Monday, March 02, 2009

Get To Work and Bail Yourself Out

You have been -- you are now -- bombarded every day with TV shows, radio news, and newspapers telling you of this government support plan and that government support plan and how they are going to rescue you. To which I can only say, when you hear the word ‘government,' in your mind, substitute the words ‘Department of Motor Vehicles.' When was the last time they rescued you? When was the last time they bailed you out of anything at all?

To expect that ‘government' is a fairy godmother who will rescue you from your problems over any long period is just fantasy. Here's the good news: This country will be rescued by each of us doing what we can do in our own individual sphere of action as government works in its sphere of action. There are roughly 142 million men and women in the labor force. Their ingenuity, flexibility, energy, and confidence will make more difference than anything government does on an individual basis -- which is not to take away a thing from the effects of good policy. In the free society, we rescue ourselves.

If you spend the day reading about how bad things are, you will never get out of bed. If you put down the paper and get to work, and then work twice as hard and twice as smart as you used to, and maybe take less pay right up front, you will get ahead. In every economic era, there is always a shortage of talented, creative, well-educated workers. Be one of those workers.

Imagination, hard work, and persistence can conquer any phase of the business cycle. Let other people get depressed by the headlines. Let other people wait around for Mr. Obama to rescue them. You go out and go to work, using every resource of energy and imagination you have. The DMV is not going to bail you out. By and large, and with a few exceptions, you have to bail yourself out. Get to work.

~Ben Stein


At 3/02/2009 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To expect that ‘government' is a fairy godmother who will rescue you from your problems over any long period is just fantasy.

Well, that is, not all of us. Pretty boy John Edwards was right - there are 2 Americas.

There is the America where private individuals assume risk and work tirelessly to build businesses and provide employment. The America where average people go to work and and save for their retirement. When the shit hits the fan these people must stand strong and take care of themselves.

Then there is the America where public employees enjoy outsized wages and benefits, assume absolutely no risk and constantly demand an increasing share of private sector income. The America where many politicians receive multiple government pensions.

This story in the L.A. Times says it all:

Los Angeles could face nearly a $1-billion shortfall by 2010 because of a mammoth bailout needed for the city's employee pension funds, which have seen investments tank in the spiraling national recession, according to a city budget report released Friday.


That's right, for public employees, the market is a one way bet. If their investments go up, they increase their benefit. If their investments go down, they stick their hands deeper into the taxpayers pockets. This is happening all over the country. Democrats have secured the loyalty of the public employees unions with cash from the public treasury. Guess which America is going to pay?

This is exactly how we got into this crisis, people making what were essentially one way bets on the real estate market, using other people's money. Simply lie a on the application to buy a home you cannot afford. If the property appreciates, you pocket the dough. If the property depreciates, you walk away leaving the lender, and ultimately the taxpayer, on the hook. And if anyone calls you out, just cry into the camera and declare yourself a victim of "predatory lending". The media and the Democrat party (Ooops, I'm repeating myself) will come to your aid with - you guessed it - even more taxpayer money. Now that's change you can believe in!

At 3/02/2009 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point. I really like your exhuberant & positive outlook on things.

At 3/02/2009 2:01 PM, Blogger lineup32 said...

"First, as I noted above, much of the data we saw at the end of 2008 was typical of an economy just heading into recession, not one that had already be in recession for nearly a year. The early stages of this recession were so mild they could barely be called a recession; it was only after the triple collapse of the US consumer, investment spending, and the global economy late in 2008 that the textbook recession dynamics took hold. Second, not only did those dynamics take hold, they took hold with an unprecedented severity (at least with respect to the post-war data). And third, unlike 1982, there is no room left for conventional monetary policy. "

The cash flow that supports most household debt is independent of assets; it is the result of employment income. To be sure, perhaps some of those assets support the employment, such as a car. But even in this case a Toyota Camry performs the same function as a Lexus. Claiming the latter is necessary for employment is largely a fantasy. " wane.html

At 3/03/2009 10:07 AM, Blogger Marko said...

A large number of people that waited for the government to save them when Katrina hit are dead.

At 3/04/2009 1:14 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> A large number of people that waited for the government to save them when Katrina hit are dead.

Not enough.



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