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Obama, McCain blame economic woes on greed, policy

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The so-called "fundamentals" may be sound - as McCain and the Bush Administration claims - perhaps it is time for them to be guided by those fundamentals rather than the policy of "stuff happens".

It's the same smiley face and shrug these people put on the Iraq War when it was was at its worst.

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"Barack Obama blamed White House policies"

And lets the atrociously bad company management off scot-free.

McCain hit the nail on the head. Greed and corruption is what it is.

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Well sarge thank gawd there isn't any "greed and corruption" (or hubris) in the Bush Administration, One wonders how Obama could be so wrong in placing any responsibility on Bush - it is everyone else as we all know.

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Obama could be so wrong in placing any responsibility on Bush" If only you could really see what's going on here today. Anyone who believes this economic down turn is Bush's fault is clearly naive. And if you think Obama is going to lift us, and that goes for McCain as well is either on drugs or plain stupid.

But, for Obama to talk about raising any taxes, especially on the wealthy (its more like a penalty) or corporations at this time and at the same time where even college kids can't find even the tiniest part time job or recent grads can't get in at entry level is stupid.

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John McCain assailed “greed and corruption” on Wall Street and promised to clean it up,

oh....will he?

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If you have faith in either of the next presidential candidates, you can prove it be buying right now. Lowest since 911. If you faith proves true, well, you'll be very happy. If it doesn't, do you blame the president or the traders themselves?

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Greed is the key reason that things are as bad as they are. When you look at the subprime issue, anyone willing to look at the downside should have seen the potential risk. But a booming housing market and a lot of money to be made blinded these people to the risks.

My career has kept me in close contact with the financial world, and I cannot say that it gives me comfort to think that the decisions that mean wealth or poverty for many of the world's population are being made by the people in this business world.

Combine that with a government policy that cares only for their corporate backers and things become very dark for ordinary working people should the judgement of these leaders fail to anticipate problems.

McCain is now saying that "change" is his word. But the reality is that another four years of GOP leadership may ruin us all. We need a new perspective. And we need to take risks that will divorce us from the overbearing rule of business and put power back in the hands of people before it is too late.

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American financials closely mirror the political landscape -whom can you trust when people sell-out to the highest bidder. Obviously changes need to be made to gain the public's trust. The problem lies in that you can only sell-out once = maybe it's better to not sell-out at all.

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It’s been nearly a decade since Congress and President Clinton reshaped the financial landscape. That 1999 legislation removed Depression-era barriers between commercial banks and investment firms and allowed the creation of financial behemoths where years later the risks of underwriting subprime mortgages were somewhat hidden.

I think here is the guy you blame, his administration created the loop holes that caused the subprime issue.

Greed from banks and morgage houses caused the rest of the problem.

I dont think Bushs policies effected the Sub prime deal at all since it was created before his term. With that said the housing market here in Japan (in the 90s)did the same thing that the states just did.

Bush and congress part in all this was the present state of the economy that has created the fact people cant afford the house payment.

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And lets the atrociously bad company management off scot-free.

Putting blame on Bush's poor performance as a manager does not let bad company management off scot-free.

We the people have an interest and stake in seeing that financial giants are being run properly. Bush and his Republican crowd did nothing but feed the greed. While things were expanding, greed was good.

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Greed and corruption is what it is.

Too simplistic, just like the "bad apple" explanation. In fact this day was inevitable and long predicted in various quarters. The origins, to my mind, lie in the transition to a post-industrial economy which elevated the importance of Wall Street in our economy. Prior to that, wages were tied to productivity. But that got decoupled by Wall Street, where the prospect of getting rich quick attracted some pretty sharp minds (like Michael Milken). And they came up with new instruments to move money around, such as junk bonds, which the average person had little understanding of. As long as life was good, nobody really cared. Politicians proclaim "the fundamentals are strong" who's going to question it? Certainly no patriot would doubt the word of his government....

McCain claimed today he has the reformist credentials to "clean up the mess on Wall Street. There will be no special favors." While I don't doubt the guy goes to sleep every night with clenched fists ready to do battle with any colleague proposing an earmark, this has absolutely nothing to do with earmarks. Rather it's the result of deregulation which was pushed by, among others, John McCain. As recently as last month at the Republican Natl Convention he, and others, spoke of the need to get "the federal government off our backs." So now he plans to re-regulate the financial marketplace? Words have to have meaning to inspire confidence.

Sarge spoke of "corruption." Do you have any evidence a regulator was paid off? It's more a case that the regulatory framework was stripped away. And when does it become "greed" instead of free-market incentives? It's abundantly clear that those who profess adherence to the unfettered free market inevitably drive whatever they administer, be it a company or a branch/level of government, into the ground. The great irony is that Uncle Sam, heavily in debt to foreign central banks to stay afloat, has to bail out anything federally insured because that debt has been sold to foreigners as well.

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I think here is the guy you blame, his administration created the loop holes that caused the subprime issue.

No question about it, Clinton deserves a share of the blame too.

