Posted by: The Amoeba | March 13, 2009

Duh

Confidence today will be enhanced if we put measures in place that assure that the coming expansion will be more sustainable and fair in the distribution of benefits than its predecessor. That is why the President has priorities that go beyond the immediate goal of containing the downturn and promoting recovery.

An overhaul of our financial regulatory system is one such priority. In little more than two decades, we’ve witnessed the stock market crash of 1987, the Savings and Loan scandals, the decline of the real estate market, the rapid decline of Asian markets, the collapse of the NASDAQ telecom bubble, Enron, Long Term Capital Management, and today’s crisis. This is roughly one crisis every 2.5 years. We can and must do better.

                    – Lawrence Summers

Into the social and economic malaise of the post-Vietnam years strode California’s first Governator – Mr. 20-Mule-Team Borax Himself, Ronald Reagan. Complete with the cowboy economic program that bore his name.

Almost overnight, a generation that called itself socially- and environmentally conscious vanished, replaced by go-getters who thought, among other things, that Reagan’s penchant for demonstrating America’s military might on postage-stamp Caribbean islands was the best thing since derivatives. They charged ahead despite those (including, ironically, Bush the First) who labelled Reagan’s program “voodoo economics“. One after another, the safeguards that the Great Depression generation had put in place to keep the economic locomotives from running themselves off the tracks, Mr. Madoff, came tumbling down.

“What?” came the cry from my formerly-green friends. “You don’t like money?”

I wonder if they have anything left in their 401Ks.

A story on this morning’s (13 March 2009 – a Friday) NPR Morning Edition wondered if the next crop of business school graduates would have ethical standards similar to those that Depression-era graduates developed. Standards that, among other things, said that the role of a successful business in society was far greater than merely maximizing shareholder values profits. (See also this parable.)

To this Amoeba, this is bad news.

Not because I have anything against ethics. Or even against money.

But, We the People have had all these lessons handed to us before. On a 25%-unemployment wooden platter in Hooverville.

And that didn’t stop us from doing the same damned stupid things all over again.

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.

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