Jo Tackles Economics

{ I know you’re thinking “Yeah Jo, that computer break really did you good. You’ve posted three times in two days. ” But I’ve had this on my mind and I had to “talk” about it. And I really am spending less time on the computer. I did accomplish my goal. But as I heard in conference “The dearest friend is your own clear conscience.” Sorry, can’t remember who said it. But enough of the justification and self-defense.}

I decided it was time for me to inform myself about what is really going on here.

As I’ve mentioned my best source of education these days is podcasts. This week Ira did an episode of This American Life that could be best described as “Credit crunch for dummies”. It was just right for me, I have no background in economics and I completely rely on Richard for financial facts.

What I discovered is that the debt situation in the United States is more complicated than I could ever imagine. Well I didn’t know what I was imagining, but this was thorny. For those who do have a sound understanding of economics please don’t laugh. The jist of it is that trusts, banks, hedge funds, were all lending money they didn’t have. And I don’t mean a million dollars here or a million there, I mean amounts in the ballpark of $50 billion. I don’t want to embarrass myself by trying to explain this further so I’ll get to my point.

I think I am fiscally conservative. I took a political science class and learned all about Adam Smith, the invisible hand and laissez faire. But today I heard on the radio that Richard Fuld, CEO of Lehman Bros. was rumored to have received a payout of $480 million. He said that number was exaggerated but he admitted to receiving $250 million over a period of eight years, 60% of that in cold hard cash.

Richard has instilled in me a belief in capitalism. But how did we get to the point where one man is worth 250 million dollars. And in the process of making his fortune he built up a company only to let it be destroyed, leaving a tragic path of unemployment behind him. I realize I am being dramatic, but I really had a pit in my stomach as I thought about this. Who needs that much money?

What’s worse is that he is one of many. The people who gambled exorbitant amounts of money they didn’t really have made great fortunes too. So what now? That’s just the breaks? Live and let the golden parachutes drop?

I really do want to know your thoughts readers. But I hate to end on a negative note. SO….

Thinking positive: I am grateful for the example of Thoreau. Food, fuel, shelter and clothing.

Thanks Elder Perry for the reminder.

4 thoughts on “Jo Tackles Economics

  1. I agree, who needs that much money. Think of how many families would benefit from just a couple thousand dollars, and he is hogging it all for himself. I can almost garauntee that he is not a happy person. Happiness is more important that money.

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  2. Good thoughts. I hate those big payouts, too, and they make me sick as well. Seiously, WHY?? Why on earth do they deserve that much? Some CEOs get HUGE bonuses when they lay off 2,000 employees. It is so backwards and so wrong, and so evil, honestly. It’s just a sign of everything we have been told would happen. It still doesn’t make it any easier or better, though. Anyway, good thoughts and insight! I totally agree!

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  3. Those numbers, Millions, and Billions are just so incomprehensible to me. I heard a reporter say that the candidates running for president were paying $240,000 per HOUR to run ads in Ohio. And I thought, wow, it seems that so many could use that money for life’s bare necessities. I agree with you Jo. There is way too much greed and corruption involved here. Great post.

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