What's the matter with the French?

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May 22, 2010
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rhubroma said:
In Italy the current government even wants to privitize water! It is, therefore, only nice to know that many in the masses refuse this type of Private Hegmony over something so basic and vital to the collective. In fact the intitative has been shot down.
here in Australia, water supply is privatised. it works perfectly fine. it's not privatisation in the complete sense - water companies are heavily restricted in how they may operate. in practice, it's little different to govt controlling it and contracting services out to the private sector, which happens all the time.

the advantage of this privatisation is that the water company has a greater incentive to deliver water efficiently - i.e. profit. govt run utilities have no such incentive and often tend to be inefficient. it doesn't work perfectly, but the concept is sound. the end user - the public who consume the water, wouldn't know the difference - except perhaps that they may pay lower taxes.

the real losers are ex-employees of previously govt-owned utilities (water department) who had a cushy job. private companies won't tolerate that as easily. i say that's a good thing. by the way, this is often the major factor in 'public' resistance to privatisation of govt entities.

rhubroma said:
I have spoke with so called professors who have entered the classroom directly from their corporate jobs. The questions they ask me! Their ignorance of anything that doesn't have to do with the most creative and insidious ways to make cash is pathetic. What a world they are producing!
they are from the real world. you may not like it, the real world is ugly and bad at times, but students may as well learn about it. i was taught by professional lecturers and they were terrible. very interesting and experts in their own way, but irrelevant. give me education that can be applied. the beauty of privatised education is that if students wanted the style of education you advocate, they'll surely get it. you talk about privatised education as if it's being imposed on people - it's the other way around. it's public, state controlled eduation that imposes itself.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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rhubroma said:
How about the so called creative private finace producing a fantom wealth, based a paper skyscraper, and then defrauding everyone! With goverment support, and then using tax dollars to bail out the system!

Do you think before you write this utter nonesense Scott SoCal? Or are you just so cynical? The only other plausible option is that you truly think we are stupid enough to latch on to what you say.
psst. spell check
 
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Anonymous

Guest
usedtobefast said:
government is big.i ask,when has government been small in your or your parents lifetime?
The US govt spending (as a percentage of GNP) really took off in the 1930's, so the era of (really) big government has been here for my lifetime and my parents as well.

There are many justifications for this but that does not change where we are today in terms of big government. For example, the lawmakers in the US have added $5 Trillion to the national debt since 2007.

And look where we are.

The powers of the federal government were enumerated (Article 1, Section 8 http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html)

One can see the road being paved for exponential growth in government with the 16th ammendment (income tax withholding) and further Supreme Court decisions pertaining the General Welfare Clause and Commerce Clause.

The founders knew the danger of big government and set limited powers. In time the restriction of powers have been chipped away and we are now quite different in terms of size and scope.

The US was originally set up with emphasis on Liberty and not on General Welfare. That is not how the US government operates now.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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delbified said:
they are from the real world. you may not like it, the real world is ugly and bad at times, but students may as well learn about it. i was taught by professional lecturers and they were terrible. very interesting and experts in their own way, but irrelevant. give me education that can be applied. the beauty of privatised education is that if students wanted the style of education you advocate, they'll surely get it. you talk about privatised education as if it's being imposed on people - it's the other way around. it's public, state controlled eduation that imposes itself.
I know, it's not addressed to me, but I'd like to address this chunk of text.

I think with regards to education it might be more fruitful to think of a cultural tradition being imposed rather than a question of who is funding it. Questions about education should revolve around the idea of 'what kind of person should the education system be creating?'

There are myriad reasons against privatizing education. The first, privatizing education would discriminate against the poor. Those who can afford to go to the best institutions and thereby have the best opportunities for jobs would have a distinct advantage over those who cannot. Want to increase the gulf between the rich and the poor? Privatize.

Another problem with privatization is that education becomes folded within a criteria of success or failure in the marketplace once students graduate. That is, schools will begin to cater their curriculum to what the marketplace demands and ignore those fields that have little market value as they would only hinder their reputation. Fields such as the humanities, arts or narrowly defined sciences such as astrophysics would fall by the way side because they have no direct application to the marketplace. Is this really that advantageous?

