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What's the Point on the Economy?

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Message Adam Rocco
I had intended to write about the fact that for many, 2012 begins another long year of economic uncertainty and financial hardship. I intended to rehash the hashed anger over an economy that remains pretty lousy and reposit the controversy of the lack of any criminal indictments of the main stewards of the crisis. But what's the point? The president himself has stated that the stewards did not break any laws, but did acknowledge the moral reprehensibility of the mortgage debacle. Well, speaking for myself and fellow Americans from steerage, "Thanks Mr. President for your acknowledgment! Thanks a lot!"

How can law even be the implied arbiter, when no law existed in the first place? I really shouldn't have to be the one to explain to someone as coherent as the president that salient philosophical point. But then again, the president is a lawyer, not a philosopher. Darn it!

It becomes rather frustrating to apply a thinking man's logic to the decisions that got us into this mess, and the policy response from Washington. As it is clear that Washington is not thinking at all, or if they are, they too are internally frustrated themselves. This reactive policy (Dodd Frank) has not done enough to satisfy the collective thirst for justice, or in this case -- blood. As psychology and economy go hand in hand, I would argue that the lack of policy closure is attributable to lengthening the healing process. My suggestions would be the following:

Put some people in jail (other than Madoff).

Reduce principal balances for those loyal homeowners who have continued paying their mortgages.

Raise the FICO scores for those who engaged in strategic default (foreclosure) through no fault of their own.

Nationalize housing using a yet to be devised system (seniority based perhaps).

Demolish glut of abandoned homes (already being done in Cleveland--to spur labor demand and lessen inventories).

Relax student loan provisions to be less harsh giving younger workers more time to repay loans and find jobs.

Break up the banks.

Any one of these measures will accomplish something Washington has not done to this point; lessening the pain for millions of desperate Americans; in effect clearing the board and starting a new game. This will restore the collective psychology eventually creating more domestic demand hopefully leading to the creation of more jobs, and hopefully growing us out of this mess.  

One thing is certain. The apathetic reactive policy response is not a sufficient one if growing civil unrest such as OWS is any indication. As the typical occupier is a thinker, his frustration is understandable. His behavior is even championed by Obama. It's almost as if Obama has cried out from on high, condoning that which he -- meaning himself -- cannot facilitate. It is in this desperate void of broken politics and bureaucracy where the real problem lies (double meaning).


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Adam is an independent street journalist, progressive blogger, activist, and entrepreneur. A University of Maryland finance graduate, Adam began his career working for General Electric and later Hedge funds on Wall Street. Adam has since left to (more...)
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