Historical Economy

ReadOldLadyGIF Pat present:

One of the interesting—and scary—parts of studying history is seeing how it repeats itself. Like book publishing, everything is cyclical. I fear that the current concentration on the basics like math and science is depriving students of the opportunity to learn from the experience of others.  There’s no bigger proof of that than today’s economy!  For students of history, the current situation was obvious a decade ago.

PBS has an excellent summary of various economic bubbles in the past, but take a look at the one about 1929 and see if that doesn’t sound exactly like our recent world-wide binge of greed:  expansion of credit, reckless purchasing, stock Currierives-growpoor market speculation….  It’s all there in black and white, an outline of how not to do it. And we did it anyway.

And a true student of history could trace even further back to the monopolies at the turn of the twentieth century, which we replicated in the nineties when all the book publishers and banks and other industries started buying each other out.  Since this isn’t a blog about finance, I won’t bore you with the details of the results of that mentality. You can watch the TV news and see it for yourself.

What makes people ignore history? Do we think we’re so superior to our ancestors that we would never make the same mistakes? Or have we all become so busy that we don’t take time to think about what we’re actually doing?  Is there something in our own lives that we could or should change to prevent making the mistakes of the past—ours or someone else’s?  There could be entire stories hiding in such possibilities!

90 thoughts on “Historical Economy”

  1. I think it’s option 2. We are so busy that we don’t take time to reflect upon our behavior and take the lessons of the past to heart. Also denial is a strong defense mechanism. We all tend to tread the primrose path merrily until we step on a rake and get bopped in the head. Then the ones who were directly affected have learned but others who only heard the story don’t believe it could happen to them.

    Reply
  2. I think it’s option 2. We are so busy that we don’t take time to reflect upon our behavior and take the lessons of the past to heart. Also denial is a strong defense mechanism. We all tend to tread the primrose path merrily until we step on a rake and get bopped in the head. Then the ones who were directly affected have learned but others who only heard the story don’t believe it could happen to them.

    Reply
  3. I think it’s option 2. We are so busy that we don’t take time to reflect upon our behavior and take the lessons of the past to heart. Also denial is a strong defense mechanism. We all tend to tread the primrose path merrily until we step on a rake and get bopped in the head. Then the ones who were directly affected have learned but others who only heard the story don’t believe it could happen to them.

    Reply
  4. I think it’s option 2. We are so busy that we don’t take time to reflect upon our behavior and take the lessons of the past to heart. Also denial is a strong defense mechanism. We all tend to tread the primrose path merrily until we step on a rake and get bopped in the head. Then the ones who were directly affected have learned but others who only heard the story don’t believe it could happen to them.

    Reply
  5. I think it’s option 2. We are so busy that we don’t take time to reflect upon our behavior and take the lessons of the past to heart. Also denial is a strong defense mechanism. We all tend to tread the primrose path merrily until we step on a rake and get bopped in the head. Then the ones who were directly affected have learned but others who only heard the story don’t believe it could happen to them.

    Reply
  6. I think saying ‘us’ is a bit misguided. While everyone is responsible for part of whatever situation they find themselves in, economies are moved globally. People will do what they can, as greed is always a bigger motivator than social good. When the barriers are taken down that force greed into certain channels, greed rushes through and mows down the guilty and innocent alike.
    When jobs started going overseas for the new tax inducements making them effectively tax exempt ‘we’ protested but were ultimately powerless to effect a change in time to prevent the outcome of that blue collar erosion. While the money is rolling in to your house, it’s hard to believe that what is going wrong with your neighbor isn’t somehow his fault. Culturally, we’ve tied personal value to personal worth (a common romance theme) and look askance at do gooders and social planners.
    Not every country shares these values. Some have worse values, some have better. (Talk to a German family getting a look at our educational system) but overall, the sum of our strength is higher than our weaknesses. There are some who will never be convinced that the greed cycles are bad or that lifting your neighbor lifts yourself, that’s who we are as a people. We just have to hope that we get slightly smarter each time we take the ride.

    Reply
  7. I think saying ‘us’ is a bit misguided. While everyone is responsible for part of whatever situation they find themselves in, economies are moved globally. People will do what they can, as greed is always a bigger motivator than social good. When the barriers are taken down that force greed into certain channels, greed rushes through and mows down the guilty and innocent alike.
    When jobs started going overseas for the new tax inducements making them effectively tax exempt ‘we’ protested but were ultimately powerless to effect a change in time to prevent the outcome of that blue collar erosion. While the money is rolling in to your house, it’s hard to believe that what is going wrong with your neighbor isn’t somehow his fault. Culturally, we’ve tied personal value to personal worth (a common romance theme) and look askance at do gooders and social planners.
    Not every country shares these values. Some have worse values, some have better. (Talk to a German family getting a look at our educational system) but overall, the sum of our strength is higher than our weaknesses. There are some who will never be convinced that the greed cycles are bad or that lifting your neighbor lifts yourself, that’s who we are as a people. We just have to hope that we get slightly smarter each time we take the ride.

    Reply
  8. I think saying ‘us’ is a bit misguided. While everyone is responsible for part of whatever situation they find themselves in, economies are moved globally. People will do what they can, as greed is always a bigger motivator than social good. When the barriers are taken down that force greed into certain channels, greed rushes through and mows down the guilty and innocent alike.
    When jobs started going overseas for the new tax inducements making them effectively tax exempt ‘we’ protested but were ultimately powerless to effect a change in time to prevent the outcome of that blue collar erosion. While the money is rolling in to your house, it’s hard to believe that what is going wrong with your neighbor isn’t somehow his fault. Culturally, we’ve tied personal value to personal worth (a common romance theme) and look askance at do gooders and social planners.
    Not every country shares these values. Some have worse values, some have better. (Talk to a German family getting a look at our educational system) but overall, the sum of our strength is higher than our weaknesses. There are some who will never be convinced that the greed cycles are bad or that lifting your neighbor lifts yourself, that’s who we are as a people. We just have to hope that we get slightly smarter each time we take the ride.

