The Economy, It’s Your Own Damn Fault!

If you listen to the mainstream media and numerous left-leaning economists (read Democratic activists), they’ll all tell us the country’s headed to “hell in a handbasket” and you better start stocking up food. Furthermore, they’ll continue to tell us that the solution to our problems will come in the form of a President Obama or, the next best case for the media, another President Clinton. That’s all fine and dandy if you live your life relying on the government to solve your problems for you.

Yes, that’s right, your problems! Despite the nonsense that comes out about mortgages, interest rates, and people not being able to make their credit card payments, that didn’t stop people from buying brand spanking new high-definition televisions at such an absurd rate in 2008 leading up to the Super Bowl. In fact, here’s the actual 2008 estimate from retail organizations:

158 million people are expected to tune in to watch Super Bowl 42. A retail group predicts 3.9 million new televisions will be bought for the occasion. That’s up more than 50% from last year.

Wait, read that again if you didn’t absorb the actual numbers. Sales of expensive, luxurious, unnecessary high-definition televisions costing thousands of dollars were up 50% in 2008 over 2007. How can that possibly be? People can’t afford their mortgages and the economy’s headed into disaster! I know, you’ll tell me that if the economy was better, they would have gotten bigger HDTVs but had to settle for the 42 inch over the 50 inch. For shame, George Bush cost everyone an extra 8 inches of picture!

Let me get to the point of this story in a nutshell. This is going to be shocking and I’m sure half of you will call me “harsh” for telling the truth.

The crux of the matter: If you are irresponsible with your money and rely on the government, you will be poor the rest of your life.

There, it’s been said. The truth is out in the open now so nobody should continue being under the false notion that Uncle Sam is going to help make you a millionaire. What’s more is if you think Obama, Clinton, or even McCain is going to improve your personal financial situation, then God help you. If that’s the case, then you probably do care which one wins since it will directly affect the size of the government bailout you count on to pay your bills.

Therein lies another problem. If you believe every economic-related statement that comes from a candidate running for president, you will probably be the most ill-informed person when it comes to the topic of finances. Here’s another shocker, presidential candidates lie about and distort facts related to the economy. So much so, that according to Thomas Sowell, “if all the economic fallacies promoted by politicians were taken out of their speeches, many of those speeches would be cut in half, at least.” Therefore, do your own research on economic issues and take responsibility for yourself, don’t let a politician tell you “how things are” or how they can “fix” the situation. It’s utter nonsense.

The next evidence which destroys the notion of our economy “teetering on the brink of collapse”, our amazing 95.2% employment rate. That equates to a 4.8% unemployment rate. By most every account, that is full employment. In fact, several percent of the country will always be “unemployed” as they’re just between jobs or changing careers. Another percent probably doesn’t work at all just enjoying their welfare checks every month.

If you are younger, let’s say less than 40, you need to get your head out of wherever it is and become responsible for your money. Do not depend on the government, do not depend on Obama, Clinton, or McCain, do not depend on Social inSecurity, depend on yourself because it’s your job to be financially responsible! I have compassion for retirees living solely on Social Security, but it’s not my fault they didn’t save throughout their lifetime! Furthermore, it’s not your fault that I am saving. So don’t ask me to bail people out later in life when they screwed around, got in debt, and depended on the government.

So what’s the solution for the Social inSecurity government-dependent people? If you were to take $300 from your paycheck per month and invest it into a retirement account such as an IRA, that would equate to $3,600 per year invested earning an average of 8% interest, which is modest because many mutual funds will average 10-12%. If you did this from age 25 to age 40, just 15 short years, you will have invested $54,000 of your own money, and be left with an account worth $104,504 in that time. In fact, then assume you don’t invest another dime from that point forward and you absolutely do not touch that IRA. At the age of 70, that $104,504 will have grown to $1.07 million. Yes, over a million just by you taking responsibility and saving a measly $300 a month for 15 years. That’s less than most people’s restaurant budgets.

Then, think of it this way, what if you kept putting in $300 beyond the 15 years, you’d have several millions. Your wealth would grow exponentially in years and it only takes a short time. However, presidential candidates don’t tell you this, it ain’t rocket science, it can be done by anyone with a brain and an income, which is 95% of the country.

If you do suffer from government-dependence disorder and think you are not responsible for your own problems, watch this clip and be enlightened:

Change out credit card, car payment, or any other debt for a “sub-prime” mortgage and the same principle works. Why can’t you afford your credit card payment? Perhaps because you charged too much on it! Perhaps because you live beyond your means and expect everyone else to pay your bills!

Here’s the bottom line. We wouldn’t be in a so-called “financial crisis” if everyone wasn’t financially irresponsible. Take this scenario, let’s pretend you had a 3-6 month emergency fund and you get laid off? You’re fine! You have 6 months to find a new job! The same holds true for anything. However, if you are living in debt, spending more than you ear, and depending on the government to take care of you, well then you have screwed yourself so don’t ask responsible people to bail you out.

Our government is an embarrassment, this is what happens when our government rushes to aid in the “bailout” scenario to help Bear Sterns or any other entity which puts itself in the situation:

It’s true, there are no capitalists in Washington, including the presidential candidates. They all want to buy your vote with a bailout of something. They all want to relinquish everyone from personal responsibility.

Why do responsible taxpayers have to bailout anyone? Why don’t you take responsibility for yourself for once and stop blaming the government for your bad spending habits. If our economy collapses, it’s our own fault for not being responsible. If people can’t pay their mortgages that they never should have taken out or been approved for, it’s their own fault!

Listening to people say the “economy is collapsing” is like listening to the global warming alarmists. Nothing adds up and someone stands to make political points or a lot of money off false information. Right now, Democrats stand to inherit the White House if they convince people that being irresponsible is George Bush’s fault.

