Frank gets Frank with the American people
I guess we can all point fingers and crunch numbers when it comes to the economic recession that has been rocking us for at least 12 months and counting. But something Senator (D) Barney Frank said not long ago really struck a chord. For the record, I think Frank is also part of the problem but sometimes he says things that make sense. While being asked by an interviewer if the Senate and Congress are to blame about the crisis, Frank had this to say (paraphrasing) “Well, sure we are, but so are the American people for not paying attention.” At first, when I heard that, a multitude of things went through my head, like ‘once again a politician is blaming everyone but themselves for the problems our country has’. Whether Frank realized it or not, he makes a good point. We elect these them, and if we don’t have enough sense to inform ourselves before voting for them, that’s our fault.
I remember the ridicule I received for not supporting the invasion of Iraq, I think it was the first time I realized just how apathetic this country was. Sure, politicians lie to us (and themselves) and the MSM hardly gives us the whole story, unless it is about Anna Nicole eating fried chicken naked in bed. But as a registered voter who intends to vote, we have a duty and responsibility to seek out as much information as possible about an issue before drawing a conclusion. I summed up my opposition to the Iraq War based on just a few important facts. Bush had a horrible track record as a leader before he was even president and he stole the election in 2000, I already had trouble trusting him. Secondly, multiple UN weapons inspectors said that they were almost 99.9% sure if we do find any weapons they would only be in experimental or disjointed stages and most certainly would not be nuclear. I also believe that preemptively attacking someone when we are not 100% sure about the reason we are attacking is a failure in diplomacy. The list could go on and on. There was very little support for the war in the international media, which I have come to trust more than the American media ever since the run up to the Iraq War. As a nation we have a responsibility to inform ourselves when we may be suspicious of our lawmakers and leaders.
But how did this economic crisis sneak up on us? Well, it really didn’t.
When I bought my home six years ago, interest rates were very low and dropping at an incredible rate. I noticed ‘loan originators’ popping up faster than car lots in this town. I was fortunate enough to have a friend originate my loan, but I couldn’t help thinking at the time, loan origination seemed kind of like a shady business. Usually if something is too good to be true, it is. What accountability would a loan originator have after selling a bad loan to a bank? None really, and here lies the problem, excessive greed. The mortgage industry didn’t kill our economy by itself though. For instance, Wells Fargo barely got hit by the mortgage crisis, because they were wise about who they gave mortgages to and did not let greed change their business practices, I’m not saying Wells Fargo is perfect, but they are a good example of what and what not to do in this kind of situation. Other factors have been inflation, gas prices and the industrial military complex Bush and Cheney helped to create, which I could never figure out. You can train a soldier how to shoot a M-16 in a combat situation, but you can’t train them how to peel a potato? The sad part is the contracted kitchen help is probably making more money per hour washing soldiers undies and cooking tators than the soldiers that are getting shot at.
So why did politicians and the MSM shut us out for so long about the recession? I have speculated several reasons. I started to make cuts in spending about a year ago because of trends I saw in my personal finances. I was wondering when the politicians were going to fess up about the worsening economy. Not until it became an important campaign issue I guess. One reason may be the old standby excuse, ‘We didn’t want to sound negative.’ Since when is misleading and lying to people positive? I have often been accused of being negative and an angry little man for telling people the truth, but when I am right I never get a ‘Thanks for being honest with me.’ I’m still waiting for my friends who taunted me about not supporting the Iraq War to tell me how right I was. I guess people like being lied to, especially with a smile, why do you think Mike Rounds still enjoys such high approval ratings?
Another glaring reason was that it was an election year. Do you think politicians are going to tell us the economy is going in the toilet if they are trying to get elected? Who would contribute to their campaigns if a recession was approaching (or was already here)? You could say the same about the Fourth Estate. During an election year many media and advertising outlets make 30-50% of their profits from political advertising alone, do you think they would jeopardize that revenue source by telling people button down the hatches?
But as Frank says, the citizens are still responsible for what happens in this country. There are plenty of dependable alternative independent media sources to get information from. You can also call, write, text, Twitter or email your representatives. You can attend your local county and city meetings and most importantly you can ask questions and demand answers. Your first amendment rights guarantee it. I may sound like a negative angry little man, but at least I am informed before I walk into the voting booth and in the end, that’s what will make our country better.
Don’t let greed and apathy destroy this country further, get informed and get involved. Knowledge is one of the most positive things you could ever give yourself and it’s FREE.