    Reply
  9. I think saying ‘us’ is a bit misguided. While everyone is responsible for part of whatever situation they find themselves in, economies are moved globally. People will do what they can, as greed is always a bigger motivator than social good. When the barriers are taken down that force greed into certain channels, greed rushes through and mows down the guilty and innocent alike.
    When jobs started going overseas for the new tax inducements making them effectively tax exempt ‘we’ protested but were ultimately powerless to effect a change in time to prevent the outcome of that blue collar erosion. While the money is rolling in to your house, it’s hard to believe that what is going wrong with your neighbor isn’t somehow his fault. Culturally, we’ve tied personal value to personal worth (a common romance theme) and look askance at do gooders and social planners.
    Not every country shares these values. Some have worse values, some have better. (Talk to a German family getting a look at our educational system) but overall, the sum of our strength is higher than our weaknesses. There are some who will never be convinced that the greed cycles are bad or that lifting your neighbor lifts yourself, that’s who we are as a people. We just have to hope that we get slightly smarter each time we take the ride.

    Reply
  10. I think saying ‘us’ is a bit misguided. While everyone is responsible for part of whatever situation they find themselves in, economies are moved globally. People will do what they can, as greed is always a bigger motivator than social good. When the barriers are taken down that force greed into certain channels, greed rushes through and mows down the guilty and innocent alike.
    When jobs started going overseas for the new tax inducements making them effectively tax exempt ‘we’ protested but were ultimately powerless to effect a change in time to prevent the outcome of that blue collar erosion. While the money is rolling in to your house, it’s hard to believe that what is going wrong with your neighbor isn’t somehow his fault. Culturally, we’ve tied personal value to personal worth (a common romance theme) and look askance at do gooders and social planners.
    Not every country shares these values. Some have worse values, some have better. (Talk to a German family getting a look at our educational system) but overall, the sum of our strength is higher than our weaknesses. There are some who will never be convinced that the greed cycles are bad or that lifting your neighbor lifts yourself, that’s who we are as a people. We just have to hope that we get slightly smarter each time we take the ride.

    Reply
  11. Kathy, excellent point about the rake. Telling our stories isn’t the same as actually informing people, more’s the pity. Maybe people need more imagination to see how what happens to others applies to them?
    I’m kinda stuck with using “us,” Liz, because otherwise it sounds as if I’m making accusations with an epithet like “you people…” I realize there are lots of people who lead simple lives, even some wealthy CEOs, but it has to be the majority of individuals and their beliefs who turned a country from helping others into helping themselves. Somehow, a whole lot of us bought into the material world, and we should have known better.

    Reply
  12. Kathy, excellent point about the rake. Telling our stories isn’t the same as actually informing people, more’s the pity. Maybe people need more imagination to see how what happens to others applies to them?
    I’m kinda stuck with using “us,” Liz, because otherwise it sounds as if I’m making accusations with an epithet like “you people…” I realize there are lots of people who lead simple lives, even some wealthy CEOs, but it has to be the majority of individuals and their beliefs who turned a country from helping others into helping themselves. Somehow, a whole lot of us bought into the material world, and we should have known better.

    Reply
  13. Kathy, excellent point about the rake. Telling our stories isn’t the same as actually informing people, more’s the pity. Maybe people need more imagination to see how what happens to others applies to them?
    I’m kinda stuck with using “us,” Liz, because otherwise it sounds as if I’m making accusations with an epithet like “you people…” I realize there are lots of people who lead simple lives, even some wealthy CEOs, but it has to be the majority of individuals and their beliefs who turned a country from helping others into helping themselves. Somehow, a whole lot of us bought into the material world, and we should have known better.

    Reply
  14. Kathy, excellent point about the rake. Telling our stories isn’t the same as actually informing people, more’s the pity. Maybe people need more imagination to see how what happens to others applies to them?
    I’m kinda stuck with using “us,” Liz, because otherwise it sounds as if I’m making accusations with an epithet like “you people…” I realize there are lots of people who lead simple lives, even some wealthy CEOs, but it has to be the majority of individuals and their beliefs who turned a country from helping others into helping themselves. Somehow, a whole lot of us bought into the material world, and we should have known better.

    Reply
  15. Kathy, excellent point about the rake. Telling our stories isn’t the same as actually informing people, more’s the pity. Maybe people need more imagination to see how what happens to others applies to them?
    I’m kinda stuck with using “us,” Liz, because otherwise it sounds as if I’m making accusations with an epithet like “you people…” I realize there are lots of people who lead simple lives, even some wealthy CEOs, but it has to be the majority of individuals and their beliefs who turned a country from helping others into helping themselves. Somehow, a whole lot of us bought into the material world, and we should have known better.

    Reply
  16. From Sherrie:
    I think one reason many of us ignore history is that it’s so far removed from our own self-sphere. I’ve read a lot about the Great Depression, but I was born after the Depression, at a time when the nation was prospering. Learning about something that happened before my time was interesting, but didn’t impact my life personally.
    My grandmother lived through the Depression and suffered hardships as a result. The experience stayed with her, and she practiced frugality long after the Depression had ended and we’d become a prosperous nation once again.
    I’m self-employed, and have to pay my taxes every April. If the IRS showed up on my doorstep every month, demanding I pay my taxes on a monthly basis, that would affect me on a personal level. I’d save a little bit every month to cover taxes. But I only pay taxes once a year–every April 15–so for the rest of the year, I’m not really affected on a personal level, and therefore never seem to do more than cursory attempts at saving for when taxes are due. I think many people are like that.

    Reply
  17. From Sherrie:
    I think one reason many of us ignore history is that it’s so far removed from our own self-sphere. I’ve read a lot about the Great Depression, but I was born after the Depression, at a time when the nation was prospering. Learning about something that happened before my time was interesting, but didn’t impact my life personally.
    My grandmother lived through the Depression and suffered hardships as a result. The experience stayed with her, and she practiced frugality long after the Depression had ended and we’d become a prosperous nation once again.
    I’m self-employed, and have to pay my taxes every April. If the IRS showed up on my doorstep every month, demanding I pay my taxes on a monthly basis, that would affect me on a personal level. I’d save a little bit every month to cover taxes. But I only pay taxes once a year–every April 15–so for the rest of the year, I’m not really affected on a personal level, and therefore never seem to do more than cursory attempts at saving for when taxes are due. I think many people are like that.

