Although I don't know how they got my phone number here in NY, a guy from Bloomberg news in Los Angeles called me today with a battery of election and market questions. Normally, I don't deal with these tele-surveyers any more than I do telemarketers but I was in a feisty tell-all mode.
Who would you vote for with these two match-ups? or would you vote another candidate?
What is you most important issue? (I said all of them)
Are we in a recession and how bad is it if we are?
Is your personal economic situation better or worse and do you expect it to hange in a year?
Which sectors of the stock market are the best place to be for the next year?
In your opinion, how did we get into this credit crisis? Who is at fault? Do we need more regulation? Do we save the people in house trouble?
You get the point. But I stayed with this guy for the whole thing because it was crystallizing my own beliefs and views.
Changing gears, and it is related if you bear with me, I say comedian Nick DiPaolo last night at a local comedy club. After Howard Stern left K-Rock and its affiliates, he was one of the new set of unlikely talk jockeys brought in (I loved Penn Gillette's show) and although I don't agree with all of his stuff one thing stuck with me. He called the US a "nanny state" because the government thinks it knows better than we do how we should live our lives. He reiterated that if he does not want to wear a seatbelt while he is driving a car that is his business. He will not cause any damage to anyone but himself that way as he would if he were drinking.
Visualize. He said if he crashes though his windshield after hitting a tree he is not going to turn into a guided missile and land in nearby schoolyard. He'll make it halfway out and his face will land on the hood of the car. Lovely!
The point is that we cannot over-regulate behavior if it does not affect others. How much do we spend on enforcing all of these laws, too? If you want to do something stupid like not wear a seatbelt or smoke at home or jump off a the bow of the Queen Mary, go for it. Just be prepared to pay the consequences - a fine, jail, illness or death.
Let insurance companies charge more for these idiots and lower rates for the rest of us.
During the survey, I realized that our collective behavior, from the government on down, got us into the mess we are in today. How much money has been spent telling people what to do here and abroad? Now we have borrowed our way into the poorhouse.
Now it is time to tighten our belts and fix it.
If you find that the government is coming after the free market again, like a windfall tax on oil companies or taking the internet then run to your broker to sell stocks. The free market will work it out and if we don't tighten those belts on our own first, it will force us to do it.