Seven years ago, terrorists flew airplanes at us thinking that they could drastically disrupt the United States economic and governmental systems with their actions. If nothing else, they hoped to send a strong signal to America that it had enemies, and that not everyone in the world approved of our way of life.
In the weeks and months after that tragedy, in spite of the country’s mourning, we proved that we would not be threatened, and we would not live in fear. We would continue. Markets opened, the government continued to operate, and the American way continued. We proved, once again, that no external threat or influence could severely disrupt our way of life for long, and that we would confront our enemies wherever they lived to secure our future.
This last week, however, has unmasked a much more dangerous threat to our American way of life. It turns out that our worst enemy hasn’t been a bunch of terrorists in a training camp half a world away, turns out the biggest threat to our very way of life has been sitting right under our noses in downtown New York City, parading around in dark suits and expensive shoes.
Yes, America. Our biggest threat was ourselves. It was internal. Greed took the place of sense, and an obsession for economic growth quickly turned into a cancerous growth instead.
If the “American Dream” is to own a home and endlessly accumulate stuff for the rest of your life, then in the last seven years we put that dream on speed. Everyone, we thought, regardless of income or debt or credit rating should be able to buy an insanely overpriced house, (hyper-over-inflated more than the cost of the sticks it took to build it) and had access to endless amounts of free money. Then American turned around, saw their home value go up more, and took all that fake money they thought they had out and used it to go buy more crap.
Why were we all OK with this? Because our own financial institutions, rather than holding this debt, decided to repackage it up and sell it around to others… and gloriously everyone made money.
Well, the shtuff had to hit the fan at some time, and now it did. Someone finally said the emperor was naked, and we all woke up and said… “oh wow… yeah, he is!”
Now we are stuck with financial institutions deemed “too big to fail” being given billions of dollars in bail outs, and now a plan for the government to buy more than $700 billion in these bad investments, which are just waiting to fail and could possibly bankrupt our government.
Who get’s stuck with it? The American taxpayer. …Which I suppose is fitting, since we brought this on ourselves. But still, it ticks me and my fellow financial conservatives off that we have to shoulder this burden, brought on by the fast and loose blue-overstarched-shirt people who were all trying to make a quick buck.
Let’s see these “mortgage backed securities” – these BAD loans – for what they are. Cancer is cancer, whether it is in the pockets of big investment firms or in the massive government. I guess the only question is, which organism is big enough and strong enough to try and outlive the cancer? I think the government is the right answer to that question, but it doesn’t change the basic fact that all this greed has now made our nation a lot poorer.
So just as in every great society, the biggest threats are not external – they are internal. If this great American experiment ever fails, we will have done it ourselves, from the inside out.
Can I get a “what! what!”?