But people need to understand that the ONLY opposition to the removal of the Depression-era barriers in the Republican-dominated Congress came from a relative handful within the Democratic minority. As can be seen now, their opposition was well-founded, if not prescient. They were the real mavericks.

The Republicans who wrote and sponsored the legislation that Clinton signed promised the American people a much different outcome. They should be held to account.

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But the reality is that another four years of GOP leadership may ruin us all. We need a new perspective.

The reality is the same as the total GOP-business leadership that guided the USA to ruin at the end of the "roaring 20s."

"Just untie the hands of business by removing regulations," they say. "Give us generous tax breaks, and you'll have prosperity like you've never had before."

Their promises failed back then, just as they have failed now.

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Former Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, until recently one of the McCain campaign’s top economic advisers, was a chief writer of that law.

Gramm may be gone as a top adviser to McCain, but as the most astute pundits point out, McCain's economic plans have not changed one iota since his departure.

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No question about it, Clinton deserves a share of the blame too.

This is true. Robert Rubin, his Secy of Treasury, was a Wall Street animal. That doesn't mean he personally did anything wrong, but he certainly liked the system the was it was and, in a boom, who's gonna complain?

Who's responsible for people buying homes they couldn't afford? The mortgage brokers who seduced them with sales pitches they couldn't resist who, in turn, were under pressure to sign up so many new clients a month? They themselves who had bought into the belief you are what you own? The explosion of private debt, along with public debt, has forced us to rely on infusions from foreigners to stay afloat. Gluttony more than greed may be the culprit.

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Very well said, Betzee!

Anyone who, during the economic expansion, tried to point out that it was a house being built on sand was chastised as a "doom and gloomer."

The sand, of course, is the greed and gluttony that you point out. Along with this attitude of "screw thy neighbor."

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Yabits,

If you or I had complained of greed we would have been dismissed as "liberal losers"! Hey, I'm not at risk of losing anything but I own all my possessions outright.

I guess when you reach a certain age, it's inevitable you look back on your early years with nostalgia. I appreciate being raised in an era when we still had a healthy work ethic and taking on debt for purely consumption purposes was considered shameful. But that all changed when the credit card industry took off.

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But that all changed when the credit card industry took off.

Betzee, this is so true, but remember, one of the leading legislators that was pushing for the rights of the credit card companies was Joe Biden. His sons worked for companies that had as clients MBNA, which is headquarted in Delaware and one of the leading credit card lenders that helped fuel some of this mess.

Liberal or Conservative, I think that they all were overtaken by greed.

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Alphaape,

Any powerful industry is going to line pockets on both sides of the aisle. My first credit card, which I got only after I was working, was headquartered in South Dakota a state, like Delaware, with lax regulatory laws. It probably also created local jobs.

I'm a big believer in personal responsibility and I wonder how people can get themselves into this situation:

One-third of borrowers who bought their homes in the past five years now owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, real estate valuation Web site Zillow.com said." This is partly due to falling home prices but also to the popularity of payment-optional adjustable rate mortgages, the so-called Option ARM Mortgages that allowed users to deduct portions of the monthly payment due and add it to the principal -- with the result being that the outstanding loan balance often grew instead of fell.

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but remember, one of the leading legislators that was pushing for the rights of the credit card companies was Joe Biden.

While Biden voted for the legislation revising credit card bankruptcy, he neither wrote nor sponsored the bill. And then, only after compromises were included which would better protect low income workers, women and children.

Liberal or Conservative, I think that they all were overtaken by greed.

The only opponents to the bill were to be found among the liberals. What Alphaape is practicing is known as the "golden mean." 100% of Republicans can support faulty legislation, but if a handful of Democrats support the same legislation, all Democrats are considered to be "overtaken by greed."

Obama voted NO on the bill, by the way.

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I'm a big believer in personal responsibility and I wonder how people can get themselves into this situation

While greed was running rampant, you never heard a peep from the White House about it. During each State of the Union message, the focus was on terrorism and how wonderful the economy was performing. People were lulled into thinking things would only improve.

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Regarding the example of the 2005 credit card legislation as greed or bad policy, it was sponsored in the Senate by a Republican, and co-sponsored by 12 other Republicans.

25 Democratic senators voted against the bill, with one (Hillary Clinton) not voting. Not a single Republican voted against it.

In the House, 125 Democrats and 1 Independent (Sanders-VT) voted against the House version of the bill, and not a single Republican.

It's ridiculous to imply that all liberals fell prey to the greed and bad policy, but a matter of record that all Republicans did -- on this particular bill.

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Yabits,

Some of those who were forced into bankruptcy was the result of putting medical bills on plastic (owing to inadequate or no health insurance). In most cases, it was due to circumstances beyond their control rather than irresponsbile purchasing. Yet, and I'm going to show my liberal stripes here:

If you want a federal handout, now is a good time to ask, at least if you’re a company considered too big to fail. But if you’re an uninsured mother working two minimum-wage jobs with a son who needs life-saving brain surgery, you’d wonder why so many of our elected officials, including the president, opposed an expanded state children’s health insurance program on the grounds that it would involve the government too deeply in private sector health care.