Privatizing education is a bit stupid in my view because you wind up reducing the understanding of culture and human nature to people as mere labourers. I mean if the only thing worthwhile to study is how you can do a job, then what has life been reduced to? Really, that's it? If you want to produce a society of automatons, then by all means, the shortest path to that route is to privatize.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
rhubroma said:
How about the so called creative private finace producing a fantom wealth, based a paper skyscraper, and then defrauding everyone! With goverment support, and then using tax dollars to bail out the system!

Do you think before you write this utter nonesense Scott SoCal? Or are you just so cynical? The only other plausible option is that you truly think we are stupid enough to latch on to what you say.
Ok, I find this amusing. Uh, you mean when corrupt politicians get together with corrupt capitalists bad things happen? Who knew??

Generally, if a private business is foolish with their bottom line then they go out of business (unless there's a major union involved, see General Motors, perhaps you've heard of them).

When our government is foolish with tax reciepts then they raise taxes or print more money. It's great work if you can get it.
 
Scott SoCal said:
Ok, I find this amusing. Uh, you mean when corrupt politicians get together with corrupt capitalists bad things happen? Who knew??

Generally, if a private business is foolish with their bottom line then they go out of business (unless there's a major union involved, see General Motors, perhaps you've heard of them).

When our government is foolish with tax reciepts then they raise taxes or print more money. It's great work if you can get it.
And thus we get the demonstrations.

You do realize you have been contradicted by the praxis of governmental corporate financial banking bailouts we have seen recently. And this is what happens, as I have mentioned before, when business takes over the country and therefore when the political class often comes not out of a political formation, but arrives directly from the corporate elite.

Have you heard of Chenney? Paulson? etc.
 
delbified said:
here in Australia, water supply is privatised. it works perfectly fine. it's not privatisation in the complete sense - water companies are heavily restricted in how they may operate. in practice, it's little different to govt controlling it and contracting services out to the private sector, which happens all the time.

the advantage of this privatisation is that the water company has a greater incentive to deliver water efficiently - i.e. profit. govt run utilities have no such incentive and often tend to be inefficient. it doesn't work perfectly, but the concept is sound. the end user - the public who consume the water, wouldn't know the difference - except perhaps that they may pay lower taxes.

the real losers are ex-employees of previously govt-owned utilities (water department) who had a cushy job. private companies won't tolerate that as easily. i say that's a good thing. by the way, this is often the major factor in 'public' resistance to privatisation of govt entities.


they are from the real world. you may not like it, the real world is ugly and bad at times, but students may as well learn about it. i was taught by professional lecturers and they were terrible. very interesting and experts in their own way, but irrelevant. give me education that can be applied. the beauty of privatised education is that if students wanted the style of education you advocate, they'll surely get it. you talk about privatised education as if it's being imposed on people - it's the other way around. it's public, state controlled eduation that imposes itself.
It is no less then business running our lives. The university system in America today has totally succumbed to the economy, is mostly about producing people who know how to make money: though has lost a humanistic legacy that teaches us how to be well formed citizens. It's quite tragic really.

As far as water is concerned. I'm well aware that in the liberal capitalist nations nobody makes a big deal about its privatization. It just goes to show you the wide gap between say Italy and your country and mine's in terms of people's perceptions. Italians simply don't want the nation's water supply in the hands of private business. In principle. Because of the precedent, symbolically, such an acquisition represents. Irregardless of of the so called better management and efficiency that private business has over the public management of goods (and I'm convinced that this is often merely a convenient myth propagated by the triumphalist neoliberal capitalist agenda which says to privatize everything), when in reality its just about profit. The philosophy behind such a maneuver is simply that money making is to be the guiding principle behind the consumption of every resource, that business should be allowed to govern the basic elements of life, that the public has domain over nothing.

And then everyone wonders how long it will be before the feudal lords begin to take total control of their serfs. Serfs who they have convinced that everything they did was in their best interests.

The protesters in France have reminded us of one important fact that had gone overlooked: namely, that none of it was true.
 
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rhubroma said:
And thus we get the demonstrations.

You do realize you have been contradicted by the praxis of governmental corporate financial banking bailouts we have seen recently. And this is what happens, as I have mentioned before, when business takes over the country and therefore when the political class often comes not out of a political formation, but arrives directly from the corporate elite.