    Reply
  18. From Sherrie:
    I think one reason many of us ignore history is that it’s so far removed from our own self-sphere. I’ve read a lot about the Great Depression, but I was born after the Depression, at a time when the nation was prospering. Learning about something that happened before my time was interesting, but didn’t impact my life personally.
    My grandmother lived through the Depression and suffered hardships as a result. The experience stayed with her, and she practiced frugality long after the Depression had ended and we’d become a prosperous nation once again.
    I’m self-employed, and have to pay my taxes every April. If the IRS showed up on my doorstep every month, demanding I pay my taxes on a monthly basis, that would affect me on a personal level. I’d save a little bit every month to cover taxes. But I only pay taxes once a year–every April 15–so for the rest of the year, I’m not really affected on a personal level, and therefore never seem to do more than cursory attempts at saving for when taxes are due. I think many people are like that.

    Reply
  19. From Sherrie:
    I think one reason many of us ignore history is that it’s so far removed from our own self-sphere. I’ve read a lot about the Great Depression, but I was born after the Depression, at a time when the nation was prospering. Learning about something that happened before my time was interesting, but didn’t impact my life personally.
    My grandmother lived through the Depression and suffered hardships as a result. The experience stayed with her, and she practiced frugality long after the Depression had ended and we’d become a prosperous nation once again.
    I’m self-employed, and have to pay my taxes every April. If the IRS showed up on my doorstep every month, demanding I pay my taxes on a monthly basis, that would affect me on a personal level. I’d save a little bit every month to cover taxes. But I only pay taxes once a year–every April 15–so for the rest of the year, I’m not really affected on a personal level, and therefore never seem to do more than cursory attempts at saving for when taxes are due. I think many people are like that.

    Reply
  20. From Sherrie:
    I think one reason many of us ignore history is that it’s so far removed from our own self-sphere. I’ve read a lot about the Great Depression, but I was born after the Depression, at a time when the nation was prospering. Learning about something that happened before my time was interesting, but didn’t impact my life personally.
    My grandmother lived through the Depression and suffered hardships as a result. The experience stayed with her, and she practiced frugality long after the Depression had ended and we’d become a prosperous nation once again.
    I’m self-employed, and have to pay my taxes every April. If the IRS showed up on my doorstep every month, demanding I pay my taxes on a monthly basis, that would affect me on a personal level. I’d save a little bit every month to cover taxes. But I only pay taxes once a year–every April 15–so for the rest of the year, I’m not really affected on a personal level, and therefore never seem to do more than cursory attempts at saving for when taxes are due. I think many people are like that.

    Reply
  21. Another fantastic mind-probing post, Prof. Pat!
    I agree with Sherrie, people act and react according to what consumes their personal sphere, and I’d like to take it a step further. Most people believe themselves smarter than their parents, their grandparents and certainly smarter than those who lived a century before. Are we not more advanced, more informed? Have we not made the world a smaller (and some might argue) a better place? Sure, but acquired knowledge does create wisdom. Wisdom comes from admitting One is fallible, has made wrong choices, and is in need of assistance and a course change. That’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s also a common romance theme. 🙂

    Reply
  22. Another fantastic mind-probing post, Prof. Pat!
    I agree with Sherrie, people act and react according to what consumes their personal sphere, and I’d like to take it a step further. Most people believe themselves smarter than their parents, their grandparents and certainly smarter than those who lived a century before. Are we not more advanced, more informed? Have we not made the world a smaller (and some might argue) a better place? Sure, but acquired knowledge does create wisdom. Wisdom comes from admitting One is fallible, has made wrong choices, and is in need of assistance and a course change. That’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s also a common romance theme. 🙂

    Reply
  23. Another fantastic mind-probing post, Prof. Pat!
    I agree with Sherrie, people act and react according to what consumes their personal sphere, and I’d like to take it a step further. Most people believe themselves smarter than their parents, their grandparents and certainly smarter than those who lived a century before. Are we not more advanced, more informed? Have we not made the world a smaller (and some might argue) a better place? Sure, but acquired knowledge does create wisdom. Wisdom comes from admitting One is fallible, has made wrong choices, and is in need of assistance and a course change. That’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s also a common romance theme. 🙂

    Reply
  24. Another fantastic mind-probing post, Prof. Pat!
    I agree with Sherrie, people act and react according to what consumes their personal sphere, and I’d like to take it a step further. Most people believe themselves smarter than their parents, their grandparents and certainly smarter than those who lived a century before. Are we not more advanced, more informed? Have we not made the world a smaller (and some might argue) a better place? Sure, but acquired knowledge does create wisdom. Wisdom comes from admitting One is fallible, has made wrong choices, and is in need of assistance and a course change. That’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s also a common romance theme. 🙂

    Reply
  25. Another fantastic mind-probing post, Prof. Pat!
    I agree with Sherrie, people act and react according to what consumes their personal sphere, and I’d like to take it a step further. Most people believe themselves smarter than their parents, their grandparents and certainly smarter than those who lived a century before. Are we not more advanced, more informed? Have we not made the world a smaller (and some might argue) a better place? Sure, but acquired knowledge does create wisdom. Wisdom comes from admitting One is fallible, has made wrong choices, and is in need of assistance and a course change. That’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s also a common romance theme. 🙂

