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Posts tagged ‘election’

The Short Term Memory Loss of Americans

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.

Confabulation

Confabulation is the act of creating a false event to fill in the gaps of missing memory and is a hallmark sign of dementia. Of course confabulation does not have to be limited to those with dementia, as one could unintentionally create false events as well, it has been described as a blurring of reality with fantasy. It can also be applied to the false interpretation of memories which is different from lying in that the person does not intentionally wish to deceive. It seems our political narrative has been taken over by confabulation. Many have noticed the rewriting of history (i.e. Reagan decreased the size of government, Obama’s administration developed TARP) that flies in the face of facts. It could very well be that the short-term memory loss sustained in the rabid, power hungry minds of those who retell history incorrectly isn’t intentional. Maybe there is some organic biological reason for their distortion of the facts. Perhaps they do not look to the facts at all, they just focus on memory alone. This phenomena is seen in eye-witness testimony where three people can tell very different sets of facts, they are all telling the truth to their ability, but their memories are not made the same. (As far as the politicians go though, I highly doubt it is unintentional but maybe instead of saying “You lie!” We could say “You confabulate!”)

Confabulation can be proved, as it is deemed unintentional, who could argue that when faced with facts. On the other hand for a lie to be a lie, you have to prove intent of deceit. It may open up the dialogue for fact-finding instead of fault-finding. With all the confabulation going around by the far-right Tea Party candidates, we need something, some phrase that will open up the narrative for further discussion. So when the facts are being misinterpreted or misrepresented, I will say “I believe you may be confabulating _ (events, facts, etc.)” sure they may not know what it means, but it is less offensive than calling someone a liar. It may open up an opportunity for teaching, who knows? It also happens to be one of my new favorite words.

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