Main Street Greed

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It’s interesting how those who rail against Wall Street greed—or the greed of the faceless, nameless “They”—usually overlook the greed of those on Main Street. President Obama is a case in point.

During his speech earlier this month, at a high school in rural Kansas, Obama inveighed against “the breathtaking greed of a few” who “plunged our economy and the world into a crisis from which we’re still fighting to recover.”

As Obama tells it, those greedy few sold mortgages “to people who couldn’t afford them, or even sometimes understand them.” Then, “banks and investors” pocketed “huge bonuses made with other people’s money on the line.”

All the while, those of us on Main Street—guileless and good and anything but greedy—relied on “credit cards and home equity loans” to get by. As a result, according to the president, “too many families found themselves racking up more and more debt.”

In short, Obama focuses his ire and wags his scolding finger at “banks and investors,” while giving the rest of us a pass.

To be sure, greed motivated the people who run the banks and mortgage houses and credit card companies—and still does. But didn’t greed also motivate those who bought houses and took on mortgages they “couldn’t afford”? Didn’t greed motivate some of those who used credit cards and home equity lines to live way beyond their means?

Indeed, Americans may deride deficit spending, but Washington is merely imitating us. Americans hold some $900 billion in credit-card debt, and according to the financial-data clearinghouse Bankrate, four out 10 American families spend more than they earn annually.

One contributing factor in this is greed, and it has nothing to do with Wall Street.

Likewise, we may say we oppose big government, but we are fond of particular government programs:

• The new healthcare law may be unpopular today. But in 2009, polls revealed that 75 percent of the country supported universal coverage.

• In 1997, 33 percent of undergraduates borrowed easy money through the federal student loan program. By 2007, that number was 42 percent. With the recent federal takeover of student loans, that percentage will explode.

• According to a federal report unearthed by The Atlantic, “The share of personal income that comes from government-transfer programs” has grown from 5.9 cents of every dollar in 1950 to 17.3 cents in 2009.

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  • StephenD

    “…it’s no surprise that he believes government can fix this problem of the human condition.”

    So when it hits the fan, and we all don’t form single file lines, he’ll have to resort, as they all have throughout history, to his storm troopers.
    When we can’t find any incentive to produce and the public trough dries up, how else can you be made to keep producing more than what you need for “redistribution?” Why, at the end of a bayonet of course!

  • LindaRivera

    An inferior health care plan that no one wants and CANNOT afford to pay. The threat to jail and/or fine those who don't purchase the government enforced plan.

    Massive spending as if there is no tomorrow. Fighting wars we have no money for. Massive borrowing.

    The Massive giving away of Billions of dollars every year to other countries, including the oil-wealthy Middle East, Hamas-controlled Gaza and the Palestinian Authority organization who fill their war chests, build mansions and laugh all the way to the bank with FREE infidel money. Whilst in America, homeless shelters are filled to capacity; tent cities have sprung up all over the U.S. filled with desperate, jobless, homeless, neglected Americans.

    Massive debt. The massive printing of paper money out of thin air to DELIBERATELY create out-of-control inflation. There is no question that the total DESTRUCTION of America's economy is planned. The results will be horrifying. In the once wealthy and great nation of America, millions of Americans will become destitute, hungry and homeless with no money or resources to help them.

  • LindaRivera

    Organic, non-GMO avocado, fruit and nut trees and berries must be planted in all of our nation’s cities’ and towns’ parks to help the many millions of Americans who will soon be in a desperate struggle to survive because of the frightening, highly destructive economic policies of our government.

    Watch it. And weep for our great nation and people:

    FALL Of The Republic – The Presidency Of Barack H Obama – The Full Movie HQ

  • LindaRivera

    Most people are unaware of government raids made on small-medium sized farms. Raw, organic dairy farms have had their healthy dairy products seized and thrown out. At least one farmer has been taken away in handcuffs! Many people in a desperate struggle to regain their health (or not lose their health) know how IMPORTANT raw, organic dairy is in the battle for health.

    Businesses and jobs must be PROTECTED! The WAR against small-medium sized businesses must stop!

