Just caught this tragic story in the WSJ recently: Greek Crisis Exacts the Cruelest Toll : “Mr. Petrakis survived that suicide attempt. But Greece’s collapsing economy and the ruin of his business would soon push him to a more determined effort.”
Tragic, but not unusual. Don’t forget the “suicide” connected to the Enron scandal of ten years ago.
And IFO remembers from her early reporting days, the story of a sports reporter for the paper she was stringing for during the slump of the early 1980s. He quit his job (or retired, or was fired), and decided to live his life-long dream and open a sports bar. He took out a loan during that time of usurious, double-digit interest rates. The paper wrote a glowing profile and review of the new business.
Business boomed. For a couple of months. Then, nothing. He couldn’t make his loan payments. Then, yes … suicide.
So, when politicians play around in national and state capitals debating trivia, and the biggest crisis according to the media is whether party leaders can control the votes of their members, just remember this:
In the real world there is real pain and real tragedy.
Politicians today are not lying and not being “partisan” when they can’t come to agreement on issues. The issues are true matters of life and death and involve entirely different world views. They made promises to the voters who elected them and are being true to their word.
One view holds that government is the key to success and wealth. And that is a correct view, if you are a government worker or depend on government contracts.
The other view is convinced that prosperity comes only from innovation and productivity, and both of those are private sector activities.
Note: government-funded research rarely, if ever, results in private sector gains. If it does, the return is something like $1,000 spent, $1 to negative $$ return. See this article, among many others, on Solyndra for further details. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on solar energy research alone for at least three decades, with nothing market-ready coming of it.
And don’t talk to IFO about computers or the Internet. Development on both of those were just dinking around until private investors got their hands on them. Then, ZOOM!
Investors, take a deep breath before you plunge into or out of the stock market. Realize that nothing is more important than your own life and the lives of the ones you love.