade. Free Trade and offshoring has allowed CEO's to slowly start leaking jobs overseas and destroy the previous inflationary state of the US and European Economies. There are now less jobs being created in the US than any point in the last 25 years. Even with all the Stimulus, companies like JPMorgan, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, CITIBank, and others , are all reveling in their ability to "reduce costs" by firing qualified US labor and hiring cheaper foriegn labor.

That's what the Americans who work with their hands and their heads have been telling everyone else for the last forty years and more. We're coming back to it as we see the results of forty years of Freedmanism, Reaganism, and what it's done to the infrastructure of this country that actually built wealth rather than moved it around and skimmed from the top.

the response has always been "It works out in the long run." As Keynes once famously observed "In the long run, we're all dead."

Years ago I heard someone say that in a future time America would not have anyone who actually created value, and we'd all be occupied selling insurance to each other. I never thought it would come in my lifetime but here it is.

Parenthetically, the present economic contretemps and the political changes that are taking place are causing all sorts of old assumptions about power and economics to be questioned anew. There is room for hope that the economic assumptions about what makes the world tick and what the right true objective of good government's supposed to be are now open to examination.

Let's face it. A country that doesn't manufacture is, as my friend Ronnie Tillotson once said when we were kids, 'a turd with the shit scraped off'.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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czbbflier
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:29 pm

Oh man this is a great discussion. Too bad I've run out of time for now. I'll try to post either later today or tomorrow.... Don't stop!
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:44 am



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
Let's face it. A country that doesn't manufacture is, as my friend Ronnie Tillotson once said when we were kids, 'a turd with the shit scraped off'.

I was shopping today with my wife, pathetic, manufactured all over the world map, except the US. How can this continue? How can any country not manufacture, and keep up it's standard of living? I have a sticker bumper on my Chevy Truck, it says, If we keep buying imports, where will our children work? We are going to find out and to quote your childhood friend, Our economy will look like that piece of "shit". Kind of looks like that now as a matter of fact. To answer the question in the thread title, We are.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
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czbbflier
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:26 am

My first entry....
The more crap we own, the unhappier we have become. Notice that it is almost impossible to go to a meeting or a seminar or anything at all without coming away with some swag- no doubt made in China. Sadly, the quality of a meeting or sales-job or seminar or trade-show is the quality of the free crap we take away in our Santa Claus Sack-sized plastic bag.

There was always a feel to this economic cycle since the early 1980's that all this prosperity wasn't real. It was all paper.

I have maintained ever since I barely passed my macro-economics course: we have not been a capitalist economy; we have been a mercantilist economy pretending to be capitalist.

Here's the difference: In a capitalist economy, profits get re-invested. In a mercantilist economy, the profits get taken out of the economy and either saved or frittered away on chachkas. (He who dies with the most toys... or in this case.... crap.... WINS!)

A true capitalist dies with no more in his pocket than a true socialist. It's just that the capitalist's money has paid more people to be productive in the meantime. (And you can quote me on that!)

The most basic law of economics, the Law of Supply and Demand has been confused by derivatives, options, and democratization of the capital markets.

And so now it's time to pay the piper.

Only a flippin' moron would fail to see that almost a decade of half-trillion dollar federal deficits coupled with tax cuts in addition to three-quarter trillion dollar trade deficits could not be sustainable.

We can blame the generation sitting in front of their X-boxes all we want but all this started long before they were even a twinkle in their daddies' eyes- and quite likely even their granddaddies' eyes.

It's interesting that the UK, Canada, and the United States to name three very guilty economies/societies in this equation have been at war either in Iraq or Afghanistan or both for more than half a decade, all espousing that our Men and Women are committing the Supreme Sacrifice for the good of their countries and not a single civilian that I have heard of has made some sort of sacrifice (myself included)- except for GWB who forewent golfing. No war bonds. No care packages (except for swag made in China from their corporate sponsors (sorry- that might be too far- I don't know about the home-grown support in the UK or USA)). Not a single REAL sacrifice for countries at war.

We have lost our way. It is our rampant consumerism and complete loss of touch with the organic nature of the planet- our collective and individual spiritual side- that has got us into this mess.

Time to go to bed so I'll cut this short: There is no pain-free way to bring an end to this crisis. As I have said concerning Chrysler's attempt to extort cash for jobs in Canada: let them go.

There's no way to recover from these excesses without some of our oldest (and most bloated) companies and industries wither away and die.

We are seeing a fundamental restructuring of our economies. We must. For if we don't we are only condemning our grandchildren to a fate much worse.
 
skytrain
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:07 am



Quoting Czbbflier (Reply 20):
The more crap we own, the unhappier we have become.

Reading this immediately reminded me of a comedian I saw a while back on Conan, who, while talking about the current state of the economy was reminiscing about simpler times, and quipped that 'everything is amazing right now, and nobody's happy'. Seems to ring very true.

The clip can be found here and is actually pretty funny (at least I thought so). There's even a good aviation bit. Big grin

Now, having said that, and with no original constructive input of my own for this thread, I will keep this brief digression exactly that - brief.  Silly

Skytrain
 
Dougloid
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:08 pm



Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 19):
Our economy will look like that piece of "shit". Kind of looks like that now as a matter of fact. To answer the question in the thread title, We are.

In the words of Pogo: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Quoting Czbbflier (Reply 20):
We are seeing a fundamental restructuring of our economies. We must. For if we don't we are only condemning our grandchildren to a fate much worse.

You're right. We've got to get back to fundamentals.