    Reply
  26. Yea, I get the ‘us’ vs ‘you people’ problem. I just don’t agree with the premise that we’ve turned from a country that helps others to a country that helps ourselves. I think the majority of America leads the life they’ve pretty much always lived – we’ve replaced rent to own and layaway with store credit – but I remember when they invented all of that. (Debit cards via phone lines, how weird that seemed) but the structure that drives the economy isn’t easily affected by the average person.
    Sure, they get blamed – like absent black fathers and welfare queens and all the other red herrings that make it seem like if we all just hit a higher moral point things wouldn’t have tanked – but most people got into trouble this year when rising fuel costs led to skyrocketing prices in several sectors, combined with falling spending as a result of fuel prices, this led to more layoffs, which due to our raiding of our manufacturing base and service sector was felt dramatically. I can’t tell you how many jobs I’ve watched go overseas in engineering and manufacturing over the last few years. Or call centers.
    Add in the crazy accounting at Enron type places, with Madoff, etc etc – Hedge funds playing fast and loose with mortgage bundles – that’s a small % of the population using increasing deregulation to affect a huge % of the population. I know a lot of people who play by very tight versions of ‘the rules’ really in trouble now. I’m grateful not to be one of them, but I don’t delude myself that it’s more than great good luck that we work for a segment of the market not yet affected.
    I just strongly disagree with a suggestion that a moral failing of America at large is what put us here as opposed to (as always) the 1% running wild until the 99% have to dig it all back out again. When we’re solvent, we say more power to the Robber Barons, and when they rob us, we take the blame. But the entire culture of America has always been make what you can, take care of yours, it’s never been care for thy neighbor. Social Security, funded by people’s own money, is even looked at askance.

    Reply
  27. Yea, I get the ‘us’ vs ‘you people’ problem. I just don’t agree with the premise that we’ve turned from a country that helps others to a country that helps ourselves. I think the majority of America leads the life they’ve pretty much always lived – we’ve replaced rent to own and layaway with store credit – but I remember when they invented all of that. (Debit cards via phone lines, how weird that seemed) but the structure that drives the economy isn’t easily affected by the average person.
    Sure, they get blamed – like absent black fathers and welfare queens and all the other red herrings that make it seem like if we all just hit a higher moral point things wouldn’t have tanked – but most people got into trouble this year when rising fuel costs led to skyrocketing prices in several sectors, combined with falling spending as a result of fuel prices, this led to more layoffs, which due to our raiding of our manufacturing base and service sector was felt dramatically. I can’t tell you how many jobs I’ve watched go overseas in engineering and manufacturing over the last few years. Or call centers.
    Add in the crazy accounting at Enron type places, with Madoff, etc etc – Hedge funds playing fast and loose with mortgage bundles – that’s a small % of the population using increasing deregulation to affect a huge % of the population. I know a lot of people who play by very tight versions of ‘the rules’ really in trouble now. I’m grateful not to be one of them, but I don’t delude myself that it’s more than great good luck that we work for a segment of the market not yet affected.
    I just strongly disagree with a suggestion that a moral failing of America at large is what put us here as opposed to (as always) the 1% running wild until the 99% have to dig it all back out again. When we’re solvent, we say more power to the Robber Barons, and when they rob us, we take the blame. But the entire culture of America has always been make what you can, take care of yours, it’s never been care for thy neighbor. Social Security, funded by people’s own money, is even looked at askance.

    Reply
  28. Yea, I get the ‘us’ vs ‘you people’ problem. I just don’t agree with the premise that we’ve turned from a country that helps others to a country that helps ourselves. I think the majority of America leads the life they’ve pretty much always lived – we’ve replaced rent to own and layaway with store credit – but I remember when they invented all of that. (Debit cards via phone lines, how weird that seemed) but the structure that drives the economy isn’t easily affected by the average person.
    Sure, they get blamed – like absent black fathers and welfare queens and all the other red herrings that make it seem like if we all just hit a higher moral point things wouldn’t have tanked – but most people got into trouble this year when rising fuel costs led to skyrocketing prices in several sectors, combined with falling spending as a result of fuel prices, this led to more layoffs, which due to our raiding of our manufacturing base and service sector was felt dramatically. I can’t tell you how many jobs I’ve watched go overseas in engineering and manufacturing over the last few years. Or call centers.
    Add in the crazy accounting at Enron type places, with Madoff, etc etc – Hedge funds playing fast and loose with mortgage bundles – that’s a small % of the population using increasing deregulation to affect a huge % of the population. I know a lot of people who play by very tight versions of ‘the rules’ really in trouble now. I’m grateful not to be one of them, but I don’t delude myself that it’s more than great good luck that we work for a segment of the market not yet affected.
    I just strongly disagree with a suggestion that a moral failing of America at large is what put us here as opposed to (as always) the 1% running wild until the 99% have to dig it all back out again. When we’re solvent, we say more power to the Robber Barons, and when they rob us, we take the blame. But the entire culture of America has always been make what you can, take care of yours, it’s never been care for thy neighbor. Social Security, funded by people’s own money, is even looked at askance.

    Reply
  29. Yea, I get the ‘us’ vs ‘you people’ problem. I just don’t agree with the premise that we’ve turned from a country that helps others to a country that helps ourselves. I think the majority of America leads the life they’ve pretty much always lived – we’ve replaced rent to own and layaway with store credit – but I remember when they invented all of that. (Debit cards via phone lines, how weird that seemed) but the structure that drives the economy isn’t easily affected by the average person.
    Sure, they get blamed – like absent black fathers and welfare queens and all the other red herrings that make it seem like if we all just hit a higher moral point things wouldn’t have tanked – but most people got into trouble this year when rising fuel costs led to skyrocketing prices in several sectors, combined with falling spending as a result of fuel prices, this led to more layoffs, which due to our raiding of our manufacturing base and service sector was felt dramatically. I can’t tell you how many jobs I’ve watched go overseas in engineering and manufacturing over the last few years. Or call centers.
    Add in the crazy accounting at Enron type places, with Madoff, etc etc – Hedge funds playing fast and loose with mortgage bundles – that’s a small % of the population using increasing deregulation to affect a huge % of the population. I know a lot of people who play by very tight versions of ‘the rules’ really in trouble now. I’m grateful not to be one of them, but I don’t delude myself that it’s more than great good luck that we work for a segment of the market not yet affected.
    I just strongly disagree with a suggestion that a moral failing of America at large is what put us here as opposed to (as always) the 1% running wild until the 99% have to dig it all back out again. When we’re solvent, we say more power to the Robber Barons, and when they rob us, we take the blame. But the entire culture of America has always been make what you can, take care of yours, it’s never been care for thy neighbor. Social Security, funded by people’s own money, is even looked at askance.

