Letters to the Editor

National greed

July 16, 2010


To the editor:

Oliphant’s July 12 cartoon about families moving in with grandpa and grandma suggests that he recognizes hard times are coming as a result of unemployment. I believe a more fundamental financial reason is our lack of spending discipline, as a nation and as individuals, where we spend more than we make. This is evident from the sharp rise in the national debt with President Reagan (from $2+ trillion) to our current president ($13+ trillion).

A companion report in the same J-W issue about American’s credit scores by Eileen A.J. Connelly paints a clearer picture of these coming times. About a fourth of the U.S. population has a credit rating as poor risks, which according to current bank regulations, will not allow these families to get credit cards or to borrow money for cars or homes.

Finally, the U.S. Debt Clock (see: usdebtclock.org) gives a sobering view of our national debt situation. This pending national crisis is directly related to our national and individual greed. It and other pending disasters can only be overcome with God-like certainty if we choose to become a nation of God-fearing people who will heed the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”


Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

The Obama administration got stuck coming behind a previous president that cost taxpayers $11 trillion with a $1 trillion debt as icing on the cake.

NOW along with blowing $11 trillion tax dollars the previous administration left behind about 11 million americans forced out of work through no fault of their own. It was the fault of the government.

" Often, government plays a role in bubbles. The housing bubble was in part generated by the Federal Reserve maintaining low interest rates. Easy money meant readily obtainable loans and, at least in the short run, low monthly payments.

Also, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan denied the housing bubble’s existence—not fraud exactly, but deception that kept the bubble going. (Greenspan, whose view was ideologically driven, got support in his bubble denial from the academic work of the man who was to be his successor, Ben Bernanke.)

In addition, government regulatory agencies turned a blind eye to the highly risky practices of financial firms, practices that both encouraged the development of the bubble and made the impact all the worse when it burst.

Moreover, the private rating agencies (e.g., Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s) were complicit. Dependent on the financial institutions for their fees, they gave excessively good ratings to these risky investments. Perhaps not fraud in the legal sense, but certainly misleading.

And, yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities.

So, no, a bubble and a Ponzi scheme are not the same. But they have elements in common. Usually, however, the losers in a Ponzi scheme are simply the direct investors, the schemer’s marks. A bubble like the housing bubble can wreak havoc on all of us."

Dollars and Sense

Now what exactly does the repub party have in mind to restore 11 million jobs that went out the window under the watch of their regulatory jurisdiction that which was the Bush administration?

If tax breaks were the key to great paying new employment opportunities the USA would have a huge surplus of jobs no matter what.

Who exactly is going to employ the new 11 million unemployed?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

Keep in mind a prospering america can overcome fear mongering.

What is the repub party afraid? Why do they ALWAYS say no?

Repub are afraid of:

  • A dramatically improved quality of life for all americans

  • Jobs Jobs Jobs for americans

  • New USA industry thus new wealth for america

  • New cleaner energy sources because it would create so many new jobs

  • Improved Medicare Insurance for All = huge tax dollar savings to government

  • Green Collar Industries which produce jobs that cannot be outsourced

  • Repubs fear educated Americans because WE ask questions

  • Losing of tax incentives/tax breaks for the wealthy that actually create tax increases for entire spectrum of the middleclass

  • Repubs should want a dramatically improved quality of life for all Americans but they keep saying NO

  • Repubs should want Clean air, clean water, clean energy and healthy green space scattered throughout America however they always vote NO

  • Face it a dramatically improved quality of life for all WOULD keep them out of control for decades.


SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Burkhead raises an interesting question: Can overspending, whether by a person or a government, have a moral component to it?

Rex Russell 7 years, 10 months ago

To a certain degree ...yes. A few things have had a moral component to them. A good number of people felt bailing out banks with tax payer funds was unjust and immoral on a certain level. Most felt the crushing irony of helping those who brought the mess in the first place. At the level of debt that is compiling at this point, and the intent of law makers to kick the problem down the road, many feel a moral obligation to address this crisis now instead of potentialy crippling the futures of our kids. I'll pose the question this way: Let's suppose I found out I was going to die in 6 months. Now let's suppose I decide to spend every dime I have having a good time and buying things I really couldn't afford. Let's suppose I spend the money in accounts set aside for my kid's college funds. It was my money. I earned it and put it aside, I can still decide to change my mind. Now let's suppose I take out several credit cards and max them out. And then I die. ------- My wife is now settled with the debt I left and my kids' college fund is gone. Is there a moral component to what I did...or was I simply spending my money ?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 10 months ago

Good job, merrill. How many threads did you post the same drivel on today? Did you also post it over on larryville to make sure the maximum number of people would have the chance to ignore it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

"How many threads did you post the same drivel on today?"

About the same number you posted this on today, I'd venture to guess.

beatrice 7 years, 10 months ago

Is the point of this letter that Ronald Reagan hated God?

Seriously, I agree with the idea of individual fiscal responsibility and feel that we would be much better off if people weren't so greedy to have so much stuff, but I have no idea how God gets dragged into the mess. I don't believe in God, yet my credit rating is strong and I owe no money other than my mortgage. How can this be? This letter is like Pat Robertson blaming Katrina on sinners. Silly nonsense, and nothing more.

tomatogrower 7 years, 10 months ago

We have set up an economy that expects us to buy, buy, buy, or the economy falls apart. It's no longer acceptable to have a company that fulfills a need, supports the people who work for them, makes a decent profit for the owner or owners. Now a business is a failure if it doesn't make obscene profits, tries to pay employees as little as possible, and doesn't grow fast enough. A profit isn't enough, big growth is the only important thing. And if that means making underhanded shortsighted business decisions, then so be it. It's a house of cards and it worries me that it will take a major fix that won't be pleasant. I don't think it can or should be propped up anymore, but I also don't want the suffering that will come.

jafs 7 years, 10 months ago

Good points!

There's a software company in NC that would be an excellent model, imho, for businesses. The CEO makes less than 1/2 million/yr, employees are paid well with excellent benefits, and the company is successful. They've had the same CEO for over 20 years, a very low employee turnover rate and a very high employee satisfaction rate, and very good market share for their product.

That's a sustainable situation.

The point that our economy depends on spending is good, but it's hard to figure out an alternative - some sort of economy that doesn't need people to spend money?

There's an economist named Peter Victor who did a study of whether growth was necessary (that seems to be an axiom these days), and his research showed that you could have low unemployment and a sustainable functioning economy without continual growth.

GardenMomma 7 years, 10 months ago

The writer had me until the "nation of God-fearing people" part.

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