I am not nice.
So, I’m kind of, well, not a nice person sometimes. I have been known to be self-serving, arrogant, overly pleased with my own intelligence and, on occasion, too willing to take the proverbial low road. I did that today.
I follow a lot of blogs via an RSS reader. When one that’s ostensibly about science-fiction and fantasy fiction and publishing, run, in fact, by people in that business, popped up with a odd-looking picture of Alan Greenspan, I had to see what was going on. They were making fun of him based on a bad picture. Then, in the comments particularly, people were blaming him for the current economic crisis, as if a single man could have caused such a thing. Perhaps it made them feel more intelligent or better in some way to belittle a man so far above their tiny, little world by making fun of a bad picture. I’m not clear, really, because I’m not a knee-jerk Liberal. Some would say that I’m a bit of a knee-jerk Conservative, but, really, I’m not. I am, however, a bit of a prick. You see, I suggested that a dissenting view would be good. And I rather rudely offered one. Why? Well, outside of the obvious, I thought it might be fun to kick over that particular ant-hill. And, I’ll bet my website stats for the day spike.
Yeah, that’s all I really was after. So, I feel mildly ashamed of myself for using such tactics to draw clicks. I wanted to see if it worked better than putting “free porn” in a title. We’ll see, I guess.
Also, now that I’ve thoroughly irritated anyone who followed my links over from that site, I sort of feel like I should expound on the topic a bit. You see, it wasn’t those damn Republicans that got us into this with their deregulation. Nor was it those unholy Democrats who got us into this what with their trying to help the poor buy homes they couldn’t afford. No, gentle readers, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. We did this. You and me. We did it through greed and over spending money that we don’t have. We did through a culture of “give me mine now” and not worrying about consequences. We did it when we allowed bad managers of failing companies to collect huge bonuses for doing terrible jobs and making things worse then still relying on their Golden Parachutes. Greed did this. Our greed. And, if not our greed directly, then our greed tacitly.
Do I think we should force those skeevy bastards who mismanaged funds while knowing that they were screwing the economy eventually to cough up their balloon payments? Yes. I’d love to let those companies that knowingly mismanaged their credit twist in the wind, the same way many Americans have been left to suffer after being lured in by those empty assurances of endless credit. Oh, and I’m not any better. Sure, I kept my mortgage smaller than I was approved for when I got my house. And, when my mortgage broker and my ex-wife were both pushing to convince me to buy more house, it wasn’t easy, I can assure you. But, by then, my credit was already bad, though I have no one to blame but myself.
The problem is if we don’t do something to bail these bastards out, we’ll have something worse than the Great Depression. I’d love to do nothing and ride it out, letting market forces correct this mess, but I don’t want to have to eat my dog. I don’t care if it’s a delicacy in Korea, she’s too happy to see me when I get home to eat. So, we’ll be forced to do something. And, so will the world, because their economic situation is tied to ours now, not to mention they’ve had their own spending issues. I also find it interesting that they have a slightly different view of Mr. Greenspan than those little minds who were making fun of his bad picture.
I find it equally interesting that several people tried to say I was trying to look smart in those comments. I wasn’t. I was, however, trying to point out that they weren’t half as smart as Mr. Greenspan. Certainly, none of them seemed to have any ideas on how to solve our current situation. They were content to ridicule someone who, frankly, did more to even things out during previous economic hardship than anyone else and, quite possibly, managed to hold off this current situation for far longer than we deserved. He did, after all, retire in 2006, after seeing us through another crash in 1987 as well as the Internet boom and bust a few years later. It’s only now, two years after he’s retired, that things have gotten bad. And, four years ago he did try to warn us, didn’t he? At least, that’s how it looks to me in one of his speeches from the Federal Reserve back in 2004. Others seem to agree with that position.
But, what do I know? I mean, I’m just a computer geek with a Marketing degree. Mostly, no matter who wins this next election, my life’s not going to change much. I know some people disagree, but, frankly, the Republicans and the Democrats always seem to do the same thing to me. It’s just that one group wants to sneak up from behind me and the other wants to look me in the eye while they do it. Neither group is all that admirable and the end result is the same, no matter what method they use.
The most important thing, though, is to at least try. Try to see who voted for what and look at who your local officials are who voted in ways you didn’t like. Then, when you do vote, don’t vote for them again. Try someone new. I’m tired of the old song and dance routine. I’m ready for a new number and a new show. How about you?