Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Morning Book Reviews and News Analysis

I have always liked Alan Greenspan. Ever since I was a kid.

Here are some excerpts from his new book. Interesting stuff:
He observed that the Republican President Bush made "a major mistake" by not vetoing items on funding bills passed by a Republican Congress that ballooned our Federal spending.

Why have people always said the Republicans are for smaller government? Certainly not Reagan. Certainly not Bush I. Or the W.

Greenspan makes this very simple observation:

"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Greenspan also writes George Bush and the Republicans have been "...swapping principle for power. They deserve neither."

Greenspan also takes on another President. He observed that Bill Clinton was a "risk taker" and had a "consistent, disciplined focus on long-term economic growth."

I knew Alan Greenspan was a smart guy.

Greenspan also made mentions that he was surprised about the housing slip. And now that it is happening, we should not be surprised anymore by what is happening around us.

And somehow we should hardly be surprised about this either. Too much boom boom. We have plenty of new/rehabbed housing supply. It just ain't selling. And it is not a blip. Let us open the market for filling out our commercial businesses to make our neighborhoods the place to live and work. We need to have more reasons on why people feel connected to this particular part of town. We got the houses. We got the ideal layout. We need more meat. Soy is fine, we just need the iron and protein, but we need it badly.

Besides, people still need to live somewhere, ya know? It is healthy to have some degree of exclusivity, but that exclusivity must driven by people wanting to buy. We need to make sure that there is a reason people want to buy here than elsewhere. And there must always be a certain balanced supply with a healthy amount of affordable introductory ins, as well as various levels of finished products. Certain levels of the current local market have stale/declining/glut price and shelf life are signs of a housing bust, and a sign of a continued housing bust is a sign of a neighborhood in decline, and we don't want to slip back to those times. We are lucky on the commercial side, for the commercial property market has been far more stable, even though there are some spec props out there with silly price tags. So while the commercial side of the market is more stable, it is by no means producing enough. We need a healthier commercial side that is producing active public businesses in order to drive the the residential market through this time.

It is all a risk, so lets do what we can to ensure our survival, increase our appeal and enhance our prosperity. So as Davy Crockett said:

"Be sure you are always right, then go ahead."


Anonymous Bill Streeter said...

I guess it's good he's at least being honest about Bush, but I still can't stand ol' Al Greenspan. He's a member of the cult of Ayn Rand and he's probably one of the people most responsible for our current Social Security crisis, asshole that he is. You should watch this of Bernie Sanders dressing Al down before congress and then tell me if you still like the batty old dude:

8:10 AM  
Anonymous LuigiCarloG said...

The cover story in this month's Atlantic is about Clinton's effort to create a new model for philanthropy. God luv em' that hill-billy, he's brilliant....

2:58 PM  
Blogger bdub said...

The problem with Greenspan is this: He had a huge megaphone with which to discuss the mistakes the Bush administration was making while he was chairman of the Fed. He said nothing. Now he comes out and bashes them. This is nothing more that a CYA type of situation, in my humble opinion.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...


Hear! Hear!

Great post.

It should be seen in a column in the Post.

I couldn't agree more with exactly what you've said.

Thanks for sharing!

8:18 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hey Steve,

As a lonely right winger on your blog I can't agree with all of Greenspan remarks. But I'll begin with my agreements.

First, Greenspan is accurate in pointing out Bush's foolish spending. From No Child Left Behind to the Prescription Drug Plan, the Bush/Cheney era has thrown fiscal responsibility out the window. Critics call them fanatic right wingers but they sure believe in big government.

Second, Republicans as a party have become guilty of big time spending. Even if that's not what the conservative base wants, that's what it's getting.

Now into disagreements...

1) Reagan's deficit was primarily caused by defense spending. Domestically he reined in spending like few presidents since Calvin Coolidge (the model conservative).

2) I also have a hard time giving too much credit to Clinton. He came in right after the USSR collapse so there was a belief that military spending wasn't needed. His gutting of the CIA and FBI further drove down spending. I can't point to any specific ideas Clinton possessed so it's hard to see where he exhibited "consistent, disciplined focus."

Furthermore, he and Hillary wanted to nationalize healthcare -- which would have created massive deficits. One of Clinton's supposed hallmarks -- Welfare Reform Act -- was an idea of the Republican House. He vetoed it twice before signing cause he knew it would help his re-election bid (then again, when the right nominated Bob Dole, Clinton's 2nd term was inevitable).

I also believe the Democrats are labeled the big government party simply because of FDR. He is the icon of the left far more than Clinton or JFK. From starting social security and the SEC to raising taxes he was the model for big government.

I think it's unfair to say Greenspan put us into our social security. It was a Ponzi scheme from the start and was created at a time when jobs were scarce and high taxes were crippling people. People had little take home pay and SS was just a new tax that further lowered paychecks. The program has survived for 70 years but it's never been qualified as stable.

On the St Louis side...

I think nothing but good times lie ahead for our fine city. Newly finished property is sitting idle because we're facing a massive correction in the nationwide housing market. It had to happen. Prices grew out of the control the last few years. Wages aren't increasing rapidly so something had to happen. I think it says more about the country's economic situation than it says about St Louis.

Speaking of real estate when will I see the new Royale on Cherokee Street?

4:52 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Okay, I'm an idiot. Your previous post mentioned your new place. My gaffe.

4:54 PM  

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