When this totem of our society collapses what happens to the already badly bruised American psyche?
Let's back up for a moment. The suspect paradigm of Americans getting rich selling other hapless, Americans real estate of questionable value was another Cheney/Bush/Rove designed gimmick. They did it to sooth our restive fellow citizens as they ginned up plans to invade Iraq, and to keep that dependable American wallet open against a post- 9/11 economic slowdown. It was nothing more than a scammed up, get-rich-quick, feel good scheme between Mr. Bush and a very vulnerable populace.
The charade which seems to be ending, will go in the first line of Mr. Bush's obituary.
It will go alongside all the other lies. Right next to lies about Iraq, yellowcake, Harriet Miers--the litany of deceit of which we're all too familiar will follow Mr. Bush out of the White House and to his grave.
Let's go back for a moment to Mr. Bush's victims, the American people.
Some of you will argue that our fellow citizens were complicit scam artists. You might even cite the bigger fool theory of life.
In Manhattan, a market with which I am familiar, prices are down 13% in the third quarter. This drop is the most significant price decline in 16 years. This was reported by Miller Samuel, the largest real estate property appraiser in Manhattan. I can attest to its veracity.
Meahwhile, the L.A.Times has reported that the percentage of Californians able to afford a median-priced home fell to 14% last year, its lowest level since 1989. You can read entire article at this link:
What will be the reaction of the American people to being duped yet again? Victimhood or outrage?
For vast swathes of the country, homes were used as a source of income. The surge in values encouraged huge numbers of Americans to refinance and use the money on everyday necessities. There was what is known as the wealth effect. Americans felt rich, even though they weren't rich and aren't rich, but still Americans spent.
They took Mr. Bush's bait, they fell for his trap, they went into enormous debt. Now many are screwed.
The bankrupcy bill was engineered to protect the banking industry from what I fear will be huge numbers of Americans forced to file for bankrupcy. This will happen as their adjustable rate mortgages skyrocket as Bushspan attempts to control inflation by raising interest rates. Add to this conflagration, that housing prices will drop dramatically as interest rates increase.
Keep in mind, the entire real estate scam was interest rate driven. Low interest rates, high property values. High interest rates, lower property values. All you need to know is that cheap money makes people spend and spend and spend and worse still, borrow, borrow and borrow some more!
Inflation, you may have noticed on your last trip to the supermarket, is now hitting working Americans with almost the force of Katrina. This means the Federal Reserve will likely try to control the inflationary pressures with ongoing interest rate hikes.
Americans made a pact with the devil. The devil promised them easy money and gave them Monoploy money. The devil said, follow me, no work required.
Americans should have known better. Americans should have known that throughout our history we have found ourselves face-to-face with charlatans, promising something for nothing.
Americans should have known that the greatness of America was the spirit of our ancestors who struggled for everything--were handed nothing.
But most of all, Americans should have known that our latter day snake oil salesman, who was enticing us with get-rich-quick schemes, was simply taking a page from the playbook that informed his own sad, something for nothing life.
Shame on us for falling for this nonsense.