Furthermore, for anyone who even uses the “R” word, recession, check your dictionary for once before you begin repeating something you heard from CNBC or Jim Cramer.

Here’s the true definition of recession:

Definition: A recession is defined to be a period of two quarters of negative GDP growth.

Thus: a recession is a national or world event, by definition. And statistical aberrations or one-time events can almost never create a recession; e.g. if there were to be movement of economic activity (measured or real) around Jan 1, 2000, it could create the appearance of only one quarter of negative growth. For a recession to occur the real economy must decline.

In layman’s terms, 6 months of negative economic growth. We haven’t even had 1 month of negative economic growth so anyone who says we’re in a recession is either lying or ignorant. We’re not in a recession regardless of what absolutely anyone says, and I mean anyone.

Now, all that being said, if you are responsible, then I salute you and say “good job”, you are the people everyone else will be expecting to bail them out when they get in over their head. Now you have to help break everyone else of the “poor me” mentality.

  • Dem ’08

    Conservative Gal

    This is the biggest bunch of crap I have heard since Obama last spoke! Are you in a dream world? You are going to tell us to learn to handle our money and help save our economy when Bush is spending billions YES billions on a losing ass war every month!
    I don’t depend on the government for anything and have never received a dime from anything other than a paycheck that I worked for and I have paid for my house and my three vehicles without a single credit card. It is sick that you are so damn out of touch with most of the U.S. yet you have no problem with your own views. It’s people like you who are causing this nation to go to “hell in a handbasket” and this post just adds fuel to the fire.

  • Again it’s George Bush’s fault. See people I warned you that many have this mentality, this is the kind of mentality that gets you in trouble financially, NO personal responsibility. Predictable.

    So what are you mad about Dem 08? How is it that I’m out of touch with reality? B/C I dare to mention the fact that Americans are sinking in debt, and here’s a shocker, IT’S THEIR OWN FAULT!!! The only ammunition in your gun is to play the blame game and fault Bush. Sorry that doesn’t work here. He didn’t make people sign a contract for a mortgage they couldn’t afford. Hell, they couldn’t even afford the interest on the note so what made people think they could afford the principal + the interest?

  • Andrew

    Although I don’t agree with you on much, Conservative Gal, I do agree with much of this.

    The only argument I will make is that these “economic downturns” do affect the money of those that don’t have credit card debt or mortgages they cannot pay. Even the wisely invested individual is loosing money right now. Admittedly that is the nature of the market, but if events leading to the weakening dollar, investment firm failures, increased oil costs could be avoided by overseeing market equity then I am all for it.

    A free market works best only when everyone is on the same page. When mortgage brokers (who understand nothing of the economic impact of their decisions) are compensated solely on the number of loans signed with no regards to full (or even partial) repayment, this effects my money. When stocks fall due to questions of liquidity of our major financial corporations this effects my money. There needs to be some oversight, because there are events that occur that effect the economic stability of an individual or family that are out of their hands.

    Other than that I am right there with you. Invest in diversified funds to minimize unsystematic risk, don’t carry credit card debt, and don’t sign a mortgage that you don’t understand or cannot afford. The market fluctuates but unless you are planning to retire in the next six months there is no real problem here.

    Most importantly, politicians make up economics as they see necessary so don’t trust them to fix, or even fairly present, anything.

  • Jack

    I have heard perspectives from a far right standpoint and a far left standpoint, not to mention Andrew, the more moderately conservative opnion. The reality is that there is a level of truth in all of these responses. While I understand that this subject can tend to stir alot of emotion, it will do us well to relax and have a civilized debate about this. Conservative Gal, while I understand that fiscal irresponsibility does tend to run rampant in this country, I also think that the picture that you have painted in your article is not accurate. It sounds like it is based on some solid theory, but also quite a bit of speculation on your part.

    Now it is true that the purchase of HDTV’s to watch the Superbowl isn’t the most sound investment during times of economic instability, I think you are making a unfounded assumption that those 3.9 million people that are buying those TV’s are all paying on sub-prime mortgage loans and are sliding towards forclosure. A substantial percentage of these folks could very well be able to afford to buy these TV’s at this time. They might have been saving there money for this sole purpose.

    Can Government solve all of our finacial woes? No. Should people be responsible for how they handle their finances? Yes. Are there idiots out there financing a set of wheels and tires that are worth more than the P.O.S. that they are putting them on? Unfortunatley, I myself have met dudes like that, so yes, they definately exist. However, I don’t think that you appreciate how difficult it is at this time for many Americans who are not spending money on anything that is considered a luxury and are still struggling to pay their bills and feed their families. I can speak from my own experience. I have concluded my first decade in my chosen career. I don’t spend large sums of money on stupid items that I don’t need. I can’t do that. I have two little boys that need cloths, food and they need to go to the doctor from time to time. I have watched the cost of living rise continuously, and the only thing that major cooperations seem to be doing is shipping more good jobs overseas and getting rewarded for that by our Government. That isn’t fluff that I heard from Obama, whom I support by the way. I have watched the company that I work for ship job after job to their Manufacturing plant in Eastern Europe, and now they are planning another facility in, you guessed it, Asia. Where labor is cheap and the people are expendable and available in large numbers. What replaces the jobs that were literally taken from American workers and sent abroad. Places like Walmart, who no only offer low prices, but offer low pay. You can’t replace a $50,000 a year job with a $20,000 a year job and say that is fair. Wages are not tracking with the rising cost of living, so people are still working hard and doing their best, but since they aren’t making more money and everything costs more, well, it isn’t hard to see how people can fall into ruts through no fault of their own. Now the question is what can we do about it? I do think that our government needs to be involved. I pay my taxes every year, and when times are hard and people are left in the cold by the very companies that they sacrifice there time and effort to day in and day out leaves them out in the “cold”, I want the people that are paid well with my tax dollars to take the steps necessary to ensure a more level playing field for working class folks like myself. Now I’m not saying take all the money from the rich and give it to me. Although, I wouldn’t mind a spin in a Ferrari Enzo. Companies should, however, be kept in check as it pertains to how they pay there employees.

