Sunday, September 28, 2008

Continuing a Thread...Politics of Mass Destruction

Psychic impressions don't always make sense when they're first received.

Two nights ago, just before drifting off to sleep, I saw a large image of Jimmy Carter, looking thoughtful and concerned.

I asked Paul "why on earth would I see that?" But he didn't know.

Tonight on the news I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we received an answer. The campaign for John McCain has been spreading a video on Youtube and other places that blames the current economic crisis on policies Jimmy Carter enacted to help low-income workers in the United States afford housing.

That policy didn't do as much good as hoped until 1995 when Bill Clinton supported Fannie Mae, correctly or incorrectly, by expanding its authority to grant low-interest rate loans. McCain and the entire Republican party opposed this, of course, as they always do when it comes to economic policies intended to benefit the minimim wage workers large companies depend on to do the work required to make their billion-dollar companies run. Now, in this video, they're attempting to dupe the American public into believing that greedy unscrupulous mortgage firms, who took advantage of the mortgages Fannie Mae was able to guarantee, are not culpable for their actions at all. Instead McCain's campaign would have us believe that because Barack Obama fought as a lawyer to guarantee Fannie Mae's ability to supply low-income people with those loans that, in fact, he and the Democratic party in general are to blame -- and perhaps criminally responsible -- for the choices those mortgage firms chose to make.

In the old days captains of industry actually sometimes provided housing for their workers to supplement the minimal wages they provided. Some of those old run-down housing districts have been eyesores on the East Coast for decades now but at least they provided people who couldn't otherwise afford it with an acceptable place to live when they were first built. And some of those districts have been bought up, renovated and gentrified into high end neighborhoods the average low-income worker could never conceive of living in today.

The McCain campaign states in their Obama campaign smear video that the Democratic party and, specifically, Obama himself, are the ones to blame for all that has happened. Forget about oil companies posting billions of dollars of record high profits as a result of inflated prices at the gas tank. And don't remember overnight dot-com millionaires who bought up all the housing in Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and elsewhere across the nation and inadvertently drove housing prices through the roof.

The housing crisis that followed was a horrifying thing to see. Houses literally doubled in value in my neighborhood. Ugly 2-bedroom post World War II tract homes have been selling for $600,000 and up. And the average housing cost did not go down for long or by much when the boom turned into a bust.

Why didn't it? This is where I believe the truth is being obscured.

How would you try to keep housing prices as high as possible so you wouldn't suffer as a result of any boomtime real estate investments you were enticed to make? If you found out there was a government program that would guarantee loans to people at subprime interest rates, making it possible to convince people that they could actually "afford" one of your price-inflated houses afer all, would you try to abuse that program and take advantage of it for your own benefit?

I suppose it would depend on

1) your level of fear -- would you lose everything if you let prices drop?
2) your level of foolishness -- it won't hurt anything -- or
3) your level of greed

The photograph of Jimmy Carter at the beginning of this post was provided free of charge by The Carter Center, whose stated mission in the title of their homepage is "advancing human rights and alleviating suffering." If you want to see what kind of man this Nobel Prize winning peace-loving Democrat is that John McCain campaign is smearing I recommend taking a look at what he's really all about.

And speak up about this campaign! I keep being guided that writing about this and telling my piece is the most important thing I could be doing. We need to stop the greed and insanity once and for all.


kim* said...

scary to have abilities to be psychic...

Sheryl Karas said...

Really? I don't find it scary at all.