The current financial crisis has affected me more psychologically than it has in any practical sense. When gasoline prices approached $4 per gallon, that got my attention. That affected me directly. Of course, that crisis has disappeared for the moment.
To lessen the impact of higher gas prices, I made sure that my shopping- and errand-running trips were of the “two birds with one stone” variety. I made sure that I had more than one necessary task for each trip I made by car.
I’ve reached an age where starting a new career is no longer a viable option and that causes anxiety when it appears that our financial system can go haywire. For many years I managed a retail clothing store and learned early on that a business cannot spend more money than it takes in. The same is true for individuals. The same is true for the biggest business in the world, the U.S. government.
Many years ago, President Ronald Reagan said, “the problem isn’t caused by government, government is the problem.” That was true then and it’s true now.
What’s most frightening about our present set of financial difficulties is that Congress is in charge of the possible solutions. But for most of the members of Congress, their only purpose in life is to be certain they are reelected. If you examine some of the members of Cngress closely, it’s frightening indeed. True patriots are few and far between. They think that by giving away money they don’t have, they can buy votes and keep their constituents happy.
So-called experts are trying to make the financial crisis much more complicated than it is. We can’t-as individuals, businesses, or a government-continually spend more money than we have coming in. It won’t work. And the longer we put off the inevitable resolution, the worse it will be.
What’s most frightening is the obvious plight of a number of the big banks. This is inexcusable. The bankers are a victim of their own greed and mismanagement. But, before we become complacent, all of us should take a realistic look at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC isn’t capable of bailing out a huge banking complex such as Bank of America unless the government throws more money it doesn’t have at the problem.
President-elect Obama and his Democratic Congress are determined to spend billions of dollars they don’t have to try and cure today’s financial woes. It won’t work. But the Democrats are no worse than the Republicans in this regard. They share the blame equally.
If we continue down our present course, it looks to me like a terrible period of high inflation is on the way. Government is going to print more money to pay for all these bail-outs and the problems are just going to become worse.
As for me personally, I’ve seen some tough times. It’s surprising how resilient you can be when there’s no alternative. We’re all in for some financial hardships, but we’ll get through it just like we have in the past. But it won’t happen because of a government that thinks it can spend more money than it takes in. That won’t work.