The discussion as to “who shot John” with regard to the demise of the American economy may very well be futile. Then again there’s an adage which says those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it. I’ve heard both liberal and conservative talking heads point the finger of blame at investment firms, banks, the housing market, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even on the former president himself. I won’t argue or debate the merits of who among them deserves the most blame, but I submit without any question in my mind that ultimately there is no culprit more culpable than “Greed posing as Capitalism.”
In the past five years the biggest and most pressing issue in America has been the price of gas … period! The rising cost of gas (to a high of well over four dollars) adversely impacted every facet of American life. Our driving habits for work and everyday activities were significantly altered, and I even heard some churches opted to have services bi-weekly in an effort to spare their parishioners the burden of driving every Sunday. The airlines started charging for luggage because the extra weight meant extra fuel (why they still charge for luggage is a mystery to me though, but I digress … ). How we shopped, where we shopped and even the price of the goods for which we shopped were all impacted. The price of everything rose. My social life was altered tremendously as I found myself frequently pondering whether or not to attend cookouts, parties, dinner outings, family gatherings or happy hours based on how far I’ve have to travel … because ultimately I had to get my behind to work.
I don’t believe my experience to be much different from many other Americans (especially those in the middle and working classes). Our discretionary funds went from being arrested, to being held without bail, to a five years sentence. So multiply this reluctance to go, do or spend (on the basis of whether we’d have enough gas or gas money to do the things we had to do) by over 100 million Americans and it’s easy to see why the economy started to slip.
What’s this have to do with greed? Well while ALL of America was making decisions on the basis of its net effect on our gas tanks, the oil companies were breaking profit earning records EVERY, SINGLE quarter … not the top two or three companies either, the ENTIRE INDUSTRY!!! I’m still looking for the economic model where all your expenses increase and your profits rise exponentially but again, I digress.
The greed was so rampant that major banks, Big Four accounting firms, mortgage lenders and top 10 companies on the Fortune 500 list either went under or were in jeopardy of doing so without a bailout courtesy of (arguably) the world’s biggest suckers and victims … the American voters. Adding further insult to the situation, the greedy and largest beneficiaries continue to victimize their benefactors by not adjusting inflated mortgage payments to market prices AND by charging between $4 and $6 to cash checks written by their customers.
I am thoroughly convinced more than ever that the conservative talking heads have an agenda of divisiveness for the purpose of building and maintaining their empires. I’ve yet to hear one admit that “greed posing as capitalism” caused the country’s present predicament. Instead I hear them calling for deregulated free-trade and more capitalism; both of which got us here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Socialist and I’m not at all against the ideals of free-enterprise, I just believe our economy’s current state is a reflection of what happens when “greed poses as capitalism.”
A major pet peeve of mine is people who point out problems without offering solutions; but sadly the solution to this problem lies in the hearts of men and fortunately in the hands of God …