Sunday, March 22, 2009

March Madness Comes To Washington

College hoops. Washington goofs. Springtime is here again.

If you think President Obama loves basketball- well, he must really love what March Madness has brought to our nation's Capitol. So, just as the Prez has handicapped the tournament- I thought I would offer all you crazy Americans huffing and puffing up the new class warfare a bit of the McDuffy Madness myself.

And, here it is:

The McDuffy Manifesto For All Good And Angry Main Street Americans

Rather than always blindly channeling your anger at those whom the media tells you to, understand that Main Street Media nearly always gets it wrong- and, instead, fosters their "pseudo-journalistic" intent strictly for the purpose of getting ratings and advertising income. Rarely does the media do anything which is best for Main Street.

Learn to focus your anger on the real culprits- not just on Wall Street and in Washington D.C., but, especially, on your fellow taxpayers. Understand that, although it is all three of these "groups" who are responsible for the current economic crisis, you only have to look at yourself and at your neighbors- the real culprits behind the mess we're in. It is you and your neighbors who decided to live on credit cards and mortgage "re-fi's." This is a Main Street addiction that is simply fed by Wall Street. You all just assumed the economy would continue to be great- and your addictions would be sustained. Now, you're looking to blame the dealers. Blame yourselves.

It is your own low-income fellow taxpayers who took out subprime mortgages knowing they would not really have the ability to pay them off once their monthly payments ballooned. These taxpayers were free of will upon signing their mortgage agreements- no one forced them to do it- and few were actually misled into signing the agreements- contrary to what you have heard on TV. Most subprime mortage folks believed that, worst case scenario, the increasing equity in their houses would backstop any failure to pay, as long as the housing market kept going up. Yet, at the same time subprime and the economy was raging, everyone on Main Street suspected that there was something wrong- that there was a bubble getting ready to burst. There were quite a few people, in fact, who were consistently warning of the housing bubble. Yet, nearly every taxpayer swept the warnings and his or her own intuitions under the rug, hoping things would just keep going as they were.

It's far too easy to blame the mortgage brokers for the mess, or those on Wall Street firms who took advantage of these "subprime" circumstances to make millions. Likewise, politicians did nothing to stand in the way, even though many of them knew what was happening. So who do you blame? Blame everyone and blame yourselves- and now move on to fix the problem. Which means fixing yourselves and your own lifestyles. Do not get distracted by the media's profit and power agendas designed to stir up class warfare for the sake of their ratings and influence- for it will be at your continued demise. Wall Street is greedy, but they adjust their greed in ways that ultimately fix things for Main Street- so, if you all want to go back to shopping and building wealth yourselves, Wall Street is a huge part of that process. When things were going well for the majority of you on Main Street (yes- even all you middle-class people), I didn't hear you complaining. And. I certainly didn't hear you defending the lower-income folks.

The AIG (AIG) situation is not what you think it is. The key executives and traders of AIG finanicial instruments who made all the bad bets and strangled the global financial system are no longer with AIG- so when those in the media and politicians manipulate you the taxpayer into going after those currently at AIG- your anger is completely misplaced. The current people at AIG are actually there to help fix things. Where are the original traders? Who knows. Who cares. Move on.

Which means that moving on is telling your politicians to stop using you to get bills passed while your anger is being manipulated for their purposes- purposes which are actually not in your best interests. Remember- your best interests are to let Wall Street do what they do best. And to improve your own status in life without using up useless energy on New York and D.C. If you want to strengthen your middle class existence, then do your middle-class thing. Work hard. Work for your family. Work for your neighborhood. Improve your skills. Improve your dedication to work. If you were to ask Kobe Bryant how to fix the financial crisis, he would tell you to focus on your own game and work so hard at it, you'll realize you need to work even harder on it. The work never stops. There is always room for improvement in your game.

Forget the politicians. Forget Wall Street. Forget the big banking and investment institutions. Citigroup (C), Bank Of America (BAC), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) will go on in some form. Bigger. Smaller. Does it really matter? Think of them like the team owners and front offices or the NBA executives who work the money and set the rules. It's going to be what it's going to be. At the end of the day- you have yourself and your team mates (your neighbors). Just as long as you don't give the owners enough rope to hang themselves and ruin the game.

So now that you realize where to channel your anger- forget it.

It's time to back off, mellow out- and get back on your own benches. Let the refs hand out some technical or flagrant fouls- and throw some offenders out of the building. Let the league hand out the necessary suspensions- but, just don't let them change the rules of the game. We like the game.

Don't give the politicians more than they deserve- they'll do what you tell them to do. And whatever you not listen to anything that Main Street Media has to say. They're worse than clueless. They have no problem bringing down this great country in the name of advancing their own agendas- no matter what the cost to the taxpayer. The days of Woodward and Bernstein are gone forever. All that is left is a slew of useless anchors, talking heads, reporters, writers and media executives looking to make a buck by talking trash about the world at large, and stirring up us little guys so we actually stay tuned and pay attention to the garbage on their stations (and buy the products they advertise).

Let's get back to winning a championship- and forget all this nonsense...

GT McDuffy

(Disclosure: author holds no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in the article above)

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