Went to Japan on business in 1999, after participating in a State of Alaska sponsored environmental trade services mission to Korea. This was a year after the big bubble burst there that George Soros precipitated with the run on the Bank of Thailand the previous year.
I saw people in Korea begging on street corners. In Osaka, I saw families living under park bridges. Not since the end of WWII had Japan seen so many homeless.
What did Japan do to respond to the economic mess created by over borrowing and bad loans to the zaibatsu? They did what they always do. They tightened their belts, spent as little as they had to, and saved the rest. In three years, Japan was in much better shape, and there was hope and industry began to move back into profitability.
Japan did not try to spend its way out of a recession. The average Japanese sacrificed. They scrimped, saved, and spent only what they had to. The banks became solvent from the savings of their customers, not from government buying into them.
Businesses suffered, but they repaid their loans, and the government of Japan recovered from the scandals that rocked Japan when the banks began to fail.
We gaijin are not so disciplined. Although, I think most of us understand that one does not spend one's way out of the proverbial hole, we are an undisciplined bunch of immediate gratification freaks who demand an instant solution without any pain. The dems filled the void with promises of immediate massive government spending, and messages alluding to an undefined "change" in something. What is to change, other than removing all barriers to spending, has yet to be disclosed by Pres. Obama.
Instead of letting the free market determine the survival of the fittest, government under Bush stepped in to restore solvency to the insolvent. I guess we had to ensure that the Saudis and the PRC did not lose any money.
The gaffs of government had contributed to the undermining of free market principles with the sub prime mortgage insanity--largely a liberal attempt to show poor folks who could not otherwise own houses that even if they could not really afford to do so, that they could own a house. The strategy, I am certain, was cynical and designed to get them to vote dem in gratitude.
Rather than let this situation sort itself out, Congress, which created this mess in the first place, along with a President who had forgotten the principles of his Harvard MBA, misappropriated massive amounts of the tax payers' money to no good end. The moguls on Wall Street and the real estate speculators had their butts bailed out with little cost to themselves. No pain. Instant gratification. Why, the mere appearance of inconvenience was enough to cause billions to be poured into the need to attend spas and retreats to undo the stress of mismanagement on a scale not seen in modern times. The bail out is entering phase II with the dems and Obama's $1Trillion package.
By howling continually about how bad the economy is, all Bush's fault, of course, the main stream media has fueled fear and uncertainty and played this mess right into Pelosi et al's hands in Congress and a win in the Presidency. What was going to be an unpleasant situation, but not a full blown crisis, became exactly that with the media's help. Convincing the instant gratification crowd who questioned not what they were being fed by the liberal press through the generation of fear was wildly successful.
All of sudden, this economic down turn, which has been on the horizon for some time, for many reasons--the inflated price of oil was one, the overvaluation of real estate another, and government excess certainly a contributor--became the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression of the 20s and 30s.
Again, the propagandists fed the fear--you are broke, we are all broke, we are going to be homeless, we are going to starve!; unless we all vote for . . . Obama.
Yes, we can! Change!
Change what and do what?
The reality is that Jimmy Carter was the worst President we have ever had, and 18% INFLATION happened on his watch. That period was far worse than what might happen during this mess. And, if anything is made worse, this go, it will because of the attempt to spend our way out of the inconvenience of spending less and saving more.
One of the consequences of the Obama/Pelosi $Trillion plan, is inflation. Print more money, and the money is worth less. Takes more to buy everything.
The only good thing to come out of this mess is that FINALLY after 8 years, the Republican Congress is starting to sound like Republicans and starting to QUESTION this excess by government! 8 years too late! However, at least it is happening.
In two years, we the people will have the chance to change the face of Congress. By then, the impact of the $1Trillion feel good extravagance will be felt in terms of interest rates and inflation. Those who voted for "change" will begin to understand that the change referred to was spend more and tax more, and to heck with consequences.
There are two opposing viewpoints as to how all of this will play out with respect to the dems and Rs. Phyllis Schafley wrote that her belief is that this is similar to the Clinton win of 1993 and the subsequent reversal of Congress to an R majority in 1996 due to the spending of the Clinton Administration. After which, Clinton became centrist. Dick Morris in his recent opinion feels that the strategic impact of any amnesty, the massive federal spending, and the transfer of wealth from the haves to the newly amnestied have nots along with everything that we naturalized citizens cannot get until we reach 65 will entrench the dems for the long haul, that the R party is now relegated to the bin of history for all practical purposes. Morris' article was disturbing in its downbeat, but excellent in its setting forth the strategy.
I am hoping Schafley is more right than wrong.
I do agree with her assessment that we as a country are more conservative than Obama's win and the dem win in Congress demonstrate, that this win was a backlash.
One thing is certain in my mind. The dems will fail in their economic stimulus, as spending and transfer of wealth is not the way to respond to what's happened. Overspending, over extending, and giving homes to those who could not pay for them was the catalyst. Now, the response is overspend, overtax, and take the money from those that still have any, and give to those who are here illegally by making them legal through amnesty, thereby inflating the money supply and cheapening our citizenship. And, let those who could not pay for their house, keep the house, anyway. How does any of that make sense?
Taxes depress industry and penalize self initiative. Government takes in more money when taxes are reduced. Even the Russians figured that one out.
Taking money from the guy who works and giving to the guy who does not, will not work, either.
Me and mine. We gonna pay things off, save, invest in firearms and ammo, and work on the garden.
In the mean time, I suggest the R party figure this out, keep acting like Rs in Congress, and elect only Rs that promise to uphold the party platform.
The dems are on a course to bankrupt this country and to spread our illusion of wealth to those undeserving.
Thank you God, I ain't got any to spread around!