What Do You Call It?

Roger Schlesinger
Posted: Dec 04, 2008 1:45 PM
What Do You Call It?

If a person gives money to the needy we usually call that person a philanthropist. In the past when a person took from the rich and gave to the poor that person was known as Robin Hood. When a group of people get together and set up funds for one or more other people in need, we look at that group as modern day angels. When someone stands up and suggests that it is in our best interest to reach down and give to those less fortunate we probably are listening to a person with Divine inspiration. But what do we call a group of people who act for the good (?) of mankind and give enormous amounts of money to people in need (?), only they are giving your money in particular and probably very little of their own? I believe they are called congressman and senators. The real irony is we don't even have the money they are giving. We need to borrow it from anyone who will loan it to us at almost any rate and term. Perhaps we should choose another name for these legislators: insane people, crooks, well meaning out of touch star gazers or maybe I am just describing who they really are or have become.

Hank Paulson, the Secretary of the Treasury, came and scarred everyone a month or two ago with the thought that hundreds of thousands of people would be laid off because the banking system had frozen to the point that payrolls couldn't be funded. His answer to the problem was 3 pages long and ended with a largess of $700 billion dollars. The problem was real, no doubt about it, but was the solution? I am beginning to think not for two reasons: it took a bribe to the legislative branch to pass the bill and it was the fore runner for trillions of dollars being given away for every thing from "soup to nuts". Understand that we are now in the soup and either us or they were nuts!

Our latest fiasco is the Big 3 automakers flying to Washington to ask for $25 billion dollars. The boys were severally criticized for wasting a large amount of money flying in their own private jets to ask for money (they might have done better hitch hiking) and also, by the way, not having a plan of what they would do with the money and how they would repay those dollars. Most people were more interested in the plane flight than worrying about the money, and by the way, Nancy Pelosi flew back to the hearing on her private jet with our private money fueling said jet.

The scare coming our way from Washington is the loss of jobs if the automakers shut down their plants. Their is also collateral damage and further job losses from the suppliers that sell to the auto makers. This could have a rippling effect on the economy. My question: What kind of effect is the borrowing of another trillion or so dollars going to have on our economy, our wallets and our grandchild's, grandchildren going to have? I am not sure six generations is enough to fixed the damage!

Where was congress when we lost the following:

1. The pony express
2. The high button shoe manufactures

3. The buggy whip industry
4. The pay telephone industry
5. The men's suit manufacturers
and last but not least
6. The paper boys (count me as one). Just think about America today if we had saved these institutions!

I definitely would like to see a "do over" now that we have seen the results of what has happened. Our goal of repealing the economic cycles in the country has more or less failed, but that is until you figure out that we actually, most likely, added a real cycle of inflation that should be a whopper once the recession (depression) ends and we return to normalcy. We then will need to take all the money back to stop the inflation. THAT SHOULD BE REALLY INTERESTING. In as much as I haven't received any money from the government I hereby publicly state I am opting out of giving that which I didn't receive back to those who didn't give it to me. Somehow that statement probably won't cut it and I will be included in the "giving back" class of Americans. When will it all stop? Talk about an object going down a hill and picking up steam! Wow!

Aside from recalling the entire government what can you do about it? Prepare as you have never prepared before. Start with a realistic assessment of your working or earnings future. Do not count on anything out of the ordinary. Then start looking at your expenses, where you can count anything and everything out of the ordinary. Once you have a completed income statement on yourself, check it again. This is an assessment of your life so you better be close. Philanthropist and Robin Hood probably won't be there for you and congress will definitely not be there for you. Prayer, however, could help. Sit down with your family, if applicable, and give them the news. Then make plans to start building reserves because that is your safety net. Do not feel bad if your reserves are currently negative, because for a very long time that has been the optimistic way in America. Don't feel you need to payoff all of your debt to start setting up reserves or you might not ever get started.

If you have equity in your house take some out for reserves. The way the banking industry works is if you need some money you probably won't get it. If you have reserves in your house now take some out, because when you might really need the reserves, they either won't be there (falling house prices) or you won't be able to qualify to take some money out of the house.

The most important thing we can all do is try to get back to the principles this country was founded upon which include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They weren't a guaranteed income for life, at any cost, to help with your pursuit of happiness. They weren't take from whomever and give to anyone because they are entitled to a nice way of life. Remember that we have had cities and states that have gone, or should have gone bankrupt; and a federal government that is definitely considered a bankrupt institution from a financial viewpoint, and some think moral as well, so the notion that an institution, industry or company is too big to fail is .........! Fill in your own word.

I need to end here because I have to organize the bloggers, mortgage professionals, small business owners, real estate brokers or any other group I can claim membership in to start our caravan to Washington to talk with Congress to ...... Never mind, I think you get the picture.