  • LindaRivera

    The new Animal Identification rule will act like a tax on every livestock animal that crosses state lines – something that happens THOUSANDS of times a day in the United States! This is incredibly hard on small-medium sized farms WHO CANNOT AFFORD THIS!

    Family farmers and ranchers cannot afford additional paperwork and unnecessary expenses to please the industrial agribusiness lobby. We must stand up for our rights and the rights of farms! Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance is standing up for family farms and backyard livestock growers!

    This is their internet address:


  • LindaRivera

    WAR is being waged on AMERICAN BUSINESSES and American JOBS!
    Americans must not be denied the human right to jobs and businesses!

    Is Fed Raid on Gibson Guitar​ Company Enforcing Policy . . . or a Push to Target ‘Made in the USA’?
    September 07, 2011

    They are among the most sought-after musical instruments in the world.
    Gibson is also a company that is proud to put the “Made in the USA” label on its instruments. While the company has lower-end lines that are made overseas, every guitar that bears the “Gibson” label is made in the U.S. by American workers.

    Related Stories
    Attacking U.S. Companies Is No Way to Create Jobs

    Gibson: Feds Want Guitar Woodwork Done by Foreign Labor

    Related Video

    Gibson Guitar CEO: Don’t Know Why We Were Targeted

    On August 24, armed agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Homeland Security raided the corporate headquarters and two factories of the Gibson Guitar company. The agencies took away 24 pallets of Indian rosewood and ebony, as well as a number of guitars and computer files.

    “I think they’re taking the position that we should be shifting these jobs overseas,” says Bruce Mitchell, the chief legal counsel for Gibson.

  • Jim_C

    Quite true that "main street" shares the blame. This is why people require rules and regulations. If access to credit was not so easy, if the temptation to overspend was not always there, we wouldn't be in quite the shape we're in.

    It's a very good point, and we shouldn't lose sight of it–but nor should we allow it to gloss the crimes of some pretty evil human beings.

    But what happened in the banking and mortgage industry was colossally criminal–or should have been. It was done on a massive scale, with massive deception and the type of amorailty that only those with access to power can have. "The banality of evil" is always surprising when we are expecting a big bad monster and we see, instead, an acclaimed economist or a bespectacled broker.

  • Jim_C

    I compare it to the crimes of Sandusky. What he did was horrific and abominable, but people who do that kind of thing are broken, they are driven to their perversion, probably had been abused at some point, themselves.

    But there is a special place on h*ll for the type of person who knew about these crimes and did nothing, or worse, covered them up, allowed them to continue. THAT is true evil, and we always fail to recognize that.

    What was going on in companies like Lehman et al. was well-understood at the time, and these guys understood they were bilking people and deceiving stockholders and government alike. Let's not forget that.

  • Amused

    Yea man , that's what it is , Main Street !


  • Amused

    LOL….there is only ONE reason for regulation[s] ,without them people run amuck .
    So WHO removed regulation ? Who removed Glass -Stiegle ? [ yea yea besides Clinton ] WHO refused to enforce what little regulation there was , and WHO STILL does not have the kahones to enforce "the new set of rules " [yea yea -besides Obama ] ?

    Oh Wait !! Yup …IT'S MAIN STREET !!! ….dastardly dogs that they are …..I tell you …

  • Amused

    And …OH WAIT AGAIN ! What about NEWT ? who had his hand out for the lobbyists sent by the Wall Street Crooks to influence his fellow politicians on favorable legislation to keep the Bubble growing [and their profits fattening ] not to single out the new darling Newt [for I'm sure just as many Dems did the same ] but he IS running for POTUS.therefore fair game .
    Perhaps another " pledge " of a non-philandering nature by Newt , is in order ?

  • Amused

    yea , no comments …I didn't think so .The fact that corruption , pork ,lobbyists , and a general disregard for the better good of country which takes a back seat to partisan politics , is prevelant in both parties ,just as is influence peddling and existence of crooks. And BOTH , as well as Wall Street, are largely responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today . To blame in any part "Main Street " is COWARDLY and misguided , and is like a mugger blaming his victim , because he walked down the wrong street ….growup you brainwashed conservative sycophants .