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Comments

OM

I'll tell you the truth, I thought Phil Gramm's "mental recession" comments were taken out of context. But even if he were speaking in Economics lingo, basically saying that if we build it they will come, this does go against everything we see with our own eyes. "Bank Owned" signs in every block and rising bankruptcies, even after Bush gave Bank of America what they wanted with the bankruptcy laws--these are very real signs of a very real recession.

stevo

There is a kernal of truth in just about anything, if you look at it a certain way. Anticipation and speculation can and do effect the market. The thing is, ultimately not that much. That's the big error. The economy sucks right now, happy talk aint gonna fix the problem. People don't have money and they are worried about losing their jobs, based on what I feel, is their realistic assessment of the situation. It certainly doesn't help that this administration has said, "everything's fine-no worries" for 7+ years, despite all evidence to the contrary.
It's possible that it may have been taken out of context, but these clowns have been running the country into the ground, while making themselves and their buddies rich, so the very least of their problems should be having their statements taken out of context.

Rusty Chompers

I'm not sure in what context Gramm's comments could come off as something other than "let them eat cake." His biggest sin is that he spoke the truth - the truth that for an elite few the economy is going gangbusters. The truth that this is how Republicans and conservative economists see the rest of America.

So much hubris from the man largely responsible for the subprime and banking crises you describe.

When will people learn that business is not capable of regulating itself?

stevo

"business is not capable of regulating itself"
I agree.
I think the problem is that if you are big, you get bailed out. There's no incentive to succeed, because no matter how bad you fuck up, if you employ enough people, and/or contribute enough money to elected officials, you get bailed out.
That aint capitalism.
I think, in theory, large businesses COULD regulate theirselves, by and large, IF, when it failed people were held accountable, and/or the company just folded, instead of getting bailed out, and then having the CEO cash out and jump ship.

Rusty Chompers

The interests of business are not always compatible with the interests of the public.

Everything we've been seeing - food chain contamination, subprime implosions, even predatory lending scams, and energy and healthcare costs rising to the point where it is crippling the economy - this is all the result of allowing business to regulate itself.

Even your theory of holding businesses accountable as a means of tamping this economic crisis down is flawed.

A lot of what we are seeing is short term economic gains. Even if the banks and lenders were allowed to fail in the future when this type of stuff happens won't prevent it from happening when it's orchestrated by quick gain/short term market carpetbaggers.

They make their money, destroy a company or industry, and skip out before it completely falters.

It doesn't prevent the manipulation or the collapse - which is what we should be looking to do.

I'll take it one step further - not only is business incapable of regulating itself, it is not the role of business to regulate itself. It is the role of goverment.

There is no inherent right to capitalism. In fact it's mentioned 0 times in the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution.

If this economic system is incapable of serving the interests of the people, and we can't regulate its behavior so that it ceases to pose a threat to us (which is what it is now, a threat), it's time we cast it off and develop a better system.

fordprefectajt

There's no incentive to succeed
Well, there's the incentive to get big so you can then get bailed out. Ha.

We don't have a free market system, with all of our incentives, tax breaks, tariffs, protectionism, and so forth, so for the "free marketers" to go around tooting that horn, and then collect the freebies is pretty obnoxious. On top of that, you then also essentially have no responsibility, to speak of. It's pretty messed up.

That said, the government can also get out of hand when they regulate. Essentially, they are a large business of sorts and, similarly, they and their/our representatives are able to get away with things without any responsibility.

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