Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Back

"The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible... he stood under the arch.

-Michael Armstrong

Lately, I have had an old saying on my mind. "Spring Forward... Fall back." As a small child, I thought it was nifty, just nifty. What a cool way to remember that the earth, at least here in the northern hemisphere, will soon be sinking into shorter, darker days. I guess I have had that quip on my mind lately, because of all the turmoil in the Stock Market. It is a perfect metaphor for the current situation. Think about it. The Bush administration has insisted for years that the very foundations of our economy were sound. We were a resourceful people, and therefore we would come out on top. We would survive. Well, I suppose everything does look much more alive in the spring... doesn't it? I suppose when we all closed our eyes, and tried to believe it, we were smack dab in the middle of our springtime mentality, but now the leaves are falling, and so is the economy.

The fact that the Bush administration has been given a free ride, in terms of accountability, has disturbed me for years. I am sure you have read my rantings over the years I have been blogging, but at every turn, Bush and company, have been written a blank check, and therefore we have found ourselves in yet another mess, and it will be you and I who clean it up. Bush will leave office, without taking responsibility for whatever damage is caused by the latest blunder... namely... the failed economy and his plan to save it. Not only is there no concrete guarantee that it will work, but if it indeed fails, we will be in roughly the same boat we are in now, and no one will have to answer for it.

When Nancy Pelosi sits down with the Bush administration to iron out the details of the current ""Bailout" proposal, she will ask for perhaps a second stimulus package, and food stamps, and caps on the retirement packages for the executives of the major banking institutions that allowed this situation to build into the catastrophe that is taking place before our eyes, but if she stops there, she will have let us all down once again. She needs to demand that the question of accountability for what happens next, not be a question at all. The Bush administration needs to finally have the buck stop with them. They need to be held responsible for what they have done, and will do in the coming weeks and months. I think it's about time the free ride stops. Demanding that accountability be written into the proposal must not be negotiable. It must become a fact of life. When all is said and done, I wonder who will actually take responsibility for this mess?

Winter 2008...

"I hope you're confident about our economy. I am. We've got some short-term issues to deal with. Fourth quarter growth slowed to .6 percent. In other words, there are signs that our economy are slowing."

-George W. Bush, January 30th, 2008, speaking at the Robinson Helicopter Co. in Torrance, California.

Spring 2008...

"In the long run, we can be confident that our economy will continue to grow, but in the short run, it is clear that growth has slowed."

-George W. Bush, March 15th. 2008 weekly radio address.

"One thing is for certain... we are in challenging times. But another thing is for certain... that we've taken strong and decisive action."

-George W. Bush, March 17th, 2008, after meeting with economic advisers.

So tell me, what do you think will happen? Will we avoid a full on financial depression, or will we fall completely? How much faith do you have in the Bush administration plan to bail out Wall Street? What is the biggest struggle your family is facing right now? How closely are you watching developments in the Stock Market? Will you be shopping more, or less, this upcoming holiday season?What was your "Back To School" shopping like?

Share your thoughts with me.

"Falling Leaves"
Oakland, California
September 21, 2008


Far Side of Fifty said...

Well you certainly want opinions!! I am not sure what will happen, I hope that they finally realize that we are in a Recession..and teetering. We are suppose to be protected from bank failures like in the depression. This whole financial mess didn't happen overnight and it won't be a quick fix. I do have a little faith left in GW..but the Democrats control the Congress. Middle America is stuck in the middle. Thank goodness our home is paid for, no one can take it away. I think that price caps should have been put on Gas, Rents and Food earlier like a year ago. Our biggest struggle is being retired on a fixed income, so Gas and Groceries hit us the hardest. I try not to watch the market TOO closely. I am thinking that Christmas will be "homemade" this year or groceries:)

Nancy said...

Not much time right now...but my quick opinion is Bush loves to create a crisis, just to look like a hero when he gets us out of it.

anyway...lovely pic my friend.


Suzanne R said...

In my 60 years, I can remember recessions but I don't recall things being this bad for banks and investment firms and just plain folks, like my son Tony and his wife Kamie, who have had two houses on the market. My heart hurts for them. I don't know what is happening in their situation but with the economy the way it is, I'm sure it's not good. It's difficult to get mad at anyone or really to know who to get mad at. One thing I know -- the banks should not have lent them the money for the mortgages on their houses, so in a sense, the banks have made their own messes. I constantly pray that there's a way out of this for them. So my concern is less for myself except for the possibility that the problems could trickle down and affect my business, which isn't happening just yet. (I just have lost money on my retirement fund; time will tell if that's permanent or not.)