Have you heard of Chenney? Paulson? etc.
Frank, Dodd, Cox, Pelosi, Schumer... I've heard of them too.

Again, I'm amused. But not for those corrupt capitalists those altruistic career politicians would not have been tempted.

Sillyness on parade.
 
Scott SoCal said:
Frank, Dodd, Cox, Pelosi, Schumer... I've heard of them too.

Again, I'm amused. But not for those corrupt capitalists those altruistic career politicians would not have been tempted.

Sillyness on parade.
Thank you Scott SoCal! You have just confirmed my point about business taking over the political class in the US. Which has nothing of course to do with right-wing or left-wing opponents, because transcendental. Whereas corruption is a constant, but we must both consider and go beyond that at once.

Now I'm amused at your total lack of ideals. Corrupt capitalists can, of course, be counterbalanced by corrupt socialists, or corrupt monarchists, etc. The issue isn't one of affiliation per say, but about ideals. Having corrupt politics should never be an excuse to renounce our ideals. If you don't have any than to me that's poor quality of life, not whether or not I can afford a new Porsche. In other worlds something immaterial over the material.

It isn't enough thus just to fall back on the fact that corruption has been the scourge of political life, because we will always have that. It's rather coming up with a system of shared values that are at the basis of those institutions which are put up to safeguard the public interest. But that these institutions must also be the protectors of individual rights and freedoms. On one condition: namely that the latter's freedom does not suppress those things which belong to the public domain and are thus everybody's common right from health-care, to education, to being able to survive when one is no longer able to work. This was at the basis of the Third Way democracies and economies of post WW II Europe. This is what they created and it worked until other interests, totally lacking in social ideals, began to take over. And this had much to do the spirit and tone which neoliberal capitalism has imposed on the globe.

But there simply aren't any ideals in it aside for profit and catering to the money god. Believe me, people talk about this stuff in this way over here. Young people at university, as well as old age pensioners who fought against Nazi-Fascism and who truly feel that Life and business aren't synonyms. People who have ideals and expect that their politicians will defend them. People who don't want a world only driven by profit, one in which only the economic considerations establish policy. People who want a principle of the collective well-being to prevail over the interests of the private sector, while understanding the the private sector also has a role, just not the most authoritative one. Many of the French protesters share these ideals.
 
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Anonymous

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rhubroma said:
Thank you Scott SoCal! You have just confirmed my point about business taking over the political class in the US. Which has nothing of course to do with right-wing or left-wing opponents, because transcendental. Whereas corruption is a constant, but we must both consider and go beyond that at once.

Now I'm amused at your total lack of ideals. Corrupt capitalists can, of course, be counterbalanced by corrupt socialists, or corrupt monarchists, etc. The issue isn't one of affiliation per say, but about ideals. Having corrupt politics should never be an excuse to renounce our ideals. If you don't have any than to me that's poor quality of life, not whether or not I can afford a new Porsche. In other worlds something immaterial over the material.

It isn't enough thus just to fall back on the fact that corruption has been the scourge of political life, because we will always have that. It's rather coming up with a system of shared values that are at the basis of those institutions which are put up to safeguard the public interest. But that these institutions must also be the protectors of individual rights and freedoms. With one key point: namely that the latter's freedom does not suppress those things which belong to the public domain and are thus everybody's common right from health-care, to education, to being able to survive when one is no longer able to work. This was at the basis of the Third Way democracies and economies of post WW II Europe. This is what they created and it worked until other interests, totally lacking in social ideals, began to take over. And this had much to do the spirit and tone which neoliberal capitalism has imposed on the globe.

But there simply aren't any ideals in it aside for profit and catering to the money god. Believe me, people talk about this stuff in this way over here. Young people at university, as well as old age pensioners who fought against Nazi-Fascism and who truly feel that Life and business aren't synonyms. People who have ideals and expect that their politicians will defend them. People who don't want a world only driven by profit, one in which only the economic considerations establish policy. People who want a principle of the collective well-being to prevail over the interests of the private sector, while understanding the the private sector also has a role, just not the most authoritative one. Many of the French protesters share these ideals.
I think you are getting into a broarder discussion of human nature. My lack of ideals is really an acceptance of things as they are, not as I'd wish them to be.

