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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Time to Turn the Pointy Finger Our Way

I hope the House passes the bill approved by the Senate, though the inclusion of candy on the Senate side is only going to invite the same on the House side, and this could end up taking weeks to finalize.

It will be a hard pill for moderate democrats and fiscal conservative republicans alike.

After the bill passes I hope we enter into a bipartisan review and investigation (if such is possible) as to who did what to contribute to this mess.

And then I hope every American will start looking at their own lives.

Its time we all bought Personal Finance for Dummies, or books by Dave Ramsey or Suze Ormond or whomever, and started taking responsibility for our own financial houses.

Yes, it is true, many of us got into to debt because of medical expenses. That happened to me. But we're not going to socialize medical care and we each have to factor those costs into the equation of our own lives. And if it makes us feel better we can continue blame the whole mess on the health care system, or the oi industry or any particular thing outside of our own tendencies to buy what we don't need with money we don't have. But things won't get better.

And from my point of view home ownership is over rated from a financial standpoint, unless you're riding a housing bubble. But then, bubble's burst...So let's quit enticing people who can't really afford to own their own homes into mortgages they cannot maintain.

Deep down in the American psyche, for reasons that are complex and varied, we have this idea that if you don't own a house you're a loser. I know men and women who are wonderful and mature people and do great things for others and they don't own their own homes. So what?

But since this whole week has been about "available credit" who is going to say the obvious: for all too many of us credit is TOO available, and we're TOO tempted to rely on it. We all know we shouldn't pull out those cards so often, but we do...

And then we have financial scammers in effect ripping off the least wealthy among us so as to extend super expensive credit for a few days - you know those check cashing kiosks all over the place? Criminal I think.

It's time to revamp our economic preparation system to equipp people to have the skills to take useful jobs in the new 21st century economy. Not everyone really needs to read and write papers on Emily Bronte and James Joyce. We'd be better off with more machinists, computer designers, aircraft mechanics, and people who actually design, build, make, and fix things.

And the two waves of the future now present are Bio Tech and Green Tech, so maybe we could be helping people to ride those waves and not phony financial schemes and bubbles.

Old school environmentalism is dead. The future of the environmental movement is with high tech alternative energy and a new wave of biological/agricultural practices that are more in sync with our climate and local ecologies, and which are more renewable.

But none of that will matter if we don't get our financial houses in order. It's time to start blaming Wall Street less and and start blaming Courtfield Drive more.

Joel

1 comment:

Brenda Bowers said...

"We'd be better off with more machinists, computer designers, aircraft mechanics, and people who actually design, build, make, and fix things." How true. and what's more not everyone is college material. This trend towards everyo9ne needing a college education stated in the '70's and just got totally out of hand. I saw so many kids who were there because their parents insisted. Kids who were perfectly miserable who would have been so happy under the hood of a car.

You are as usual also right on with personal finances. We need to get our feet on the ground and that is why I think a good old fashioned depression would be good for the country. People tend to need to be hit up side the head with a 2x4 before they take time to listen and learn. this Bail Out is not a 2x4 for the public and certainly not for the financial institutions who were playing casino economics literally since most of the "sour contracts" are derivatives. Derivatives are nothing more nor less than bets or guessing game or hunches given a fancier name and wrapped up in a written contract. BB