Thursday, October 9, 2008

Depression. What's That?

For all you kiddies out there who don't quite get what's going on, in a word, we're fucked.

The Dow Jones index fell 678.9 to 8579.2, its biggest percentage drop since Black Monday in October 1987 and its third biggest points decline in history.

In a staggering final hour of trading, the Dow fell more than 400 points after Standard & Poor's downgraded car maker General Motors and investors were forced to sell off shares to meet margin calls.

The S&P 500 fell 75.0 to 909.9 while the Nasdaq closed down 95.2 at 1645.1, its lowest level since August 2003.

Trading volumes soared, sending volatility near to all time highs, as the Dow closed down 7.3pc. That came exactly a year after the index hit an all-time high on October 9, 2007.

"This is just pure panic," said Chris Orndorff, head of equity strategy at Payden & Rygel in Los Angeles.

Is just coincidence that the last major financial crisis also came at the end of a 8-year Republican administration? Reagan won in 1980 and spent his entire Presidential career pushing Reaganomics, the idea that if you make tax cuts for the wealthy, they will continue to invest their money into projects that will eventually provide jobs for the poor. (It's all been called trickle-down-economics, always a funny term to me, since essentially the rich get a big load and the poor get a few drops. Hmph.)

So after 6 years of this "help the rich, screw the poor" mentality, we hit a financial crisis. It began in 1986, and hit the worst on Black Monday (as picture above), Oct. 19th, 1987.

The economy and politics are not directly intertwined, though economic policy results from a political administration. It's not as black and white as, "Republican=depression, Democrat=success!", but I can say this: Milton Friedman was wrong. Adam Smith was wrong. These men, though good intentioned, have clearly been proven as hacks. We've given the market less and less regulation, and we keep coming up nowhere close to this "invisible hand". Instead, we keep finding ourselves like a beaten housewife. Time after time of being smacked across the face, thrown down the stairs and kicked in the ribs, we keep saying, "But, he's a good man! You just don't know him!"

Enough is enough. We're bruised, wrecked and laying in a pool of our blood. Our two wars are nowhere close to "victorious" as John McCain declares. Our economy is the worst it's been in 20 years. Our healthcare system doesn't cover nearly 50 million Americans. Our education system is shit compared to the rest of the world. We have collapsing bridges. We can't even respond to national disasters that destroy some of our largest cities.

If you want to keep claiming laissez-faire capitalism is the way to go, and that a hostile military force is the way to gain world respect, then elect John McCain. And watch as this country is destroyed.