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User Info Our Nation DESERVES To Fail; entered at 2017-10-19 16:09:31
Posts: 353
Registered: 2013-02-13
I just watched "The Big Short" today. It's been nearly ten years, and I had forgotten how frighteningly close we came to collapse then. I was in manufacturing, serving commercial real estate, so our collapse came a bit later. Fortunately, we were able to exercise substantial pricing power in our marketplace, so when the collapse came, our price held and profit fell substantially, but nowhere near what it could have been.

The collapse should have happened then; the damage would have been immense, but recoverable. What people, particularly powerful people, fail to realize, is that a productive person made poor will not stay poor for long. A banker, having been exposed as a fraud and made destitute, is not as able to recover.

We have long lamented the departure of manufacturing from our shores. Ten years ago, should the collapse have happened, manufacturing could have made a comeback. The engineers and workers, made poor, would have had to go to work. But that decline started long ago. Ten years later, many of those engineers and productive people have died, gone senile, or are otherwise decrepit.

The financialization of the economy has done a tremendous disservice to this country. For thirty or forty years, our best and brightest have been lured to the riches of Wall Street. Many engineering graduates at our finest schools went on to Goldman or Lehman or JP Morgan. When I started at Penn in 1999, one of the most popular briefbag company schwag was the Enron bag. They disappeared in short order.

It seems that we never learn. "Atlas Shrugged" is a fairly popular book on Wall Street, but they seem to miss the point of the book. The key point of the book, in my mind, is that there is no wealth without production. Facilitating the transfer of money between two parties and speculating on the prices of assets is not a productive endeavor. The point is lost on them.

I'm rambling, but my point is this: few people know how to do anything useful anymore. And that is going to make the recovery very, very difficult.

2017-10-19 16:09:31