    Now lets talk about Bush. I am just going to be honest here. George W. Bush is, in my humble opinion, the worst president in the history of the U.S.A. That’s saying alot. This man was backed by Big Oil from the beginning. During his administration, no one has prospered more than Big Oil. We went into Iraq under false pretenses, overtook Saddam’s regime, found him in a hole in the ground(keep in mind that Bin Laden is still out there) and we secured the oil fields. I knew a guy in the Army that served a year in Iraq. He said that when it came to patroling the streets to quell secretarian violence, it seemed like no plan was in place. However, when it came to protecting Haliburton empolyees as they worked the oil rigs, it was planned out to the last detail, as if that was the plan all along. He has steadily helped rich get richer, and by contrast, the poor have gotten poorer. As of year ago there were 5 million more poor people in this country. Now while the Global economy is not based on the decisions of just one country, the US can’t be considered just another country. It is, essentially the Hub of the global economy, since it is the richest, most powerful nation in the world. The Iraq war has cost this nation 500 billion dollars and appox. 4,000 American lives. The oil revenue did not pay for it as promised, but Exxon/Mobile has enjoyed record profits for several years now. Does all that really seem coincidental to you? There are alot of economic hardships right now, but the fact that our current Foreign Policy is costing taxpayers about a trillion dollars a year, alot of that we are borrowing from China of all places, it is easy to see why we are in the shape we are in. There is a direct connection between our economy problems and the decisions made by this president. Hopefully, we can elect a president that will make decisions based on the needs of the majority of American Citizens. Sorry about the long response. I accually cut it down a little. I applaud the debate. We all should be talking about this more

  • Michael

    CG: I am afraid you are conflating arguments and contradicting yourself with your use of data. For instance, you are using the same source for unemployment data that you are accusing of poor economic decisions such as Bear Stearns.

    The Bush Administration has been severely faulted for their new way of deciding unemployment statistics. For the last several years, the requirements for being listed as ‘unemployed’ have become harder and harder to meet. So, for example, the percentage of prime-age men (those 25 to 54 years old) who are not working has been higher than in any decade since World War II. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/05/business/leon.php

    You are also collapsing differences between micro and macro-economics, which are interconnected, but not synonymous. I agree with your call for people to become more accountable for their own debt, but this is unrelated to the government’s blunders that have led to $110 a barrel in oil, and the responding gas prices at the pumps, or the current value of the U.S dollar in respects to the EURO, pound, etc.

    The reason why President Bush, Alan Greenspan, and others are worried about the economy and hint that we are heading for a recession (not claiming we are currently in one) is based on the current quarter’s development (2008, Q1) and the global market.

  • Dem ’08

    Conservative Gal

    It is unbelievable that I have to explain this to you. Sure there are people who jump in over their heads when they buy but that did not just start happening over the past couple of years. This is a problem that is a very small part of the reason our economy is like it is today. Do I need to slow down?
    Ok, In the 90’s when our economy was much better there were people buying and getting over their heads then as well. The difference was that lenders were not targeting people to make money like they are now. Many of the home buyers today don’t realize what type of loan they have and that is their fault but the lender is taking advantage of them and telling them nothing about it, that is not their fault.
    Our economy is bad because we have an idiot president who cuts taxes and spends billions on a war for nothing all at the same time. Loopy people like you are buying into what Bush is telling you and then you make a fool of yourself when you let your mouth get away from you. The sad thing is that you will likely always be foolish and some of the people around you that you claim to care about will pay the price for your views. No doubt you only care about yourself so please let’s not hear you comment otherwise! Randy

  • czm2008

    Dem ’08, you seem to be stuck on George Bush causing economic problems. Don’t you think that too many people blame Bush for their own problems?

    While I usually find CG harsh, she has not said anything in this post that is incorrect or foolish. What is wrong with being personally responsible and not blaming the government for your problems? The price of oil can go up, Bush can spend billions on a war, but how does that affect making responsible decisions in your life? Sure, some people will be strained by gas prices, but that doesn’t mean you have to make bad financial decisions, does it?

    Plus, on the subprime mortgage issue you mentioned, no doubt some lenders were irresponsible, and they should pay for that. That does not let the borrowers off the hook for not reading the terms or not being fiscally responsible enough to borrow within their means. George Bush has nothing to do with that either.

    Actually, if you think about it, George Bush is not the person to listen to when it comes to fiscal responsibility and I don’t think CG ever told people to do so. Bush and congress are the epitome of financial irresponsibility, so don’t model your personal finances after them.

    I think what CG is saying is to start making good decisions in your own life and stop blaming anyone else if you continue to make bad decisions. That is a concept that cuts party and ideological lines, regardless of what any elected official does.

  • Dem ’08

    czm2008

    Everyone should be responsible with their money. Do you see anywhere above where I said that people should spend carelessly? Go ahead look!
    My point is do you think that our economy is failing because of the irresponsible habbits of the consumer? Did the consumer just now start spending more than they have?
    I am not attacking Bush and placing blame on him for peoples spending habbits. I am telling you that CG is defending Bush and blaming the consumer for the condition of the economy. I am telling you, that is crap. Our economy is bad because George Bush and his rich buddies took this country to war to get oil when the enemy was somewhere else. I am telling you that Bush knew very well what he was doing when he did that. Our economy can not stand a multi billion dollar war which was brought on by Bush while he does nothing to fix all of the issues we face. Oh but he did cut taxes for his rich friends and encourage business to leave the country all during this Bush war.
    Bush is not to blame for anyones spending habits but he is to blame for our economy!

