Archive for the ‘Kent County’ Category

A Look at the Causes of the Credit Crisis

March 17, 2009

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the American credit system.  Personally, I think Americans rely far too heavily on credit, and that is going to come back to haunt us VERY soon if we don’t make some drastic changes.

Back during the debate over the first bailout bill of this year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following comments:

more about “A Look at the American Credit System …“, posted with vodpod

And it’s that type of thinking that leads to the credit crisis that we’re in now.  The credit system is like our circulatory system?  NO!  We should not be relying that heavily on our credit system.  Credit is NOT intended to be the same thing as money.  Equating credit with available spending money is one of the major factors that led to the Great Depression.  People were buying things on credit and laying out installment payment plans.  That enabled them to buy more stuff, and this created an artificially high demand for items (such as radios or cars, both of which were often being bought on credit).  But once they began having to pay multiple payments back, people could no longer to afford to continue buying stuff (thus why I called the demand “artificially high”) – the demand for those items was not necessarily high, people were just buying things immediately that they normally would have saved up for.  And when they didn’t keep track of how much that would cost in the long run, the credit bubble burst.

The other day, I posted a comment on a friend’s blog (Right Wing Reform), and that’s what got me thinking about all of this.  The following is my comment (with a little more added in – I wrote the original comment to be quick and short):

The credit system is intended to be used as a crutch.  You still do the walking, but you can’t quite walk all by yourself at the beginning of an injury (purchasing a large item).  Over time, you begin to pay off the debt (heal), and use less and less of the crutch, until eventually you don’t need it (the item is paid off).  The problem with the current way many Americans are using credit is that they’re using it more like a wheelchair than a crutch.  And it’s used too often, even to take one little step in a room (buying a meal at McDonald’s or a small purchase at the grocery store).  The problem with using it for small items is that over time, you begin to lose track of how much you’re spending (unless you have a GREAT memory), and a lot of people find themselves not being able to pay off the entire credit card bill at the end of the month.  And do you know what that means?  That’s right, they have to pay interest on that.  And that means less money in their pocket, meaning that they are MORE likely to use credit as cash.  And the person (or family) gets deeper and deeper into debt.

When you overburden the credit system and you never try to walk on your own, the crutch breaks.

Honestly, we’re never going to be able to get rid of credit.  And there’s no reason to.  When used responsibly, it’s a great tool.  But a strong financial system would be able to withstand a loss of a credit system (at least small item credit [the biggest example of a small item credit system would be credit cards; another example would be  installment payments for stuff like furniture] - I would argue that it should be able to withstand the loss of large item credit, but this would mean that buying a house would be something that takes a lot of work and time, and you’d go back to the days of people building their own houses and living with other people rather than a single person owning a home by the age of 23).

Right now, America would not withstand the loss of even the small item credit system, and THAT is a problem for us financially.

If Americans want to get through this financial crisis, keeping the credit cards at home more often would be one way to help.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

It’s All Tied Up in Michigan’s 9th Congressional District!

October 23, 2008

Here’s my latest post on The Race for Michigan’s 9th District:

A poll that came out from Mitchell Research & Communications (done earlier in October) shows that the race for Michigan’s 9th Congressional district is all tied up at 43% each, which leaves 14% for undecideds and other candidates (who’ll probably get around 4-5%).  So that leaves around 10% still up for grabs.

To be honest, I never would have guessed that this race would be this close.  Which is why my plea to conservatives in Oakland County is more important now than ever: GET OUT AND VOTE!  I’ve hears some people say, “McCain pulled out, so my vote doesn’t matter anymore.”  Well, there’s 2 things wrong with that statement:

  1. You’re vote always matters.  I’ll give you 2 examples from my life: 1) Theresa Lannen, a friend of mine, ran for City Council a few years ago and won by ONE vote and 2) My grandfather, Clyde Inks, ran for school board back in the 60′s.  The original results said that he had lost by 8, but after a recount, he was found to be the winner by 2 votes.  So don’t go out and tell me that your vote doesn’t matter.  It does.
  2. There are VERY important races other than the race for President.  In this case, the Congressional race is HUGE.  Joe Knollenberg has been one of the best Representatives that Oakland County and Michigan has ever had, and to lose him because of a lack of voter turnout would just be an INSULT to him for all the service that he has given to Oakland County and the entire state.

If Oakland County falls, whether that be Representative Knollenberg or the County Commission, the state will no longer be a purple state.  Heck, we’re barely considered purple now.  I was just at a forum last night, and the subject was brought up, “Are we a blue state now.”  The majority of the panel said we probably were, but the point was brought up that we still have a Republican delegation in the House, and we still have a couple of large Republican areas (sure you still have Ottawa and Kent Counties, but combined, they’re only a little more than half as big as Oakland).

If Oakland slips fully into the hands of the Democrats, we will see this state go from falling in a recession to plumetting into pure disaster.  The only good thing that may come from that is the election of a Republican governor in 2010, but do we really want our state to have to flat line before we achieve that?  Absolutely not.

So, what can you do?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

  1. Donate to the campaign, right at Joe’s website.
  2. Sign up to volunteer, right at his website.  But don’t just stop there.  Get out and do stuff.
  3. Go pick up a bumper sticker and yard sign.  Show people who you’re supporting.  Show them how important this election is to you.  Stand up for Oakland County.  Stand up for this state.  Stand up for your ideals.  Stand up for principles.  Stand up for what you believe.  Stand up and fight.  Don’t sit idly by and just let this election happen.  Take a stand, and don’t back down.
  4. Get out and vote.  If you don’t do this, it’s a smack in the face to everybody who has worked so hard to keep the 9th District in the hands of a good conservative representative.  But more importantly, it’s a smack in the face to those who have sacrificed to guarantee that right for you.  It’s a smack in the face to our troops who have died defending that right.

With your help, Representative Knollenberg can win this election.  It may not be easy, but I have confidence that he will pull win.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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The Michigan Young Republicans Have Officially Returned

April 28, 2008

Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend the Michigan Young Republicans’ Kick-Off Party (I was finally able to meet Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson the Great).  It was a lot of fun.  I met a lot of new people and saw some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while.

But the best thing about it was the turnout.  We had Representative Joe Knollenberg and L. Brooks Patterson there, as well as Michigan Representative Marty Knollenberg and quite a few others.

The group launched its website the same day: www.michiganyr.com.  Go check it out.

So far, we have groups chartered in:

  • Ingham County
  • Genessee County
  • Kalamazoo County
  • Kent County
  • Macomb County
  • Oakland County
  • Washtenaw County
  • Wayne County

This is really a great organization to be in.  I was one of the ones who helped start the Wayne County group (under the great leadership of our current Chair, Angelique Rea), and our group has grown nicely in just under a year.

If you’re in one of those 8 counties, I’d highly recommend checking out your local group, and if you’re not, start your own.  The group really is a great way to get involved and meet a lot of nice Republicans.

Done Pitching,

Ranting Republican
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