Comments on: Fighting the depression, losing the war http://blogs.reuters.com/james-saft/2011/05/03/fighting-the-depression-losing-the-war/ Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:54:45 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: paintcan http://blogs.reuters.com/james-saft/2011/05/03/fighting-the-depression-losing-the-war/comment-page-1/#comment-635 Wed, 04 May 2011 21:05:01 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/jim-saft/?p=413#comment-635 Mr. Saft : You don’t mention the GI bill. My father came back from WWII and spent several years in college where he was able to pursue a engineering degree. Actually his education was interrupted by the war and he was able to go back and resume it. This was at the government’s expense and it made it possible for people like my father – who was one of millions of men who were able to pursue higher education, get married and even have children. My sister and I were born in the early 50’s.

The GI bill changed the social structure of this country enormously. Men like my father were not born into the higher economic tier. It altered the idea that only the elite went to college.

He also moved with my mother into one of those vast new – quickly built and inexpensive homes that began to spring up all around the country. Sam Levitt didn’t quite invent the tract house. Bailey Savings and Loan in “It’s a Wonderful Life” was in the same business and that was about the same time as the GI bill but I don’t think the movie mentioned it. But notice how small the development is in that movie and the difference between it and what his father was financing prior to the war. Millions of smaller starter homes were built after the war and that’s what spurred the consumer society I grew up in and am defined by.

As I understand it – there was an enormous pool of pent up savings that was able to be drawn on after the war. WWII diverted production to the war effort. People saved what money they had and waited for better times.

The developed economies are now in a reverse trend where higher education is again becoming the preserve of the very affluent. Recent changes by the British Government reducing financial aid to students prompted the attack on Prince Charles car a few months back. And I was disgusted that he was so blaze about it. Maybe he really is a dim bulb?

There is also no vast pool of savings to draw on as you know. Now the economy seems to require that people spend what they don’t have or they have even less. And my generation is aging. The economy is counting on our enormous health care costs as we rot and die.

This is not a demographic or economic picture that is conducive to “global supremacy” or expensive and protracted warfare. The men I know in my less than affluent neighborhood are not coming back to a world of new opportunities but to one that is shrinking and all of those people seem to have major medical problems.

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By: fred5407 http://blogs.reuters.com/james-saft/2011/05/03/fighting-the-depression-losing-the-war/comment-page-1/#comment-634 Wed, 04 May 2011 18:04:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/jim-saft/?p=413#comment-634 I would agree with this analysis. We have learned very little. It seems like building a stabile platform to work from has never been taught or allowed to be developed. When you have a dirivitives market and a stock market with no stability, then you have just a big shell that is vulnerable to every tap on the outside because it has no backing and a very thin layer of veneer.

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By: fred5407 http://blogs.reuters.com/james-saft/2011/05/03/fighting-the-depression-losing-the-war/comment-page-1/#comment-633 Wed, 04 May 2011 18:04:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/jim-saft/?p=413#comment-633 I would agree with this analysis. We have learned very little. It seems like building a stabile platform to work from has never been taught or allowed to be developed. When you have a dirivitives market and a stock market with no stability, then you have just a big shell that is vulnerable to every tap on the outside because it has no backing and a very thin layer of veneer.

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By: zotdoc http://blogs.reuters.com/james-saft/2011/05/03/fighting-the-depression-losing-the-war/comment-page-1/#comment-632 Wed, 04 May 2011 15:12:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/jim-saft/?p=413#comment-632 I agree. The govt needs to but out.

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By: pHenry http://blogs.reuters.com/james-saft/2011/05/03/fighting-the-depression-losing-the-war/comment-page-1/#comment-631 Wed, 04 May 2011 05:17:16 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/jim-saft/?p=413#comment-631 The next great bubble could be oil. If R&D stay on track, we should see dramatic increases in battery storage capacity, solar reception and transportability.

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