Fear of Falling

The fear of falling is innate. Newborns have it.

The fear of falling prices is different.

What? Who fears falling prices?

Politicians and investors and the big boys in big business, that’s who. When all sorts of prices fall, it means that their plans for ever-upward growth hit the hard rocks of economic reality. And these downturns sure can hurt. A lot.

Yet there’s an awful lot of evidence that you just have to weather these periods. You shouldn’t panic. And you definitely should not try to “prop things up.”

But that is exactly what politicians generally try to do in an economic downturn — they try to prevent some set of prices from falling.

Post-Great War depression in Britain, and America’s own beginning of the Great Depression . . . in both downturns there were huge political forces at work, trying to prevent a sector of prices from hitting their natural floors. In those cases, it was mainly wages that got propped up.

The effect? Massive unemployment.

I’m no economic historian, so I hate to tread these waters. But I’m not going to play Santayana’s fool, forgetting history and then forced to repeat it like Sisyphus’s rock-and-roll classic on permanent skip-repeat/skip-repeat.

So remember: Propping up prices in the past didn’t work. They won’t work now with housing.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct
    23
    3:36
    PM
    seth hubbard

    yup, but the ones in charge want a depression, that is the main problem.
    It seems all the common sense in the world wont stop these brilliant fools from doing what they want.

  2. Oct
    25
    11:38
    AM
    Constituent Response Team

    Yes, everyone fears falling. But it is irrational for the weak to be tasked with catching the strong — especially while they are falling themselves. That is exactly what the Bailout is asking, for the poor and middle class to bailout the rich.

    For decades libertarians have made a cottage industry of defending business and maligning the poor. Given this history, we probably shouldn’t be surprised by how few “libertarian” organizations have been willing to defend the poor against the idea of bailing out the rich. But some libertarians do recognize this as a problem.

    One organization that has chosen to aggressively oppose the Bailout, even if it means recognizing the some-times corrupt nature of banks and the wealthy, is the Constituent Response Team. The rich are not always noble, business not always honest; and the poor are not always lazy, or criminal. Real life is not an Ayn Rand novel. The Constituent Response Team recognizes this fact.

    The Constituent Response Team’s goal is to make accountable those members of Congress who voted for the Bailout. We aim to “un-elect” those who voted to make Main Street pay for the crimes of Wall Street. We are advocating that no Senator or Congressman who voted for the Bailout be re-elected.

    For the Constituent Response Team, party is not an issue. The issue is, which members of Congress where sufficiently “paid-off,” or sufficiently uneducated on economics, so as to vote for a bill that will radically decrease the purchasing power of the average American’s take-home pay, while increasing the likelihood of future financial crises.
    These Senators and Congressmen should not be allowed to return to Washington to vote more of our bank accounts into the pockets of Wall Street.

    If you do not know how your Senators or Representative voted, please visit the Constituent Response website (http://www.constituentresponse.com) and see our “Bailout Map” (http://www.constituentresponse.com/congress) that shows exactly how all of Congress voted on the Bailout.

    Most importantly, the Bailout Map shows who voted “no” against the Bailout the first time, but who changed their vote to “yes” to pass it on the second vote. These are the members of Congress who were clearly the most susceptible to promises and arm twisting by the Wall Street special interests. These “turncoat” incumbents should not be re-elected, no matter their party.

    If you are against the Bailout, against future bailouts, and think someone should do something — then, please, join the Constituent Response Team. Together, we can turn this thing around.

    –Stephen Bone
    Constituent Response Team
    http://www.constituentresponse.com

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