Friday, November 4, 2011
Occupy Common Sense
A lot of the people demonstrating in all of the ‘Occupy’ movements have no clue what they are demonstrating against. The first group, Occupy Wall Street, have put forth their complaint against our economic system of capitalism and corporate greed.
These grandchildren of the 1960’s hippies are desperately trying to emulate the glory days of Grandma and Grandpa when they were free from responsibility and still mooching off their parents.
The current protesters grew up hearing romantic stories of how the older generation spent their days burning draft notices, wearing groovy clothes and headbands, driving their VW vans to that massive concert in the middle of a cow field, dancing topless under the influence of hallucinogenics and indulging in loads of sex with total strangers under the guise of free love. Thank God for antibiotics!
Yeah. Good times.
Little do they know those same grandparents grew up to understand that the socialist utopia they dreamed of was completely unrealistic. Socialism and its ugly cousin, communism has never in the history of civilization been a successful model of society. Oh, it sounds good in theory; everyone has all they need. Or as Karl Marx put it, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Doesn’t that sound dreamy?
Problem is it has and will never work. Reason? The innate laziness and greed of the human being. Hate to tell the love children, but deep inside, people are selfish pigs that are only out for themselves. A perfect example is Black Friday.
Have you ever gotten up at 4am the day after Thanksgiving to be one of the first in line at a store that has advertised fantastic bargains to kick off the Christmas buying season? Those people will knife you in the back to save fifty bucks on an X-Box for their kid. There is elbowing, shoving and cursing and that is before they even open the doors! It’s just human nature. I don’t need anything bad enough to put up with that!
I have the upmost compassion for people who have lost their job, through no fault of their own or who have suffered illness or injury in which their savings are wiped out with hospital bills. There are various scenarios where people fall on hard times and I have absolutely no problem assisting them with food or rent money or watching their kids while they go to a job interview. That is my responsibility and joy as a Christian.
However, there are thousands upon thousands of people who refuse to try to make an honest living; who have made manipulating government assistance into an art form. I won’t get into how this is accomplished, but suffice to say some of these folks live better than the average American and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. If they put as much brain power into succeeding at a respectable job, they might just end up owning their own company one day!
This leads me back to the Occupy movement. They are, understandably upset with the current economic downturn in this country which is making it difficult to find a good job and make a decent living. They are also understandably incensed that taxpayers were forced to bail out the banks.
The investments of millions of hard working Americans have shrunk to next to nothing while some of the Wall Street executives still enjoy multimillion dollar bonuses and severance packages as they walk away from these crippled financial institutions with little to no accountability to the taxpayers.
How did the economy get into this mess? Of course, it is quite complicated, but the source seems to the bursting bubble of the real estate market. A lot of this problem started, surprisingly, in the Carter Administration when his well meaning, left-wing socialist plan to make it possible for everyone to own a home was implemented. This is a great example of how socialism sounds good in theory but ends up being a disaster.
Back then, government officials began accusing mortgage lenders of ‘racism’ because suburban whites were being approved for loans at a higher rate than urban blacks. The pressure on banks to make more loans to people with weak credit histories ratcheted up and they were forced to loosen their underwriting standards to comply with government demand.
In the late 1970’s, Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act that gave regulators power to punish banks that failed to meet the credit needs of low-income, minority and distressed neighborhoods. As a result, banks began issuing more high risk loans.
The two government chartered mortgage finance firms, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, along with Affirmative Action policies, forced lenders to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as ‘valid income sources’ to qualify for a mortgage. You can’t make this stuff up, folks!
The housing market boomed and real estate prices and home equity began to climb to historic levels. Halleluiah, everyone who wanted a house went out and got one, whether they could afford it or not. The left-wing was in la-la land because, at last, the good life in this country was on a more equitable plane.
However, in 2003, economic advisors in the Bush administration saw storm clouds in the distance and began warning that the good times could not possibly last. There were rumblings that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were cooking the books and taking too many risks with questionable lending practices which private lenders were pressured to copy.
Treasury Secretary, John Snow proposed placing Freddie and Fannie under Treasury oversight and regulating them with strict controls. The New York Times stated this would be, “The most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.” Bush knew the last thing the taxpayers needed was to have to bail out another government entity. However, there were those who pooh-pooh’d the idea.
Ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, one of the most outspoken liberals to ever stroll the halls of Congress, stated, “These two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”
It took until 2005 for a watered down version of Treasury Secretary Snow’s proposal to reform the mortgage giants to pass. By then, the damage was done. The Carter and Clinton administration’s banking regulations forced Fannie and Freddie, as well as the private sector banks to approve subprime mortgages with insane consumer lures such as zero money down, no interest for a year and/or not checking the income or employment histories of the applicants. Brilliant idea, people, but hey…everybody had the same opportunity to own a house and that’s the important thing, right?
BOOM! The bubble burst!
As we all know, millions of homeowners, who did not have the means to buy and had no business doing so, began to default on their loans, causing a tsunami of foreclosures. It was bound to happen. As a result, housing prices and home equity fell sharply, new construction was stopped in its tracks, the domino effect rippled throughout the economy and stock prices tanked, bringing us to where we are today.
The Occupy protestors don’t realize their anti-capitalist, socialist dreams are the very thing that got us into this mess!! You have to somewhat appreciate Jimmy Carter’s big heart for wanting everyone to own a home but the facts are simple. If your income is not such that you can afford a house, you have to rent housing. If that is not to your liking, get more education or training. In this wonderful country, you can work your way up to where you want to be.
BUT, no one needs to or should be force to simply give it to you. Sarah Palin stated that the Occupiers, “say ‘Wall Street Fat Cats got a bailout so now I want one too!’” “And the correct answer is no one is entitled to a bailout. The American dream, our foundation, is about work ethic and empowerment, not entitlement.”
I wish I had an answer for our economic woes. I truly feel for those who have lost their jobs; who have struggled through college only to end up with huge student loans and no opportunity to work. It pains me to see the 401Ks and other investments families have so carefully sacrificed for, plummet in value, leaving folks to wonder how they will ever survive retirement. It affects my family too! But I have to shake my head and smile when I listen to the nightly news, detailing how the entire world’s economies are in various stages of collapse, because I’ve got hope…
According to the Bible, these things are supposed to happen in the last days. The growing disparity between the wealthy and the middle class and poor, plus the world’s economic problems are shaping history for a charismatic leader to appear on the world’s stage with all the answers to the planet’s woes. The antichrist will have the solutions to world-wide economic problems, the unrest in the Middle East as well as clashes between major religions.
He will initially be thought of as the Messiah but will end up being mankind’s greatest nightmare, making Hitler look like a purring kitten. It will be the worst time in human history and I wouldn’t want to be here for all the money or fame in the universe.
But I don’t have to be concerned because I, along with all those who belong to Christ, will be snatched off this earth to be safe with Him in heaven before this tyrant is revealed. The way circumstances stand, this could happen at any moment.
Christ has made a way of escape for you too. The ticket He purchased for you, signed with His blood, is yours for the asking. I strongly advise you to look into getting one. They are free and if you want more information, leave me a comment with a way to get back to you, because if you think things in the world are bad now…honey, you ain’t seen nothing yet!