Right-wing myth about cause of economic collapse debunked

Former Housing CEOs: Poor People Did Not Cause The Current Financial Crisis
Dec 9th, 2008
Think Progress

Today, four former CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac testified before the House Oversight Committee on how their companies’ actions may have “contributed to the ongoing crisis.”

Blaming Fannie, Freddie, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and low-income people is one of conservatives’ favorite talking points. In September, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) touted an article criticizing the CRA for pushing “Fannie and Freddie to aggressively lend to minority communities.”

But as the Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo points out, at the beginning of today’s hearing, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) said that 400,000 documents amassed by the committee showed that the right-wing claim is nothing more than a conservative myth. Later in the hearing, Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) asked the four CEOs whether poor people caused the current financial crisis. All said “no”.

more...
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/12/09/myth-fannie-freddie

Views: 47

Comment by rspwan on December 10, 2008 at 6:11pm
"Who believes that?"

The Right-Wing and Libertarian reasoning is more or less that poor people failed to take "personal responsibility" by taking a mortgages/loans that they could/should have known they could not pay back.

Never mind that the banks also could/should have known that, and failed to take the unusual high risk into account.

At any rate, the whole mess proves that the "free market" is incapable of properly regulating itself.
Comment by rspwan on December 10, 2008 at 6:18pm
"Maybe there is no economic crisis and we are a nation of whiners."

Given the hardship that many US citizens have been and are enduring, i'd say there's relatively little whining. Though maybe that's just because the big media hardly lend a voice to those people.
Comment by rspwan on December 10, 2008 at 6:33pm
"don't confuse the Libertarians and true conservatives with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Hannity and those types of neocons."

It's like various flavors of Christianity: all claim to be the only true one.

You won't find much of that on the Left, because of all the flak that the Left has been catching during the past decades, just about everyone is scared to identify themselves as "Left".
Comment by rspwan on December 10, 2008 at 7:05pm
"I don't think a lot of people like to identify themselves as anything, unless they are pretty hardcore about it."

Right. Most people don't realize how radically fucked up the world is, and that simply put, "we" (the "west") are the perpetrators. So have most people have no reason to take a radical, hard core position on it. So they identify as "moderates", which to me like claiming political anonymity. As the saying goes: "you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything".
Comment by rspwan on December 10, 2008 at 7:11pm
Jason,
I have found very few people on ipower who don't want liberty for everyone. Without mentioning names (except if it's about me - just tell me), could you give some examples?

I think by far most people do at least claim that they want liberty for everyone, and the discussion is much more about how to achieve liberty for everyone.
Comment by Olaf on December 10, 2008 at 8:28pm
70% of the crisis is between our ears.
Comment by Alan on December 11, 2008 at 6:46am
Paladin: "...because they don't see the government as being a force of good"

And how did it get to be like this? What about the government, specifically, failed in order to spark so much resentment? Was there ever a time when Congress didn't take several months to pass legislation? Comparing this to the monumental and historic failures of corporations like Enron and now the banks and auto companies, one would think the government did far worse than ruin the retirement plans of thousands of people and the employment of many more. And how would scrapping government altogether fix these problems without the same, if not more corporate corruption?

And Lilu, that would be nice, and a lot of people here feel that way, but when it comes down to everyday Washington, the lobbies have a lot more say in Washington than the people. It's only during election time when the people have a voice, and the topics during election time are pre-selected anyway, so we don't really get all that much voice even at that. The "popular" issues still tend to matter somewhat though: responsible use of military/diplomacy, abortion, and education though I don't remember candidates going a whole lot into the specifics as far as education is concerned. The same could be said for universal healthcare, actually. This is as far as I've seen at least.

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