I go to my bar in my town (yes, I own it all), and at my bar in my town are my friends. Friends I've become acquainted with over the years since I escaped the overly taxed city for the superior suburbs.
Now as the majority of my friends work at my bar, they are a bit younger than me. Typically in their mid to late 20's, I commonly am the butt end of age jokes and am frequently challenged to drinking contests at after bars. However, because I am older and actually bought my house in my town and don't live with my folks or have a heavy subsidy, it is by default that naturally I'm about the only conservative in the group and this has not gone unnoticed.
Alikening me to Alex P. Keaton, my younger friends joshingly picked on me and mocked me for always bringing a laptop into the bar, writing my book at the bar, doing taxes, not getting hammered every night, not buying a fancy car, etc. etc. But above all else, I'm the only one that didn't vote for Obama.
So it happened one night I'm sitting there, a couple of the guys are at the bar, talking to Tim the bartender and the news is on. The news of course is on the dire state of the economy, the failed bailout and failing stimulus package. Rob, a trust fund kid with a heart of gold, but the economic knowledge of a brick turns to me and says, "See what you're president did?"
All of them agreed with Rob, it was George Bush's fault and conservatives fault that this economic crisis happened. It was under GW's watch this occurred and ergo must be his fault.
And it is here that I get so enraged at the egregious level of ignorance in this country that all I can do is futilely look up into the sky, for what is my rage going to do? There is nothing I can do.
So allow me to explain a couple things here so that if you are younger, or perhaps you have to deal with such ignorance, you are well informed about exactly how this economic crisis came about and where to place your blame.
George Bush and the Republicans are not to blame for this economy.
And contrary to what you might think I don't blame the Democrats, Barney Frank or the CRA either (they are if anything partially to blame, but the numbers just don't show that the CRA was the main factor in this housing crash).
It is the (are you ready?)....
AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO ARE TO BLAME
I know for small or younger, undeveloped minds they like things in neat, orderly, simple to understand packages, but the problems of this $14 trillion (soon to be $12 trillion) economy were, for once, not caused by the government. It is the American people and their spoiled-rotteness that are to blame. To believe that they are entitled to spend like the federal government and live beyond their means is what got us into trouble. To borrow more than you are ever capable or working off, and on the order of trillions of dollars is what got us into trouble. It is the simple fact that a critical mass of people simply did not pay back their loans like the promised and that is why we're in the trouble we're in now.
Now I don't know how people get to the conclusion that it was the "Republicans" fault or the "democrats" fault, but for God's sake, if the economy is that important to you and the future of the nation is that important to you, and that you hated George Bush so much that you volunteered your time to the Obama campaign, could you at least get off your fat, intellectually lazy ass and, I don't know, STUDY THE FREAKING SH!T?! Like instead of just going with your feelings and not bothering to expend one calorie of energy on thought or research, maybe think about it a bit and read up on it? I don't know, maybe even (gasp) LOOK UP SOME STATISTICS!???
And it is here where I have the problem with ignorance. It's not assailable. It's not changeable. It's not within my power, no matter how superiorly informed and educated I may be about the topic, to change these peoples minds or to get them to think. Ignorance is this amazingly destructive and destroying disease that is immune any logic or sanity. And pound away all you want at a skull that is ignorant, you're not getting through. That skull has decided what the reality of the situation is and no amount of "facts" or "reality" will change it. You're just a "meanie republican." You're just "oh, that crazy ole economist who brings his laptop into the bar." Never mind you wrote the damn book on the topic, never mind you predicted this was coming, never mind you worked in the industry and have the experience and knowledge to explain it all in detail, no, you're that "nerdy Alex P. Keaton." It would be like me explaining to them how to be a bartender when I've never tended a bar in my life. It's the same having a 24 year old waiter, who never went to college, filed for bankruptcy explain economics to me. It's amazing how ignorance impairs.
Alas, as I've said before, there's nothing one can do aside from two things to fight ignorance. One is simply not to fight it. Just let their ignorance lead them down a path not founded in reality and they'll soon have a rude awakening as to why they're still a bartender or a waitress at 50 (this is not to wish ill will upon my friends, but rather to ensure they have a more productive life than that by warning them not to take that path) or worse they'll live in a socialist nation. The other is to bet them. I personally like this approach because it immediate forces the ignorant to think because now you've demanded they risk money on their beliefs or philosophies. They actually stand to lose something and can no longer treat things like economics, politics or whatever as an indifferent hobby. They have to (I don't know) treat it like a great and important responsibility as if they were a citizen in a democracy?
Regardless, the moral of the story is you can't get excited or angered over people's ignorance. It isn't worth the blood pressure. Nothing you can say or do is going to undo years of brainwashing by the public schools and the media's highlighting of Barack Obama's pecks. 23 year old female psychology majors will always pick Obama's pecks over your chart that correlates government spending as a percent of GDP vs. RGDP growth, no matter how right your chart may be.
So capitalists, conservatives, libertarians and other varied sorts of free marketers, just sit back and relax and let the liberals have their day. There's nothing you can do about it, and about the best thing to do would be for us to just quit so that when this all comes crashing down and results in a collapsed, desperate nation we can show the masses our clean hands and say, "See, we told you so and we have nothing to do with it."
In the meantime, if anybody blames Bush or the Republicans for this debacle, just show them the video below;
But, don't say I didn't warn you about the knee jerk reaction "Well that comes from Fox News, so that's biased and doesn't mean anything."