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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nothing has changed

We had a collapse of the financial system which was saved by tax payer dollars. The private gains of individual brokers, traders and CEOs became the social loss of the tax payers when the high risk bets went bad. While the party lasted a small percentage of people massed huge profits, once the party was over I got the bill, I wasn’t invited to the party so why do I have to clean up the mess? We have now had 30 years of political belief in “Supply Side Economics”. Supply side predicts greater/cheaper production (supply) of goods and services by reducing barriers such as regulation and taxes. The principle prediction is widely spread prosperity (The trickle down part) this clearly has not happened, I don’t need a veterinarian to tell me dogs hate cats, and I don’t need an economist to tell me supply side hasn’t worked. Even though there are ample studies about cats and dogs and supply side economics my life experiences have answered both questions. We just had the largest crisis since the “Great Depression” and nothing has changed and no meaningful change is being proposed. The same greed and self interest that created this mess is still running rampant. The same deregulation is continuing, the same tax reduction for the rich is continuing. Another crash is inevitable. So why do the majority of people I talk with think that continuing the same thing will make everything better?
I understand the basic human response of seeing what you want to see and believing what you want to believe. As an engineer I wasn’t allowed this human trait, if the plane didn’t fly I had to figure out why. What I see now is everyone celebrating a successful flight while the plane lies in a smoking ruin at the end of the runway. Much is said about cognitive dissonance, this is the discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. This doesn’t fit my observations, the people I talk with feel no conflict from holding ideas with no basis in reality. When the reality is pointed out the typical response is to deny or fall into personal slurs. They live in some separate self created non-reality. I know from my career that reality always wins. What we see today is reality winning, the economy did collapse, retirement plans have been destroyed, and trickle down did not happen. We have a national group think based on a fantasy; telling each other it must be true because the other guy told me so. Our media is market based; telling us what we want to hear is the business plan, with some sensational trivia for artistic trim. At this point the boom-bust cycle will continue simply because we are in denial about the causes of the boom-bust cycle.
I give up, I surrender, since we will not face the problem as a society I am going to ride the next boom and cash out early before the bust. Timing the market is impossible and the cycles seem to getting shorter so I am going to set an annual target, when I hit my target I will cash out and stop playing until next year or the next bust. I am also going to store more canned goods and get a bigger dog.

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