Thursday, January 20, 2011

Consequences

We are suffering the consequences of decisions made at the federal, state and local government level

These decisions were made by people we elected, so the pain we are going through is self-inflicted.  The first step on the road to recovery is to own up to our mistakes.  Victor Davis Hanson has a good article on the agitated state of those who are mired in a misery of their own making but still refuse to own up.




The problem as I see it is that government has protected us from the consequences of our actions.  Put more specifically, those areas of public and private life that are shielded from the results of irresponsible behavior become chaotic, dysfunctional, bankrupt.

Imagine if you were shielded from the consequences of your actions in your own personal life... 

You could cuss out the boss and beat up that annoying coworker in the parking lot and drive home satisfied in a car you decided to stop making payments on.  Drink till you fall down, buy a continuous stream of electronic goodies, to hell with the household budget.  No hangovers, kick the bills down the road... What a life! 

The real world doesn't work that way, and we know it.  Yet we allowed silver-tongued government orators to sprinkle magic pixie dust on everything and suspend disbelief.  

"Predatory Lending" and Other Government-Sponsored Ideas
Have you heard that public service radio spot about avoiding predatory lenders?  It encourages the blissfully ignorant to ask questions before they sign those mortgage documents.

Am I the only one who finds the idea of "predatory lenders" absurd?  Think about it.  If you suddenly found yourself flush with $10 million after hitting the lotto and decided you wanted to make more money, would you do so by "predatory lending?"  Would you accost poor people on the street, "Here, take this cash you can't pay back!"  Of course you wouldn't.  That would be a quick road to losing your newfound fortune.

End Government Backing of All Mortgages
Now, what if the federal government agreed to step in and assume responsibility for the loans you write, relieving you of all responsibility when the borrower defaults?  Then you'd probably hand the loans out like candy and get fat on the up front fees and interest you collect before the crash.  That is how the mortgage crisis happened.  The federal government, through Fannie and Freddie, shielded the lenders from the consequences of their shoddy lending practices.  The federal government now holds around 90% of all mortgages:  The good, the bad and the ugly, which means we're all on the hook for the irresponsibility of the government and our fellow citizens.

End Government Insurance of Wall Street
The Wall Street crash and subsequent raid on the US Treasury by Dirty Hank Paulson's band of pirates is a similar tale.  The DC-NY Axis of Evil plays a game of "heads Wall Street wins, tails taxpayers lose," encouraging wild speculation binges.  We shield big banking from the consequences of its actions and then wonder why the bankster bandits rip us off to pay their gambling debts.  If they had to worry about losing the house, or Guido busting their kneecaps, they would act responsibly.

Stop Rewarding Bad Behavior with Government Cash
Individual citizens who have no shame can cash in as well.  Swill sucrose-laden drinks, eat like a hog until you're too fat to fit through your front door, and you can collect disability, making a mockery of the system and tarring with the same shameful brush those who legitimately receive benefits.  Take drugs and drop out of school and you are eligible for government housing, food stamps and other taxpayer-funded assistance.  Crank out kids you can't afford and Uncle Sam will step in, shake down the taxpayers and reward you for your copious breeding habits.  Serial impregnators love that one.  They can knock her up and leave, knowing we suckers will pick up the tab.

It's time we faced up to the consequences of our actions, on a governmental as well as a personal level.

19 comments:

Always On Watch said...

For at least three decades, our education system has promoted the lack of accountability. Thus, we have hordes of Americans today with a sense of entitlement.

Great post, Silverfiddle.

Mustang said...

There are consequences? Can’t we simply blame Bush?

Divine Theatre said...

Always, I agree with you but I would go a few steps further. Parents who choose not to stay home with their children and instead outsource their upbringing to strangers, or worse, people who have children, then rely on the taxpayers to support them, have helped to create a generation of children who are not only resentful, entitlist minded and less conscientious than children 30 years ago (most likely on one psychotropic or another) but also have learned to expect "things" in place of healthy relationships. We have the Neo-feminists and the Welfare State to thank for that!

Divine Theatre said...

May I aslo get a round of applause for the longest run-on sentence in the history of mankind? Thank you!

Silverfiddle said...

That was a run on sentance... Wow! I didn't even notice. Are you a Faulkner fan?

Silverfiddle said...

That was a run on sentance... Wow! I didn't even notice. Are you a Faulkner fan?

Divine Theatre said...

William Burroughs and James Joyce inpired me. Thanks again!

Lisa said...

Here's someone who would agree with you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX864fXR1A0&feature=player_embedded

Always On Watch said...

Divine Theatre,
I do agree with your response to my comment.

Maggie@MaggiesNotebook said...

I agree with everything you said, and you will be running for office when, Silver?

I was encouraged with the proposed cuts to GOP programs today, and taking spending back to 2006. That was a refreshing surprise.

Karen Howes said...

You hit on the root of a lot of our problems today: no consequences.

No matter what it is, we must have safety nets in place for foolish decisions... which only ensures that we'll continue making foolish decisions.

Silverfiddle said...

Lisa: I love that YouTube

Maggie: Never! There's too much dirt in my past. I was in the military for 20 years and over half of it as a young single man. It would make the John Tower hearings look like a trip to the circus.

Plus, I am politically incorrect. You don't get votes by flaming people for being stupid and lazy and telling them you are going to cut off their government services, but thanks for askin'.

I would consider running for sheriff of Right Blogistan, but being a libertarian, I would let most offenses pass on by...

WomanHonorThyself said...

It's time we faced up to the consequences of our actions, on a governmental as well as a personal level...no no ..not if the LIBS can help it !

Jersey McJones said...

If, IF, we could do all, ALL, of those things, perhaps we could see the Invisible Hand, with only contract law between it and the government, regulate the real estate market, a market that is vital to the welfare of the state.

In reality, the real world we live in, that is not going to happen. Banks and Big Biz own this government. Especially now.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

The real estate market is "vital to the welfare of the state," Jersey?

Man, you are ate up with consumerism. No wonder you rail against criticism of the government-Wall Street axis of evil. You're one of them...

Divine Theatre said...

Vital to the welfare of the state"? Surely you jest!? The inflated real estate market, along with the dot com bubble is the reason we are in this mess in the first place!
Do you understand the concept of an invisible hand? Thanks to government intervention the state is floundering along with everything else. Not a bad thing, really. It sure would be nice if Camden, NJ had a fully functioning police department, though. Apparently, when the whole town is a guest of the Welfare State no one is left to pay the taxes that support your beloved state.
I will agree on one thing, the banks are running the whole show!

Silverfiddle said...

Even worse, Divine, you can't own a gun to protect yourself in Camden.

Liberalism, unsafe at any speed...

Jersey McJones said...

Silver,

I don't know on which planet you reside, but here on Earth, in America, the average family's estate is it's real estate. Equity in tangible assets it still, to this day, despite the sleazy escapades of modern speculators and traders, the legacy of the American family.

To dismiss this OBVIOUS FACT is laughable at best.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

I'm laughable? You're sad, equating property ownership with the real estate market.