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That "greed and corruption" is called laissez-faire capitalism. The greed is in the pursuit of profit. The corruption is in making it worth the government's while to look the other way.

McCain's indictment of Wall Street is fine in my book. However, I'm looking forward to hearing the way in which loosening restrictions, decreasing government intervention and making the market even more free is going to make a Wall Street connection. Like Br'er Rabbit, Wall Street is begging not to be thrown in the briar patch.

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...umm...Wall Street correction...

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greed is the product of making money. The definition of greed needs to change as well.

If people here want to say another four years of republican control, needs to ask themselves if they also desired many more years of Democrat control in the senate as well. A dem president with a dem controlled house is really going to ruin a lot of things.

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Home ownership is the biggest con of the century. Firstly the truth; no one can "own" their own home in any country. All countries have laws that allow goverments to take back land, if and when they want to, if your house is on it that land it is just too bad. You may get compensation but this is not always market value but you never get compensated for the full cost of being thrown off what you wrongly believed was "your land".

The reason governments create the dream of "owning your own home" is because it creates a compliant work force; you have a big mortgage so are frightend to upset the boss in case you get the sack. Right wing governments do not give incentives like first home buyers grants or tax beaks out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it to create mortgage slaves.

This time the U.S. and other neoconservative goverments have gone too far in their dream of creating more mortgage slaves and created havoc in what used to be the safest part of the financial market. Take away this stable foundation, the mess of assetless and overated shares created by stupid money from superannuation funds is sure to collapse. And yet the neoconservatives still cruise along with their heads in the sand saying market forces will put it all right! "BUT" when asked how? The Magical Market Wonderland is the only words they seem to know, none of them actually knows how it works, just that it fixes every thing.

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I also really hope that people who are supportive to either of the presidential candidates is not rooting or cheering for a bad economy so their candidate can use it.

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Betzee,

The ever-brilliant, Stephen Colbert, hit the nail on the head regarding the govt.'s handling of financial crisis:

First of all, if they’re losing their house they’re no longer home-owners. Okay? Problem solved. But for those who still hold a mortgage the solution is simple…[Button: sell your children]….no, no. [Button: rent your organs]…not yet. [Button: buy a bigger house]…exactly. Asking the government to care about your six-figure mortgage is like praying to Jesus to get rid of your love handles. They’ve got bigger problems. But sink ten billion dollars into that home and suddenly, that room full of solid gold toilets is a linchpin of the economy. Bingo. You get a bail out.

Taka

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What Alphaape is practicing is known as the "golden mean." 100% of Republicans can support faulty legislation, but if a handful of Democrats support the same legislation, all Democrats are considered to be "overtaken by greed."

yabits, I am not blaming the Dems on the mess that the economy is in. I stand by my statements that both parties are to blame. Both the Rep. and Dems. got us into this mess.

"In the House, 125 Democrats and 1 Independent (Sanders-VT) voted against the House version of the bill, and not a single Republican."

Yes but also there were 302 who voted for the bill, and the House make up that year consisted of 202 Dems and 231 Rep. So at least 77 Dems did vote in favor of the legislation, so like it or not, there was some "bi-partisanship" going along for that vote.

I stand by my statements that greed goes across both party lines. Reps are just as responsible as the Dems for this situration that we are in. Everyone was getting rich on both sides and the house of cards just simply fell.

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skipthesong,

Are you saying that gridlock is desirable?

In any event, the Senate is a funny institution. It doesn't need a majority to thwart legislation. Also, from 1995 to 2007, the Republicans have had a majority in the Senate (counting Cheney in 2001 to 2003). At present, Democrats have a majority only if you consider both Lieberman and Sanders to be Democrats. I don't think that, if a Democrat is elected President, another two years of this kind of Democratic control would hurt.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0774721.html

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Americans trust Democrats on the economy.

Obama is gonna win.

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Obama, McCain blame economic woes on greed, policy

I blame Bush. I blame the Republicans.

I say "throw the bums out."

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Neither candidate really has much of substance to say about the issue.

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First thing today John McCain was saying how sound our economy and then his next whistle stop he starts preaching “America is in a crisis today,”

He has no idea what is going on with the economy. < :-)

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There's nothing wrong with getting a loan to buy a house. There's nothing wrong with having a credit card. There's nothing wrong with acquiring debt. The problem isn't that mortgage companies or the secondary lending market exists. Some people abused these vehicles and that's what's causing the problems.

The people who want to indict the entire financial structure of the US were most likely doing it before this problem occurred and would most likely still be doing it now even if the subprime mortgage fiasco never happened. Greed isn't inherent to the system anymore than doping is inherent to baseball. There should be safeguards and more oversight to protect against those who will abuse it, but taking the gains away from those who rationally used these vehicles is more about some people's anger at other people's wealth.

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Blame game.

