I would like to disabuse some of you of the idea that the decimation of the economy is the fault of free market Capitalism.
What you have been witnessing is not the result of free market capitalism but rather the purchase by those whose best interest is served to influence those that can choose not to enforce laws that are already in place.
Now maybe what's popping into your head about now is "Well there you go, less regulation has resulted in more corruption." In a manner, yes that's true. The government has been propping up some of these companies through corporate welfare and tax loopholes, left unplugged, for years. Their excuse? The massive unemployment that would result from the failure of these companies justifies the survival of these companies.
This is true. But what happens when an ant hill either gets kicked over or collapses for whatever reason? They build it stronger next time.
We have had shitty products sold to us for years and when we finally had enough, we stop buying. We are not the stupid sheep we've been counted on being.
Also, when someone who calls themselves a professional real estate agent tells a person that they can own a home for a low interest rate and monthly payment that easily fits within their budget, then mentions the variability of the interest rate but down plays the reality of what this could mean for them, then triples or quadruples their monthly payment because all of the mortgage companies agreed to jack up the interest rates for mortgages, that's dirty pool for which you can't solely blame the consumer if they are unable to pay. Especially when this mortgage rate hike comes in tandem with $4.50/gal gas prices.
The companies that were dishonest with their clients and pulled the old bait and sell the mortgage 40 or 50 times so that the mortgage holder wouldn't even know who to talk to to try to renegotiate the terms of the mortgage deserve to fail.
I also firmly believe they counted on people not being able to pay their mortgages, repossessing the property and reselling it, then the debt would still be hanging over the heads of the former home buyer and they would also be able to sell it to someone else for equal or lesser value, who cares, they get their money either way. But the housing bubble burst and now they ask for money from the government for their stupid and irresponsible business practices.
The banks and lending institutions have employed actuaries for years to estimate the risk of lending to people who apply. They knew better. They know who to lend to and who to avoid, they've been doing it for years.
Oh and the American car company fiasco...they should also fail. They aren't making a product that people are buying. So either adapt, or die. Ford is attempting to adapt and is doing better, hopefully we find an attractive, reliable product from them soon.
There were so many reasons that the economy failed that I find it laughable when people point to free market capitalism as the sole perpetrator here. We haven't had a free market capitalist country since the New Deal. Our country is a mix of capitalism and socialism.
Have you noticed that no churches are failing? Which makes me wonder what if we also made a separation of business and state?
The business would have to worry about the retention of their customer base, care about the bad effects of their products, and sink or swim on their own.