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Keep on Rockin' in the Free World

By       Message Jim Quinn     Permalink
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The American Republic is 226 years old. The Roman Empire lasted 13 centuries before collapsing. The Roman emperors attempted to stave off the collapse by providing bread and circuses to the masses. Feeding Christians to lions worked only for so long. I picture Caligula "Mad Money" Cramer exhorting the masses that the worst was over and not to worry about the Vandals and the Huns. Nero "Mustard Seed" Kudlow probably saw a recovery on the horizon as Barbarians were at the gates of the city. Cleopatra "Money Honey" Bartiromo was proclaiming that the stupid masses didn't know what was best for the system. Caesar "Glimmers of Hope" Obama was sure that if they just distributed more bread and added a few more circuses, things would improve by the Ides of March.

The false prosperity we have been experiencing for the last 30 years has come to an abrupt conclusion in the last 18 months. The amount of wealth destroyed is beyond comprehension. Household net worth has declined by $12 trillion in a matter of months. It will take years for average Americans to restore their wealth to 2007 levels. If your investment portfolio has declined by 50%, it will need to increase by 100% to break even.


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According to the Wall Street shills on CNBC, it should take at least three months. An honest financial advisor would tell you 10 to 15 years. Americans have no choice but to substantially increase their rate of savings. Think back to yesteryear in 1981 when the savings rate was 12%. Back then, Americans accept as a truth that hard work and a saving ethic led to long-term success. I can't look at this chart without questioning why this happened. It always brings me back to the dreaded Baby Boomers. Their delusional belief that somehow they could borrow and spend today with real estate wealth funding their retirement came crashing down around them in the last 18 months. The bailing out of these delusional boomers with tax dollars has generated incredible anger in the country. Those who followed the rules are being compelled by the authorities to pay for the sins of those who didn't follow the rules.

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The stupendous fabric of the country is straining and in danger of yielding to the immense pressure building up in our society. I believe the actions taken by politicians and Washington bureaucrats in the last year have marked a point of no return. If we continue on the chosen path, time or accident will ultimately result in the demise of the Great American Experiment.

I'm irate at the government for choosing to bailout excessive risk takers at my expense. There are millions of other Americans who feel the same way. This is why tea parties are taking place across the nation. I truly believe that every American has the right to make his or her own financial decisions. While I do not judge individuals on how they live their lives, I feel entitled to pass judgment on clusters of people whose individual decisions have negatively impacted my life. With the support of Congress, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, these individuals are seizing my tax dollars as compensation for their idiotic behavior.

Don't Feel Like Satan

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There's colors on the street
Red, white and blue
People shufflin' their feet
People sleepin' in their shoes
But there's a warnin' sign
on the road ahead
There's a lot of people sayin'
we'd be better off dead
Don't feel like Satan,
but I am to them
So I try to forget it,
any way I can.

Keep on rockin' in the free world,
Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world,
Keep on rockin' in the free world.
Neil Young Rockin in the Free World

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James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 22-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of (more...)
 

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