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Firstly the truth; no one can "own" their own home in any country. All countries have laws that allow goverments to take back land, if and when they want to, if your house is on it that land it is just too bad.

Correct conclusion but not the best of reasons for it. As far as I know, people are compensated monetarily for their land if the government claims right of way or whatever. Sometimes people are paid well above the market value. It is sometimes not much consolation if that was your home though.

What is more, a lot of people don't own the mineral rights and other rights to their own land. Another reason, and I think the key, is that the government charges people tax on their land and home. And if you do not pay they take away your land and home. What that says to me is the government is renting them to you. We are all just peasants with a few more rights, paying the king's tithes. And if you mortgaged to get some extra green, then what you did was sold those extra rights and became more a peasant. Mortgage slave is an apt term.

If you look closely, you see that feudalism is alive and well today, it is just that the relationships are more and more complicated and us peasants have more rights.

The situation makes me pine for the days when a man's cave was his own, and if somebody made a claim on it, or demanded some of your meat or women, you bashed his head in. A man's cave should be untouchable. But a man with more than one cave should be well and progressively taxed.

Democrat and Republican? Bump that brother. We peasants outnumber the rich, yet 1 man out of every hundred owns 95 percent of everything. We poor should be banding together against the barons, the dukes and the kings and taking our things back!

Why not just let Mac and Mae implode? Why not just relieve the debt they suckered the poor into taking? For the sake of respect of some screwy rules that let the rich man rob you like a loan shark? No thanks. Let them sink. But learn ye well peasant: Do not risk your cave for a chunk of brand new whatever. Live within your means or expand those means. Those are your only two options.

--Cirroc

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"Americans trust Democrats on the economy"

Well, then, it should be a landslide victory for the Democrats on Nov. 4. The polls must be wrong.

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Blah blah blah.

You have no shame.

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Barack was a neighborhood activist. He can fix the economy. He secured six times as much in campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddy than did john mccain.

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Let's hope the mess created by Republicans can be cleaned up soon.

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CavemanLaywer: What is more, a lot of people don't own the mineral rights and other rights to their own land. Another reason, and I think the key, is that the government charges people tax on their land and home. And if you do not pay they take away your land and home. What that says to me is the government is renting them to you. We are all just peasants with a few more rights, paying the king's tithes. And if you mortgaged to get some extra green, then what you did was sold those extra rights and became more a peasant. Mortgage slave is an apt term.

Property taxes mostly go towards schools and education in the US, something I'm sure people would view as something's that's 1) necessary and 2) not free. Comparing it to paying taxes to a king to pad his bank account is just not comparable in any way. It can be said for shock value but I tend to raise my eyebrows a bit when I think someone actually believes it. I've seen your posts before and I think you're rational so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

And what do you know, anyway? You're just a caveman. Our world frightens and confuses you.

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Alinsky - Good one.

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Betzee: The origins, to my mind, lie in the transition to a post-industrial economy which elevated the importance of Wall Street in our economy. Prior to that, wages were tied to productivity. But that got decoupled by Wall Street, where the prospect of getting rich quick attracted some pretty sharp minds (like Michael Milken). And they came up with new instruments to move money around, such as junk bonds, which the average person had little understanding of. As long as life was good, nobody really cared. Politicians proclaim "the fundamentals are strong" who's going to question it? Certainly no patriot would doubt the word of his government....

I'm struggling to find a point anywhere in your string of sensational statements. In the end I think it comes down to the fact that you're someone who hates rich people. And I think you are probably on the low end of the income scale.

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Comparing it to paying taxes to a king to pad his bank account is just not comparable in any way.

First off, you are not fair to kings. They were not all like that. Some were great and good men who bettered their country.

Second, I did not say that people should not be taxed. I said they should not be taxed on their home. If it were my decision, there would be more details to it, like a huge estate would be taxed, but basically, the little guy should be guaranteed his home no matter what and it should not be taxed. (But people like Ted Turner would giving land to homeless people because my taxes would break him and his country. Yes, the man is a country unto himself, and it is not right.)

Income tax and sales tax are plenty to cover those things. You have actual monetary transactions there. A man's home neither generates money nor is it a transaction he can choose to pass.

Our governments are BLOATED. We need to slim down, and if we do so, I am sure we can make ends meet without taxing homes and reasonable amounts of land. We also need to scale back building codes, a system that makes houses INSANELY strong and is designed, once again, to ream the little guy and profit business. If not for that system, people could build cheaper housing that is plenty strong and save so much they would not mortgage their over-engineered home for a little extra cash.

--Cirroc

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Well, then, it should be a landslide victory for the Democrats on Nov. 4. The polls must be wrong.

I know its hard to multi-task, but try to keep in mind that the economy is not the only issue on the table.

--Cirroc

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What bloviating. It's like something out of South Park.

um...greed's bayud, kids...m'kay...greed's bayud

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I'll be the first one to admit that I am weak in understanding overall economics. I also think there are many others here that do have a background in economics and I appeciate their insights. Though maybe talking a little bit above the average persons (including mine) grasp of economic principles.

