Wikinvest Wire

This stuff disgusts me

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do you think any of the regulatory agencies in Washington have any idea where the swarming locusts have recently landed, now in the process of devouring one more part of the great American ownership society?

My guess is NO!

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Tubby Jones said...

The disease has reached the bone.

It is just predatory.

Rob Dawg said...

The people 60 days late on their mortgage don't donate to political campaigns, mortgage parasites are most generous. Seniors with 90 day lates and LTVs less than 60% have never heard of datamining and probably haven't thought about LTV for a dozen years. The letter in the mail is going to look like manna from heaven. Sad.

Pool Shark said...

As sad as this is, it all comes back to personal responsibility. Either you live by caveat emptor or you are a sucker waiting to be fleeced.

The local bar will sell me all the booze I can drink, until I die of scirrosis of the liver; the local tobacconist will sell me all the cigarettes I can smoke until I die of lung cancer. McDonalds will sell me all the Big Macs I can scarf down until I die of heart disease and morbid obesity.

Do you really want a nanny government bureaucracy following you every step of your life, telling you what to do, and what not to do, and 'protecting' you from every possible bad decision?

And before you answer that question, consider: who gets to be 'nanny'?

Anthony said...

Pool shark,

Valid point. So the question is do you personally want to bail out the old lady down the street when she gets taken for everything she has or do you prefer to step over her as she sleep on the heating grate?

And is there a limit to how many people you are willing to personally bail out or step over on your way to work.

The Lassie Faire system of capitalism works as long as people are willing to voluntarily help out the losers in the system (which they almost never are) or are willing to ignore them and allow them to suffer (which they are willing to do as long as they don't actually have to see them).

Harleydog said...

Tim, great post! I had not seen this and locusts.... absolute perfect description. Locusts, wish I had come up with it myself! continued success to you.


Pool Shark said...


America and other western democracies were founded, grew, flourished and became beacons of liberty, justice and prosperity to the world long before the Federal Reserve, FDR's New Deal, or Johnson's Great Society programs ever existed. (Indeed, many would argue the federal reserve actually helped caused the great depression, resulting in the inevitable New Deal 'bailout.')

What America was founded on was freedom - yes, freedom to succeed or fail.

I personally believe one of the greatest factors in society's recent declines is the policy of isolating individuals from the consequences of their own actions; the ultimate 'moral hazard.'

Since our 'modern' society equates all personal acts and choices as morally equivalent, there should be no consequences for choosing 'poorly.'

We have shifted from a societal philosphy of "equal opportunity" to one of "equal results."

So to answer your question bluntly:

If while standing on a corner, I am approached by a man who convinces me to use my life savings to purchase a bridge from him; yes, I deserve to be destitute.

Anonymous said...

Pool Shark, You're making one basic and very flawed assumption--you're assuming that your brain is relatively normal. Maybe it is, at the moment. But you, too, may get Alzheimers. In its early stages, you're still 'responsible' for your money, even though you're losing the ability to understand the consequences. And you're too befuddled to know what that paper is that you're signing. And you, too, may fall and crack your skull on the pavement. You're still plenty alive, but your short term memory is damaged. THe point is that while all of us have a responsiblity to be sane and reasonable and prudent, it is sheer foolishness to think that any one of us will be exempt from the ravages of age and daily life. To pretend that a whole society should be made up solely of people with healthy, fully functioning brains is just silliness.

I'm not a regular reader of this blog yet, and thus have to post anonymously, but if I do join, I'll use the name "Escondido Reader", which I use on a couple similar forums.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be saying that their are those in society who need protection. I would say that the people called lenders need to be 'freed' from the idea of knowingly making shonky loan to people who have impaired judgement. Lenders need to be responsible, but they will not learn responsiblity if they are allowed to bundle up these loans and sell them to someone else (not their problem). If a lender knew in advance that they were lending their own money, and would have stand up for any potential losses for the whole life of the loan, then I think a different attitude would become evident. Again, the lender would be free to choose to lend or not to lend, but they would understand that they hold the paper until the loan is either discharged or defaulted. This discipline will be arriving shortly, now that the rest of the world realises that it has been had by the united states of con-artists.

