Go see ’The Big Short’ now

There is a good argument against democracy- that people aren’t smart enough to select their leaders.

The fact that Bernie Sanders has an editorial in the N.Y. Times today talking about how to reel in the Fed- while other candidates are talking about the terrorist threat, should be a clear message to the voting public that one of the candidates knows what your greatest danger is- and it’s not a jihadist.

The reason most of us make less, work harder, and had our net worth knocked to the ground was because government failed to stop a threat to the global financial markets- and let a bunch of jerks manufacture play money- and put a lot of it in their pockets. Our answer- to make more play money- and pay off their mess- all the while stealing it from you. I know- you don’t believe me. I’m just a perennial candidate who loses elections and writes a blog.

So- let me make it easy for you. Go see “The Big Short” in the movie houses right now. The book of the same name was written by Michael Lewis who also wrote “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side” -so he must know just a little bit about telling a story. In the movie- they’ll explain the house of cards the Wizards of Wall Street built- and blew up- in a way anyone can understand.

This movie should be required watching for every person in America- so you can start to understand who the real threat to National Security and Global Stability is- and it ain’t an Arab with an assault rifle or even a dirty bomb.

But- after posting the Bernie story on Facebook- one of those overly bright U.S. Voters said the following (I’m leaving his name out to protect the stupid):

It was a horrible idea to start bailing out private industry. Just leave them alone. Don’t regulate them and don’t bail them out. Someone else will take over the market.

“Not regulating them is what caused the problem, genius,” was my response- to which he said-

People choose to get into the stock market and to invest in business and the like. No one forces them into it and no regulations are needed. Buyer beware. The only thing that needs regulated by government is unwanted force upon those who don’t want it. And that mess you talk about made many people rich so it wasn’t a mess to them. Now the folks who had their money forcibly taken from them and given to others as a bailout were horribly screwed. And in addition I don’t trust the government with the ability to regulate very much. They are generally fools just looking for a paycheck.
This is the ignorance of how Wall Street is tied to Main Street. And while the movie doesn’t make the ties clear- it does explain pretty clearly how much of a fantasy the market is- with its imaginary valuations and total disregard for the mechanics of a functional economy.
Here is the part that most don’t get.
Most people do not invest in the stock market- they don’t have the money to spare. They don’t think the market is connected to their well being- but, in fact, this small subset of our economy is tied to everything. You buy insurance- that money is “invested” in the market by the insurance companies- who then “manage risk” and “protect” you from financial ruin in a catastrophe. The movie talks about how buying insurance against the market misbehaving was monetized- and a few people made a boatload of money betting against the people of the United States.
Those very same people, who paid to fix the mess.
But, insurance is only one part of it. The markets also control your credit scores, your interest rates, your credit worthiness- and also those of your employer. Your pension, if you are lucky enough to have one, is also “in the market.” And while the media and discussion focus on the big businesses, who get access to the best rates- no matter what- the majority of us, work for small business- which has the deck stacked against it a million different ways.
As to the government- we used to protect the people from being preyed upon by the FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate companies), in fact, the guaranteeing of home mortgages was a response to the last financial debacle when banking was allowed to self-regulate.
Go watch the movie. You’ll better understand what happened- even as you watch more people get insanely rich off the most rigged casino on the planet.
And here I’m going to defer to a friend, Daniel Greene- who added the following to the conversation- because some people actually do learn from history.
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

– James Madison, Federalist Paper #51

Those who advocate getting rid of government regulation are asking to return to an economic Darwinian state of nature where only the strong, super-rich survive, and everyone else gets thrown out on the street.

And, if you need evidence of what getting thrown out on the street looks like- go take a drive through some of Dayton’s neighborhoods- and look at all the vacant homes.
What’s worse- Madison wrote that statement in 1778, and men still aren’t angels.
But, we still believe that our government has been protecting us- despite it being bought and sold like a commodity. Go watch the movie and report back here in comments.


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