Welcome to the Great Debate

October 27, 2008

When we first began talking about a new section that would encourage Reuters.com readers to debate the issues of the day, the credit crisis had yet to explode into the global threat that it is today. Less than four months later, the public appetite for debate and new ideas has never been greater. Barack Obama was speaking for many across the political spectrum when he said the crisis “calls for the best ideas, the brightest minds, the most innovative solutions from every corner of this country,” although few would expect the search for ideas to stop at the U.S. border.

The debate around those ideas would have once been limited largely to the corridors of power, the newspaper editorial writers and the occasional letter to the editor. But this crisis is taking place at a time when every idea is challenged in the public forum of the Internet. The economic proposals discussed at the Nov. 15 meeting of world leaders in Washington will be instantly dissected, debated and reworked, and the consensus of that global conversation will feed back in some form to the policy makers.

With our global reach and expertise in finance and politics, Reuters is uniquely placed to host that debate. On this page, you will find Reuters columnists and other interesting voices from outside our newsroom discussing the credit crisis and other issues that concern our readers, such as politics, corporate ethics, technology and religion. You’ll also find selected entries from our blogs and pointers to the news stories of the day. We invite you to advance the debate by posting insightful comments, adhering to the house rules listed below. The pithiest and most insightful will be highlighted on the Great Debate home page.

While the topics won’t always be as far-reaching as the original Great Debate of 1920, when two astronomers tried to define our place in the universe, we hope the discussion will be just as passionate.

Richard Baum
Global editor, Reuters consumer media

Picture: Stagehands erect a piece of the set at the site of the third and final US presidential debate REUTERS/Jim Bourg

32 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Full employment, fairly compensated, is the essential foundation for a sound economy. Right now a (massive) government sponsored and funded public works program to repair and modernize the nation’s infrastructure would provide jobs, stimulate growth and increase tax revenues.

I don’t believe people want handouts, rather they seek decent, rewarding jobs – not demeaning welfare.

I am a registered Republican But I disagree the pro big business policies and the free trade agreement.
I feel anyone that has entered into the US illegally should be immediately deported with their family.
I also feel that both candidates are saying what they feel their constituents want to hear and do not sincerely have our best interest at heart.
Everything both candidates have said has been said before and nothing has changed “fire them all and start over”
Global warming is a myth
I am Pro 2nd amendment.
Anti abortion
Anti Tax Increase for any reason.
Anti Big Government .
I am for the working man and providing for the poor.

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”
Abraham Lincoln

Even in times of disappointment, distrust and hardship, we must recognize that we are still a great country, and in no way should we ever allow any person, persons or event to dismantle this country by altering the document upon which our country was built.

Posted by L. Crick | Report as abusive

If we reflect on the perspective of a non-materialist such as a monk who embraces poverty, the markets represent an abstraction or distortion of human desire and sentiment. In the markets we have capitalizated our expectations. Our financial portfolios can represent everything that we have – or nothing at all. Certainly for those who believe in God, based on what evidence I can gather from different religious sources, it appears he is not particularly interested in retirement savings.

So perhaps we have a multi-generational equillibrium forming the backdrop of an enormous test. A correction is taking place. Soon the United States will have a new President. We know who this person will be. If he is not elected, there would be riots and chaotic conditions that might be felt for decades. If he is elected, as in time preceding the previous depression, there will be segments of society with the opportunity to take from the markets all of their wealth. There can be a second wave of painful declines.

So perhaps this is an opportunity for an omnipotent entity to see if people would respond any differently given a second chance. Or possibly we are all just messed up and will need to work really hard for the rest of our lives.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive

It comes down to two simple facts: There is only one Party in America…pro-business! Within that party is two factions, called Republicans and Democrats.

Fact 2. Without a manufacturing base, that has been dismantled by both factions and shipped overseas, America is just a corpse living on borrowed time.

The only option will be civil dis-obedience when enough people are hungry or don’t have any job opprotunities upon graduating with 100k in debt. That’s when we will THROW the BUMS OUT!!!!

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

Revelation of a thorough root cause analysis of the financial crisis is more of a philosophical nature. The current crisis can be attributed to mindless spending and lesser attention towards risk management. If only Americans would not spend their future salaries at the world’s expense, things would be much better.

