Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The American Crisis

Something is in the air now... Fear is starting to take hold as news of failures of major financial institutions are filling the airwaves. Major banks have already failed and rumor that up to 200 more will do so this year is causing a panic reminiscent of the run up to the Great Depression, people are hiding money under mattresses and the nations leaders are clueless of what to do.

Internationally, the Russian stock market has lost 50% of its value since May. Trading has been halted for the past two days because it crashed an astonishing 11%. House prices are still crashing through most of Europe and the Asian markets are not doing well either.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing of all is how the government, which was nowhere to be found regulating the rampant mal-investment, poor underwriting, unchecked greed, and speculation when times were good are now bailing out the gamblers and criminals who got us into this mess in the first place.

Words from a book that was written over 225 years ago, when this nation was still in its infancy and facing another disaster, is starting to ring true once again...

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. -Thomas Paine

As I read the book The American Crisis by Thomas Paine it is hard to not think how this country has once again come full circle. Liberty and Freedom was the key to unshackling men from their servitude to a government that had lost touch with them and no longer has their best interest at stake. Once again the American people face the same crisis. A government that has lost touch and no longer has their best interest at stake... but this time it is not an ocean away, it is in Washington D.C.

As the panic grows deeper and more Americans begin to turn off American Idol and wake up to whats going on around them, I urge you to share the following line of wisdom with them...

'Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them.... Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world.

Do not think about the coming second great depression as a bad thing... It will be a time that bad habits are broken and lessons are learned. Perhaps... Just perhaps... Americans will care more about what is going on in Washington then who was voted off the television show last night...

...Or so I can Dream :)

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