Hurricane Alley… by J. D. Longstreet

Are You Scared Yet?

Are You Scared Yet?

By:  J. D. Longstreet 


If you are a regular reader of this scribe then you have probably noticed that I have, at least up to now, said nothing about the financial meltdown the US mortgage system finds itself in these days.  There is a very good reason for that. Like the average American… I know very little about the financial markets! 


I never handled my own money.  There are, at least, two good reasons for that.  I refer you back to the last line of the paragraph above… and add to that the fact that my wife is a retired veteran of 30 some odd years in the banking business and she is a whiz at finances and bookkeeping… and… that’s why I stay away from issues pertaining to money… especially my own.  That probably explains why I still have some!


However, I, like so many other Americans, am anxiously watching my savings as this financial crisis drags on so I have a deep interest in what is going on and what needs to be done to fix it and to keep it from happening again.


I don’t trust many people to talk to me about money matters.  There is, however, one man who has my undivided attention when he talks money and that is… professor Walter E. Williams.  For those of you who have never heard of Dr. Williams… Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of the book: ”More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well”.


Professor Williams began a recent article by quoting H.L. Mencken:  “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” Dr. Williams then goes on to explain why politicians tend to continually scare the hell out of us so that we look to them to save us. The good doctor is correct.  This government scare tactic also serves to solidify the national governor’s own job security while increasing their power over us, the governed, at the same time.


In any event, that is the general thrust of his article, which I’d like to recommend to you. It is titled: “Scaring Us to Death” and you will find it at:


I have to tell you, I have been looking askance at this whole financial market mess and the way the Congress is seemingly dragging its feet in pursuit of a solution. I can’t help but wonder if 700 billion dollars is the answer… or just the beginning of a long treasury draining and taxpayer draining process that will wind up taking the US much farther down the one-way road to socialism.  I cannot help myself; I have even asked myself if this is the famed “October Surprise” we are always warned about along about this point in every Presidential election in America. 


Ok, so my paranoia is sticking its ugly head up again.  But, as a friend of mine used to say:  “When folks are out to get you… paranoia is just damned good thinking!”… I have to agree.


As I contemplate the goings on in Washington, amongst the ruling class, about how they are going to fix this… it amuses me, to some degree, when I realize that this is another case of the fox guarding the hen house.  I mean, the very people who caused this mess are now swearing to us they are going to “fix it”?”  You have got to be kidding!  Fortunately, “the truth is out there”, as they say, for anyone interested enough to look.  I did.  And this is what I found:


This whole mess had its birth in 1994 during the Clinton Administration. (Ok, OK!  Before you jump all over me about beating up on the Clinton Administration, do a little research of your own, on the Net, and you will quickly learn the same thing I have.) In that year, Clinton signed a bill to promote low-income home ownership for those applicants who did not qualify for fixed rate mortgages.  Business Week referred to the bill as  “one that argues for creative measures to promote homeownership”.  Thus began the mess the US, and, indeed, the world, finds itself in today.


When low-income folks began seeking loans to buy homes…homes they really couldn’t afford in the first place… the financial community came up with something called Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM). Those ARM interest rates began low but because those rates are tied to the market they began to rise… and… as they rose… those low-income folks who had bought those homes became unable to pay and the banks, and lending institutions, were forced to foreclose on them… lots and lots and lots of them. The vast number of foreclosures soon began to bleed the investment banks and mortgage institutions literally to death. That is when the bottom fell out and that is what brought us to the edge of this particular financial cliff. 


Sher Zieve has an excellent article on this at The Land of the Free.Com titled:

“Democrats Caused Current Financial Crisis “.  You’ll find it at: 


The point is… the government did it! Now, that same government is entrusted with fixing it?  Now… you TELL me… should we NOT be anxious???


Think about this for a moment:  If you are comfortable with the government suspending capitalism and saddling US citizens with the yoke of socialism then this 700 billion dollar bail-out, or rescue, of the financial markets in the US is just fine with you. Are you comfortable with the government owning your home?  Just asking.


Look, this is nationalization of the US financial markets.  It is the foundation for socialism in the United States.  If we do this… it will mean no more baby steps toward socialism in the US. Nosiree!  It means we are now talking giant steps.  And, as Walter Williams says… it is scaring some of us to death!


J. D. Longstreet






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