  • czm2008

    Dem ’08, you just seem to be insinuating that people should be more concerned with Bush than their own personal finances. Frankly sir, that is crap.

    If people were more concerned with their own finances, they wouldn’t have to be concerned with what any president does, I think that is the lesson here. If I am responsible, why does it matter that the price of gas goes up $1 or $2 per gallon? I should have savings to compensate for it since I am not overstretched on my budget.

    If I am irresponsible with my money, then yes, everything affects me because I am not prepared for it.

    Bush is irresponsible with spending, that’s not in dispute. What I am disputing is your constant badgering that economic situations are all caused by George Bush. I am not a fan of his, but he is not responsible for me being responsible with my money and preparing any kind of economic downturn.

    I have been working for years to become responsible, regardless of who is in the White House.

    In times of plenty, prepare for times of hardship, it’s that simple. I personally don’t care who does what in Washington, it doesn’t affect me because I rely on myself. I don’t care if it’s one of the three presidential candidates who win. That doesn’t affect me either. Their policies won’t affect me.

    The point here, and I side with CG on this, is that if you have to be concerned with what politicians do, then you are passing off the blame.

    I have no allegiance to any party, only to myself. I know I can rely on myself, not a politician. George Bush will be gone in 2009, will it affect me? No. Obama/Clinton/McCain will be in, will it affect me? No.

    It shouldn’t affect anyone else either, unless you believe the government should manage your finances. Which seems to be what a lot of people believe.

  • Dem ’08

    CMZ2008

    Where do you people come from…..really. Nothing will affect you except your own willingness to save huh. This is so stupid it hard to debate with you.
    “Their politics wont affect me”….lol. Why are you even ready this site if you are above the rest of America and the power of our Government? If the next president passes a bill that says no guns are allowed, will they take yours? If they pass a bill the puts a 10% increase on tax for everything, would that affect you? If they say abortion is good and gay marrage is legal would that affect anyone? If a future president passed a bill that says your pay should be less would that get your attention? I think it would and you are just looking to argue.
    To say that politics don’t affect people is just plain stupid and you make my point for me, Thank you!
    Someone got the nerve to back this guys claim that politics don’t affect you? Speak up!

  • czm2008

    Demo ’08, anyone could clearly see that I was speaking economically, of course. It doesn’t take a middle schooler to figure that out. That was/is the context of this discussion. So yes, economic policies concerning government bailouts to do not affect me because I don’t wake up every morning asking myself how the government can help me today. Nor do I wake up saying “shame on a politician, now I can’t mak the payments on all the debt I wracked up under my own volition”.

    Furthermore, you don’t know my politics aside from being personally responsible. Go ahead and tell me that because I espouse such a view it makes me a right-wing nut, then we will truly see who is stupid in this discussion and you will have disclosed that you believe personal responsibility lies on one side of the aisle, which it does not.

  • Dem ’08

    cmz2008

    Someone should change your batteries. You don’t seem to read what I write. Like I said you are just wanting to argue. I like to argue as well but I usually like to argue with someone who has something to say. If you have things figured out then good for you. I think you should write a book though and really show the government you don’t care. You could call it “I’ve got cash in the bank so I don’t care how much gas is”. Meanwhile the rest of the world will be affected when loopy political leaders like Bush change policy to benefit the government. I do care so if you don’t, go count up your stock piles of cash!

    This is what you wrote.

    “If I am responsible, why does it matter that the price of gas goes up $1 or $2 per gallon? I should have savings to compensate for it since I am not overstretched on my budget.”

    Go down to your local trucking company and tell them that. There will likely be charges filed if you do. Loopy!

  • czm2008

    Demo ’08, I’m reading exactly what you’re writing which is “everything the government does economically effects me because I choose to let it”.

    Once again, you mentioned Bush, and I’m not defending him, I’m just saying it seems to be a common thread. People who are financially irresponsible end up blaming the government and George Bush for their problems, nothing more. If it was a Democrat in the White House, you’d be blaming them. You have done that throughout this entire discussion, it’s becoming amusing to watch as I see you will never take control of your finances back from the government, Bush must balance your checkbook for you too. Does he charge things on your credit card? Does he sign you up for a loan you can’t afford? Does he cause you to make nescient financial decisions? Does he make you spend beyond your means? I doubt it, but maybe you are in closer contact to the White House than I am.

    That’s all it boils down to, just the way you have chosen to live. I have chosen to do otherwise and I encourage you and others to do the same, it’s very simple. You’ll feel liberated when you take control of your own financial destiny and stop letting the government have a say in your finances. Sadly though, I know it’s easier for a lot of people, like you, to keep pointing the finger at Bush and others.

    Take charge people! Don’t rely on Bush/Obama/Clinton/McCain like Dem ’08!

  • Dem ’08

    cmz2008

    First of all lets clear one thing up. You talk like you know me. I have already stated that I have paid for my house and my three vehicles without a single credit card. I have no credit card, why? It is not smart to pay someone to let you spend your own money. Don’t tell me I rely on the Government because I guarantee you that you have taken more handouts than I have, because I have never been given $1 from the government. Maybe I should! Moving on….

    See what is going on here is you seem to be locked on this issue of everyone taking care of there own spending which we agree on, but you don’t even recognize the real issue here. WHY DONT YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU POSTED IT DON’T MATTER IF GAS GOES UP $1 OR $2 BECAUSE YOU HAVE A FEW EXTRA DOLLARS IN THE BANK? Lets see if you read this time! Can you find anyone to back you up here? Does anyone reading this crap agree with cmz?
    Bush is responsible for spending billions on the war and all of this borrowing by the government has caused our dollar to fall, but I guess you don’t care. Oh wait, its because some idiot bought a big screen Tv this week huh. LOSER!