I'm optimistic.

There is a great leveling under way that is certainly going to work the kind of social change that the top down social engineers and placers of strategic market incentives can only dream of, Skytrain.

There is also a great reassessment of priorities underway among ordinary people like us. That's something that has not been seen in many years.

It's amazing how adversity can focus the mind wonderfully on what's important and what's necessary-in this case, living within your means.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Ken777
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:12 pm

Born in '44 I was able to see (and somewhat understand) the decade from the 50's on.

In terms of families in general I believe that the 50's presented an excellent balance of work and family time - even for high school grads. There was an excellent article in the WSJ years ago where the writer talked about her father, a high school grad who worked for a book binder and was able to provide for his family. Not a McMansion and the cars were used, but the kids were well taken care of and went to college. The harsh part of those years were many, from racist segregation to far less knowledge - that was when there was only 1 chemo drug that had to cover all types of cancer.

Our family was pretty typical. We lived in a modest house in Houston (1 bathroom), Dad rode the bus downtown to work and it was safe to walk to school - even in 1st grade. Dad did buy a window air conditioner when it was affordable and eventually a TV. Both kept in the living room for all to enjoy.

The main value I have in terms of money is that it allows you to help your family and others. Our house would have been paid off years ago, but re-fi's helped pay for college for the kids and get them into their first homes. Now it's paid off and my wife and I should be living well, but with two cancers each and very crummy health insurance - well you get the drift.

Today we mainly putter around the house and yard and take care of the grandkids after school - which is actually a pretty good life.

I do have concerns for the (grown) kids and grandkids. Our economy changed a lot over the years and the pie in the sky economic management over the Bush years made it worse. Too much of the economy seemed to have been dedicated to those spending more then they could afford and that house of cards has been falling for over a year.

The stimulus bill will certainly help, but a lot of companies are going to need to refocus on serving the less affluent. We need to continually say "that's too expensive" to products and eventually the sellers will deliver a better priced product.

With no house or car payment we are in a pretty good position to do a few things. The problem is that now I'm balancing the pleasure of doing something with the value of putting the money away for the grandkids. i've got plenty of ff miles for us to fly anywhere in the world, but what we would spend while we're away might be enough for half a year at college for the grandkids - or pay to bump my daughter's Masters into a Doctors degree.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:21 pm



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 23):
Born in '44 I was able to see (and somewhat understand) the decade from the 50's on.

In terms of families in general I believe that the 50's presented an excellent balance of work and family time - even for high school grads. There was an excellent article in the WSJ years ago where the writer talked about her father, a high school grad who worked for a book binder and was able to provide for his family. Not a McMansion and the cars were used, but the kids were well taken care of and went to college. The harsh part of those years were many, from racist segregation to far less knowledge - that was when there was only 1 chemo drug that had to cover all types of cancer.

Not a perfect time in history for sure, the 50's, but I think the mood in the country was far better then, than it is now. Paradise Lost, hardly. Tough times, but a sense of accomplishment family wise and nationally.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
luckyone
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:41 pm

I'm pretty young but I look at all this and I have to begrudgingly shake my head and say "The Old Man was right."

When I was young (actually this all still applies, haha) my father never bought new cars. We haven't had a new car that I can recall. My family only recently purchased Plasma/LCD TVs because a) the old console that looked like a piece of furniture and was cabled through the VCR finally gave in and b) we had SAVED enough to buy one, oddly enough we bought one for each other without knowing it!

True, I have an iPhone but it was a gift. We have basic cable and buy most of our movies on Amazon.

I have one credit card that I use once a month for a tank of gas just to keep it active and strengthen my credit history. I learned that lesson from watching my parents have an issue with credit cards early in my youth. I guess you could say it has scarred me for life, haha.

My car is 9 years old, and was bought used. My mother's car is 8 years old, bought used. My father's car is six years old, bought used. All paid for in cash. Two to three year old cars are a great deal.

I say that the blame is to be put squarely on ourselves. People were stupid enough to let themselves get persuaded (can ya not think past the end of your nose!). Now we get to pay for it. It's not my fault you didn't read when you signed your mortgage. It's not my fault that you used your credit for everyday expenses, not emergencies. It's not my fault you had to have a new car every two years. It's not my fault you can't wait for something to go on sale. It's not my FAULT nor is it MY RESPONSIBILITY.

Ok, rant over, haha.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:06 am



Quoting Luckyone (Reply 25):
I'm pretty young but I look at all this and I have to begrudgingly shake my head and say "The Old Man was right."

Keep that thought in your head, evidently your father did not steer you wrong. Live within your means.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:19 am



Quoting Luckyone (Reply 25):
It's not my fault that you used your credit for everyday expenses, not emergencies. It's not my fault you had to have a new car every two years. It's not my fault you can't wait for something to go on sale. It's not my FAULT nor is it MY RESPONSIBILITY.

Quite true, but that doesn't mean you won't have to deal with the mess. Somebody always has to,
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
luckyone
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:12 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 27):
Quite true, but that doesn't mean you won't have to deal with the mess. Somebody always has to

Oh I agree, but my point was I shouldn't have to pay for somebody else's stupid and thoughtless actions. Ahhh in a perfect world.
 
dragon6172
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RE: Stephen Harper On Who To Blame For This Mess

Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:36 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 27):
Quite true, but that doesn't mean you won't have to deal with the mess. Somebody always has to,

True, someone always has to clean up the mess. My problem is with people who created the mess and then not participating in the freakin clean up!
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