A blog . . . in spite of how pathetic blogging actually is.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Now . . . Let's Actually Talk About It

OK, now that we've all had some fun with it, let's move on to the real conversation, the one that's genuinely sophisticated, about the Santelli Tea Party rant.

This is good . . . and serves as an excellent bookend for the discussion Mr. Santelli so aggressively brought to the table. I put it on my "highly recommended" list.

By any other measure of economic history (assuming we could conveniently remove the years 1929 through 1941) we're either already in or about to fall fully into . . . an economic depression.

Of course, no one would dare say this in the mainstream press . . . for reasons that are more than justifiable if not outright obvious . . . but that doesn't mean we can't talk about it here. Burt Reynolds said in the amazing movie Deliverance, "Sometimes you have to lose yourself before you can find anything." I couldn't agree more. The information revolution is responsible for a lot of pathetic content being churned out every second of every day (put me down on the 'guilty as charged' list, please) . . . but it's also responsible for providing a platform of fully embraced, illusion free dialogue.

So here you go. Read the NY Times piece linked above, sit back, and know that . . .

We're in an economic depression. Mr. Santelli's rant speaks to a lot of people. All of this is understandable. Hell, he sort of speaks to me. If I may, I fashion myself to be in the group otherwise known as "the responsible ones," although I might not just be quite ready to adopt Mr. Santelli's language and refer to everyone in America who's in some mortgage trouble as a bunch of "losers."

It simply can't be enough to watch Mr. Santelli and scream "Hell yeah!" at your CNBC-blaring television. Being in an economic depression requires more of us all.

So let's actually talk about it. Dare we?

5 comments:

looking for light said...

Fine. Let's talk about it. How much of this mess do you think the @ssh#les standing behind that guy and howling like hyenas and their bosses had to do with getting us where we are? And I care about their opinion why?

Please -- Obama's got the advice of the smartest guys around and he's trying to follow it. Santelli et. al. make a living by appealing to the lowest common intellectual denominator.

So who am I going to listen to, follow, believe in? Not the braying TV jackass and his friends.

That's for damned sure.

And, yeah, it's a depression, the people on the street could have told you that a year ago, long before the magic "two consecutive quarters of negative GDP" incantation had been completed.

So, now that we're calling it by it's true name what are you going to do differently? Start listening to idiots on MSNBC? Please.

John Jacobson said...

Did you read the link?

John Jacobson said...

I ask (if you actually read the link in the original blog post I put up), "looking for light," because you're not living up to your chosen Google Name. If you're really looking for light then do something other than anti-rant the Santelli rant.

I'm not going to dedicate the better part of this blog to complaining about how the GOP has failed to recognize the makings of its own demise and then embrace every single anti-GOP screamer who posts on this board . . . if that's, in fact, what you are (I can't really tell as your post lacked, ummm, coherence?? I think that's the word)

Market populism v Grassroots populism . . . . is an original thought that seeds the winning side of every conversation with every time-locked person out there who actually thinks that mainstream media is liberal. If you're as angry as you seem to be . . . then provide me with some insight as to how that line of reasoning might be parlayed into something more ubiquitous in the public dialogue than it presently is (which is to indicate . . . NOT at all ubiquitous . . . quite the opposite = totally absent from the mainstream media's daily dialogue with itself).

Because until guys like you and I start talking about topics like this as opposed to dropping campy lines like, "And I care about their opinion why?" then, to straight up answer your question--Because it's their opinion that's screwing up your life (as far as I can tell from your post)

Here's a question: I own GE stock, which means I pay Rick Santelli's salary (in part). I tolerate CNBC's unbalanced treatment of this whole issue, why?

Now we've got something to talk about, LFL.

As far as I can tell, only you and I are actually calling it a Depression . . . . and your MSNBC reference, simply put, paints you as someone who's lost control of his faculties on this entire subject.

Say something impressive. I have a feeling there's more under the hood.

In the meantime, if Poltergeist is any sort of healthy living guide, I'm pretty sure you're NOT supposed to go into the light, if ever you find it. I'm pretty sure that means you've just finished up a really shitty day.

looking for light said...