  • Andrew, thank you for bringing clarity to this subject.

    Jack, lets take this one step further, here are some stats that lend credence to my point that people spend unwisely and are going into debt not just on big screen TV’s. Take this graph from MSN’s MoneyCentral:

    Credit card debt has risen steadily since 1990. This graph only goes to 2002, the trend has continued since then at the same or increased rate. People continue living outside their means and spending more than they make. That started well before Bush and will continue well after him, unfortunately. Couple that with these statistics:

    • In 2003, the average credit-card debt of US households with at least one card was $9,205, up from $2,966 in 1990, according to the research firm CardWeb.com.

    • In 1970, 44 percent of families with credit cards reported having a balance after their most recent payment, the Federal Reserve Board reports. Since the 1980s, not only have more people used credit cards, but about 60 percent have carried a balance.

    • The personal savings rate in the United States averaged about 8 percent from just after World War II through the 1980s. But since 2000, it has averaged just under 2 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    People don’t know how to save, they continue spending more than they earn, and they continue blaming the government because of it.

    I do appreciate the difficult economic woes that people are feeling right now. My main point in writing this commentary is so people understand that if they were financially stable and not a slave to the lender, which means no payments such as a car loan, credit card debt etc.., then life would be much easier for you when the economy goes through an economic down turn.

    I think I need to put this issue of me being a “Bush supporter” to bed. Never once have I stated that Bush is a “good” president, to do so would be ignorant, but for reasons a Liberal could not understand.

    Bush brought these oil problems on himself. It has nothing to do with him being in the pockets of big oil. If this was the case then both parties, the oil companies, and the president should have steamrolled the liberals by beginning production on refineries so we can start drilling on our own land. The abundance of oil right here in American is unreal. The Rocky Mountains, the coast of Florida, it’s not just in Alaska. Take Florida for instance, you have Cube 40 miles off their coast outsourcing the oil supplies to Russia and China, why are we not tapping into this supply of oil shale as well? Take a look at this article from the New York Times:

    Government estimates of recoverable shale oil in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming put the reserves at 800 billion barrels — more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. So aside from Mr. Vawter, now many in Washington have their eyes on a big prize, not in small part for the promise it might hold to ease national security concerns. “It could literally shake the world,” Senator Pete V. Domenici, a Republican from New Mexico, told a recent Senate hearing.

    Also, if we invaded Iraq for the oil as some have mentioned, then why are we not reaping the benefits? We absolutely should be.

    Your right Jack, Exxon/mobile has seen record profits. I personally have reaped the benefits from their earnings by owning stock in the company. I sold at a peak point and made a hefty return which is now parked in a slow growth mutual fund. Do I feel bad that I profited, not at all. We all have the same opportunities, I just chose to invest my money wisely and took advantage of an oil company who was profiting from high oil prices. This is why I love capitalism, we all have the same opportunities, but it’s what we do with them that matters.

    Dem 08’ any home buyer that doesn’t take the time to research what kind of loan and the terms of the loan before signing, it’s there own fault, that simple. You DO NOT sign your signature to a bank note if you don’t the terms on the note. If you don’t do your research on essentially the largest financial purchase of most people’s lives, then you’re the fool and do deserve to be hoodwinked. This is why there are real estate attorneys. If you review the states where foreclosures are out of control, you will see that there is a correlation between foreclosures and the fact that the buyer does not need to retain an attorney at closing. There in lies the problem, it may cost the buyer more to consult an attorney, but not as much as it will cost those poor souls that opted not to retain an attorney and now they find themselves facing foreclosure.

    Dem 08’ you are the typical liberal hater who, b/c of your politics and the extreme that you take them to, you suffer from a mental disorder… Liberalism…

    You personally attack me b/c there is no substance behind your argument. You automatically assume that b/c I am a conservative, I therefore must be a Bush supporter. You spew hatred by saying such comments as “The sad thing is that you will likely always be foolish and some of the people around you that you claim to care about will pay the price for your views. No doubt you only care about yourself so please let’s not hear you comment otherwise!”

    You need to go back to class or at least educate yourself on simple economics before you tried and play hard ball with this Gal. With comments like that one below you truly have shown you ignorance and I sir am embarrassed for you.

    “I am telling you, that is crap. Our economy is bad because George Bush and his rich buddies took this country to war to get oil when the enemy was somewhere else.”

    Here is some simple reading for you to do to educate yourself on economics:

    Basic Economics: A Citizens Guide to the Economy, Revised and Expanded

    Also, for your other problems:

    The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness

    I fully encourage and welcome Democrats and Liberals to debate me, that’s what the commentary section is for. However, in Dem 08’s case, he’s not a respectable liberal who can argue with substance, he simply calls me names. I think the rest of you who don’t sink to his level are terrific and I enjoy the discourse and dialog.

  • Babs

    Uh, CG, at the risk of really getting your dander up, you DO realize how closely your views here match John McCain’s, right? =)

    “I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers,” McCain said.

  • Babs, the thing that scares me about McCain is his lack of Knowledge when it comes to the Economy. Representing a state as a Senator is just not enough experience with economic policies. Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee had the experience running a state economy, “Mitt brought back Bain and Company from financial collapse. As CEO, Romney managed an effort to restructure the firm’s employee stock-ownership plan, real-estate deals and bank loans, while increasing fiscal transparency. Within a year, he had led Bain & Company through a highly successful turnaround and returned the firm to profitability without layoffs or partner defections.”[11]
    I was not impressed in the least with John McCain’s position on the economy, which he stated simply that the “economy” was not his strong suit. Johnny that won’t get you elected, but rest a sure one of Americas strongest assets is the power of forgetfulness.
    It makes me nervous that none of the current candidates have a record in business financing or balancing a budget. However, the democrats are the first to the podium to micro-manage the economy, just look at this awful disaster with ethanol, yeah that was a good idea, NOT!!!