    Reply
  30. Yea, I get the ‘us’ vs ‘you people’ problem. I just don’t agree with the premise that we’ve turned from a country that helps others to a country that helps ourselves. I think the majority of America leads the life they’ve pretty much always lived – we’ve replaced rent to own and layaway with store credit – but I remember when they invented all of that. (Debit cards via phone lines, how weird that seemed) but the structure that drives the economy isn’t easily affected by the average person.
    Sure, they get blamed – like absent black fathers and welfare queens and all the other red herrings that make it seem like if we all just hit a higher moral point things wouldn’t have tanked – but most people got into trouble this year when rising fuel costs led to skyrocketing prices in several sectors, combined with falling spending as a result of fuel prices, this led to more layoffs, which due to our raiding of our manufacturing base and service sector was felt dramatically. I can’t tell you how many jobs I’ve watched go overseas in engineering and manufacturing over the last few years. Or call centers.
    Add in the crazy accounting at Enron type places, with Madoff, etc etc – Hedge funds playing fast and loose with mortgage bundles – that’s a small % of the population using increasing deregulation to affect a huge % of the population. I know a lot of people who play by very tight versions of ‘the rules’ really in trouble now. I’m grateful not to be one of them, but I don’t delude myself that it’s more than great good luck that we work for a segment of the market not yet affected.
    I just strongly disagree with a suggestion that a moral failing of America at large is what put us here as opposed to (as always) the 1% running wild until the 99% have to dig it all back out again. When we’re solvent, we say more power to the Robber Barons, and when they rob us, we take the blame. But the entire culture of America has always been make what you can, take care of yours, it’s never been care for thy neighbor. Social Security, funded by people’s own money, is even looked at askance.

    Reply
  31. Also, y’know, feel free to take all of that lightly – I’m not storming the castle or anything – I’ve just got strong feelings on market manipulation having grown up quite poor and currently residing in Palm Beach. I’ve had a Storied Life and Gotten Different Perspectives.

    Reply
  32. Also, y’know, feel free to take all of that lightly – I’m not storming the castle or anything – I’ve just got strong feelings on market manipulation having grown up quite poor and currently residing in Palm Beach. I’ve had a Storied Life and Gotten Different Perspectives.

    Reply
  33. Also, y’know, feel free to take all of that lightly – I’m not storming the castle or anything – I’ve just got strong feelings on market manipulation having grown up quite poor and currently residing in Palm Beach. I’ve had a Storied Life and Gotten Different Perspectives.

    Reply
  34. Also, y’know, feel free to take all of that lightly – I’m not storming the castle or anything – I’ve just got strong feelings on market manipulation having grown up quite poor and currently residing in Palm Beach. I’ve had a Storied Life and Gotten Different Perspectives.

    Reply
  35. Also, y’know, feel free to take all of that lightly – I’m not storming the castle or anything – I’ve just got strong feelings on market manipulation having grown up quite poor and currently residing in Palm Beach. I’ve had a Storied Life and Gotten Different Perspectives.

    Reply
  36. Liz, I absolutely agree with you on many levels, although Enron, et al, are a sign of the greed of which I spoke. Once upon a time, employers used to take care of their employees because it was the Right Thing to do. Now, bottom line is everything, and somehow that morality became prevalent. Don’t know how.
    And Sherrie and Nina’s posts trigger other thoughts, like are we all too enmeshed in complicated lives that it’s simpler to ignore anything that doesn’t directly affect us? Is that a product of modern times or has it always been a factor?
    I wanted to copy an internet joke I just saw in here, but it seems to have disappeared in Mercury retrograde, but it was something to the effect of:
    If the government gave a $40 million bailout to the 40 million people over 50 and told them they all must retire for the next year, buy a new car, and pay off their mortgage or buy a new home to get the money, couldn’t we open jobs, improve the auto and banking industries, and make everyone happy? (and yeah, I know the flaws, but it was such a lovely thought…)

    Reply
  37. Liz, I absolutely agree with you on many levels, although Enron, et al, are a sign of the greed of which I spoke. Once upon a time, employers used to take care of their employees because it was the Right Thing to do. Now, bottom line is everything, and somehow that morality became prevalent. Don’t know how.
    And Sherrie and Nina’s posts trigger other thoughts, like are we all too enmeshed in complicated lives that it’s simpler to ignore anything that doesn’t directly affect us? Is that a product of modern times or has it always been a factor?
    I wanted to copy an internet joke I just saw in here, but it seems to have disappeared in Mercury retrograde, but it was something to the effect of:
    If the government gave a $40 million bailout to the 40 million people over 50 and told them they all must retire for the next year, buy a new car, and pay off their mortgage or buy a new home to get the money, couldn’t we open jobs, improve the auto and banking industries, and make everyone happy? (and yeah, I know the flaws, but it was such a lovely thought…)

    Reply
  38. Liz, I absolutely agree with you on many levels, although Enron, et al, are a sign of the greed of which I spoke. Once upon a time, employers used to take care of their employees because it was the Right Thing to do. Now, bottom line is everything, and somehow that morality became prevalent. Don’t know how.
    And Sherrie and Nina’s posts trigger other thoughts, like are we all too enmeshed in complicated lives that it’s simpler to ignore anything that doesn’t directly affect us? Is that a product of modern times or has it always been a factor?
    I wanted to copy an internet joke I just saw in here, but it seems to have disappeared in Mercury retrograde, but it was something to the effect of:
    If the government gave a $40 million bailout to the 40 million people over 50 and told them they all must retire for the next year, buy a new car, and pay off their mortgage or buy a new home to get the money, couldn’t we open jobs, improve the auto and banking industries, and make everyone happy? (and yeah, I know the flaws, but it was such a lovely thought…)