I also happen to believe your never to old to learn and I found this to be quite enlightning as to a more simple explanation that I could grasp to help me understand a bit better as the forces at play here and to the Ten Principles of Economic Theory.

I think it might help others also so I'd thought I'd share.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVp8UGjECt4&feature=related

Enjoy.......Who said economics had to boring when taught.

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I stand by my statements that both parties are to blame. Both the Rep. and Dems. got us into this mess.

And I stand by my statement that there is no way the parties are equally to blame. The bad Democrats are the ones who got into bed with Republicans on the credit card bill. (The one you said Biden was "pushing," which is a total fabrication likely born out of disdain.)

You prefer to avert your eyes from the only party that opposed the bill. The Republicans were for it 100%. Had the Republicans not authored it and sponsored it, the bad policy would have never come into existence.

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but taking the gains away from those who rationally used these vehicles is more about some people's anger at other people's wealth.

I do not deny that is part of it, but I will deny that it is the greater part at this point in time.

And I remind you that rationally using a vehicle to profit does not make it moral, fair or foresightful.

Yes, there are a lot of average Americans with no self control who think they deserve every new and expensive do-dad and bangle. I have a problem with their greed too. But the last time I was in America I as INUNDATED with sweet credit deals (or so it seemed until I read that fine print. A LOT of words. A DEARTH of information), phone calls from sales people, and commercial after commercial unreality. Life was not like that when I was a kid, and am I ever glad. If I was growing up today I wonder if I could differentiate between reality and the fantasy world corporate America is bombarding us with these days.

In short, the irresponsibility is on both sides of the aisle (Neither McCain nor Obama will point the finger at average America though. Neither has that kind of testicular fortitude.) But the side of the aisle that we can control most and need to is the companies and the banks. They simply are not playing people fair.

One of the easiest things I can think of to pick on is the above credit card fine print. And banks do it too. All that advertising. All those brochures. And they do not tell you jack diddly squat of what you really need to know. And try asking for some information. Nobody knows anything. And that is if you get past the automated operator whose duty seems to be to get you to drop it.

But I tell you what, when it comes time to slap you with a late fee, an overdraft fee, a surcharge, a new interest rate or whatever, it will be done without any kind of doubt, hesitation, or remorse, and never mind that you did not know.

In other words, if you want the people to smarten up the key is to keep them educated and informed. That seems to not be in the interest of corporate profit, yet they are the only ones who can tell us about the particulars of how they operate. They must be made to play fair and open. If the people are ever going to start acting smarter, its the only thing the government can do, which is to smarten up the companies first.

--Cirroc

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For once I agree with McCain that it is greed, but he is wrong in coblaming Wall Street. Investors around the world and on Main Street were clamoring for ever bigger returns on their investments, and firms like Lehman did all they could to deliver. Their jobs depended on it.

I guess Obama is right after all. A better regulatory regime would have protected us all from our own greed. Nothing else could have overcome the demand for ever hgher returns.

Chalk up another one to Barack Obama.

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McCain is part of the same ugly machine but so is Obama. They should choose a presidential candidate from an honest country like Denmark or New Zealand., after all, this is the single most controlling force in the world so why cannot we vote? we deserve a say too.

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The Carpet Bagger known as McCain/Palin need to go no further. For 8 years this great country has suffered greatly. Now this so called Maverick wants to keep the same bs flowing.

Shall we have another 8 years of this? Can this great country keep this up?

I say replace this administration and it`s followers with some new blood.

Time to get the old bs out of here and get some new blood flowing.

If this carpet bagger and his Bush lackies get in what else will go wrong?

Only time will tell if we have 4 more years of this garbage!

Out with the old in with the new!

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And I stand by my statement that there is no way the parties are equally to blame. The bad Democrats are the ones who got into bed with Republicans on the credit card bill.

Saying that it was just some bad Democrats is like saying someone is just "a little pregnant." You are quick to cast all Republicans as bad, but yet only a few Dem. I would say, that the Dems who voted for the measure are probably more true to any of the party, i.e. they are out for themselves.

Both parties are to blame, in my opinion. If there were not enough votes, then they should have pressed the issue to the press and the people and get the PR machine working, to turn public opinion.

Bush, Pelosi, Biden, Obama, McCain, are to blame for not being better stewards of the government.

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You are quick to cast all Republicans as bad, but yet only a few Dem. I would say, that the Dems who voted for the measure are probably more true to any of the party, i.e. they are out for themselves.

On the bad policy that was the credit card bill, it is easy to blame all the Republicans because they created the bill and voted for it unanimously. Also, I prefer to approach the issue by asking "From what political segment was there opposition to this bill?" That's only because I'm a "glass-is-half-full" kind of guy and don't want to condemn an entire party just because a few dozen of their members were seduced to get into bed with some bad people.