Anthony said...

Pool Shark,

I still will not disagree with what you have said, because frankly I cannot. But I will return to my question as you subtley side stepped it. You personalized it. You talked about yourself being taken. This is much easier as I am sure coming from a stance of personal responsibility that you feel you would take failure with a great deal of stoicism.
But the question was how many old folks (now forced to live on the street as they have been swindled out of their life savings) are you willing to step over on your way to work? Caveat Emptor - they got taken - too bad for them (they should not have been vulnerable).

Pool Shark said...


Here's your answer:

Do I think the government should have a tax payer-funded system in place to provide basic substistence-level aid to its citizens who can't work (as opposed to those who won't work)?

Answer: Yes.

Do I think tax payers should be obliged to foot the bill to bailout homeowners who can't make their house payments?

Answer: No.

We have a name for homeowners who can't afford to make their house payments: we call them "renters."

Anthony said...

Pool shark,

Okay, I'm with you still.

However, we also have a term for those who have lost their jobs due to recession, lost their homes because their realtor assured them that "housing prices cannot go down" and cannot afford to rent. We call them homeless.

Look, Pool Shark, you are as sharp as a tack and I am not going to argue that your economic philosophy does not make sense because it does. I'm merely pointing out that in your system there will always be losers. And in bad times there will be a lot of losers. And some of those losers will end up cold, hungry and without shelter desperately looking for any kind of work to try and feed their children.

In a true Ayn Randian world the immortal words of Scrooge would prevail:

Portly Gentleman: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.

Ebenezer: Why? Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

Portly Gentleman: Many can't go there; and many would rather die.

Ebenezer: If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.

I personally believe that a time is coming in which we are going to see very bad economic times. And we will be faced with the fact that indeed we have "surplus population". We will have three choices to respond to them 1) ignore them and let them suffer or die 2) reach deep in to our own individual pockets 3) collectively agree that our community should support them to some degree by reaching into everyone in the communities pockets.

You have clearly voiced your opposition to number 3. So do you prefer 1 or 2?

Anonymous said...

All for helping people who may have suffered unfortunate circumstances. But, I don't believe this is the role of government.

Anthony said...


A perfectly acceptable answer. Currently, in every community in this nation, there are people in need. I'm sure they thank-you for the help you have provided them.

Anonymous said...


Not sure what to make of your reply. However, I would offer that regardless of whatever I think and do, if others disagree, decide not to help or to help in a different way, they should be free to pursue that path.

Anthony said...


I agree with you. As I've stated there are three routes you can go. You can agree that civil society should play a collective role. I understand the objections to that point of view and I am not going to argue them.

The other direction one can go is to help out of your own largess. This is, in many ways, the nobler path (and the one I assume that you take) as it will require you to actively engage the problems of your community with your time and your resources.

The final path you can take is to ignore the problem, ignore the suffering or scorn those who suffer as wastrels. Frankly, I think that is also a valid path. It is terribly Randian as I stated in a previous post but it is, at least, internally consistent.

The only position I object to is the position of - I will do nothing to help, nor do I want to contribute to helping through taxation, however I will assuage my own guilt by either denying the problem exists or fobbing the problem off onto "other generic institutions or people" none of which are me or are supported by me.

Help actively, help passively or admit you don't care and don't want to help.

Anonymous said...

Good civil debate about this.

To add my points.

1. I don't believe the government does a good job (meaning efficiency) at helping people.

2. I believe that the very existence of government programs to "help people" discourage people from doing more to help each other ("why should I bother - I pay taxes for all of these programs?").

3. Many of the government programs provide perverse incentives (meaning they encourage people to do the "wrong" thing). The cummulative, corrosive effect of these seems unimaginably destructive in the long term.

A different anonymous

Anthony said...

Different anonymous is spot on.

1) Often (but not always) government is hidously inefficient.

2) Also true and is proved by the statisitic that people who belive in governement programs do less to help (charity work) then those who do not beleive in government programs!

3) Also tragically true - for both the individual and for institutions.

Good discussion all.

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