Sunday, November 16, 2008

Barack Obama and The Coming Depression

I know that many people are elated that we have voted in to power someone who seems different from what we had in power. He is young, intellectual, speaks well, bi-racial and as different from George Bush as possible, right? Wrong!

I have personally hated the Bush-Clinton-Bush years and see those years as a selling off of America to corporate interests. What I was not paying close enough attention to is how the end of the Regan years was the rise of the neo-cons in the Republican Party and the party was hijacked away from its traditional values and turned into an imperialistic party that only true goal was power. The one man who has the right ideas and knows the solutions to our problems, is still ignored far too often, but maybe now that Bush has destroyed the Republican Party maybe it can turn back to its original views. Ron Paul expresses it very well here.

All of this is just to say that Bush-Clinton-Bush was just a prelude and instead of a change in who is running things Obama is more akin to being Clinton II, then any real change. The evidence can be seen from his choices to who will be in his cabinet. His first choice Rahm Emanuel is part of Clinton’s group and part of the problem. His choice for Treasury Secretary is a nightmare and makes Paulson seem like a god send. For a good review of Obama and what he means for the country see a commentary by Ron Smith here.

My hope is that Obama is old enough to know that he does not know everything and that the ideals he had as a younger man may no longer be the proper solution for our country. Also I hope that Obama is smart enough to be able to do the right thing once (if) he ever realizes that the people around him don’t have the right answers and goes forth and does the right thing regardless.

If Obama tries to continue the course that we have started down all he will do is cause this country to stay in a deep recession and/or depression for a decade or more as opposed to helping us out of the mess.

This country has one problem that cannot be fixed over night like people would hope and that is we are drowning in debt. Capitalism has not failed, debtism has failed. We have all lived beyond our means. No one should borrow if it is not for a house, a car or school. The way out of this problem is to stop spending as a country and as individuals. As individuals the drop in retail sales shows that the public understands the new dynamic and the values of our parents and grandparents who lived through tough times before is coming out as the proper way to do things. Put away the credit cards and save. When you have enough in your bank account, then go out and buy the new TV, new video game system, new computer, newest gadget, hottest clothes or whatever. I have to learn that lesson as well as anyone, but my wife and I are living 100% within our means and paying off any debt. We are saving as well and when we take our five year wedding anniversary trip in April of 2009, we will be paying cash for everything. Sure we should probably pay down more debt, but since we are paying it down and saving for a specific goal that we wanted to do for a couple of years this is our last big hurrah. After that it is all about retiring our debt (expect a mortgage). I have no plans to buy a new car until my 2000 Honda Accord dies a horrible death at hopefully 250,000 miles or more (that leaves about 100,000 miles to go). In the meantime we will establish a savings fund for a new car.

Now the country has to stop spending. First and foremost pull the troops home. Not just from Iraq, but from Afghanistan and from the over 700 bases we have overseas. Donate those facilities to the countries they are in and come home. This is not an isolationist viewpoint; this is about dollar and sense. What foreign countries have bases in the US? To my knowledge no country has a base in the US. A great overview of the massive problems facing the US is here.

Nothing about what President Elect Barack Obama shows a willingness to lead us in a new direction and all of his appointments and cronies point to an extension of the Bush-Clinton-Bush era. We also just re-elected the same a**holes who put us in this situation back to Congress.

I hope that the shiny and new president that has filled so many with glee and worshipful adulation will lead us to the promise land, but if he does we have to be willing to learn to live with less and we rebuild for tomorrow. I fear that instead the Emperor has no clothes and will continue our inexorable slide in a deep and ominous well that will lead into a long term recession/depression.

1 comment:

  1. Well, Joe Biden did already tell us how Obama was going to face a crisis... *snicker*

    I'm so tired of all of this =/