Saturday, November 8, 2008

Elections and Economics

I wonder if the American people were merely reacting to an economic crisis, that has been decades in the making, the roots of which are partially found in the way Clinton's administration set up the rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on low priced mortages (the sub-prime market). However, other roots of the crisis go back to the high debt-credit lifestyle of much of American society and the exorbitantly over-priced housing market, priced way over the heads of the up and coming generation of new house-buyers. Then you also have the changing of the bankruptcy rules in the last four years. I'd add that n the last two years, as the housing bubble boom hit a high and busted, we had a bare Democratic majority, but I'm not entirely sure that this has anything to do with anything. Politics and parties often try to take credit or put blame on the other for economic shifts that were mostly unconnected to any political parties' idealogy or policies. Or rather, may be influenced by policies that transcend political affiliation and are social mores of the time that pushed the market one way or another.
In any event, I suspect that the economic crisis will continue until the housing market and the leveraging that went with it finally levels out to reasonable values and prices. When this happens, businesses and house buyers will be back in control of the money flow, and the market will create wealth again. The thing to remember is that debt never creates wealth. Only work, building anew, and producing makes wealth. Debt is merely a way to get enough capital to weather the lean years until production makes up for the debt and more. Of course, this is a hard concept even for experienced entreprenuers, bankers, and investors to pay attention to, much less the masses of people who think they understand the stock-market because they have money in it. :-) (That includes me).
The elections seem to me to register that though the American public is troubled by the economic crisis, they have only a dark understanding of the causers and causes of economic crashes and economic growth.

No comments: