Why the ship be sinkin'
Reporter: What do you think is happening to the team (New York Knicks)?
Michael Ray Richardson: The ship be sinkin’
Reporter: How far do you think that the ship can sink ?
Michael Ray Richardson: The sky’s the limit.
If there was any doubt that the “ship be sinkin’” it was resolved yesterday when the life boat went out to Merrill Lynch and an inadequate life preserver was flung to AIG. I think that the time has come to engage in that peculiarly American tradition of recrimination and finger pointing by moving past the fact that the ship be sinkin’ and start focusing on who is to blame for the sinkin’ of the ship.
Every crisis, plague or disaster that is not sent by God, is caused by one of two things, idiocy or greed. The worst crises we ever face are caused by the confluence of human greed and idiocy. That is what happened here. Soft hearted Democrats manipulated the mortgage rules in this country which opened up loans for people who could not afford them. Greedy lenders (mostly Republicans) figured out complicated financial instruments to make money off of the absurd loans that a six year old child would not have made, with the inevitable consequences that no one could pay off their loans and the value of housing, artificially driven up by too many people buying homes, thus spurring on the home building industry, crashed. This particular housing crisis has been going on for about one year. Lenders have been failing at an alarmingly regular rate and now the failures have grown to include others who have a big share of the phony paper, investment banks and Insurance companies. Anyone in the field of private placement is probably vulnerable to a certain extent, so I expect that many of the big Life Insurance companies will start looking shaky by October. All of this caused the Federal Government to begin a disastrous policy of bail outs until, over the weekend, the political will to continue was abruptly lost. Predictably the stock market is crashing and much of the wealth (phony or otherwise) built up since the last flim- flam (the dot com bubble) is disappearing from 401Ks. This means that the many of the people thrown out of their houses are also paying on the back end by the market crash. This is normally called adding insult to injury but the injury was self inflicted anyway, so the insult was probably deserved too.
In the final analysis, the ship is sinkin’ because the American people will not stand to be told that they are not allowed to have something simply because they can’t afford it, and the market is committed to not only telling people they can afford these items, but finding ways to profit off of the ill conceived purchases made by the morons spending the money (which they don’t have). The current administration (the Captains of the Ship of fools) hit on the absurd notion that the American people could have what they could not afford by borrowing the money from China. When that scam finally was exposed over the last few months, the country has gone into a kind of self delusion that everything will work out all right because we are America and we are always going to be smart enough to think up the next con to allow the party to keep going. So now it is time to point the finger. The bad news is that the finger can be pointed by virtually every American right into a mirror. As Pogo used to say, “we have met the enemy, and he is us”. We have come a long way since we could proudly look to Longfellow for deserved inspiration ,as did Roosevelt and Churchill:
Sail on oh ship of state
Sail on oh union strong and great.
Humanity with all its fears
And all its hopes for future years
is hanging breathless on thy fate.