    Reply
  39. Liz, I absolutely agree with you on many levels, although Enron, et al, are a sign of the greed of which I spoke. Once upon a time, employers used to take care of their employees because it was the Right Thing to do. Now, bottom line is everything, and somehow that morality became prevalent. Don’t know how.
    And Sherrie and Nina’s posts trigger other thoughts, like are we all too enmeshed in complicated lives that it’s simpler to ignore anything that doesn’t directly affect us? Is that a product of modern times or has it always been a factor?
    I wanted to copy an internet joke I just saw in here, but it seems to have disappeared in Mercury retrograde, but it was something to the effect of:
    If the government gave a $40 million bailout to the 40 million people over 50 and told them they all must retire for the next year, buy a new car, and pay off their mortgage or buy a new home to get the money, couldn’t we open jobs, improve the auto and banking industries, and make everyone happy? (and yeah, I know the flaws, but it was such a lovely thought…)

    Reply
  40. Liz, I absolutely agree with you on many levels, although Enron, et al, are a sign of the greed of which I spoke. Once upon a time, employers used to take care of their employees because it was the Right Thing to do. Now, bottom line is everything, and somehow that morality became prevalent. Don’t know how.
    And Sherrie and Nina’s posts trigger other thoughts, like are we all too enmeshed in complicated lives that it’s simpler to ignore anything that doesn’t directly affect us? Is that a product of modern times or has it always been a factor?
    I wanted to copy an internet joke I just saw in here, but it seems to have disappeared in Mercury retrograde, but it was something to the effect of:
    If the government gave a $40 million bailout to the 40 million people over 50 and told them they all must retire for the next year, buy a new car, and pay off their mortgage or buy a new home to get the money, couldn’t we open jobs, improve the auto and banking industries, and make everyone happy? (and yeah, I know the flaws, but it was such a lovely thought…)

    Reply
  41. Pat, I so agree — so many people don’t see history as relevant. They say “but it’s all different now” and can’t see the patterns at all. Or they say “in history everyone’s dead, so what’s the point?” 😉
    And of course, everyone, from single people to companies and corporations, acts on individual need/greed/opportunity, but still, if the commentators knew their history, they’d see the warning signs.

    Reply
  42. Pat, I so agree — so many people don’t see history as relevant. They say “but it’s all different now” and can’t see the patterns at all. Or they say “in history everyone’s dead, so what’s the point?” 😉
    And of course, everyone, from single people to companies and corporations, acts on individual need/greed/opportunity, but still, if the commentators knew their history, they’d see the warning signs.

    Reply
  43. Pat, I so agree — so many people don’t see history as relevant. They say “but it’s all different now” and can’t see the patterns at all. Or they say “in history everyone’s dead, so what’s the point?” 😉
    And of course, everyone, from single people to companies and corporations, acts on individual need/greed/opportunity, but still, if the commentators knew their history, they’d see the warning signs.

    Reply
  44. Pat, I so agree — so many people don’t see history as relevant. They say “but it’s all different now” and can’t see the patterns at all. Or they say “in history everyone’s dead, so what’s the point?” 😉
    And of course, everyone, from single people to companies and corporations, acts on individual need/greed/opportunity, but still, if the commentators knew their history, they’d see the warning signs.

    Reply
  45. Pat, I so agree — so many people don’t see history as relevant. They say “but it’s all different now” and can’t see the patterns at all. Or they say “in history everyone’s dead, so what’s the point?” 😉
    And of course, everyone, from single people to companies and corporations, acts on individual need/greed/opportunity, but still, if the commentators knew their history, they’d see the warning signs.

    Reply
  46. I agree with Anne–a recurrent theme of stock market bubbles is “this time it’s different.” ANd with that in mind, the same incredibly stupid things are done as were done in the last bubbles. Such boom-and-busts are often driven by the testosterone poisoning of young males who feel immortal. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  47. I agree with Anne–a recurrent theme of stock market bubbles is “this time it’s different.” ANd with that in mind, the same incredibly stupid things are done as were done in the last bubbles. Such boom-and-busts are often driven by the testosterone poisoning of young males who feel immortal. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  48. I agree with Anne–a recurrent theme of stock market bubbles is “this time it’s different.” ANd with that in mind, the same incredibly stupid things are done as were done in the last bubbles. Such boom-and-busts are often driven by the testosterone poisoning of young males who feel immortal. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  49. I agree with Anne–a recurrent theme of stock market bubbles is “this time it’s different.” ANd with that in mind, the same incredibly stupid things are done as were done in the last bubbles. Such boom-and-busts are often driven by the testosterone poisoning of young males who feel immortal. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  50. I agree with Anne–a recurrent theme of stock market bubbles is “this time it’s different.” ANd with that in mind, the same incredibly stupid things are done as were done in the last bubbles. Such boom-and-busts are often driven by the testosterone poisoning of young males who feel immortal. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  51. I think bottom line of the change is a factor of viewing companies as piggy banks, the stock price and liquidity is all. My grandfather made his living as a day trader back in the 50’s – he’d look at his reports and make his p/e choices and seasonal buys – no futures for him, which he viewed as unethical. (My gg-grandfather was a Robber Baron and I grew up dumpster diving for my parents, it’s a big swing we ride)
    But again, I go back to I dunno. For every Service Merchandise (before they turned into a public company, they really took care of us) there’s a Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
    Maybe it flips where average people were encouraged en-masse to invest in the market – the corresponding piggy bank was too tempting, and the media cycle of market as entertainment fed the ‘smarter than that guy’ mentality discussed above. I don’t think a lot of everyday investors really understand / understood the market – they were just told put your money in these places and trusted their advisors.

    Reply
  52. I think bottom line of the change is a factor of viewing companies as piggy banks, the stock price and liquidity is all. My grandfather made his living as a day trader back in the 50’s – he’d look at his reports and make his p/e choices and seasonal buys – no futures for him, which he viewed as unethical. (My gg-grandfather was a Robber Baron and I grew up dumpster diving for my parents, it’s a big swing we ride)
    But again, I go back to I dunno. For every Service Merchandise (before they turned into a public company, they really took care of us) there’s a Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
    Maybe it flips where average people were encouraged en-masse to invest in the market – the corresponding piggy bank was too tempting, and the media cycle of market as entertainment fed the ‘smarter than that guy’ mentality discussed above. I don’t think a lot of everyday investors really understand / understood the market – they were just told put your money in these places and trusted their advisors.