Of the people you mentioned, Pelosi and Obama can't be blamed since their votes were cast in opposition to the legislation. There was plenty in the press about why the opponents of the law thought it was very bad policy. If you think there wasn't, perhaps you should cast your media net beyond the kinds of the sources that end up making you want to blame both parties equally. That's just the kind of Republican propaganda and cynicism that makes it difficult for good policy to get enacted, and better stewardship to be practiced. My suggestion is to look to the kinds of groups who are out their trying to protect consumers. Public Citizen and Common Cause are two such groups.

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In fact, SuperLib, most of my post came from a book I read recently (which I highly recommend):

The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash by Charles Morris

And I'm not alone in singing its praises: "However up to date it may seem, this book is no rush job. Morris deftly joins the dots between the Keynesian liberalism of the 1960s, the crippling stagflation of the 1970s and the free-market experimentation of the 1980s and 1990s, before entering the world of ultra-cheap money and financial innovation gone mad... [Morris's] provocative book is...a well-aimed opening shot in a debate that will only grow louder in coming months."—Economist, March 6, 2008

There's nothing to respond in your post since you don't elaborate on why you find anything I wrote "sensational," only that it indicates I must "hate rich people." Hey, I'm not the one blaming greed for this mess. That's the only recourse of those who supported deregulation which got us into this mess in the first place. As SezWho asked, "When does the pursuit of the profit motive translate into greed?" I don't expect any answers to that soon.....

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People and institutions need money loaned to them Greedy people supply a lot of capital. People loan money based on risk. Too much regulation will cut the risk. People with bright, new, innovative ideas often have no money. These startups represent the most risk. If the greedy lenders are not rewarded for increased risk then less " bright, new, innovative ideas" will reach the market. If you use the logic that lenders should get the same return on their investment regardless of the risk then lenders will always take the safer option. That means that you will need to have money and/or assets to get loans.

I have no idea how to solve our crisis. I do know you must be careful about regulation. I do know that I care deeply about people who are losing everything they worked for because they are having problems paying back a loan. I believe in capitalism and I believe it is based on greed as my 74 year old attorney friend continuously reminds me. I do not believe in laissez-faire capitalism. I believe regulation and controls have their place. The number one control should be transparency. I believe balance is the key to modern economics. I said in another post that capital investment is what helped the "Asian Tigers," a term used in reference to the very successful Asian countries with economies that had rapid growth. These countries needed investment to grow rapidly. A whole lot of greedy people were lending the "Asian Tigers" money. The end results were more jobs and cheaper products.

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The impending fall of the US from its comfy spot at the apex of world capitalism, and with its fall an accompanying world recession, the end of cheap oil, Obama or McCain for president which is really just a choice of two puppets of the same ol’ plutocracy.

Its been a tough year. What a series of surprises. Like I don’t think any of us ever saw this coming.

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As SezWho asked, "When does the pursuit of the profit motive translate into greed?" I don't expect any answers to that soon.....

Nevertheless, that is an extremely important question, especially for the religious or spiritually minded. It's one thing for a communist to deny the existence of a higher power through ideological pronouncement and quite another for a capitalist to deny it through behavior.

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I'm struggling to find a point anywhere in your string of sensational statements. In the end I think it comes down to the fact that you're someone who hates rich people. And I think you are probably on the low end of the income scale.

You can be rich and have a social morality, like Warren Buffet for example who has said repeatedly the repubs are losers. The Bush crony capitalists who have never really worked don't understand this at all, its all about greed and the have and the have more types. This is the amoral class who values money above all other things, they are the ones who define greed. They are the bush republicans.

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My last comment was in no way a response to Betzee's comment. Her comment was posted when I was formulating my comment. I did not read it until after I posted mine. I want to clarify that I do not believe all investors are greedy. I am simply saying that we also need the greedy investors if we want increased growth.

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If the greedy lenders are not rewarded for increased risk then less " bright, new, innovative ideas" will reach the market.

This describes a venture capitalist, essential to advancing technological innovation and a fixture on the landscape in places like Silicon Valley, very well. But what got Wall Street into trouble was something quite different. They created ways of selling debt (just as the government does with its Treasury bonds). That's why it really didn't matter, for a while anyway, that many of those who signed up for adjustable rate "sub-prime" mortgages had poor prospects for repayment. In the old days it would have and credit checks weeded out those whose low earning capability.

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I do not believe in laissez-faire capitalism. I believe regulation and controls have their place. The number one control should be transparency.

I agree completely. And secrecy is the enemy of transparency. As one business owner put it to me, years ago: The real game of business is about the strategic withholding of information. I sensed at that time that there was no way a system based on that philosophy could be sustained over time.

Can a more productive, fair, equitable, safe and sustainable system be brought about? If I didn't think that was possible, I wouldn't be a liberal. Instead, I'd be out there using my wits to take as much advantage as I could of everything I could get away with, mindless of the long term consequences.

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I said in another post that capital investment is what helped the "Asian Tigers," a term used in reference to the very successful Asian countries with economies that had rapid growth. These countries needed investment to grow rapidly. A whole lot of greedy people were lending the "Asian Tigers" money.

