A Place for Cafe Refugees and Others Like Them

Roughly two years ago the American people were in utter shock and dismay. 401Ks were cut in half, the value of homes fell overnight, and hundreds of thousands of workers were handed pink slips. We were told exotic financial products that consisted of high risk home loans given to anyone with a pulse were bundled as “securities” and that those bundles were then speculated on as to whether or not they would prove to be good investments. Basically loans were used as poker chips made out of potato chips that got wet and were valued at nothing, who wants to eat a wet potato chip?

After the initial shock of the collapse of the housing market, everyone wanted to know “Who did this?” Blame can be handed out all around, the banks who gave out the loans, the investment companies not governed by financial laws giving out mortgages that had outrageous interest rates with a promise that one could refinance, people who bought the homes not questioning how magically they could be approved for a loan when 10 years prior with the same finances no bank would have even given them the time of day. The American dream was in full swing, home ownership was on the rise. We were told an “ownership” society would make America great. But who owned what? Thus the myth of deregulation was exposed. It’s pretend benefits being that a free market is a just market and will correct itself. Those touting the benefits of such a market were taking great credit in the vast amounts of wealth being seemingly spread to the middle class, in the form of a home. People stopped saving, if they needed money they could borrow against their home and the cycle began.

Middle class living was built on credit, not jobs, not steady gains in wages by any means as the cost of health care rose and employers handed the burden to their employees. Any raises obtained were quickly obliterated by those rising costs to the point where workers brought home less with each passing year for less and less benefits. Yet they always had their home.

Just about everyone knows someone who is or has faced a foreclosure in the last couple of years, the devastation cannot be multiplied in dollars and cents. The economy has only rebounded for the same traders who raided the war chests of our grandchildren and yet the rates of poverty for those who will have to pay it back are at new highs. So where did the jobs go? In an increasing globalized economy, the jobs went to the lowest bidder.

Conglomerations run the world and are able to exist outside of laws governing the people who inhabit certain borders. I fear it is too late to take the reins of power back. Sure I’m mad as hell and there are a lot of people to be angry with. What is necessary to fix it will take decades as the system itself is broken. This is not Capitalism as Smith dreamed up, this is Corporatism where the biggest, strongest, most lucrative survive. It is financial Darwinism and no one has a viable option to really get us out. We need a new system. Unfortunately the American people have forgotten a lot, not only the history of the country but the history of a few short years. They are too busy listening to glitzy ads degrading the character of a candidate instead of demanding the necessary changes so that we can give a better society to the grandchildren who will be paying this debt. Not only are Americans forgetful and demented, we are selfish and any attempts to re-institute those into power who wrought havoc on this nation is truly insanity. Trust me, you will not get a different result.


Comments on: "The Short Term Memory Loss of Americans" (11)

  1. Ah neuvo feudalism ?

  2. another trope said:

    This is one the better summaries of the dynamics of what led to and what came from the recent meltdown. One of the problems we have faced in coming to terms with this issue is people on all sides trying to finger the one “bad guy.” Of course, people will forget who it was they were blaming the other day when the forces get them directed at the bad guy de jour.

    One moment Wall Street is the enemy. But if the Dems try to regulate them, suddenly the enemy is the Socialist Obama and his brown shirt Dems who trying to destroy the free market economy.

    I think it was in the film Why We Fight (highly recommended if one hasn’t seen it where one of the people refered to the U.S. as United States of Amnesia. Without a populace who is capable (and willing) to remember what has passed just a few years ago, let alone the general sweep of history over the decades and centuries, this or any other country is basically S.O.L.

  3. Hi packer. Good to see you here.

    Conglomerations run the world and are able to exist outside of laws governing the people who inhabit certain borders. I fear it is too late to take the reins of power back. Sure I’m mad as hell and there are a lot of people to be angry with.

    The left screwed up somewhere along the line. I mean how can these joe plumbers vote for the party that is supported by international corporations?

  4. There is an old saying about a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. We are dealing also with people who have but a tertiary understanding of the system at best and of the historical beginnings of the current situation. They think in simplistic terms so hitting them with uncomfortable facts invokes a negative reaction or they simply ignore them.

    When you are dealing with people who for 90% of their daily dealings have to know and understand less and less of the world around them to function, this is what you wind up with.

  5. Not just short term memory loss – total amnesia.

    Mr. Day inspired me to crack am old book on Jefferson. In it I found this nugget:

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

    Not exactly the capitalist ‘patriotism’ that the Tea Baggers like to hear. I guess TJ should be striken from Beck’s pantheon of Founding Fathers now.

  6. You summed up our financial meltdown better than any economist I’ve read in the papers or online, PFC. Great post.

  7. Great summation PFC. The financial machinery of the nation is for sure being operated by unskilled labor masquerading as experts. Or maybe by the most brazen thieves who ever walked the face of the earth masquerading as guys wearing white hats.

    Here is another analysis with some additional detail of what occurred prior to and after everything went to hell. This is a book review and provides some comparative information you don’t hear much about. I think that’s because it’s not in the interest of the idiots to make such comparisons.


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