Posted by Maneesh Sharma | Report as abusive

In every society there is a polarization between the interests of individuals and the interests of the community. I call this the me-we continuum. Of course, each of these interests is valid but a healthy balance must be attained. During the Bush/Cheney years, the pendulum has swung so far in the direction of \”me\” first, that greed and corruption have totally overwhelmed the system. Until the balance is restored, society will be dysfunctional and suffering on many levels.

Posted by Jonathan Cole | Report as abusive

I just want to touch on this notion that socialism is, well if looked at the opinions of most Americans, Evil and essentially the first step to the end of the world.

Why is it that in a nation where 75% of the population has an income of <50k that it seems like everyone is opposed to the notion of getting some help with life essentials?

I just can’t understand it. While I love the opportunity to make something of myself….I think very few of us would turn down help with if it were explicitly offered to us. Why do we have to do this completely on our own? Maybe we can re-term this movement Human synergy?

I think it must be plainly obvious at this point, citing ecomomic crisis, the fact that 3/4 americans has some health affliction, the pressure to have exponential growth with no slow down… that everyone in America can’t be a millionaire. There always has to be someone at the bottom and those that make it to the top don’t necessarily deserve to stay there.

What I’m saying is that the only type of person is human…not woman/man, black/white/purple, catholic/hindu/muslim/heck even scientologistic…..why can’t we work towards a system that gives everyone the opportunity to make something of themselves without prejudice.

Ask yourself if you want all of your children to have the chance to go to college or just the one you can afford to send.

Maybe some sort of formula that compensates on productivity rather than rewarding the idiots who come up with useless gimmicks to sell to folk…. the clapper, aren’t you lazy enough already…. or yet another drug to treat ADHD…really just an undisciplined child.

Our system is based on money, not people. Why can’t this change, it’s not impossble. I’m already there….

Posted by Flounder | Report as abusive

First let’s bring back M3 so we have a idea on the real money out there, second jail those responsible, third get a tight grip and control on all the trillions flowing out of DC, as the end user of those funds, is already known for criminal actions. This bail out reeks of run up to Iraq War and the funds are being handled in the same manner as Iraq and Katrina, AKA toss it out there now.
Lastly, create REAL jobs, and ONLY tax credits for REAL jobs, with full benefits. Also ID the “forecasters” that tell if a company “meeting profit expectations”. as to what dogs they have in the fight.. they are shadow finance player and can make of break a company.. as now days thousands fired/laid off on their say, not that company unprofitable, rather “did not meet forecasts” and that is wrecking usa to the core.

Posted by chuck | Report as abusive

We have all collectively pulled the sweet center of the fruits of our world. We have not given anything back. The need to reseed for future growth is necessary for the generations that will follow us. What can we say is this generation’s legacy? Maybe we will see that all of our gain will not mean anything when our days on this earth end.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

A (radical??) theory for reversing the recession…

Over the first three decades of the last century, wheat production grew faster than the population. Wheat farmers could earn a small fortune by growing more and more of it. City dwellers fled to the country to cash in on the riches. By the 1920′s, a glut of wheat existed, prices dropped and farmers grew even more just to stay afloat. By the 1930′s, grain elevators were stuffed full and crops were rotting, yet the American public was going hungry. Ultimately, the oversupply was corrected when the government paid (subsidized) farmers to plow their crops under.

Could that work on a similar scale today with homes, cars, or anything else where making it again would create jobs and opportunities?

Obviously, this is a radical notion, but what would happen if, instead of raising taxes on the wealthy, the government gave anyone who could afford to do so a substantial tax break for DESTROYING their major assets (houses, cars, computers, yachts, anything really…) as long as they immediately replaced them with newly-made equivalents of equal or greater value?

Just doing my part to advance the debate.

Why will no one mention accountability of the people who signed the promissory notes to borrow the money to buy the real estate in the first place? It is their failure to perform, to fulfill thier part of ‘the bargain’, (indeed), that is the root cause. Hello! Until the individual consumer/citizen takes responsibility for the outcome and impact of their own actions, there will be no solution.

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

Barack Obama, a “socialist”? We’ve had a progressive tax rate system since around 1915. Since then, we’ve had Republican and Democratic presidents alike expect more from the extreme wealthy. But to address whether Obama is a “socialist” because of his plan to cut taxes for 95% of Americans and expect more from the extreme wealthy, I ask you to review the highest marginal rate of past Republican presidents, and compare it to that proposed by Obama.

