Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A bone to pick at the Love Feast

Okay, so Obama will be our next president. Unlike many of you, that doesn't fill me with pessimism or optimism. I am neither sure that he will ruin the country nor that he will save it.
And I thought he gave a very nice acceptance speech. There were just a couple of things he said that made me go "huh?"
The one I will mention is this: He said we were facing the worst financial crisis of the century. Now, either he means this century, as in the year 2000 onward, or he is saying we are worse off now than we were in the Great Depression. Um, maybe I am completely oblivious here, but I don't think so.
Are all of you out there really suffering that badly? If you are than I can understand why his platform of change is so very attractive. But really, this seems more like panic-mongering to me than fact.
I do believe that Mr. Obama has the best motives and that he really feels he will be helping us all by instituting whatever changes he can. But it all puts me in mind of the story "The Giving Tree."
--Yes, my child, you got yourself in a terrible fix with your greedy speculation and your desire to have it all. So now take my branches. Take my apples. Take everything I have to give you. That's what I'm here for. And don't worry about personal responsibility. There are no consequences because I love you. I will bail you out. I may be left a limbless stump in the end, but I will still give everything I have until there is nothing left and we are both old and fruitless.--

Oops, that sounds a lot like pessimism.

In fairness to Mr. Obama, I don't think this is his intention at all. But I think a lot of people in this country are expecting it to be.


kate said...

very interesting thoughts. i hate that book. :) i hope things go well, i really do.

Katie said...

I've got to admit that even though i didn't vote for him, I a little bit wanted him to win because I'm so curious to see what he will do. And it's neat that he's the first black president. I don't think he can ruin the country. And I know this isn't a popular things to say, but I DON'T think Bush ruined it either. I'm with you, we need to stop blaming the government for EVERYTHING. I am not worried he will ruin it but am not believing he will fix everything either.

victoria said...

Thanks for the bait. When he talks about this "century", I'm sure he means the "21st century." Otherwise, he might have said "in a hundred years." Plus, if you heard many of his recent speeches, he repeatedly talked of “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.” And it simply is; blaming no one party over the other. So, no, I don’t believe he was trying to scare people.
For those who have been wise and frugal, the storm is easy to weather. For others, whether through some of their own fault (excessive debt) or through bad luck (picked a poor time to retire) it is going to be a lot harder.
There certainly has been panic-mongering, though, in the overreaction to Obama’s tax plan. (“socialism”, “marxism”, “welfare state”) I actually saw a poster of Obama compared with posters of Che and Lenin. It was good for a laugh. I think we’re going to be just fine.

edith said...

So do I, like I said.
The 21st century is only 8 years long, you know.
And, like I said, I think there are a lot of people out there who are going to continue to be unwise financially because they think that they are going to be helped out of their predicament by the government. Now, I don't equate the government with the president, but many people do. That's why it's Bush's fault that the economy is so bad, according to those same people. And those are the people who think Obama will save them.

J to the oey said...

I can't resist the bait either. I think the financial crisis is hyped as well. I'm no expert, but I'm not so convinced that this is the worst financial crisis since the great depression. The current unemployment rate is 6.1 percent. When Reagan took office unemployment was at 7.5 percent and inflation was close to 12 percent. Current inflation is under 5 percent and dropping. Interest rates are near historic lows, and even with the credit crunch, people with good credit and a job can own a house on the cheap. Foreclosures are at just over 2 percent, which is historically high, but 2 is a small number, twice as small as say 4. I venture to say that being foreclosed on is less of a tragedy than being unemployed. Anyway, I'd better cut this short mid thought, because it's already way too long.

Mom & Dad said...

Yes, economic cycles come and go and are longer than presidential terms. The credit part of this one had roots in the Clinton adminstration which successfully got Fannie Mae to loosen lending rules so more of the poor could own homes. A worthy goal, but eventually dangerous. The policy was expanded under the Bush administration, but the writing was on the wall. A year ago a Republican bill to curtail sub prime lending was defeated by all Democrats and some Republicans, probably too late anyway. So everybody gets the blame, but whenever this cycle turns up, whoever is sitting in the White House will get the credit. Life goes on. Dad Hale