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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Crisis Is A Good Thing

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Interestingly, it's not gaining wealth, but losing it, that's making Americans do the right thing.

 

Crisis is everywhere.  Panic! It’s the next Great Depression! Banks are failing! Gas prices are soaring!  It’s the end of the American Dream! In short, we’re fucked.  But I can’t help wonder. Is it all for the best?

If it wasn’t for the current crisis, would the media be full of stories on how to get out of debt and live within your means?  No.  Would every major corporation in America be trying to out green each other? Ha! Would there be renewed interest in alternative energy and transportation?  No.  Would Obama be leading in the polls?

While I’d like to think of Americans as people capable of making decisions based on what’s reasonable and humane, I’ve been one long enough to know otherwise (the magical 30 years:)  If this crisis has taught me anything, it’s that massive change happens only through the pocketbook.  And interestingly, it’s losing wealth, not gaining it, that makes people do the right thing.



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16 comments on The Crisis Is A Good Thing

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on October 07, 2008 at 10:12 pm

those chumps on the top need to know what its like to be on the bottom!

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By travelingseth on October 07, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Thx for the 1 star. 

Those at the top need to know what it's like being on the bottom (literall and figuratively).  But let's not forget that the people at the bottom that originated the bad loans were greedy and conniving too.  There's a reason they call them liar's loans.

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on October 07, 2008 at 11:49 pm

i didnt click on any stars, champ. all i did was place a comment.

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By travelingseth on October 08, 2008 at 12:04 am

Oh, my bad.  Thx for the comment (no sarcasm)

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By Lumiere on October 08, 2008 at 01:44 pm

I think it is karmic for the United States.  A lack of ethics in both our national and international business dealings is coming full circle and biting us in the ass.  We are
reaping all the innocent blood we have spilled in the name of gaining financial prosperity.

After reading an article about the Lehman Brothers executives wanting their multi-million dollar bonuses as they were begging for Gov't aid to bail them out- I was pretty disgusted. I would have seized all of their multi-million dollar assets and liquidated them. There has to be some level of accountability to the thousands of impoverished families now on the streets. And I think, when is the Greed and the "I have enough to survive and live comfortably" number too much? A Million....Billion... Trillion...Zillion dollars for a 2 bedroom apt in NYC. At what point does wealth reach the state of being ridiculous really. When is enough, enough? Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by a bunch of people in the world with the mentality of 2nd graders screaming "Gimmie. No, it's mine! I want more...more...more...money...possessions....at the expense of everyone elses quality of life."  The extremely wealthy have absolutely no comprehension of the average citizens quality of life, when 86% of the people working in the US (supporting families) live on under $40,ooo a year.  Minimum wage is $6.86 and a gallon of milk is $4.87. There is something terribly wrong when the average American hard working family cannot afford to feed or cloth their children and put a roof over their head... Is the worst thing to happen to America that we become completely self sustaining...and re-invent our country... instead of being so damn greedy...learning a few humbling lessons from our pal Cuba.

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By travelingseth on October 08, 2008 at 02:01 pm

El G:

"Quick econ lesson: rate of bank failures relative to the price of oil is an inverse relationship, not a direct one.  Gas prices aren’t “soaring,” they’re declining."

Quick econ rebuttal: Yes, oil prices are sliding with the bank failures, but $87 a barrel oil is still far higher than what it was a couple years ago when people were still OK with filling their SUVs.  And the price of oil has already spiked once at the beginning of the crisis (to its record height).  I wouldn't be surprised to see it go up again.  Long run, we've already reached peak oil and demand continues to rise sharply in China and elsewhere.  Oil is gonna keep going up for a long while.

"If he weren’t dead, maybe you could tell the guy from Porter Ranch who just killed himself and 5 family members after losing his job and his savings that the crisis is a good thing."

A tragedy for sure.  But we're a country of nearly 300 million people.  Someone offs their family every day, for many reasons.  When trying to understand what's going on overall it can be misleading to concentrate on individual tragedies.

Luiere:  I'm agreeing with you.  Although while we could "learn a few humbling lessons from our pal Cuba", I definitely don't think we want communism.  Socialism maybe, if that's what you want to call it.  I would call it elightened capitolism.

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By travelingseth on October 08, 2008 at 09:54 pm

Sounds like you voted for Bush. 

And since you've resorted to calling me a Nazi, you've invoked the Nazi rule, ie. once someone invokes the Nazis the thread has officially jumped the shark and not worth responding to.

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By AmyO on October 09, 2008 at 11:52 am

I agree that there has been too much greed and corruption in our country overall.  However, there are plenty of people who have done things the right way and worked hard who have lost a significant amount of their pensions and future because of this mess. Those people don't deserve this and aren't going to learn anything from this except that they were screwed by the stock market and their government.

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By travelingseth on October 09, 2008 at 01:52 pm

True Amy.  There are a lot of innocent victims in this whole mess.  And the worldwide total is growing every day.  It's starting to seem like those cooks who lived through the great depression and kept their money in matresses all these decades aren't that crazy after all.

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By Lumiere on October 10, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Julian: My reference to Cuba was not about communism per se, it was about being self sustaining; community gardens, co-ops... and the people still survive. It is easy for us to judge from the outside looking in at their so called 'poverty' but not everyone living there has the same perception. Look at America, we have 'everything materially' money could buy and are pretty much bankrupt in business ethics and working together as community. So perceptions of wealth is just that... perception. Where someone may view paying $500k for a car, I think they are an idiot for wasting their money...but hey, it is my perception.

Amy: I agree with you and I hope...that those who were screwed by corporations and the government will be pissed off off so badly they take a stand and leave track marks on Capitol Hill. Complacency about the issues and not marching against Washington is like holding up the big, " Go Ahead and Screw Us- We Don't Care" sign.  When if anything, people really should be tearing down the gates in protest.

Mr. El Gross: you make me smile at your ignorance and denial of historical facts. :) Now run along and go use the bologne in the freezer to make a sandwich out of your mother.  Hopefully eating will elevate your blood sugar levels and manage your psychotic episodes.

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By Lumiere on October 13, 2008 at 11:49 am

Julian: Surviving versus Thriving. ;)

El Gross:  Peace be with you man. My love life is more than satisfactory. xoxo

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By travelingseth on October 20, 2008 at 06:59 pm

Cool!  I read a NY Times article along similar lines.  Let the bad times roll!

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By travelingseth on October 20, 2008 at 07:07 pm

All my "rolling experiences" were worth it :)

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By travelingseth on October 21, 2008 at 08:54 pm

Pithy?  I though that was a put-down until I read the definition.  Now I thank thee for the compliment.

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By travelingseth on October 22, 2008 at 06:43 pm

It's veeery difficult sometimes.  There was another good 500 polished words to this that I just cut for brevity.  It's painful to do but usually appreciated.  In your articles you have so much good research.  If you could express it in less words it would really pack a punch.

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By travelingseth on October 22, 2008 at 09:28 pm

Haha.  Ok.  How bout this..... I'll edit your next article in exchange for you researching a subject of my choosing for my next article.

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