Dwight Eisenhower: 91%
Richard Nixon: 77%
Gerald Ford: 70%
Ronald Reagan: 50%
Barack Obama: 39%

Before the progressive tax system was implemented, Pa, Ma, Mary, and Laura were able to travel from Walnut Grove to Minneapolis in just under one week. They didn’t need no highway system to get ‘er done, either. (sarcasm intended.)

Posted by Matt Torgerson | Report as abusive

It doesn’t matter how many times you throw the bums out, the next set of new bums will take their place and continur as usual. What is required is a nice long depression where what is left of the middle class decides to take action; just as they did during the French revolution. Unfornately this will never take palce because the idiots at the top will make sure it never gets to that point. This is why they are scrambling to keep the system running while at the same time keeping all of their friends wealthy. The old boy club has one rule (take care of your own). You have to remember that everything is abour control. They control the minds of the masses through the media. The wealthy control the government and the government controls the media. No matter which candidate gets in, he will be controlled by the wealthy. Life s**** then you die. Get used to it.

Posted by Emile Barry | Report as abusive

Agreed that there needs to be massive reform in Social Security and Healthcare, but giving extra tax breaks to low and middle income people won’t solve the problems, it is only a band-aid to help them pay the bills that are often too high.

Government-run healthcare systems like those in Europe are notoriously bad – slow and uncaring – you become just a number, a risk.

Handouts should be a last resort since they are only a temporary fix and they require businesses and investors to foot the bill, leaving less money to invest in new business (which creates jobs and ultimately stimulates economy).

If working poor people aren’t getting by, let’s make it so that welfare doesn’t pay well enough to make it not worth working. Right now people on welfare are doing better than they would if they got a job.

This should be changed such that welfare for unemployed people gets cut in half, and the other half is used to supplement the incomes of the working poor so they can pay the bills.

We could even do healthcare vouchers, like what McCain proposed, which let them take care of those bills and not need as much extra handout money.

Let’s get creative and give handouts responsibly, not wastefully. People receiving handouts need to be held accountable for their stewardship of the money. If a poor family is getting handouts but not paying their rent or other bills with it, they should stop getting the handouts. We can design a system that gives the support they need while giving them a major incentive to work hard and manage their finances wisely.

Posted by JD | Report as abusive

Some of you commented on issues that are being discussed elsewhere on the Great Debate. Fund manager James Melcher proposes expanding tax relief to save the economy http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/20 08/10/27/how-increased-mortgage-interest -relief-can-save-the-economy/ , James Saft argues that distortion is the new normal for markets http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/20 08/10/24/distortion-is-the-new-normal-fo r-markets/ , John Kemp explains why we’re facing a crisis of solvency http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/20 08/10/24/a-crisis-of-solvency/ while Diana Furchtgott-Roth calls for solutions to the crisis that move beyond the conventional. We invite you to join those debates and others at http://debate.reuters.com .

Posted by Richard Baum | Report as abusive

Reading most blogs these days makes it blatantly clear that few people in the world understand free market capitalism. The chief example of their ignorance is the realization that capitalism is the only political system that has ever been proven to work. Socialism/Marxism/communism has proven its failure time and again and our socialstic tendancies are currently failing with our governments attempt at overriding the markets ability to right itself.
I present the readers with a piece of an article by Arthur Laffer that will explain why big governmant is so dangerous.
“When markets are free, asset values are supposed to go up and down, and competition opens up opportunities for profits and losses. Profits and stock appreciation are not rights, but rewards for insight mixed with a willingness to take risk. People who buy homes and the banks who give them mortgages are no different, in principle, than investors in the stock market, commodity speculators or shop owners. Good decisions should be rewarded and bad decisions should be punished. The market does just that with its profits and losses.

No one likes to see people lose their homes when housing prices fall and they can’t afford to pay their mortgages; nor does any one of us enjoy watching banks go belly-up for making subprime loans without enough equity. But the taxpayers had nothing to do with either side of the mortgage transaction. If the house’s value had appreciated, believe you me the overleveraged homeowner and the overly aggressive bank would never have shared their gain with taxpayers. Housing price declines and their consequences are signals to the market to stop building so many houses, pure and simple.

But here’s the rub. Now enter the government and the prospects of a kinder and gentler economy. To alleviate the obvious hardships to both homeowners and banks, the government commits to buy mortgages and inject capital into banks, which on the face of it seems like a very nice thing to do. But unfortunately in this world there is no tooth fairy. And the government doesn’t create anything; it just redistributes. Whenever the government bails someone out of trouble, they always put someone into trouble, plus of course a toll for the troll. Every $100 billion in bailout requires at least $130 billion in taxes, where the $30 billion extra is the cost of getting government involved.

