Punchinello’s Chronicles

March 4, 2009

Wall Street is Only a Popularity Poll

Filed under: Surely a Jest? — Punchinello @ 5:06 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Today, only 6 weeks into his new presidency, Barack Obama had this to say about Wall Street and the financial markets:

“What I am looking at is not the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market but the long-term ability for the United States and the world to regain its way,” he said.

“The stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics, it bobs up and down, day to day and if you spend all of your time worrying about that, then you’re probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong.”

Over the past half century, we’ve seen the emergence of the life-time politician. These are people who go into politics with the idea of making lots of money, gathering up power, and being admired by everyone as brilliant leaders. They take the guise of being public servants, and like to tell us how they’re devoting their lives to their country.

It’s true that a tiny percentage of these politicians actually do want to make a difference. They actually do want to help govern the nation or state, county or towns. They really do believe they can help lead the country toward a better life for the citizenry.

That’s a tiny percentage. Many of those politicians who enter the profession might begin with ideals and hopes, morality and ethics. But by the time they arrive in state capitols or Washington DC, they’ve had those morals beaten out of them.

There only are two basic ways by which politicians become successful. Either they’re elected into office by “the people,” or they’re appointed. The best possible job is to be appointed, because it doesn’t require running for election. But even there, if your party or appointer loses an election, you too could lose your job.

Party politics makes the world of politics go round. And to determine where anyone stands, polling companies go out and ask the electorate how they feel about this, how they feel about that, what their feelings are, and whether or not they feel good about something. Nobody cares what anyone thinks about anything! Thinking people don’t win elections.

Popular people win elections. And in a society where competition, merit, skill, intelligence, reason, and reality aren’t taught anymore, feelings make for popularity.

School administrators, also politicians when they’re part of local school boards, tell us that we need to get rid of grades and grading systems. They’re too harsh, and make too many students feel badly about not getting good grades. With grades being only arbitrary, they do more harm than good.

Is that true? Should we remove all measures of good and bad, better or worse? Should we teach young children that actions have no consequences at all? Should children learn that nothing can measure their success or failure?

That’s what politicians want. Without any objective measures, nobody knows anything. Nobody can point to a politician and say he or she is or isn’t doing their job. Nobody can be held accountable, and nothing can be analyzed.

And so we have the ideal politician in Barack Obama. He never stops campaigning, because he has no idea what else to do. He never leads anything, develops anything, or actually creates anything. All he does is tell others to make plans, build things, fix things, and come up with a public position—a “spin.”

Obama has never had to conform to objective standards or measures. All he’s ever had to do was win elections. He’s only had to listen to his political handlers (advisors), and tell the voters what they want to hear. Polling data tells him what to say, how to say it, and whether or not he “feels” truthful to the people being polled.

All that mattes is the polling data. All that counts is the base constituency that will get him re-elected forever. Today, that constituency includes people without money, people who want government help, people who want socialism, and people who hate capitalism. Those people hate conservatism because they’ve been told to hate it. They don’t think, can’t reason, have no concept of reality, and barely understand governance.

The Obama constituency wants to punish rich people, and distribute the good life to everyone on a fair and equal basis.

The financial markets are only a popularity poll, run by rich conservatives, none of whom are part of the re-elect Obama (Democrats) constituency. There’s nothing objective or analytic about financial markets, the DOW is only a measure of how people feel.

It’s no wonder the Administration could care less that money is losing its value, property is collapsing, and businesses are being driven into bankruptcy. It’s just a bunch of greedy rich people feeling sorry for themselves because the “free ride” is coming to an end.

You just watch and see! The markets will rebound when the poor people finally get a chance to take control. The markets will go up when the new polls ask the right questions.

The only problem is that financial markets have nothing to do with feelings.


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