The Asian Tigers used their own capital which owed to a very high domestic savings rate (partly cultural augmented by a dearth of consumption options on which to spend money). Once credit became too cheap, however, people invested in a lot of quick return activities, like real estate, that created a bubble which popped (as in the US).

The problem in the US is that finance displaced manufacturing as the engine of growth. We put all our eggs in this basket. Cheap imports did keep inflation low but built up a large trade deficit. (If you don't remember the 1970s, you've not really experienced inflation.)

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zurc

You can be rich and have a social morality, like Warren Buffet

Excellent point. He lives modestly. He offered the chance for everyday people to invest and store up a nest egg. I watch every interview with Warren Buffet I get a chance to because he is very smart but also very kind. A great example of his not having a big ego is that he recognized the Gates foundation as better suited towards efficient charity than he could ever provide

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One of the things that made it hard to make Michael Milken, of junk bond fame, a poster boy for greed and excess was that despite his enormous wealth he lived a modest, family-oriented life. That helped him re-enter society after his legal problems were over. Plus, he's very bright and people still sought out his expertise.

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This does not reflect greed so much as denial:

Just as homeowners took out big loans and stretched themselves on the assumption that their chief asset — their home — could only go up, so did Wall Street firms borrow tens of billions of dollars to make subprime mortgage bets on the assumption that they were a sure thing.

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Greed and policy to blame?! Wow, they've dicovered something new!

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GoodDonkey

I understand the gist of your post and find myself in overall agreement.

Your statement "I believe in capitalism," I find revealing. The last time I checked, capitalism was an economic (and political system), not a belief system.

Now I realize you probably used it just as a turn of phrase, but I think its important to recall that a lot of the reason why we are in this economic mess that we are is because too many started thinking of capitalism as a belief system, as a religion as it were. And this led these people, these Republicans, to spread a bunch of nonsense about no regulation, low taxes and so forth.

And it was all ok, because people had Faith.

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woops

Faith that the market solves everything. Faith that stocks and housing will always rise. Faith that we can borrow for ever, as individuals and as a nation, faith that we can outgrow today's debt with tomorrows growth, and faith the the dollar will always be the reserve currency for the planet, and therefor we can print as many as we want.

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On another note:

We went to sleep Friday night with pigs and lipstick and woke up yesterday to find that Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch no longer exist, A.I.G. stock lost 60% of its value. By the time we went to bed last night the Dow dropped 500 points. And Greenspan telling us our economy may be in a 'once-in-a-century' crisis.

The economy is back. Here is a good read on the impact for this fall

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/15/wall_street_shocks_return_focu.html?hpid=topnews

The number one issue now will be: "How are you going to fix this mess and prevent a repetition?"

Well, Republicans, let hear it: How is John “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should” McCain gonna fix this mess and prevent a repetition?

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DanManjt

I should have said it I think it provides the best alternative to Socialism, a highly "Mixed Economy" and the ancient methods of either barter or collective distribution in the tribal sense. I have no faith in the market I simply believe that Capitalism is the only reasonable choice given the alternatives. I also think that Canada, England and Germany all have a better health care system than we do. I do not take a position on what we should end up with as far as health care goes. I do admire countries that provide health care for everyone.

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GoodDonkey

I agree. To the extent that capitalism provides us with certain tools to, in the end, "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

I think it is important to note that our form of capitalism is not the only one. We come from one of the two main schools the Liberal Capitalist school. There is the German school, the one that Japan basically uses, y'know State Managed Capitalism.

Which the neo=classical Chicago School ideologues -- who have taken over our country and whose acolytes are largely responsible for our current mess -- dismiss as 'socialism."

Which it is not.

Its managed capitalism.

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The McCain camp goes out and hypes up how strong the economy is then comes oput two hours later talking about hiw bad the economy is.

Right, he meant to say that it was the workers who were strong. He made a mistake. No, he's just so out of touch.

Now the Palin investigation,, that she was going to allow her employees and others involved to cooperorate with, now she calling it a sham.

The McCain camp says it was hyhacked by the Obama camp. Hell, there were republicans that agreed with the subpoena on the employees and Palin's husband. But it was hyjacked by the Obama camp.

This is a classic example of republican politics. Hell they aren't even close to being elected and they are playing around with hiding evidence. See how much of an example of playing just like the bush administration. Hide and destroy.

The Obama camp calls this Paranoia. I agree. < :-)

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Hey your opinion and $.50 still won't buy a good cup of coffee.

I'll vote for Obama.

Like george bush's economy will do better.

McCain already said he doesn't understand the econpmy.

Oh right he knows the Graham economy.

Remember, they're all whiners comment?

Have a good day. < :-)

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Obama would destroy the US economy, a voyt for Obama is a vote for depression.

Back in 2000, and again in 2004, Republicans warned me that if I voted for Gore (or Kerry in '04), that the US economy would be headed straight down the tubes. Well, I did vote for Gore and Kerry and, sure enough, the Republicans were right.

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yabits - I motice you left out the fact that despite the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent war on terror, the U.S. economy has performed remarkably well up until this year.

