Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The Downward Spiral
. . . .

The Downward Spiral

Robert Downes - August 15th, 2002
Down and down and down it goes and where it stops? Nobody knows.
That seems to be the mantra on the financial news these days as the stock market does its herky-jerky dance of 300 points down here and a bounce back there. Lou Dobbs‘ Moneyline says investors are switching to real estate (my suggestion over a year ago, by the way), and a panicked family tells CNN that they‘ve lost $800,000 of their savings in what‘s become “a very frightening situation.“
Few of us have the luxury of $800,000 to lose; in fact, only an estimated 1-in-20 investors actually “play the market.“ These are apparently the people who buy low on Monday after the stock market slides off a cliff on the preceding Friday... and thus the sea-sick sense of up-and-down.
But still, enough of us have 401K plans, IRAs and mutual funds in this great age of Social Insecurity and the past year has gone down like a long streak of gambler‘s bad luck. Eighty million baby boomers are looking at retirement with the promises of the ‘90s evaporating like the fizz in Gordon “greed is good“ Gekko‘s martini. I‘ve given up opening the periodic statements in the mail describing the downward spiral of my own retirement plan -- it‘s down something like 30% and approaching the realm of fantasy. I just don‘t want to know anymore.
The stock market fell a similar percentage on Black Thursday, Oct. 17, 1987, which was the biggest one-day loss in the history of the 106-year-old Dow Jones Industrial Average. Is it any comfort that millions of people have at least temporarily lost much of their retirement income over the space of a year rather than a single day? Perhaps that depends on your age and how much you had in the kitty.
At any rate, the stock market rebounded to its former level within a year-and-a-half after ‘87, and as the Bard said, “all‘s well that end‘s well.“
So come on, lucky dice...
It will be interesting to see if President Bush & Co. weather the storm if the market keeps falling along with the nest eggs of America‘s retirees. Like sailors chained to dead men, the Bush administration is ineluctably bound to the corporate pirates of Enron, Halliburton, Arthur Andersen, et. al., who sparked this crisis in confidence.
Consider, for instance, Black Friday on Sept. 24, 1869, when a small group of unscrupulous investors, including Jay Gould and James Fisk, attempted to use their leverage in the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant to corner the nation‘s gold market. Their tinkering led to the financial ruin of thousands of Americans, and the resulting wrath made Grant a one-termer.
But that was a few thousand Americans. We‘re talking about millions, tens of millions.
For what it‘s worth, my wrath is up. How ‘bout yours?
Finally, here‘s a funny notion from a letter writer in the Sonoma County Independent: This would be a great time to ditch Social Security and pour all of our payroll deductions into the stock market. The fresh infusions of hot cash would revive the market, and every citizen‘s ownership of Corporate America would fulfill a Marxist dream of the masses owning the means of production. Thus, we stockholders could demand sweeping reforms of corporate criminality or heads would roll.
Any takers?
Didn‘t think so.
 
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