I don't see a sea change in human nature on the horizon therefore I know the type of government you espouse will never work on any grand scale for any significant period of time. You will never be able to put enough people in positions of power that are not able to be corrupted.

So, we are forced to deal with reality. Give me a system that allows me a reasonable chance to pursue Liberty and that's about all I can ask. In my view, the founders of the US constitution had the best bluprint to date.
 
Scott SoCal said:
I think you are getting into a broarder discussion of human nature. My lack of ideals is really an acceptance of things as they are, not as I'd wish them to be.

I don't see a sea change in human nature on the horizon therefore I know the type of government you espouse will never work on any grand scale for any significant period of time. You will never be able to put enough people in positions of power that are not able to be corrupted.

So, we are forced to deal with reality. Give me a system that allows me a reasonable chance to pursue Liberty and that's about all I can ask. In my view, the founders of the US constitution had the best bluprint to date.
Yes but what they envisioned bears absolutely no resemblance to the corporate world we live in today.
 
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Hugh Januss said:
Yes but what they envisioned bears absolutely no resemblance to the corporate world we live in today.

Nor the government of today.
 
Scott SoCal said:
The US govt spending (as a percentage of GNP) really took off in the 1930's, so the era of (really) big government has been here for my lifetime and my parents as well.

There are many justifications for this but that does not change where we are today in terms of big government. For example, the lawmakers in the US have added $5 Trillion to the national debt since 2007.

And look where we are.

The powers of the federal government were enumerated (Article 1, Section 8 http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html)

One can see the road being paved for exponential growth in government with the 16th ammendment (income tax withholding) and further Supreme Court decisions pertaining the General Welfare Clause and Commerce Clause.

The founders knew the danger of big government and set limited powers. In time the restriction of powers have been chipped away and we are now quite different in terms of size and scope.

The US was originally set up with emphasis on Liberty and not on General Welfare. That is not how the US government operates now.
i feel you miss the point. unfettered capitalism is ruining the USA. the government(according to the constitution) is by the people,for the people,of the people. now as much as corporations want to be "people" they are not.
although the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United is trying to undermine that. now as we evolve, is that what we want? private companies
are buying off the government in so many ways. they took huge hits and we
taxpayers bailed them out, and not one person has been charged with a crime.none. people were encouraged at every turn to apply for credit and then,use all of it to buy a house,buy a bunch of stuff. all on credit. it was
a feeding frenzy of zero ethics. i saw all this up close. unfortunately the public are trained by fear to vote against their own best interests. the USA
has 11 CSG(carrier strike groups). no other country has more than one.
and we wonder why we can't get really good universal healthcare? the continuing Military-Industrial Complex must be fed, at all costs apparently.
never ending wars need more stuff to blow up. You will get nothing,and like it. it does not have to be that way, but it is. all for now:(
 
May 26, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
Generally, if a private business is foolish with their bottom line then they go out of business (unless there's a major union involved, see General Motors, perhaps you've heard of them).
No. Honestly, read the financial pages for enlightenment on how much $ is blown by huge inefficient companies that still stay afloat. Only small companies (like mine ;)) risk going out of business.

The big money on Wall St and in the car industry pressures the government for your tax money to bail them out, after which they're immediately back to paying themselves 200 times what you earn and complaining about socialist government wanting to restrain their efficient free enterprise.

In both cases of course the threat was 'if you don't hand over the tax cash, your socialist government will be blamed for the fallout, and there's a long queue of people ready to believe it'.
 
