No, “WE” didn’t cause this Wall Street mess – Richard Miniter – PajamasMedia
(and yes, this is the whole column printed below)
You must be as tired of hearing it as I am.Â Somehow, we are all at fault for Wall Street’s meltdown.Â We demanded cheap loans for houses we couldn’t afford and voted in corrupt dolts, who took from Fannie Mae and told us what we wanted to hear.Â Now, we are getting what we deserve.
Take Rod Dreher’s otherwise excellent column in the Dallas Morning News:
After all, these scoundrels did not elect themselves, nor was there an outcry heard in the land against Wall Street rapacity and recklessness when our 401(k)s were rising, and all but the lowliest plebeian was moving into his very own McMansion.
Along those lines, there’s one proverb that we will all become painfully acquainted with in the years to come: You reap what you sow.
There are two essential problems with this analysis: it is factually false and morally unwise.
Rep. Barney Frank was elected by a majority of the people of his district in Massachusetts. Senator Chris Dodd is brought to us by many but not all of the voters of Connecticut. And so on. Most of us never had the chance to vote for or against these solons. So why should we be blamed?
The regulatory changes that led us to this point were the work of lobbyists, bureaucrats and lawmakers including Dodd and Frank and corrupt executives, like Raines and Johnson. We know or can know their names.
The idea of blaming â€œall of usâ€ is a way to avoid blaming those who did the deeds and reaped their ill-gotten gains.
What about cheap mortgages?Â Â Sure, some of us took them when they were offered.Â Â But who offered them and why?Â Â Yes, it is the Clinton-era changes to the Community Reinvestment Act that forced banks to lend more for â€œaffordable housing.â€ Law firms, including ones connected to Obama, sued banks that failed to meet their low-income quotas for mortgages. Bankers were not driven by greed, as everyone says, but by fear.Â Fear of the baying hounds of regulators and lawyers would call them racist and ruin their careers.Â But who unleashed the hounds on the bankers?
Particular policies and people made this mess. The public’s only role will be to pay the tab, a cruel addition that will equal more than $2,500 per person.Â Can’t the talking class at least have the decency to stop blaming the one group generous enough to pay for the party they didn’t attend?