    The only experience the candidates have in fiscal policies is increasing our taxes, which they all seem to always be in favor of, even if some (John McCain) have changed there tune to win an election.

    ^ a b Rees, Matthew.”Mister PowerPoint Goes to Washington” The American, December 1, 2006, retrieved December 16, 2006.

  • Babs

    CG, I get you on that, but they ALL have the same disadvantage concerning lack of economic experience. The difference is Obama and Clinton, in their infinite wisdom, claim to have all the answers whereas McCain admits he doesn’t. Which is more dangerous – a candidate who admits he will need a lot of advise on the answers or a candidate who claims they have all the answers when you know they don’t?

    Clinton and Obama make decisions like the stock market – based on emotion. The emotion of the voters standing in front of them at any given moment.

  • James Daniel Reid

    CG,
    Now, I can see how yo can be so counter productive as to make such claims that it’s our own damn fault for our messed up economy. Some people don’t depend on the government to manage their money. In fact, I don’t depend on the Government for me to have a savings fund.

    Here you are discussing how many Americans are wasting money on unnecessary items such as HDTV’s, dresses, Play stations, and the list goes on. But, you don’t even see how much money the Bush Administration is wasting fighting this piece of crap war in Iraq. He has wasted 4 billion freaking dollars sending our troops there for nothing. Now, can you tell me who’s the one wasting our money?

    We aren’t wasting money. We don’t have enough because oil companies plan to jack up our prices to fill our cars up with fuel. They have no bussiness doing that to start with. They also waste our money because while gas prices rise, food prices are on the rise as well. This involves disel (Wilen, Associated Press).
    It’s not that we waste money. We just have to spend more for everything because prices are going up on all that we purchase from our grocery stores, Convinience centers, supermarkets, malls, and pharmacies. And we are sick of it. Again, not all of us depend on the government to save money. We learned how to manage our money when we were young. While you were sitting at your computer criticising other people for wasting money, take a look around the world and see how food prices have skyrocketed, as well as gas, medication, medical appointments, college textbooks, etc. Have you not seen how many people were being laid off because of their jobs not making enough money? Have you ever relied on the Government or John McCain, Bush, Clinton, Obama, or Mike Hukabee for money?

  • Michael

    James, our government has currently spent over $504,000,000,000 on Iraq, not $4 billion.

    I think CG’s point was to distinguish personal and macro-economics. That being said, the loss of 80,000 jobs in March and the continual depreciation of our economy projects an almost certain recession that will either be soft or hard, depending on how our government handles it.

  • Matt

    Maybe someone can answer this one for me, its just a theory I’m too lazy to do the research for. If fuel is a primary reason for our slight economic downturn because its price effects everybody, the barrels of oil are costing us more right? But they’re costing US more in dollars….how are they doing in euros? Are the barrels going up in the EU’s currency as well? Or is it that the value of our dollar is going up with inflation and oil is simply compensating? I’m just curious what you guys and gals think or know.

    In regards to our economy being a crapshoot and its all our fault….I emphatically agree. My debt, my problem….no one elses. Likewise, anyone else’s debt is their problem. No, its not that I wouldn’t like to help everyone…but I simply cannot afford to. I don’t like the government telling me that I can and will help those less fortunate than myself when they have no constitutional right to do so. Just my 2 cents.

  • James Daniel Reid

    Here’s something else I need to bring up with you. I just figured out that it’s not really our fault for our messed up economy. It’s the greedy Corporations that has caused our economy to go bad bacsue of greed. That’s why we are spending more than we already have been because these corporations have already overcharged us by raising our prices and taxes on everything like groceries, fuel for cars, nautral heating and gas, mercendise at convinient stores, and so on. We had to pay more for groceries because the truckers are protesting against the rising cost of disel by not driving anymore.
    I’m no longer blaming the government for the bad economy for being irresponsible with our money. It’s the corporations and let me tell you something. I have a lot of comon sense when it comes to spending. I never spend more than I already have because I would be broke if I did. It’s no one’s fault but mine if I overspent because if I see a plain brown suit and it cost over $250.00, I wouldn’t buy it if I don’t have the money to pay for it. Since everything is so expensive right now, it’s hard for us to shop for the best deal.

  • Stalin

    James,

    Your theory has some serious flaws. Corporations operate according to the laws of supply and demand and prices are kept in check through competition. If Walmart charges $100 for a pair of socks, everyone will buy socks somewhere else. Also, corporations do not have anything to do with taxes….come on man.

  • Stalin, actually there has been a global shift in the powers of production in the last decade. Large whole sale operators like Wal Mart have been setting the cost, which has driven most retailers to scramble for lower production costs. Wal Mart is notorious for forcing companies to lower their costs if they want to sell their products in Wal Mart. Companies eventually find themselves having to do so because of the enormous reach and selling power of Wal Mart (Rubber Maid is the popular example given on this).

    If you follow this financial trail, the retail factories then need to find cheaper labor, and you find these retailers buying products from the mega-factories in places like Vietnam (60,000+ workers), which make the cheap pairs of shoes and socks that you buy at Wal Mart.

    Now, you can actually argue that the U.S consumers are the ones driving this madness, which is a good argument. In the end, the consumers decide the capitalist market. U.S consumers want the cheapest products. So they go to places like Wal Mart because they have the cheapest goods. So, in a sense, outsourcing is due to the U.S consumer’s search for the cheapest deal. William Greider writes about this and other things in One World, Ready or Not.

