Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I am in Love with The Great Depression

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

Epitaph of a Tyrant by W. H. Auden

I would like to dedicate the following thoughts
to my father and his father on this special day. Thank you both for being part of this country's greatest generation.

I am in Love with The Great Depression

I started gaining my affection for The Great Depression as The Tech Bubble was ending. My stock account was going to astronomical amounts. I bought my dream house. My financial life was fantastic in every way but in the back of my mind I knew something was very wrong. I soothed myself at night with investment books like The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham and books of the Great Depression such as The Great Crash by John Kenneth Galbraith. I didn't read these books for knowledge or insight because I was very clear on the inevitable path of our country. I read them for purification and to calm my worried soul. Thoughts of The Great Depression have become my economic "Waldon's Pond" during this period of government mandated excess and speculation in our nation's financial markets.

As the 1990's were winding down I would compare the 90's to the 1920's. They are very favorably compared. The roaring 20's saw the advent of the radio, the auto and the airplane. The roaring 90's brought about home computers and the Internet. Both period's had massive speculation stoked with easy money by The Federal Reserve.

The 20's of course ended in The Great Depression. I had hope that the 1990's would end in the same way and that our nation would come to it's senses and stop living so far beyond it's means. I realized that our government and The Financial Elite would make the same mistakes as The Great Depression and turn a deep recession into a depression. But I also knew that the people of this country were resourceful and could come out of the ten year depression in 2009 with the same independent, hard working attitude that created my grandparents' generation.
My grandparents' and their contemporaries are considered our nation's greatest generation. I had equally high hopes for my own generation. I wanted to feel the same pride that my grandfather felt as he passed the economic torch to my dad.

But something odd happened after The Tech Bubble. There was just a very, very mild recession. There was practically no real unemployment. A pipeline was created between the government and the moneylenders. A pipeline full of gold that from the outside smelled of filth. No one noticed. No one cared. I can't compare it to anything that has occurred in our country before. One would have to go back to the times of Rome under Nero to find a similar totally self serving act. Our Empire is ablaze and our leaders are responsible!

A recession is a natural event. An economic Winter that follows an overabundant Summer. A cleansing that removes speculation and greed from the system and passes along fairly priced assets and a sound government to the next generation.

Business cycles have been recorded since the beginning of the industrial revolution and probably occurred even in primitive societies. Economies move from overproduction, excess and speculation to underproduction, prudence and saving. This cycle can't be regulated because it is tied to the avarice of being human.

Recessions will occur even in a tightly controlled society, as we are seeing today. The only difference is that in a free society everyone is aware of what is happening and can react accordingly. In the tightly controlled society The Financial Elite are able to mask the business cycle. This allows the Financial Elite more power and with this power the ability to choose the winners and losers in our economy.

Our Financial Elite have pilloried The Great Depression and made it a priority to protect us from recessions at all costs. The costs that we are presently incurring are massive debt to future generations and the destruction of sound government. This is the antithesis of the business cycle. It is not sustainable in the long run.

The reason that I love The Great Depression is that in spite of massive government intervention the people of this nation were able to survive and then prosper. The Great Depression forged a generation of fiercely independent, highly productive, family and community oriented households. This was the most productive body of citizens any nation has ever known. This was the Middle Class. My grandparents' generation.

The antithesis of my grandfather's generation is my generation. We robbed trillions of dollars of our children's inheritance to prop up stock values after the Tech Bubble which sent our housing market into a bubble. We are presently borrowing tens of trillions of dollars from foreign nations to prop up inflated housing prices that occurred during the housing bubble. We have created the biggest government in our country's history with borrowed money.

So we have spent the savings of our grandparents' generation and borrowed more. We have used this money to inflate asset values and create bigger government. We are passing the debt, the inflated asset values and the government boondoggle to our children. My generation will go down in history as this nation's most selfish generation. It is a very helpless feeling being carried by this ravel of avarice.

I don't blame our people, I blame the tyrants, The Financial Elite. They are far to cunning for our pampered populous. My lament is that we are appeased by bread and circuses as our country is being looted and then burdened with stifling debt.

I am very sure that my grandfather's generation would never have allowed this to happen. A generation that formed massive strikes against unfair employment, rallied against unjust government and to a man gladly sacrificed their lives to keep this country free.

My hope looks to the future as my mind dwells in the past. I await the glory that my children and grandchildren will feel as they slay this dragon of debt. Like my grandparents did before me. I bide time in between two great generations. "They also serve who only stand and wait".

A recession is a natural event. An economic Winter that follows an overabundant Summer. A cleansing that removes speculation and greed from the system and passes along fairly priced assets and a sound government to the next generation.

I am in Love with The Great Depression