Today, I have a question. It is one I have been pondering for several weeks now. Maybe you have wondered it also.
Why is anyone surprised by our current economic situation?
Innumerable times over the past 4 years I have read newspaper articles saying that easy-to-get credit was overinflating the housing market, and at some point there would have to be a correction.
So why was our Treasury Secretary shocked, shocked, when that correction came? And Bernanke? I mean, don't they read the papers? Why should anyone have been surprised?
And, while I'm busy asking questions, tell me: why do people in the government lecture us on how we need to practice the thrifty spending/saving habits of our parents and grandparents? Why don't they admit that the main reason our forebears didn't use too much credit was because they couldn't get any?
Essentially, the government (which should be safeguarding our economy) unlocked the doors to a candy store, invited everyone in, and is now acting appalled that people ate themselves sick.
Of course people should exercise personal responsibility and not rely on credit. But, you know, if people always acted in a rational manner, we wouldn't need a government. Isn't government's job to set some boundaries, some rules, so that people (who do tend to act selfishly and with an eye to short-term gain) can't behave in ways that jeopardize our group welfare?
And isn't it ironic that the people in government who insisted on almost no regulation for the financial industry are now leading us into partly nationalizing our banks? Their fear of government interfering with the markets has led to government interference on a scale we've never seen before.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a government that doesn't swing to such extremes? A government that realizes that a totally free market leads to chaos, and chaos leads to the type of government over-involvement that we all would like to avoid?
Moderation, folks - it's the new black.