“All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.” — Samuel Butler
I’m frankly worried not just about the financial meltdown but about how the increasing polarization in this country. It’s not just that the Internet has allowed people to live only within their affinity groups. Even the mainstream media are losing their perspective.
Last week, for example, while every paper in the country had the bailout settlement across its front page, the New York Post, New York’s only conservative newspaper, ran the story on page 5. Apparently it was too embarrassing for President Bush and therefore not worth reporting. Meanwhile, from the Post’s vice presidential debate coverage, you’d think Sarah Palin walked off with a knockout victory.
Therefore I wasn’t at all disappointed the other day when I was walking out of the library and spotted George Soros’s new book on the “Just Arrived” shelf. Why not give it a try? I grind my teeth over Soros just as much as any other conservative. After all, he’s the man who helped pass McCain-Feingold to “take the money out of politics” and then turned around and spent $25 million to defeat George Bush in 2004. It turned out he only wanted everybody else’s money out of politics. Still, Soros has made billions playing the international currency markets. He must know something.p>Soros, it turns out, has a very good perspective on the current meltdown. He says it’s a system-wide overextension of credit, mainly through novel financial instruments and the housing market. Conservatives may fret that it all comes down to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their subprime mortgages for low-income minorities, but it was a universal phenomenon. br> /p>
Martin Feldstein, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors [under Ronald Reagan], estimated that from 1997 to 2006, consumers drew more than $9 trillion in cash out of their home equity. A 2005 study led by Alan Greenspan estimated that in the 2000s, home equity withdrawals were financing 3 percent of all personal consumption. By the first quarter of 2006, home equity extraction made up nearly 10 percent of disposal personal income.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online