In case you’ve been living under a rock (which won’t be that surprising in a few years), our economy is going through some hard times. It’s all due to consumer Greed.

American taxpayers are bailing out irresponsible companies. Everyone’s pissed. Through some quick research, we can see the anatomy of this meltdown:

The Great Depression happened a long long time ago. It sucked. Bad. If you have the pleasure to talk to someone who was alive in that time, they’ll tell you all about how awful it was. FDR said in his first inaugural address: “Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.”

Roosevelt and the rest of the United States spent lots of time enacting legislation to prevent such an awful thing from happening again. One particularly relevant piece of legislation is the Glass-Steagall Act. In a typical democrat move, this added tons of regulation to businnesses. Glass-Steagall made a bank holding group owning another financial institution illegal.

Banks. Were. Pissed. How dare the government get in the way of their own irresponsibility! This is socialism! YARRRRR!

Fast forward a many years to the Reagan administration. In a classic conservative move, the administration enacted the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act. This deregulated the Savings and Loan industry. This was called “An Act to revitalize the housing industry by strengthening the financial stability of home mortgage lending institutions and ensuring the availability of home mortgage loans” and also allowed for Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Great idea at the time… if I want a house, the government shouldn’t get in my way!

And let’s fast forward a few more years to the Clinton administration. In a rare conservative move, his administration repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which further deregulated bank holding companies. Congress was republican controlled, both parties voted along party lines, but Clinton didn’t veto. This act was repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. (An aside: Phil Gramm, one of the bills sponsors, was John McCain’s presidential campaign co-chair and most senior economic advisor until July of this year. I’m glad McCain wised up. )

How the hell did that happen? Clinton and the democrats in congress were “just serving the people”. So were Reagan and the republicans. So was FDR and everyone.

Americans want stuff. More stuff than we need. Definitely more stuff than we can afford.

And we don’t want to pay for it. Ever.

What’s the word for that? Greed.

Sure, there’s blame to be pushed around. Presidents, Democrats, Republicans, committees all dropped the ball at many points.

Ultimately, they all cowered to the American people’s bloodlust for stuff.

It’s not 100% the consumer’s fault, but we must stop acting like it’s 100% the government’s fault. We elected them. The problem is, politicians doing what we want, not what we need.


About andyhillky
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One Response to Greed

  1. adam says:

    Opinion comic in MI Saturday was best ever.

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