If you don’t believe me, just watch how Congress and Barney Frank run the banks. If you thought they did a bad job running the post office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the military, just wait till you see what they’ll do with Wall Street.

Some 14 months ago, the projected deficit for the 2008 fiscal year was about 0.6% of GDP. With the $170 billion stimulus package last March, the add-ons to housing and agriculture bills, and the slowdown in tax receipts, the deficit for 2008 actually came in at 3.2% of GDP, with the 2009 deficit projected at 3.8% of GDP. And this is just the beginning.

The net national debt in 2001 was at a 20-year low of about 35% of GDP, and today it stands at 50% of GDP. But this 50% number makes no allowance for anything resulting from the over $5.2 trillion guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assets, or the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Nor does the 50% number include any of the asset swaps done by the Federal Reserve when they bailed out Bear Stearns, AIG and others.

But the government isn’t finished. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — and yes, even Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke — are preparing for a new $300 billion stimulus package in the next Congress. Each of these actions separately increases the tax burden on the economy and does nothing to encourage economic growth. Giving more money to people when they fail and taking more money away from people when they work doesn’t increase work. And the stock market knows it.

The stock market is forward looking, reflecting the current value of future expected after-tax profits. An improving economy carries with it the prospects of enhanced profitability as well as higher employment, higher wages, more productivity and more output. Just look at the era beginning with President Reagan’s tax cuts, Paul Volcker’s sound money, and all the other pro-growth, supply-side policies.

Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan added their efforts to strengthen what had begun under President Reagan. President Clinton signed into law welfare reform, so people actually have to look for a job before being eligible for welfare. He ended the “retirement test” for Social Security benefits (a huge tax cut for elderly workers), pushed the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress against his union supporters and many of his own party members, signed the largest capital gains tax cut ever (which exempted owner-occupied homes from capital gains taxes), and finally reduced government spending as a share of GDP by an amazing three percentage points (more than the next four best presidents combined). The stock market loved Mr. Clinton as it had loved Reagan, and for good reasons.

The stock market is obviously no fan of second-term George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama or John McCain, and again for good reasons.

These issues aren’t Republican or Democrat, left or right, liberal or conservative. They are simply economics, and wish as you might, bad economics will sink any economy no matter how much they believe this time things are different. They aren’t.”

Capitalsim may not give evryone a golden spoon but it provides for those who want it. Socialism robs those who work harder for their piece of the pie and rewards the lethargic. The end result is stagnation of growth.
Remember that free market capitalism is the engine that makes our country the richest in the world and gives the ability to people to sit around and waste time on blogs.

Posted by mike robel | Report as abusive

Noted this post”
Remember that free market capitalism is the engine that makes our country the richest in the world and gives the ability to people to sit around and waste time on blogs.”

Amazing and amusing as what has been going on for last thirty years has been anything but “Capitalism”. What was going on was a rerun of Robber Baron years,corrupted financial systems supported by corrupted government.

The many that take this absurd view of “capitaisum” seem to totally ignore for such to work, there must be investment in the company, not as is today’s “Capitalisum” which is soley focused on profits at the expense of the company and workers. Doubt that, well see what happens to firms that dare to cut back on dividends etc to compete at world class levels.. they are pillared by Wall St, top end tossed out and replaced by someone “that knows how to run a company AKA move it all offshore”.
That is not capitalism, it is simply upper end welfare and when billionaires pay max TAX RATE of 14% that is welfare at it’s worse. So wake up and note that we have not been practicing REAL capitalisum for at least 30 years, we have in fact been in some sort or monarchy with a upper 3% ruling class that owns and controls 70-90% of the wealth, that is a monarchy with royal courts and lords of the land.. .. not that silly “capitalism” some claim has existed.. Note monarchy rewards the incompetents as long as they support the courts and monarchy.. other told to “eat cakes”. Today’s issue is to much royalty and to many Sheriff of Nottingham’s and forests clear cut so no more Robbins..as it seem WS gets more welfare then the commoners ever would hope for,…AKA just visit DC and prove you are a failure, billions on the way.. and if GM well blame it on the unions as they are commoners.