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Anonymous

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usedtobefast said:
i feel you miss the point. unfettered capitalism is ruining the USA. the government(according to the constitution) is by the people,for the people,of the people. now as much as corporations want to be "people" they are not.
although the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United is trying to undermine that. now as we evolve, is that what we want? private companies
are buying off the government in so many ways. they took huge hits and we
taxpayers bailed them out, and not one person has been charged with a crime.none. people were encouraged at every turn to apply for credit and then,use all of it to buy a house,buy a bunch of stuff. all on credit. it was
a feeding frenzy of zero ethics. i saw all this up close. unfortunately the public are trained by fear to vote against their own best interests. the USA
has 11 CSG(carrier strike groups). no other country has more than one.
and we wonder why we can't get really good universal healthcare? the continuing Military-Industrial Complex must be fed, at all costs apparently.
never ending wars need more stuff to blow up. You will get nothing,and like it. it does not have to be that way, but it is. all for now:(

Unfettered capitalism is not running the USA. Just look at the absolute mountains of regulations most companies/corporations are required to deal with. Unfettered capitalism does not exist in this country except the black market (cash drug trade, racketeering, prostitution etc).

If I accept your premise that corporations are buying off the government, then who is selling it?

I agree there should be many people in prison over the financial BS that has taken place but I hope you understand many of those that should have been charged are public officials and many are still making policy. Hank Greenberg is no longer involved with AIG. Angelo Mozillo doesn't run Countrywide anymore. Barney Frank is still the Chair of the House Financial Services (Banking) Committee. Would you agree this is disturbing?

People were encouraged to buy things on credit... true, but no one held a gun to anyone's head and said "buy or die." Personal responsibility comes into play here.

As for the Military... that's a huge topic that's been discussed in the politics thread. I don't have a solution for you on this one.
 
May 22, 2010
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trompe le monde said:
Another problem with privatization is that education becomes folded within a criteria of success or failure in the marketplace once students graduate. That is, schools will begin to cater their curriculum to what the marketplace demands and ignore those fields that have little market value as they would only hinder their reputation. Fields such as the humanities, arts or narrowly defined sciences such as astrophysics would fall by the way side because they have no direct application to the marketplace. Is this really that advantageous?
that's a huge assumption. privatised education provides students with more choice - it responds to consumer demand. the fact is, many students want an education that better positions them in the job market. you may not like that, you may value other qualities of education, such as the arts, but you need to ask yourself - is it right to dictate to students what sort of education they should be getting, based on your view of what an education should comprise?

i'd argue: No. if students want to study arts under a privatised education system, then you can bet that institutions will provide arts courses. what's wrong with that? unless you feel the state has a responsibility to impose these courses on students, regardless of whether students want or need them.
 
Scott SoCal said:
Unfettered capitalism is not running the USA. Just look at the absolute mountains of regulations most companies/corporations are required to deal with. Unfettered capitalism does not exist in this country except the black market (cash drug trade, racketeering, prostitution etc).

If I accept your premise that corporations are buying off the government, then who is selling it?

I agree there should be many people in prison over the financial BS that has taken place but I hope you understand many of those that should have been charged are public officials and many are still making policy. Hank Greenberg is no longer involved with AIG. Angelo Mozillo doesn't run Countrywide anymore. Barney Frank is still the Chair of the House Financial Services (Banking) Committee. Would you agree this is disturbing?

People were encouraged to buy things on credit... true, but no one held a gun to anyone's head and said "buy or die." Personal responsibility comes into play here.

As for the Military... that's a huge topic that's been discussed in the politics thread. I don't have a solution for you on this one.
not having a job is not the same as being brought up on charges. as much as
personal responsibility come in to play, did you not notice the vast encouragement for people to buy things on credit? you are smart guy. you crunch numbers. the entire economy was a house of credit cards. i saw it
first hand. here in oc i had relatives and friends in the mortgage business.
also first hand knowledge on credit practice that was very sketchy. and it was the way things were done. deregulation. if nobody is looking,someone is going to take your stuff. and the fallback position was get the government
to ball out the wall street brokers and mortgage bankers. it was basic highway robbery. and yet those same people don't want to give a hand up to Joe Average Guy.
 