  • Stalin

    Walmart is successful because they have enormous buying power and can purchase in very high volume so they are benefiting from economies of scale. They are also successful because they pound their suppliers relentlessly on prices…I should know because I’m one of them. The Walmart model is low margin, high volume, and it has worked like magic for them.

  • Babs

    The Walmart model is also to knock off any competition from the Mom & Pops, and failing that, buy them out. Because of stores like WalMart you can’t compete in today’s market unless you are manufacturing in China, Japan, India, or Vietnam. And WalMart tends to be relentless on potential suppliers who will not fall in line with their desires as well, and I should know that, we refused to supply them.

    WalMart, and others like them, have done as much to hurt America’s economy as they have to help it. And they’re deceptive about it as well. For example, WalMart’s gas station is “Murphy USA”, leading consumers to believe they are buying “USA” bought oil, but they buy 74% of their oil from foreign countries. They also introduced a line of womens apparel a few years ago that was made overseas in China,and then shipped directly into a small manufacturing plant about 20 miles from me to have “made in the USA” labels sewn into them. And they’re not the only company doing that. Many Americans try to buy “Made in USA” labeled apparel to support american manufacturers and unions, but they don’t realize they’re being duped many times by companies like WalMart.

    Corporations like WalMart are a double edged sword for the economy. On one hand, the consumer saves a few cents at the one stop store that has everything from fresh milk to furniture. On the other hand, you’re out of work because they don’t support american manufacturers since they can get the same product overseas for a fraction of the cost and screw you out of your job. WalMart’s vision is to be the last store standing in America – a monopoly – no matter who they step on to get there. And make no mistake, they’re getting there. These days you don’t need a grocery store, gas station, tire store, pharmacy, beauty salon, or even an eye doctor. Just go to WalMarts, it’s all there. And you can pay for it all at the checkout with your unemployment check.

  • Babs, I completely disagree with your analysis on Wal-Mart. It’s free market capitalist with core conservative values like Wal-Mart that could single handedly save America if opposition groups would stop getting in their way. They were the first to offer $4 dollar prescriptions, in certain locations they have started beta testing walk-in clinics that will offer a 15 minute consultation with a nurse practitioner for simple things such as cold symptoms, ear infections etc. for only $40 dollars pay up front in cash. I would absolutely utilize this service. I hate having to schedule an appt with my doctor, it’s always a two week wait and it discourages me from going to the doctors when I know I have an ear infection and just need a simple antibiotic take care of it. This would clear up a lot of congestion at the doctor’s offices as well as taking on problems I face with insurance companies. Pure genius. It forces others to compete like Rite Aid, CVS and Wal-Greens, there’s nothing wrong with competition, and it’s healthy. Every one of those companies easily competed with Wal-Marts $4 dollar prescriptions. Can you imagine if they all started walk-in practitioner visits, it would do wonders for our economy as well as clear up the congestion in the emergency rooms around the country. As for the mom and pop shops that you say they run out of business, those shops need to adjust there business practices so they can stay in business. Start offering specialty items that Wal-Mart does not offer. There are a lot of specialty items that Wal-Mart does not sell and that I have to travel up to an hour away just to get. It’s not Wal-Mart that’s chasing them out, its competition. These little shops have had it to easy with no competition and they have found there comfort zone. What makes a good business is there ability to adapt and change there business practices when needed.

    Wal-Mart is also trying to get the paper work passed through to open a bank that would act as a credit union for there employees and I do believe the public. Also it would save the company money they could pass on to customers. All of these examples I have given prove that capitalism in the private sector with always prevail. Let Wal-Mart offer the services that customers want and politicians can’t.

    I have always said that I would love to litigate for Wal-Mart some day. They are my favorite retail store for the reasons you mention. I will tell you that it has helped us newlyweds save a great deal of money without having to go anywhere else for our basic necessities. They have the cheapest prices on gas, name brand food, and anything else we need.

    My cousin’s husband died well serving in Afghanistan 2 years ago in August. Right before he left she quit her job at Wal-Mart b/c she had just given birth to there first and only son so that she could stay home with him. When they found out that Cole was killed while deployed, Wal-Mart showered her home with food and groceries so that she didn’t have that added stress. Mind you this was a company that she no longer worked for and it wasn’t good will from the people, but from the company. For this they are true patriots in my eyes.

  • Babs

    CG, I agree that WalMart is relatively good to their employees, I have a cousin who retired from there 2 years ago with no complaints.

    But you’ve made my argument yourself with a lot of your argument. When you say they are making Mom & Pops more competitive, you don’t understand that Mom & Pops CAN’T compete. I’ve been in the industry, trust me. If you can’t buy in the massive minimum volume necessary to take your manufacturing overseas like WalMart (and get a subpar product back), nor deal with customs issues without paying a rep who is “in” with customs, you lose no matter how good your product is. And when you lose you become just another strain on an already strained economy putting your own employees on the street to strain the economy more. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the convenience and savings at WalMart – remember I said it was a double edged sword. But I’ve seen two manufacturing plants close in my area alone in the last year, and the owners of both have discussed with me at length the reason why – even paying minimum wage to employees and cutting prices to the bone, they cannot compete with overseas markets – which are mostly sweat shops abusing labor – and they lost contract after contract until they could no longer keep the doors open. Thus over 300 employees have lost their employer, with nowhere to go without turning outside the area for employment. And we’re not the only community with this story by far. You can’t tell me that’s healthy for the economy.

    Competition makes for good business, you bet. It always has in America, until overseas manufacturing and american people accepting goods of subpar standards has shifted the game to much more than healthy competition. You’re right that you can’t get everything at WalMart, but its not from a lack of trying on WalMart’s part. I would give you a factual and personal sample of the ethics on that subject were this not an open forum. Suffice it to say that what they’re told they can’t have, they’ll do their best to slide in the back door anyway and pull it only when they’re caught. And they are the king of knock off with no respect for trademarks – again, until they’re caught.

