Monday, September 22, 2008

It seems I underestimated the "stubborn cluelessness" of our leaders

In my last post, I wrote:
Unless our government is so stubborn and clueless as to want to impoverish our entire country so much as to turn it into third-world status, there is no way they can bail out all the owners of mortgage backed securities, etc., just a subset of the American owners of mortgage-backed securities (e.g., those owned by certain banks and American investment funds). And I don't think foreigners are going to stand for just the American investors getting bailed out. We really do have a global economy, and I am hoping China, Russia, the Middle East, etc., will use the economic powers at their disposal to force our government to do the right thing (exactly what these powers might be, I am not entirely clear, but I believe they have them).

Now this from the New York Times:

Foreign banks, which were initially excluded from the plan, lobbied successfully over the weekend to be able to sell the toxic American mortgage debt owned by their American units to the Treasury, getting the same treatment as United States banks.

The underlying problem as I see it is that rich society mostly deals with crap by pretending crap is of no significance. They look down on people who are concerned about getting their hindquarters screwed as merely vulgar, as not much different basically from those who think getting their hindquarters screwed is good fun. The evils of the banking system are so similar to the evils of getting sodomized that it very easily tends to make people emotionally paranoid about it. Elitists view the looming financial disaster with the same idiocy they view sodomy, just as some phantom phenomenon people go paranoid about. They know that the people who get scared are not the people who give the best pianoforte and violin recitals, and practically speaking, the nervous people, they don't give the best presentations at board meetings, and aren't the best public speakers, etc. Do you want someone leading our country who at dinner parties over tea, wine and caviar is so unrelaxed that he can't think easily with nice elegant transitions in his speech? Well that's the way people tend to be when they worry about things like sodomy or the financial system collapsing. The rich tend to agree with Captain Smith (of the Titanic) that icebergs are so rare it's vulgar to worry about them.

It is important for those arguing about the evil of the banking system to not emotionally identify our being impoverished by the idiocy and greed of our financial leaders with our getting sodomized. The powerful people will sense your uncouth emotion and any exaggeration that such uncouth emotion might engender, and consider that as evidence of your folly. They won't want to listen to you over tea and crackers if they sense any paranoid feelings. True, better to be emotionally a little paranoid than to just ignore the issue from the disturbing emotions it can produce, but best of all to very sanely hate the evils of the financial system. The current cast of characters leading our financial system are probably not the fascist sodomizing rapists, they are the people who later could cause the fascist sodomizing rapists seem a viable alternative as people emotionally sense that the latter at least feel depravity has some emotional significance.

Of course, there are some rich people who don't ignore strong emotions. They're the sort who listen to opera, who tend I'm suspecting to be the better sort of rich people. But they're not particularly very wise about their emotions, because after all, opera is for and by rich people, and so because rich people tend to be idiotic about these things, it just is not as informative about emotions toward screwed-up things as bluegrass music, for example (though bluegrass music has much dishonest and messed-up about it, because there is no particular reason to think people who like it are better than those who don't, whereas rich people who like opera are probably mostly better than rich people who like some other sort of rich peoples' music).

Ha, to go a little off topic, I am partial to the emotional insights of the model in this music slideshow video, purportedly shot in Hamburg, which video I discovered a few days ago. (The music is I guess also very good, but being a visual person, I prefer looking at it with the music off. The photos would be better without the occasional cigarettes, though.)

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