The Washington Times - January 1, 2009, 09:08AM

So who is to blame?

I’m not a business writer, at least not in any area other than the auto industry. I’ve never written about finance, banking or international trade issues, not to mention the stock markets, but I do follow what’s going on.

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As if I have to remind anyone, at the present time we are, in my opinion, in a worldwide mild economic depression. I don’t recognize it as a recession because I think that’s just a silly word used to keep people from getting panicked. It’s going to end up as the worst economic disaster since 1929 and fewer people will have jobs at the end of 2009 than at the beginning.

Why do I say this? Because the simple fact is that we’ve been betrayed. Greed, self-interest, lack of oversight and deregulation came together to betray our society and the result is the collapse of the rest of the world’s economies. Ronald Reagan (it’s about time somebody calls that old coot to task, and I’m the one to do it!) started things with deregulation and “trickle-down” economics, two idiotic ideas that simply allowed powerful people to gain massive wealth at the expense of society. Congressional fecklessness in the last 20 years drove the nails into the coffin, allowing Wall Street to realize its egotistical, reckless goals while every danger sign was ignored. The real estate and mortgage industries put millions of people into houses they couldn’t afford and blindly took commissions without ever admitting the bubble would burst. Americans extended themselves so far out with credit that 73 million of the 105 million households are in a financial “black hole” that can never be escaped. Detroit built expensive, fuel-guzzling junk to feed the public’s vapid, tasteless demand for ostentation and ignored the coming reckoning. The oil companies racked up tens of billions in profits while directing US foreign policy. The institutionalized corruption that is the US Congress and Senate sold us off to business interests.

The Emperor Nero had nothing on us, that’s for sure. Now everyone who was in charge is saying that they couldn’t see it coming. That’s funny, I saw it coming and I don’t have any so-called expertise in the fields of economics and politics. I predicted this was going to happen years ago and anybody paying attention saw it too. All those involved are simply lying to us now, just as they did then.

The damage is done, so all we can do from here on is to patiently work toward fixing things. There are some important points to consider, however, and now is the time for all of us to alter our lives and to force the government to change the way things are done. Here’s what we need to do to prepare ourselves for the future:

-Term Limits - there’s no hope of overcoming the pervasive, malignant influence of the powerful lobbyists other than setting a two-term limit for congressmen and senators. Force this down the throats of Congress and the Senate

-Stop believing economists. Economics is NOT a science. It is a philosophy, and at any time half of them are wrong.

-Don’t listen to stockbrokers and financial advisers. They are SALESPERSONS. They aren’t experts. If they were they would all be rich. Think about it: if they have to work to make a living they don’t know what they are talking about.

-End deregulation. It just doesn’t work, and we’re all paying for its effects. The airlines, electric companies, phone companies and especially the financial industry no longer compete. They just charge us huge prices and ignore infrastructure.

-Don’t ever buy anything advertised on infomercials. It’s all overpriced crap.

-Live within your means.