I've recently read a book written by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz titled "The Great Contraction: 1929 - 1933", in this book it details about the events leading up to the Great Depression and how the government failed to identify "bubbles" in the economy before they popped - and also how the government failed to properly react in order to get the economy back on track. Nevertheless, after the Great Depression, the government finally implemented a series of laws to prevent this from ever happening again...but over time, eventually lobbyists were able to get these laws repealed (such as the Glass-Steagall act, the Uptick Rule, etc.) to lift the "restraints" of capitalism so that a free market could be just that...free.
But, as we learned from the Great Depression, when the markets are left without some form of control in place (even a minute form of control) - greed and fraud will most certainly erect itself at the expense and demise of others. For example, ever heard of the Bank of United States? It was one of the largest banks in the country - until it went belly up during the past Great Depression. But I bet you've heard of Lehman Brothers...? How about Bear Sterns? These banks went belly up with the current recession, along with people's investments, retirement fund, and jobs were lost.
So kudos goes to the Obama administration (assisted by Paul Volcker...i.e., the Volcker Rule) for taking the steps it feels necessary to reinstate the modest laws that were already in place after the Great Depression to keep the system from going too far astray where American families lost their retirement, homes, and their future due to a few people or companies that have succumbed to greed. As I told a friend of mine today - a strong economy is not completely about what laws matter to a Democrat, Independent, or Republican...it's ultimately about lessons learned from history and modern economics - and how best we can use our resources to inspire businesses and entrepreneurs to reach new heights and profits (legitimately), and also support the highest confidence and faith within our market economy.
Here's what should you do to help your community, country, and secure your future....
- Vote for the person(s) you feel is right for the American economy
- Vote in other ballots in addition to the Presidential one
- Know what you're investing in...if you don't understand it - DON'T BUY IT!
- Work smarter to increase your income steams, savings, and investments
- Work smarter to reduce debts
- Study the essentials of Personal Finance