    Reply
  53. I think bottom line of the change is a factor of viewing companies as piggy banks, the stock price and liquidity is all. My grandfather made his living as a day trader back in the 50’s – he’d look at his reports and make his p/e choices and seasonal buys – no futures for him, which he viewed as unethical. (My gg-grandfather was a Robber Baron and I grew up dumpster diving for my parents, it’s a big swing we ride)
    But again, I go back to I dunno. For every Service Merchandise (before they turned into a public company, they really took care of us) there’s a Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
    Maybe it flips where average people were encouraged en-masse to invest in the market – the corresponding piggy bank was too tempting, and the media cycle of market as entertainment fed the ‘smarter than that guy’ mentality discussed above. I don’t think a lot of everyday investors really understand / understood the market – they were just told put your money in these places and trusted their advisors.

    Reply
  54. I think bottom line of the change is a factor of viewing companies as piggy banks, the stock price and liquidity is all. My grandfather made his living as a day trader back in the 50’s – he’d look at his reports and make his p/e choices and seasonal buys – no futures for him, which he viewed as unethical. (My gg-grandfather was a Robber Baron and I grew up dumpster diving for my parents, it’s a big swing we ride)
    But again, I go back to I dunno. For every Service Merchandise (before they turned into a public company, they really took care of us) there’s a Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
    Maybe it flips where average people were encouraged en-masse to invest in the market – the corresponding piggy bank was too tempting, and the media cycle of market as entertainment fed the ‘smarter than that guy’ mentality discussed above. I don’t think a lot of everyday investors really understand / understood the market – they were just told put your money in these places and trusted their advisors.

    Reply
  55. I think bottom line of the change is a factor of viewing companies as piggy banks, the stock price and liquidity is all. My grandfather made his living as a day trader back in the 50’s – he’d look at his reports and make his p/e choices and seasonal buys – no futures for him, which he viewed as unethical. (My gg-grandfather was a Robber Baron and I grew up dumpster diving for my parents, it’s a big swing we ride)
    But again, I go back to I dunno. For every Service Merchandise (before they turned into a public company, they really took care of us) there’s a Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.
    Maybe it flips where average people were encouraged en-masse to invest in the market – the corresponding piggy bank was too tempting, and the media cycle of market as entertainment fed the ‘smarter than that guy’ mentality discussed above. I don’t think a lot of everyday investors really understand / understood the market – they were just told put your money in these places and trusted their advisors.

    Reply
  56. No, wait, I do have one more thought – I really am thinking about your point on companies & workers. Because (largely) there have always been a lot of companies that didn’t take care of their workers at all, which is why we needed unions & an uncle died of black lung… But in some companies there would be shame attached to a CEO taking more than X times the base workers salary.
    I say we vote shame back in to our lives! Yay shame!

    Reply
  57. No, wait, I do have one more thought – I really am thinking about your point on companies & workers. Because (largely) there have always been a lot of companies that didn’t take care of their workers at all, which is why we needed unions & an uncle died of black lung… But in some companies there would be shame attached to a CEO taking more than X times the base workers salary.
    I say we vote shame back in to our lives! Yay shame!

    Reply
  58. No, wait, I do have one more thought – I really am thinking about your point on companies & workers. Because (largely) there have always been a lot of companies that didn’t take care of their workers at all, which is why we needed unions & an uncle died of black lung… But in some companies there would be shame attached to a CEO taking more than X times the base workers salary.
    I say we vote shame back in to our lives! Yay shame!

    Reply
  59. No, wait, I do have one more thought – I really am thinking about your point on companies & workers. Because (largely) there have always been a lot of companies that didn’t take care of their workers at all, which is why we needed unions & an uncle died of black lung… But in some companies there would be shame attached to a CEO taking more than X times the base workers salary.
    I say we vote shame back in to our lives! Yay shame!

    Reply
  60. No, wait, I do have one more thought – I really am thinking about your point on companies & workers. Because (largely) there have always been a lot of companies that didn’t take care of their workers at all, which is why we needed unions & an uncle died of black lung… But in some companies there would be shame attached to a CEO taking more than X times the base workers salary.
    I say we vote shame back in to our lives! Yay shame!

    Reply
  61. There we go–we need to institute belief in reincarnation and ancestor worship so we can listen to history lessons! I like that idea, the Church of the Life Prophet. I can go somewhere with that…
    And Liz, it sounds as if your family is genetically inclined toward risk-taking, that’s where the extreme financial ups and downs generate! But I think you nailed it with the piggybank effect, because almost every historical bubble was generated by large segments of the populace getting caught up in the excitement. I’m not entirely certain how the mechanics of it worked, but now we know what to look for next time it happens. “G”

    Reply
  62. There we go–we need to institute belief in reincarnation and ancestor worship so we can listen to history lessons! I like that idea, the Church of the Life Prophet. I can go somewhere with that…
    And Liz, it sounds as if your family is genetically inclined toward risk-taking, that’s where the extreme financial ups and downs generate! But I think you nailed it with the piggybank effect, because almost every historical bubble was generated by large segments of the populace getting caught up in the excitement. I’m not entirely certain how the mechanics of it worked, but now we know what to look for next time it happens. “G”

    Reply
  63. There we go–we need to institute belief in reincarnation and ancestor worship so we can listen to history lessons! I like that idea, the Church of the Life Prophet. I can go somewhere with that…
    And Liz, it sounds as if your family is genetically inclined toward risk-taking, that’s where the extreme financial ups and downs generate! But I think you nailed it with the piggybank effect, because almost every historical bubble was generated by large segments of the populace getting caught up in the excitement. I’m not entirely certain how the mechanics of it worked, but now we know what to look for next time it happens. “G”

    Reply
  64. There we go–we need to institute belief in reincarnation and ancestor worship so we can listen to history lessons! I like that idea, the Church of the Life Prophet. I can go somewhere with that…
    And Liz, it sounds as if your family is genetically inclined toward risk-taking, that’s where the extreme financial ups and downs generate! But I think you nailed it with the piggybank effect, because almost every historical bubble was generated by large segments of the populace getting caught up in the excitement. I’m not entirely certain how the mechanics of it worked, but now we know what to look for next time it happens. “G”