No my MSNBC reference refers to the unrelenting display of the Santelli clip on that network leading me to believe he was one of theirs. I stand corrected. He's still a jackass.

I too own GE stock, and Cisco and Intel -- all pretty much on the skids for the moment. I'm lucky to be young enough and perhaps stupid enough to believe I can ride this out and regain the value in those securities. I have a dear friend who would tell you that it makes more sense to take your money to Reno and play a couple of days of single-deck Blackjack than it does to invest in the stock market -- he's said it for years, and right now he's looking pretty smart as a guy who routinely has some pretty astonishing success at the tables, and has lots and lots of cash safely tucked away in various casino vaults, while my money is nowhere to be found, at least for the moment. My point, the stock and financial markets are a crap shoot at best, and you should never invest more than you can afford to lose -- just like the lady on the Potawatomi commercials says when she talks about her gambling habit. Why do I say that about the market? Wellll....

You see, I have, over the course of my long life, had many friends and acquaintances who worked as traders at the Chicago merchantile exchange and they are not what you'd call humanists, or at all people who want to be their brother's keepers. They want to take home more money this week than they did last week, period. Whose house is in foreclosure for any reason is not the least bit interesting to them unless its their own. They don't like anyone telling them what to do, especially the government. They also like tax cuts because it means that they are likely to be able to keep even more of the money they harvest from the rest of us.

Not one of these people is contributing to society, instead they are parasites and opportunists. Maybe one or two of them have a vegetable garden or coach little league, but the only thing I've seen most of them do, besides obsess about their various markets, is duck out early on summer afternoons to fill up Wrigley Field during day games (and drink, swear and swan around like they own the place).

So Market populism v. Grassroots populism is the choice? Which is more likely to end the pain? 1) Obama Stimulus Plan, apply directly to forehead, pardon me, economy, or 2) let's fling more money at the market and banks and financial corporations and hope that businesses and the market players do the right thing by the rest of us, actually work for the greater good?

Maybe neither is a good choice.

Still, my preference would be to keep people in their homes if we can, and try to rebuild the infrastructure and spend money in places where I can actually see the results, at once, in three dimensions rather than to go on supporting the nebulous world of the market status quo system that ran itself off the rails with its own greed.

That being said, although I don't like all the money we gave to the banks, etc., to bailout them out, if it helps the big picture and gets things going again I'll support it. What bugs me is if the financial guys are choking on the mortgage bailout program maybe they need to look at a larger picture instead of only their own narrow piece of the world.

This thing is bigger than all of us, and it will take some big brain thinking to right the ship,one thing is certain, we don't have the luxury of focusing only on our own needs and preferences.

One of the things that got us here was allowing one segment of the economy (the financial markets) to become dominant over the others. Maybe it's time to reign them in a tad? Maybe it's time to support some other parts of the economy -- the manufacturing sector comes to mind, poised to spring to life if the dollar remains weak against foreign currencies -- we are already stealing business away from overseas manufacturers in this climate -- people prefer to source stuff in this country if they can be competitive with it. I've seen it, hell, I've lived it. Or maybe housing, education, agriculture or any number of other sectors where some judicious investment could yield returns that benefit all of society, or at least more than the financial markets do.

I look at Rick Santelli and his little pals and I see people who if they truly believe what they were saying, don't see the bigger picture. I also see a group of overgrown boys who probably would've dropped trou for the camera if asked to -- no, really, if they're typical Merc traders they certainly would have. Of course they would pander to their little TV buddy and his camera and boo when he cued them to.

And as for you or I as GE shareholders having any input into the behavior of Rick Santelli or in the bigger picture, the nature of the ever-braying media? It'd be nice but I don't see it happening. I would love to sell my stock and "show them", but I'd just lose money and they certainly wouldn't give a damn.

You know as well as I do that the only time recovery faltered during the New Deal was when Roosevelt pandered to the conservatives to try and calm them down. I think Obama needs to make a note of that.

John Jacobson said...

NOW THAT is an awesome post!

Really, thank you. If I could figure out how to put a genuine tone into my writing, you'd know I'm being sincere.

If you keep it up, we'll have to change the name to "The Really Awesome Blog"

But really, don't go into the light.