Posted by chuck | Report as abusive

I have been looking into this financial meltdown. What has happened to everybody? This mess was created by phony money. There is no such thing as a business cycle. There is a fiat money cycle. As soon as lending slows inadequate money is created to service the previous borrowing and the money supply collapses. It is astonishing to me that no one is figured this out. The Federal Reserve, the cause of all of this mess, is seen as the savior! Has the manufacturing sector faltered, or agriculture, or any other business sector? No. Paper money that is without any asset base is the only thing that failed, and if money were backed as the Constitution required, then we wouldn’t be losing our shirts. As it is we stand idly by while the government saddles us with extraordinary debt. Don’t any of you care enough about your children’s future to look past the obvious? We once called this the land of the free and the home of the brave. We have no right to claim to be free or brave any longer?

Posted by mark morehouse | Report as abusive

Many people say negative things about those in forclosure, I think the most negative thing has been overlooked, a large part of the reality is that many people can no longer pay their mortgages because they no longer have a job. Good paying jobs are disappearing everyday. People aren’t just losing their family homes, they are also losing what in too many cases was their good credit ratings. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, you should be thankful.

Posted by Sharon | Report as abusive

If President elect Obama really wants to get the economy moving he will turn his attention to the interest rates currently being charged on credit cards. Many consumers pay upwards of 25 percent on their credit cards. These rates are Draconian.

Almost 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is made up of consumer purchases. One of the best way to get consumers buying is to lower the interest rates they are paying on credit cards. This would put more money in their pocket and result in greater consumer purchasing power.

RE: Bailout
Why are we (taxpayers) bailing out big corporations that through failed management practices, outdated business plans and poor oversight find themselves in deep debt?
Bailing out these companies is only a bandaid on a near-fatal wound. Who’s helping the working class? Give a couple on hundred billion in refunds to over 18 taxpayers who support this country (no illegal aliens);refund it directly to their bank account with the stipulation that debts and past due mortgage payments be paid first (creditors satisfied) and the taxpayer can then buy that refrigerator or whatever they need. Mortgage foreclosures are stopped, creditors are satisfied (if they will agree to take the principal owed and a small 2-4% interest), and with the multiplication effect of money being spent and spread across the economy, new jobs may be created and the recession averted for the time being. It just seems that individuals spend their money wiser than politicians and goverments. Sure, it’s a simplistic approach, but it has a better chance of maintaining the working class, the backbone of this great country, than SIMPLY bailing out the fat cats and providing them greater bonuses for poor leadership,

Posted by Thomas Nolan | Report as abusive

Why spend so much time thinking about the governments mistakes when we as citizens have plenty to improve on? Sure, the government shouldn’t be bailing out everyone that asks, we should be trying to help the businesses that are still running stay afloat. After all, if all our businesses cave in, what will America be? President-elect Barack Obama has a plan. He cares about the government, most definitely, and he wants to clear their title (which seems nearly impossible in today’s world). He cares about the big businesses-like the ones getting the bailouts-but he also knows when enough is enough. For example, GM/Chrysler. Two really big car manufacturers, right? That means we should bail them out, right? Wrong. How about Toyota, Chevy, Ford, what are they? Bike companies? See, there are other options. Barack Obama knows that. He’s focused on the people because he understands that the people can fix it and the people have probably caused it and the people don’t realize either. The bailouts are a big deal, but I think the real problem are the people.

Posted by Lillian DeMorez | Report as abusive

Credit is difficult to obtain at any interest rate. Financial companies have little confidence in borrowers ability to repay because of the current business failures and the resultant unemployment. No industries appear to be immune from this contraction either. Look at the list of business closings. Long term employment and simultaneous job growth are what is needed. The only entity that can achieve this is government. Hopefully the massive investment that is needed will be used to rebuild our energy infrastructure and toward the conservation of resources. This type of an industrial economy can become self sustaining for along time to come as the environment is ever changing and the need great.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

This payoff to the automakers is the end all for the concept of Democracy in America. All the blogs,surveys and opinions in an overwhelming majority are against giving Detroit this money! And you can put that in caps! We finally got rid of bush now in the next elections we should get rid of any Washington officeholder who votes for this payoff! Our Govt. seems to be OUT OF CONTROL! John

Posted by mad john | Report as abusive

This is something most people have already figured out. the money from the bailout is coming from tax payers, so when we buy a new vehicle and pay taxes on that arent we paying double taxes on it?

