The Great Depression Online




Great Depression Online Archive Issue:

Bumper Sticker Bunkum

Great Depression Online
Long Beach, CA
April 01, 2008 - April Fools' Day

Inside This Issue You Will Discover…

*** Noxious Sound Bites
*** A Glut of Bumper Sticker Bunkum
*** Sliding into the Economic Abyss
*** And More

Noxious Sound Bites

Barack Obama discharged some runny refuse last Thursday.  Jeanne Cummings, for Yahoo News, reports the claptrap.

“Barack Obama went to New York Thursday and blamed lobbyists, greedy businessmen and complacent Washington politicians for creating ‘an ethic of greed’ that led to today’s foreclosure crisis.”

This was after Hillary Clinton had already spewed her toxic waste on the public… 

“Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she is proposing a $30 billion, two-year program to help homeowners and communities hit by rising foreclosures,” reports Lorraine Woellert for Bloomberg.

‘“I’m calling on Congress and the president to get together to pass a second stimulus package,’ Clinton said today, calling it a ‘lifeline’ to homeowners and distressed communities.”

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John McCain, with the most novel approach, blew some gas at the home foreclosure crisis.  Liz Sidoti, Associated Press Writer, reports McCain’s waft…

‘“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.”

McCain also added, “I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis.”  And “I will not allow dogma to override commonsense.”

Yes.  It’s spring.  And election season’s in full bloom.  Still, we haven’t even gotten through the Democratic Party’s primary.  Coincidently, with the housing market meltdown, the presidential hopefuls have a hot topic to fire off some buzzwords at.

Handy words and phrases like…

“…lobbyists, greedy businessmen and complacent Washington politicians…”, “…an ethic of greed…”, “…a lifeline to homeowners…”, “a second stimulus package…”, “…distressed communities…”, “…not play election-year politics…”, “…dogma…”

It all sounds so smart, clever, and intellectual.  But, really, it’s just bumper sticker bunkum.

A Glut of Bumper Sticker Bunkum

When we were in our early twenties, we worked as a consultant to a large public utility in Los Angeles.  We were green and the world was still our oyster.  And we put our heart and soul into our work believing that we were making the world a better place.  We went in early, left late, and still made it through graduate school.

It seemed bizarre to us at first that when asked a question by our client, a three word response was the limit.  One word more and we’d be cut off mid sentence.

They didn’t want a technical explanation, we quickly realized.  And they certainly didn’t want a discussion of some policy nuance that was driving the schedule.  For it was our job to take care of such particulars.

What they wanted, we discovered, was a nugget.  A sound bite.  A response that was clever…that was repeatable…and that they could hold on to.  We termed them bumper sticker responses.  And we would see them everywhere.

Now they are appearing again.  The housing market meltdown, coupled with election year chest beating, has produced a glut of bumper sticker bunkum.

But these are of a deceiving variety…while they generally appear to be smooth, shiny, and glossy…they’re nothing more than pawnshop garbage.

Sliding into the Economic Abyss

Real thought for a politician trying to get elected is not an asset; it’s a liability.  For its short utterances that win elections, not honest deliberation.  Bumper sticker remarks like…

“It’s the economy, stupid.”  “No new taxes.”  We must make the world safe for Democracy.”  And now, “Change.”

Is there anything that can really be done to keep the housing crisis from causing more damage?

Not in our opinion.  We believe what’s going to happen will happen.  And injecting more liquidity and extending more credit will only extend the bust out into a long slow motion and painful slide into the economic abyss.

Sincerely,

M.N. Gordon
Great Depression Online

P.S.  With the ongoing political and financial disarray, knowing where to invest is becoming harder and harder.  You’ll find instance diversification with the Income Security of the Month for April 2008.  This fund invests exclusively in one of the fastest-growing and most undervalued foreign markets on the planet.  Thanks in large part to its international strategy, the fund has posted total returns of +297.3% over the past five years, and it ranks in the top 10% of its category over the past decade.  Learn more here: High-Yield Investing.

 

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