Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sick and Tired

This has been a very exciting election year - but I'm way over it by now. Especially since I already voted for our next great President - President Obama!

But I do have just one request: Whoever wins on November 4th - can they please start on November 5th? I don't think we can wait until January!

The Other Bubbles

We have several other bubbles out there similar to the housing market that are just waiting to burst. Some should be burst on purpose in my opinion. Several examples I can think of off the top of my head:

Health Care Costs
Insurance Premiums and deductables (including medical, home owners, malpractice etc.)
Higher Education

All of these industries are way over priced and their high costs are causing pressure on the market in general. When there is no clear justification for extreme prices then eventually something gives and a correction occurs. Some if these industries are feeding on each other the same way the housing market was feeding off of lenders. A good example is medical costs and insurance. Each keeps raising because the other will support it - and a bubble occurs.

When insurance companies won't pay the high medical costs - the bubble will burst.
When students can't get student loans to cover the high cost of education - the bubble will burst.

Anybody got a pin?

Leave Well Enough Alone

Here is what I think we should do with regard to the troubles on Wall Street:

absolutely nothing.

The market - and economics in general - is a very fragile and volatile balancing act. It doesn't take much to set off the balance - greed and corruption will tip it in a hurry. But once it gets out of balance I think it is best to let it correct itself, even if it hurts a bit. If we tinker with it by putting more money in banks or whatever the plan is, we might actually cause more damage.

I don't think any one person can totally understand the market and it comes down to a guessing game. We should leave alone things we do not totally understand. But I'm not an economist so that is just my opinion.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Undeniable God

Perhaps one day we will be able to scientifically prove the origin of the universe back to a tiny speck of dust that somehow blew up to create all things we know today. Even so, where did that speck of dust come from?

We The People

Here is something you won't hear me say too often - the Republican concept on the economy is not bad - the problem is it just doesn't work.

I'm talking about the concept that if you support business, the money will flow to the people who work for those companies. It really should work - but it doesn't for one simple reason. Greed. Those at the top, who make the rules and decisions, take a lions share of the profits while the rest of the company barely survive. But that is not the whole problem. Businesses exist because people need money to live. But for some reason, business has taken on a life of its own, with corporations growing and growing - never giving money back to the people for whom it should support. Corporations should be designed to generate money for the people who work there - not only to keep growing. In my opinion, every business, especially a public company, should reward every employee with a pre-determined percentage of the profits in addition to their actual wage. Can you imagine the motivation to succeed if you knew your bonus grows with the profits? This is a concept that cannot work in a totally free market because greed will always keep money from flowing back to the people.

Its people, people. Business exists for the people - not the other way around.

How Old Is Your Soul?

I ran across an interesting on-line profile the other day. The man described himself as having "an old soul who is tired". This man was only in his 20s.

As a person who is interested in many views of creation, life and the afterlife - I found this to be a very intriguing idea. If we explore the possibility that our souls live on after our bodies die, this young old man may have said something very profound. To me it would explain a lot. Why is it that some children under 10 years old are able to play extremely complicated piano concertos? Why do some very young people seem wise beyond their years? Why do some older folks seem like they should have more wisdom for their age? Perhaps it is the age of the soul and not the age of the person that really counts.

For me personally it may explain some other things - like why I have a very strong sense that I am supposed to be doing something really important, but I don't know what that is. This has bothered me for a long time now. I don't feel that my soul is either young or old - more like a middle aged soul with a lot of life left but that I have already learned a lot. I do feel like I've been here before and I experience a lot of that DejaVu feeling - more than other people do I think.

It is a very interesting concept that wise old soul presented to me.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Game, Set, Match

A great political observer, Gary Shandling, said on Real Time with Bill Mahr exactly what I have considered true for a long time now. The terrorists won.

The buildings struck on that fateful September 11th were not chosen because they were easy to hit. They were chosen for their symbolism. The terrorists had 3 goals in mind that day:
  1. Kill lots of Americans to instill fear because the fearful will always over react. (thus the planes and buildings with large populations)
  2. Set the wheels in motion to bring down the American economy (thus the World Trade Center)
  3. Reduce the strength of our military (thus the Pentagon and possibly the Capitol if the other plane had succeeded)

This carefully calculated plan needed one more very important ingredient - the correct people running the country to react (or rather over react) in such a way as to complete the goals started on 9/11. They must have known they had the perfect ingredient with the Bush Administration. I doubt even Bin Laden realized how perfect it would all unfold.

  1. An overacting Administration would help increase the total number of American casualties by starting wars they didn't know how to fight (Iraq was a super double bonus)
  2. By over reacting and starting those wars costing Trillions, the country would eventually fall into financial ruin (witnessed this month on Wall Street - and it ain't over yet)
  3. Our military is over extended to the point were we are now unable to defend ourselves for another attack. (Would Russia be acting this way if they still felt America was a super power?)

Yes, I hate to say it but I believe we feel into a giant, well planned, trap. Now, how do we get out? Its time we acted smarter than terrorists. Lets vote for the right President - one that doesn't keep the policies that the terrorists want us to follow.

The Rich Still Are (Again, Still)

Thank goodness the American tax payers were able to save Dick Cheney's investment portfolio!

Seriously folks - nobody wants to see the market crash. But I have to admit that if such a terrible thing were to happen, finally, it would be the rich that would pay the price. Those that have nothing still wouldn't. Look how quickly we came up with 800 billion dollars (!!!!) to save the rich. Again I mention Katrina and how years later many of the poor still don't have real homes.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of the banking industry failures - most mere mortals couldn't possibly understand this complicated mess. But one thing is for sure - the rich will save the day - for the rich. And Joe Six Pack will pick up the bill. Its like your wealthy boss taking you out to an extremely expensive lunch and then making you pay the tab.