Observations on life

I have figured the Sanders appeal out … and it ain’t good‼️

After an exchange with some unknown folks on Facebook, it has dawned on me that many, perhaps most Sanders supporters don’t  have a clue; they are crybabies with short memories or are too young to even know what they are talking about.

Times are tough, times are tough, we can’t, we can’t it’s too hard, struggling is hard. 

Really ?

NASHUA, N. H.—Ben Bur­rows, set to cast his first pres­i­den­tial bal­lot, is the quin­tessential ex­am­ple of a Bernie Sanders voter. He’s young, white, male and pas­sion­ate about the need to ad­dress in­come in­equal­ity.

“The mid­dle class is completely wiped out and we need to restore that,” Mr. Bur­rows, 20 years old, said at a re­cent Sanders cam­paign event in Nashua. “If the youth sticks to­gether, we can get him elected.”  WSJ 1-27-16

imageCompletely wiped out? Income inequality? Do these 20 sometimes have any sense of history? Have they ever heard of the Gilded  Age or the Great Depression? These and other like comments by Sanders supporters show how effective scapegoat rhetoric can be. Every shortcoming in my life is because of 400 billionaires sitting on their thrones on Wall Street. That was easy; it’s back to my wide-screen TV, and playing games on my smart phone before I go for my next tattoo.

Those of us who were raised by parents who lived through the Great Depression and WWII may have a different perspective. We didn’t grow up with lots of stuff, we expected to work hard, perhaps struggle a bit. We know the value of saving not only for things you want, but for future security.

And guess what, we lived through tough times as well. Times of high unemployment, high inflation, outrageously high mortgage rates and sitting in line for hours to buy a few gallons of gasoline so we could get to work. My father sold cars for a living and if he didn’t sell a car, he didn’t get paid. Sometimes times were tough in the 1950s. 

This generation lapping up the Sanders rhetoric doesn’t have a clue. Here is one clue for them. You are entitled to nothing but the opportunity for hard work and potentially success; it’s up to you. Figure it out like the generations before you did.

The attitude displayed by many millennials is the very thing that can undermine democracy because it promotes dependence on government which in turn increases the power of a select few in the political class.

If these kids were as smart as they think they are, they would worry more about the political elite than they do the billionaires, most of whom make possible the goods and services the millennials love to buy and use. 

Isn’t it curious that these millennials supporting Sanders are the same demographic not signing up for health insurance. 🤑

And these young Americans are naive even beyond their tender years. 

Following is a Facebook exchange that got me started on this.  Also below are historical unemployment rates, inflation and mortgage rates … and 2016 is tough times⁉️


History of US unemployment

History of mortgage rates

History of inflation


8 replies »

  1. I agree with Reader that low inflation is a good thing, however, the Obama policies that created low inflation basically are the result of the stagnant economy. I agree with Reader that low unemployment is a good thing, however, the Obama policies that created low unemployment have nothing to do with getting government to facilitate growth by business and employers, but have reduced unemployment by lowering the labor participation rate, triggering retirement by baby boomers prior to their intended date while also increasing the disabled rolls. There is a reason why we needed a Social Security Disability Income trust bailout – the dramatic change in disability claiming rates, turned into a supplemental unemployment program. I agree with Reader that low mortgage rates are a good thing, however, the Obama policies that created low mortgage rates are the result of actions by the Federal Reserve to counter troubling fiscal policy with monetary policy. Just think how bad GDP of 2% – 2.5% would have sunk without the Fed priming the pump with low interest rates. Note that none of the Obama policies were in effect when the US economy emerged from recession. Much like FDR and the Great Depression, Obama’s policies have tended to dampen the vigor of the recovery. These same Obama policies (mostly unchanged back to the time when the Democrats had super majorities in both the House and Senate – before Scott Brown) have doubled the national debt from $10.626 Trillion (when Obama took office) to $18.96 Trillion (1/26/16), or ~104% of 2015 GDP. An increase in interest rates back to historic levels would mean that interest on the public debt would immediately become the 2nd largest component of the federal budget – after entitlements and before national defense. Just think of it, tax increases in future years will be needed not to build roads or pay social security benefits or defend the country, but, to pay interest on borrowed money. Tell me again why the American Recovery Act was worth $1+T of long term debt.

    Home ownership by individuals who were not fiscally responsible was SOLELY the province of Democrats. How soon we forget who the sponsors were of gambling with the mortgage market, and who was actually trying to rein in Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac (note the dates):

    House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 10, 2003:
    – Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.): “I worry, frankly, that there’s a tension here. The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see.”
    – Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), speaking to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez: “Secretary Martinez, if it ain’t broke, why do you want to fix it? Have the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] ever missed their housing goals?”

    House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003:
    – Rep. Frank: “I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. . . .”
    – Rep. Waters: “Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines. Everything in the 1992 act has worked just fine. In fact, the GSEs have exceeded their housing goals. . . .”
    – Rep. Frank: “I believe there has been more alarm raised about potential unsafety and unsoundness than, in fact, exists.”

