Sunday, October 05, 2008

Financial crisis and comments on a discussion with 18 yr old Libertarian

My young adult daughter (Democrat) was having some difficulty understanding the current financial crisis and I realized during our discussion that although I thought I had an adequate level of understanding, I was totally unable to outline the facts or explain the who/what/when/why of the entire thing. So, I began doing some research and found some excellent articles, which I have posted previously here and elsewhere.

This morning while reading the Washington Post, I found this article by David Rothkopf, which I shared with my daughter and my husband. The first statement that struck me was this:

That's because while 9/11 changed the way we view the world, the current financial crisis has changed the way the world views us. And it will also change, in some very fundamental ways, the way the world works.

It will be interesting to see how the US is viewed in future. Much will depend, I think, upon who wins the election in Nov. We can only hope that not only does Obama win, but the House and Senate elections cause great turn over.

If only our new Congress will look at things from an entirely new perspective after Jan. 20th. Europe and Asia may well have the upper hand in the end and have to drag our leaders kicking and screaming to an innovative solution that is not of American making. (IMHO).

French President Nicolas Sarkozy concluded recently that the world has seen the end to free-market economies. "Laissez-faire, it's finished. The all-powerful market that is always right, it's finished," he said. We would, he added, need "to rebuild the entire global financial and monetary system from the bottom up, the way it was done at Bretton Woods after World War II." Germany's finance minister offered a similar perspective in remarks to his parliamentary colleagues. "The U.S. will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system," Peer Steinbr├╝ck declared. "This world will become multipolar. The world will never be the same again."

Please take time to read the article referenced above.


Now sort of on another subject---when working the Dem HQ yesterday..

According to an 18 yr old girl (Liberterian) I spoke with yesterday the entire current economic problem is caused by people who "don't deserve" a house, and don't "deserve" credit either. This young lady, who recently moved out of her parents' home, was just so certain that lack of regulations have absolutely no bearing on this crisis, it's the whining masses of we, the citizens who take out mortgages that we know we can't afford. In addition, she thought we didn't need to regulate food because it always had E. coli in it and regulations won't change that.

I do wish I had had the time to ask her the following questions:
- What if you had been able to afford your mortgage for 10-15 years, but then due to increased property taxes and job loss the payments have become too high?
- What if you became ill, and had missed a great deal of work, and were overwhelmed by medical bills, lack of income while being out sick (with no pain sick leave or short term disability), and you could not make your payments?
-What if your job was shipped overseas and you could not find a new job that paid more than half of what you used to make?

But, when one is 18 and knows everything, it is just too easy be blind to circumstances that you have never encountered.

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