Bob Franken

Bubbleheads Everywhere

There’s something pathetically remarkable about the political competition these days. What we have is a tug of war between two opposing forces both pulling us in the wrong direction.

On one side are the anti-intellectuals…those who raise the clarion call of simple-mindedness. They make their appeal to the average Joes, plumbing the depths of their shallow thinking.

The willingness to let someone else do the work necessary to participate in a democracy is plain and simply laziness. They are the “Dittoheads” and all the other twittering lemmings who quite willingly follow their ranting, demagogues over a cliff.

But then there’s the other side. There you find the elites…those who mistake schooling for intelligence. They huddle together and look arrogantly down from the Kingdom of Hubris on everyone else.

These are the self-appointed “experts”. Unfortunately, they’re lemmings too, blindly following each other in their arrogant pursuits and taking us all over the same cliff. They are living proof that you can know a lot and not know what you’re doing.

To a large degree we have been bamboozled into helping them create our debacle. We have been intimidated into allowing so many of them to convince us that their schooling, and connections grant them wisdom. We are overwhelmed by their indecipherable terminology and rules of finance. We end up fooled into thinking they uniquely qualified to lead the world out of this toxic mess.

The question is: Aren’t these the same people who got us into it?

Actually, that’s just one question. Another is: Does it really take someone with their self-proclaimed intellectual superiority to figure out how to avoid collapses like this?

Maybe not. By now shouldn’t we have learned the “Bubble Gum Lesson”? it’s simple: A Bubble will inevitably gum everything up.

We never seem to learn and neither do the money world’s green giants who somehow manage to create their reputation by leading from behind.

They double talk their way out of accountability for the disaster they’ve created and swoop in to lead us into the next one.

Never mind they were inflating the Dot-com bubble or the real estate bubble. Never mind that these, uh, bubbleheads ignore lessons that we all should have learned at least from the Great Depression.

Let’s try it one more time: Stocks and other securities that are not based on actual value may skyrocket but then inevitably fizzle.

Homes whose price goes up and up are literally houses of cards. Their value will certainly collapse.

Leveraged buying to purchase any of this will make the crater that much deeper.

And allowing the market to operate without regulation will guarantee disaster.

Is it me? Is there something I’m missing. Obviously our revered “experts” were definitely missing it. The Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke told an audience in the last few days that “These crises have revealed some rather shocking gaps in our regulatory oversight”,

One can’t help but wonder how such a highly touted student of the Great Depression, as Bernanke claims to be, could need these newest crises to “reveal” them. Isn’t that boilerplate history?

The unregulated, uninhibited corruption was pretty blatant. Is he “shocked” like the man was in “Casa Blanca”.

In fairness, Bernanke has finally understood that we have a right to know what he and his cohorts are doing with our trillions. His “60 Minutes” interview, where he assured us he was just a regular guy was step in the right direction.

So are the grudging disclosures about the handling of the AIG bonuses, which are causing widespread outrage.

The fact of the matter is we have been cutting these titans of finance too much slack. Almost all of us have been browbeaten into believing that only they can lead us back from the lemming-cliff.

We need to pay close attention and resist the temptation to let someone else do our thinking. We certainly have to demand that we get full information from the elites who come up with every clever subterfuge they can concoct to keep them secret.

We’re unfortunately witnessing that same “We Know Best” attitude from the Obama peeps that we saw from the Bush gaggle . As we continuously discover, when something slips out, their performance is remarkably inept. Look no further than the AIG bonuses. Suddenly, the President is outraged. Was it really such a surprise. If so, why?

We must demand to know what they’re doing so we can insist THEY know what they’re doing. Contrary to the old saying, Ignorance is NOT Bliss. It’s precisely what the opportunist politicians and pundits are more than happy to exploit. What we’ve also learned from history is that it’s extremely dangerous.

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