    Reply
  65. There we go–we need to institute belief in reincarnation and ancestor worship so we can listen to history lessons! I like that idea, the Church of the Life Prophet. I can go somewhere with that…
    And Liz, it sounds as if your family is genetically inclined toward risk-taking, that’s where the extreme financial ups and downs generate! But I think you nailed it with the piggybank effect, because almost every historical bubble was generated by large segments of the populace getting caught up in the excitement. I’m not entirely certain how the mechanics of it worked, but now we know what to look for next time it happens. “G”

    Reply
  66. Things repeat because people don’t remember history, particularly the details. And as Satayana said, “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Reply
  67. Things repeat because people don’t remember history, particularly the details. And as Satayana said, “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Reply
  68. Things repeat because people don’t remember history, particularly the details. And as Satayana said, “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Reply
  69. Things repeat because people don’t remember history, particularly the details. And as Satayana said, “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Reply
  70. Things repeat because people don’t remember history, particularly the details. And as Satayana said, “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Reply
  71. Thanks for bringing this up. Many of us are too invested in the status quo to believe that change needs to happen. I think this is why history repeats itself. We as human beings want to believe that it won’t happen to us. We know better right? Not if we ignore the information. We choose instead to believe our leaders instead of asking hard questions. Even the mass media don’t ask the tough questions anymore.
    I appreciate knowing that at least some of us are thinking about it.

    Reply
  72. Thanks for bringing this up. Many of us are too invested in the status quo to believe that change needs to happen. I think this is why history repeats itself. We as human beings want to believe that it won’t happen to us. We know better right? Not if we ignore the information. We choose instead to believe our leaders instead of asking hard questions. Even the mass media don’t ask the tough questions anymore.
    I appreciate knowing that at least some of us are thinking about it.

    Reply
  73. Thanks for bringing this up. Many of us are too invested in the status quo to believe that change needs to happen. I think this is why history repeats itself. We as human beings want to believe that it won’t happen to us. We know better right? Not if we ignore the information. We choose instead to believe our leaders instead of asking hard questions. Even the mass media don’t ask the tough questions anymore.
    I appreciate knowing that at least some of us are thinking about it.

    Reply
  74. Thanks for bringing this up. Many of us are too invested in the status quo to believe that change needs to happen. I think this is why history repeats itself. We as human beings want to believe that it won’t happen to us. We know better right? Not if we ignore the information. We choose instead to believe our leaders instead of asking hard questions. Even the mass media don’t ask the tough questions anymore.
    I appreciate knowing that at least some of us are thinking about it.

    Reply
  75. Thanks for bringing this up. Many of us are too invested in the status quo to believe that change needs to happen. I think this is why history repeats itself. We as human beings want to believe that it won’t happen to us. We know better right? Not if we ignore the information. We choose instead to believe our leaders instead of asking hard questions. Even the mass media don’t ask the tough questions anymore.
    I appreciate knowing that at least some of us are thinking about it.

    Reply
  76. Kate, a lot of us are thinking about it. Unfortunately, too often, there is little we can do about it. But asking questions and talking and making people aware are always good.

    Reply
  77. Kate, a lot of us are thinking about it. Unfortunately, too often, there is little we can do about it. But asking questions and talking and making people aware are always good.

    Reply
  78. Kate, a lot of us are thinking about it. Unfortunately, too often, there is little we can do about it. But asking questions and talking and making people aware are always good.

    Reply
  79. Kate, a lot of us are thinking about it. Unfortunately, too often, there is little we can do about it. But asking questions and talking and making people aware are always good.

    Reply
  80. Kate, a lot of us are thinking about it. Unfortunately, too often, there is little we can do about it. But asking questions and talking and making people aware are always good.

    Reply
  81. This is a fascinating post Pat, and raises such good questions. I am currently reading The Proud Tower by barbara Tuchman, which is about England and America from 1890-Wi. It is amazing . . .I hadn’t realized quite how terrorizing the anarchists were. It reads very much like our present day—cities living in fear of bombs in public places, leaders being assassinated, etc. One would think we would study these things and figure out how to react. But no . . . There is that famous saying “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
    We should all pay more attention to the concept.

    Reply
  82. This is a fascinating post Pat, and raises such good questions. I am currently reading The Proud Tower by barbara Tuchman, which is about England and America from 1890-Wi. It is amazing . . .I hadn’t realized quite how terrorizing the anarchists were. It reads very much like our present day—cities living in fear of bombs in public places, leaders being assassinated, etc. One would think we would study these things and figure out how to react. But no . . . There is that famous saying “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
    We should all pay more attention to the concept.

    Reply
  83. This is a fascinating post Pat, and raises such good questions. I am currently reading The Proud Tower by barbara Tuchman, which is about England and America from 1890-Wi. It is amazing . . .I hadn’t realized quite how terrorizing the anarchists were. It reads very much like our present day—cities living in fear of bombs in public places, leaders being assassinated, etc. One would think we would study these things and figure out how to react. But no . . . There is that famous saying “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
    We should all pay more attention to the concept.

    Reply
  84. This is a fascinating post Pat, and raises such good questions. I am currently reading The Proud Tower by barbara Tuchman, which is about England and America from 1890-Wi. It is amazing . . .I hadn’t realized quite how terrorizing the anarchists were. It reads very much like our present day—cities living in fear of bombs in public places, leaders being assassinated, etc. One would think we would study these things and figure out how to react. But no . . . There is that famous saying “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
    We should all pay more attention to the concept.

    Reply
  85. This is a fascinating post Pat, and raises such good questions. I am currently reading The Proud Tower by barbara Tuchman, which is about England and America from 1890-Wi. It is amazing . . .I hadn’t realized quite how terrorizing the anarchists were. It reads very much like our present day—cities living in fear of bombs in public places, leaders being assassinated, etc. One would think we would study these things and figure out how to react. But no . . . There is that famous saying “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
    We should all pay more attention to the concept.

    Reply

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