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Downgrades and downfall

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For anyone interested in how the U.S. ended up in the financial mess it currently experiences, read the Washington Post’s expose of AIG.

To say it’s depressing is mild. To suggest Wall Street’s need to provide ever higher rates of return to shareholders is more accurate. To state that AIG’s troubles, and those that hit every other Wall Street investment firm, came from a desire for ever greater profits which were given out in enormous bonuses is legendary.

To paraphrase James Madison, because all people are not perfect or honest, government is needed to control those people who are less than ethical and honest.

As a nation, we forgot the lessons of the 1920s. We somehow assumed that human beings in this country had become more egalitarian, or had grown beyond individual greed, or had grown more conscientious. But human nature, in it’s most base form, doesn’t change that easily. Base human desires will always exist, just as they always have.

The only way to protect our economy and ourselves is to have solid regulations – in perpetuity – that prevent the worst of human nature from rearing its’ ugly head again.

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Written by Valerie Curl

January 1, 2009 at 12:37 AM

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