    I don’t question the contribution to the economy that WalMart on the one hand makes, I question the ethics of a company who does not give back to its consumers, who actually puts their consumers out of work, and then reaps the rewards of their actions in the form of billions of those consumers dollars. A win at any cost kind of game is WalMarts matra, and it has absolutely hurt America over the years.

    Now that being said, we’re of two different generations, you and I. I was there, you see, when WalMart began their push to become the only store you’ll ever need. I’ve seen many, many businesses, even entire malls, go under over the years because of them that you haven’t. This was a major issue when you were still in grammar school, so we’ll probably never see eye to eye on the subject. That doesn’t make me smarter, please don’t think I’m saying that, it just means I have a much longer memory than you, that’s all. I remember the first WalMart you see, before the Super Centers were even a gleam in Sam Walton’s eye. =)

  • Jeremy

    Conservative Gal,

    While I see that in a lot of things, you are speaking the truth. It is upon the individual to be responsible for their finances, keeping their debt to a manageable level, budgeting for their necessary expenses in every day life, and reading/understanding the contracts before they sign up on a bad mortgage plan.

    I will not argue with you about these things, but you also can not deny the damage that the government has done to damage the economy.

  • Matt

    Low profit margins and extremely high volume definately sums up the Wal Mart mantra. As far as competition goes, when you’re as big as Wal Mart, you don’t have to make all of your money on one line of products, say….prescription drugs. From experience, I can tell you, that its difficult for a single line store to survive on a low product margin.

    On the other hand, for a store like Walmart, they can’t feasably compete in some markets due to specialization. That won’t stop them from trying, but there are some industries that just won’t be squeezed out. People still pay for service, and thats something that Walmart just doesn’t offer enough of. This enables a lot of Mom and Pops to still operate, and a lot of smaller (than Wallyworld) chain stores to compete as well.

    Walmart is defining its niche, but if it were to attempt to enter an industry which demands service, prices would rise across the board to accomodate this. Should you need to talk a specialist, to comply with the method that Walmart currently uses, the specialist’s paycheck would not only come out of your specialty product, but your groceries, clothes, and other goods as well.

  • James Daniel Reid

    I’m not saying that coporations have anything to do with taxing at all. However, Bush has been giving Big-Oil Companies tax breaks to increase their profits, while American Citizens pay $4.00 a gallon to fill up their tanks. To make matters worse, their acquisitive behavior causes them to boast to the Democratic Congress in Washington D.C. how many profits they have been making while many working Americans are struggling to keep up with their finances. Now, they have the despeckable audacity to blame Congress for not opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore areas on the outer continential shelf in Alska for drilling. They are saying that if Congress did that, more oil would have been made and gas prices would have been less expensive than it has been right now.

    Democrats ought to seize $18 billion in tax breaks for oil companies, but one democrat in Washington D.C. named Jay Inslee, called the idea a travesty when Big Oil Companies are making large profits (Coile). What about the hurting working people? Do they even care about them? No! All they care about are themselves. That’s it. They are all out for themselves. Why do these people act so greedy to make profits? Well, because they can and they ought to be ashamed of themselves for behaving as such. The person who’s behaind all this is Bush because he has planned to give Big Oil Companies tax breaks so that we can see their profits soar and our wallets getting skinnier by the moment. Patrick Leahy, D. VT stated to the executives, “While you guys represent profiting companies, we represent hurting people.” Executives pretend to have understanding for the American people’s hurt by making a economic analysis for the situation. “People fail to interpret profit in the context of massive scale of our industry. Long term investments require high earnings,” stated Stephen Simon, Vice President of Exxon-Mobil Corporation (Herbert, The Associative Press).

    Some people blame the Democrats for exorbornate amounts of gasoline only to say that they haven’t drilled for oil in Alaska. They also say this because they think Liberals would tax American citizens for oil or fuel. Again, the person behind all this crap is George W. Bush because he was putting on airs to care if big oil has billions of dollars of profit. McCain might do the same in 2009 if he gets elected for President in 2008. The Bushes will might as well laugh all the way to the bank since their main investment is in oil. They ought to be throughly disgusted and ashamed of themselves for showing that fake support. How utterly deplorable!

  • Dave

    Wow, in hindsight you sure have egg on your face conservative gal. The economy is not collapsing and those who claim that it is have political motivations? Ha Ha Ha! Look where we are today. The fact of the matter is that in March 22 when you wrote this, the people WERE hurting and the economy WAS in deep distress as evidenced by our now 1 trillion dollar, tax payer funded bail out plan. You should take a serious look at your own assumptions and political motivations before having such confidence in your own opinion.

  • 7H4T 1 6UY

    Again it’s George Bush’s fault. See people I warned you that many have this mentality, this is the kind of mentality that gets you in trouble financially, NO personal responsibility. Predictable.

    That is soooooo Wrong Bush is not responsible for the supposed war on tarroism and he for surely is not responsible for our econonical decline either. You cannot foolishly point the finger at one man (Bush) and say it is solely his falut and expect to be correct in you argument. Tis so …wreckless. See what you fail to grasp is that America may not have gone out to war to concour the world but we did it from a economical manner. We cannot pin the blame on any one, group , or political figure. This is because the big time corporations are at falut. Further more since we took on the responsibility of being economicaly dominate over most countries and FAILED not only have we effected our economy but theirs as well. This clearly was in effort to keep other countries lower so our military forces could continue to be no match against the others, but now that we forced them to be economicaly dependent they cannot help us out which is making our economic bounce back take a lot longer than anyone wants it to.