I am a more than a little upset because I know that when the fuel prices were up and the economy began this deep plunge small businesses were falling off the grid left and right. There was no help there for them. Farmers that were in trouble not to long ago were getting aid from charities and non profit organizations.
Where was the aid for them?

We are all responsible for our own decisions and the auto makers as a whole have failed to look at the times and make the adjustments needed. There is no excuse as to why they have failed. There is no reason why they couldnt have seen this coming. By the government stepping in they are opening a door that they not be able to close.

I am a soldier currently stationed in Iraq and as a soldier I try to fight to maintain American freedom and those rights we are afforded by our constitution. I do not risk life and limb for others who get paid much more than me to watch as an ENTIRE industry goes down at the same time! The automotive industry is a image of America. It is a figurehead and icon associated with our great country….Do they know how much propaganda they just allowed? Do they know what they just gave those who are killing my brothers in arms. They gave them hope. Shame on them. Scott….Live from Baghdad

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

The greatest problem with our society is not just the finacial credit problem, this is just the symtoms of the real problem, the broad range of issues that plague our society, the distruction of our moral conscience and the removal of God from our school system to the distruction of the american family for the sake of convieance. we cover up or problems and rationalise them away and excuse them, to make it o.k. For the finacial problem to be solved we have to save not borrow, to make money, we must create an eviroment that will make jobs, new industries, and that means competative sciences and advances, but this will not come from greed, and our society does not take care of its own. All the government is doing is evolving for there own power growth, they are looking to rule us all, and the society is going to let them. there are forces out there in our government bent on our distruction and have been at work for many years, the news medi outlets are just the messangers of this movement. Really common sence says that if you do not have the money you do not go out an borrow more, to keep you going with no plan to pay it back. Our society says if it feels good than do it, how long can this go on. You need an example just look at all the Empires of the past and you will see the same mistakes being played out in our country. With out God in our lives, you are just doing is all by your self and we all need help, all of us. This problem is everybodies responsibily, if our country falls it is our own fault as a whole. We learned that we can make a difference, by voting but we need to keep this government for the people and by the people. So help us God.

Posted by powell | Report as abusive

Democracy is the best form of government so far. Just maybe the world new to improve on the working out of democracy.

It is good that the majority should have the final say. But after seeing how America choose to elect the \”I do not what word to use for him\” George Bush for President; and two terms my goodness, it is not time for a better system.

In democracy personal interest is up and above all reasons for choosing a good president. So I am calling upon the \”best brains\” in the most advanced nation to come up with a better way for democracy to work.

One man one vote have brought down a great nation. There should be some approach to ensure that this should not happen again. Just because it is the most advanced nation does not mean that the majority are the most enlightened. Most of them are just hilly-billies.

Posted by Ng Swee Ching | Report as abusive

Thank you for giving us the population a voice.
Sometimes are going to be educated voice, non educated voices, simple, sofix=sticated…..all of us sharing opinions , that is so important in any society and in our global society. Thank you again

Posted by Maria | Report as abusive

as far as im concerned, we should stop saying the big words. what we should do and can do, is to change our spending behavior, say, take control of our “spending tomorrow`s money buying today`s things”, because this is a time badly needs our corporation. the crisis start form our spending behavior, and it can also be the place where the crisis ends. lets call up our friends, our relatives, our peers to make a change in our daily life, so that together we can pass through all these hardships to realize our and also the world`s dream. deeply believe in ourselves and friends and relatives and peers that we can change, change to a better self, change to a better economic situation, and change to a better world.
what my piont is, we do little things to get the crisis passed at the point where it started.
we can do this, and we must do this!

Posted by Lawrance | Report as abusive

Washington has no Plan B to the uncontrolled printing of money and throwing it at myriad problems hoping that something works. We need to bury the zombie black holes that hemorrhage public funds: “too big to fail” banks, insurance companies and auto manufacturers. The reality is that no one wants to buy life insurance, an auto or entrust their money to a zombie. And their stock prices so affirm. Unfortunately, it is not just the politicians. The New York Stock Exchange has now suspended its rules to delist stock selling under $1.00. The surviving patient is one whose physician amputates the gangrenous limb. A retired 80 year who remembers the big D of l930.

Posted by sanford konstadt | Report as abusive

read the road to surfdom…and google teddy rosevelte and NYtimes 1912 you will see where it all started and why we have NO VOTE..

Posted by rm1776 | Report as abusive