I don't agree with the government bailing out/taking over these badly managed financial companies. Heck, there's already too much government regulation!

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I motice you left out the fact that despite the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent war on terror, the U.S. economy has performed remarkably well up until this year.

First of all, job growth was lackluster and income growth for the vast majority of families was non-existent. Secondly, the growth in GDP was primarily fueled by consumer spending made possible by taking out equity mortgages against rising home values -- helping to fuel the housing bubble. A secondary stimulus was massive government spending, by a Republican-controlled Congress no less, on a par with LBJ's Great Society days.

When those are taken into consideration, economic performance was dismal and built on sand.

I don't agree with the government bailing out/taking over these badly managed financial companies. Heck, there's already too much government regulation!

You contradict yourself, and otherwise demonstrate a lack of understanding. Proper regulation better insures that us taxpayers don't have to bail out companies like this. Lehman was in business under proper regulation for over 150 years. Remove regulations and let them run wild, and they're out of business in no time flat.

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The latest reason not to vote for Obama - Barbra Streisand is supporting him.

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The latest reason not to vote for Obama - Barbra Streisand is supporting him.

Too late. The news that Sarge was supporting McCain has been out much longer, and thus most folks already decided to vote Obama in '08. Let me just say that again: Obama in '08.

--Cirroc

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Greed from banks and morgage houses caused the rest of the problem.

It's not greedy to act in your self-interest and exploit loopholes. In some cases, you can be legally responsible for mis-management if you don't exploit loopholes.

What's greedy is pushing for the loopholes in the first place or acting as if you deserve them.

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I'll be the first one to admit that I am weak in understanding overall economics.

Running for president in 2012, Sail? ;)

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Barack went from being a neighborhood activist scrimping by on 10 thousand a year to being the owner of a 2 million dollar mansion (but he is STILL one of the common people).

He is a financial wizard. The repubs are doomed.

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alinsky,

Following your theory, McCain is the greater financial wizard, owning seven properties. Heh, well, if he knew the answer to how many he actually owned that is...

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John McCain said that he saw this coming over two years ago.

If he saw this coming, why didn't he do something about it? Why didn't he do something about informing the public about it?

Why didn't John McCain go to his twin, george bush, and do something about Wall Street.

And he says that he can fix this?

John McCain has said over and over again, that he can win wars. That he know how to win this war. Why did Iraq go to hell if he can win wars? If he can win wars and didn't win the george bush Memorial War in Iraq, why did it fail? John McCain can do everything. He's been in congress 25 years? With his, I can do anything, why do we still have problems in this country.

John McCain has been a part of the Washington machine for so long he fell asleep at the wheel years ago. < :-)

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Obama's solution to America's problems: higher taxes and more interventionism, the kind of economic idiocy that the economically illiterate Thomas Franks of the Wall Street Journal self-righteously recommends.

The first thing to note about taxes is that they divert spending from those who originally earned the money to politicians and bureaucrats. Now I am no anarchist: I do believe government is necessary to maintain civilisation. But like the classical economists I know there is a point where taxation becomes hazardous to a country's economic, political and social welfare.

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The repubs own this WS meltdown as they are the ones who created and protected in for years. It all goes back to Ronny Raygun and the S&L crisis he created. Let the boys rip off the markets and then we will bail them out when they fail. Just like busn was bailed out his whole life including now, as the US nationalizes business after business.

Funny how free market wingers end up helping the government own everything.

Here is the real take on whats happening . . .

"The fact that we have reached a point where the Federal Reserve felt it had to take this unprecedented step with the American Insurance Group is the final verdict on the failed economic philosophy of the last eight years. While we do not know all the details of this arrangement, the Fed must ensure that the plan protects the families that count on insurance. It should bolster our economy's ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills and save their money. It must not bail out the shareholders or management of AIG. "This crisis serves as a stark reminder of the failures of crony capitalism and an economic philosophy that sees any regulation at all as unwise and unnecessary. It's a philosophy that lets Washington lobbyists shred consumer protections and distort our economy so it works for the special interests instead of working people; a philosophy that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to the rest. "Instead, the pain has trickled up--from the struggles of Main Street all the way up to the crises on Wall Street. "Despite his eleventh hour conversion to the language of reform, Senator McCain has subscribed to this philosophy for twenty-six years in Washington and the events of this week have rendered it a colossal failure. It is time for a new economic strategy, guided by the principle that America prospers when all Americans prosper, where common-sense rules of the road ensure that competition is fair, open, and honest. That is the strategy I will pursue as President, and I will bring the change we need to restore confidence in our financial markets and strength to our economy," said Barack Obama

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Everyone remember when bush and mccain wanted to privatize social security and have it be based on the stock market? That was a good one!!

I am sure Palin, once some explained to her was social security is, would agree with the bush/mccain plan.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/07/AR2006020701865.html

mccain of course supported 100% the bush plan and voted for the bush bill. Eventually the repubs gutted the effort as even they saw how stupid the idea was.

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