May 22, 2010
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rhubroma said:
As far as water is concerned. I'm well aware that in the liberal capitalist nations nobody makes a big deal about its privatization. It just goes to show you the wide gap between say Italy and your country and mine's in terms of people's perceptions. Italians simply don't want the nation's water supply in the hands of private business. In principle. Because of the precedent, symbolically, such an acquisition represents. Irregardless of of the so called better management and efficiency that private business has over the public management of goods (and I'm convinced that this is often merely a convenient myth propagated by the triumphalist neoliberal capitalist agenda which says to privatize everything), when in reality its just about profit. The philosophy behind such a maneuver is simply that money making is to be the guiding principle behind the consumption of every resource, that business should be allowed to govern the basic elements of life, that the public has domain over nothing.
but it's not about profit. using water as an example, it's a public resource. the objective is to provide that resource to the public at a minimum cost (to the tax payer). if a private company can provide that service at a lower cost to the tax payer than under state administration, while making $billions in profit, then all that matters is the former - that tax payers benefit. profit made by the private company should be of no concern to you or I.

there is no material impact on the public that results from whether water is managed by private or public enterprise, other than the cost to the tax payer. sorry, but all this talk about society returning to serfdom is unjustified. there is no difference between private water management in Australia and public management in Italy, other than we in Australia may pay a lower price for it.

the question of whether the latter is true is complex - it is possible to get the privatisation process wrong and end up paying more. it's also possible for the state to mismanage resources. i believe the latter is more likely. but a key benefit that opponents of privatisation miss is the freeing up of capital - when you sell a public resource, it makes available capital that can be utilised by the state to provide social services. this is a major factor in why govts choose to privatise.
 
May 22, 2010
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usedtobefast said:
here in oc i had relatives and friends in the mortgage business. also first hand knowledge on credit practice that was very sketchy. and it was the way things were done. deregulation.
deregulation didn't cause the mortgage crisis - govt policy to insure the mortgages of people with a bad credit history who the private sector quite sensibly would not otherwise have issued mortgages to was where the blame lies.

private sector 1
govt policy 0
 
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Anonymous

Guest
yourwelcome said:
No. Honestly, read the financial pages for enlightenment on how much $ is blown by huge inefficient companies that still stay afloat. Only small companies (like mine ;)) risk going out of business.

The big money on Wall St and in the car industry pressures the government for your tax money to bail them out, after which they're immediately back to paying themselves 200 times what you earn and complaining about socialist government wanting to restrain their efficient free enterprise.

In both cases of course the threat was 'if you don't hand over the tax cash, your socialist government will be blamed for the fallout, and there's a long queue of people ready to believe it'.
Companies/Corporations crash with frequency.

http://www.bankruptcydata.com/Research/Largest_2010.pdf

The idea that big companies can't fail is wrong. AIG and GM should have been allowed to crash just like Global Crossings and Enron.
 
delbified said:
deregulation didn't cause the mortgage crisis - govt policy to insure the mortgages of people with a bad credit history who the private sector quite sensibly would not otherwise have issued mortgages to was where the blame lies.

private sector 1
govt policy 0
sorry you are wrong. fanniemae/freddiemac were at the behest of private companies, so they could do the deed and win either way. heads i win/tails i win.Machiavelli would be proud.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niccolò_Machiavelli
 
May 22, 2010
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govt insurance of low doc loans was a wealth building strategy of the... govt. the idea was to encourage home ownership amongst low income earners, partly to help alleviate the welfare burden when they retired. the theory was that even if they defaulted on the loans, they would still come out ahead in a rising property market. the problem is this contributed to a price bubble and eventually, a falling market and disaster for everyone. like most attempts to manipulate the market through regulation, it failed.

then the media blamed it all on soulless, greedy multinational companies and everyone nodded sagely to each other.

saying that failed govt policies are the fault of private industry who "made them do it" is a bit over the top.
 
delbified said:
govt insurance of low doc loans was a wealth building strategy of the... govt. the idea was to encourage home ownership amongst low income earners, partly to help alleviate the welfare burden when they retired. the theory was that even if they defaulted on the loans, they would still come out ahead in a rising property market. the problem is this contributed to a price bubble and eventually, a falling market and disaster for everyone. like most attempts to manipulate the market through regulation, it failed.

then the media blamed it all on soulless, greedy multinational companies and everyone nodded sagely to each other.
everyone...private sector put enormous pressure on the market,with little regulation from the government. that was what was wanted. fools thought
"the road goes on forever,and the party never ends" no ethics,no sense of history. result, the current mess. and still everyone wants to pretend it will be ok,if we just prop up the current system. we a have 2 tired economy.
the financial sector and everybody else. and everyone looked at each other
and said WTF?
 

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