    Senate Banking Committee, Oct. 16, 2003: Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.): “And my worry is that we’re using the recent safety and soundness concerns, particularly with Freddie, and with a poor regulator, as a straw man to curtail Fannie and Freddie’s mission. And I don’t think there is any doubt that there are some in the (Bush II) administration who don’t believe in Fannie and Freddie altogether, say let the private sector do it. That would be sort of an ideological position.”

    Senate Banking Committee, Feb. 24-25, 2004: Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.): “I, just briefly will say, Mr. Chairman, obviously, like most of us here, this is one of the great success stories of all time. And we don’t want to lose sight of that and [what] has been pointed out by all of our witnesses here, obviously, the 70% of Americans who own their own homes today, in no small measure, due because of the work that’s been done here. And that shouldn’t be lost in this debate and discussion. . . .”

    Senate Banking Committee, April 6, 2005: Sen. Schumer (D. NY) : “I’ll lay my marker down right now, Mr. Chairman (Greenspan). I think Fannie and Freddie need some changes, but I don’t think they need dramatic restructuring in terms of their mission, in terms of their role in the secondary mortgage market, et cetera. Change some of the accounting and regulatory issues, yes, but don’t undo Fannie and Freddie.”

    Senate Banking Committee, June 15, 2006: Sen. Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.): “Mr. Chairman, what we’re dealing with is an astounding failure of management and board responsibility, driven clearly by self interest and greed. And when we reference this issue in the context of — the best we can say is, “It’s no Enron.” Now, that’s a hell of a high standard.”

    The Bush II weenies attempted to rein in the stupidity in the home mortgage market. Here is a New York Times article from 9/11/03 (five years before the collapse) http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/11/business/new-agency-proposed-to-oversee-freddie-mac-and-fannie-mae.html. It is important to remember that $1+T of the debt at the time of the collapse was so-called “liars loans” issued between 2005-2007. In fact, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “accelerated their imprudent behavior AFTER the Bush weenies proposed legislation in 2003 – buying almost as much mortgage debt from 2005 through 2008 as the GSE’s bought in their first 30 years of their existence.


    • Great post. I knew this generally, but your detail is appreciated. I have always said the root cause of the collapse was policies to push home ownership.


    • None under his policies. All a reflection of a stagnant economy. Inflation is too low (ask seniors), unemployment does not reflect low participation rates and mortgage rates are reflection of the Fed holding down all rates. His policies have done nothing to strengthen the economy and caused the slowest recession recovery in decades perhaps forever.


    • The only thing that I will credit Obama actually doing is Obamacare. Since its passage, healthcare costs for all has skyrocketed. For me, my medical insurance costs has gone up 229% since 2008 while my pay has gone up only 23% with less coverage. Doctors get less money for providing care while the cost of services and drugs continue to raise faster than inflation. As a nation we still do not know how to pay for Obamacare so it will come back and bit us later. Part of that payment plan was to tax those who had insurance to pay for those who did not have insurance but Congress even kick the can down the road for now on that one.

      As for the low mortgage rates, that was a result of real estate market crash that was fueled by home ownership being pushed by both parties going back to the 1990’s. Obama does not set the rates. He did not solve the problem either.

      Low interest rates are affecting personal savings and pension funds so I do not see how that is good for anybody. For most people they are so far in debt they cannot take advantage of the low borrowing costs because they have not gotten raises. Why do you need a raise if there is no inflation? Everything cost the same right? If anything in the last eight years there were wage cuts from the unemployed finding new work for less money. If the government doesn’t fix the tax code more companies will move their headquarters off shore and these people will not have jobs and I will end up paying for their unemployment and Obamacare. What has Obama done about that? Nothing.


      • Not to mention the federal deficit is poised to take off in the years after Obama leaves office according to the CBO.


  2. Interesting exchange, I like that David Macht first blames rising prices on oil but since that price has fallen he then blames high prices on “service charges, fees, and taxes”. Who does he think does the taxing, the billionaires? Bernie already said he will raise taxes. Does Mr Macht go to work everyday and not charge his employer a service fee for his labor called wages?

    A co-worker of mine has a son who is a big Bernie Sanders fan. He is fresh out of college and has bought into his line of BS and totally believes in income re-distribution. My co-work does not get a pension and his wife is a NJ teacher whose pension has not been funded for about a decade. They do save for retirement and take the whole family on vacation to a shore house rental once a year. Their combined income would just barely make them part of the top 5%. He cannot convince his son that old BS is talking about taking their money. His son does not understand that by BS standards that they are rich. He cannot understand that if old BS succeeds in taking their money then no more family vacations and possibly no or reduced savings for retirement. His son does not earn enough yet to see that 25 to 40% of his money goes to taxes (now).

    I told my friend to buy his son an ice cream cone and eat 1/3 of it as the BS tax before giving it to him and then see how he feels.


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