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Friday, October 9, 2009

32. The Bubble Generation

I've always wondered into which generation I was born. I was born too late to be a "baby boomer" and too early to be a Gen "X"er. But now I think I have it figured out. I'm part of the "Bubble Generation." My generation has watched the world progress from one political and economic bubble to the next. Although too young to fully understand at the time, the 1960s were the "sex and drug" bubble. It all must have sounded so wonderful with Timothy Leary preaching free love and LSD for everyone. But reality kicked in and society found it rather difficult to function with everybody "tuned in" and "turned on" rather than working, earning a living and raising their families.

The next major bubble was the technology, stock market bubble of the 1990s. Stock prices of companies, with little hope of ever being profitable, soared into the outer layers of space. In 1999 I actually heard a financial anaylst on television say, "maybe P/E (price earnings) ratios don't mean anything anymore. Maybe we need a new method of evaluating stock pricing." Yeah, right - profits don't mean anything to a company and its stock price. I couldn't help but wonder from which Ivy League university she graduated. Of course, that bubble burst and the NASDAQ index lost 85% of its value over just a few months.

The bubble then moved into real estate, especially in California, New York and Florida. Housing prices went up, up, up!! I live in Southern California and made money just sitting in my condo watching TV. It was great!! But, fortunately, having watched the other bubbles burst and learning from them, I sold my condo in 2004 and started renting. Since that time, the value of my old condo has dropped 35% and will likely drop much further.

In all three of the above cases, the word "bubble" is perfect to describe what was happening - something growing but filled with little more than air. And considering the outer skin of a bubble is thin and weak, it is guaranteed to pop.

Now we are in a major political bubble, one with both an older and a newer component. The new component is Messiah Obama, savior of America and probably the world, if you ask his disciples. It is eerie to see magazine racks with his pictures, week after week, month after month, adorning not only political magazines but also health, beauty, women's issues and probably pet care magazines, if I looked long enough. Never has a president and his wife had such constant, worshipful exposure in the media. To further the bubble, Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Interesting, considering that war still rages in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran threatens to obliterate Israel and Mr Peace-Prize Obama sitting in the oval office looking left and right for someone to please tell him what he should do!

Obama was elected on a platform of "Hope and Change" - subjective ideals that mean something different to each person. Many voters who hoped he meant less government and more personal freedom are discovering the "loons" on the right were correct in their dire predictions of 2008. Obama's idealistic hope is a nation like those formed by Mao and Lenin instead of ours formed by Franklin and Jefferson. Considering that Obama has accomplished basically nothing in his life, save for being elected a senator and now president, he too seems be filled more with air than any sort of substance. He is another bubble just waiting to burst.

The second component of this current bubble is socialism. This and Obama's bubbles are fueling each other and both will end badly. Socialism is another empty promise of a utopian world where everyone runs barefoot through clover, smiling and laughing. It seems oddly tied to the LSD induced fantasies of the 1960s bubble, doesn't it? But the promises made by FDR, Johnson, Clinton and Obama are beginning to unravel as the piper is now ready to be paid and the government coffers are empty. Unbelievably, the socialist bubble is already beginning to burst in Europe as staunchly socialist countries, such as Germany, are realizing the folly of the utopian dream and voting for more conservative governments.

The people are rising up. We see it in townhall meetings, Tea Parties, the continued success of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the FoxNews network. People are emerging from the utopian fog and realizing that the socialist promises are merely hot air and that their lives are now threatened by its demise.

Cycle Theorists are pointing to mid-2011 as a major political crisis, one in which Obama may be forced from office. Not by the "vast right-wing conspiracy" but by all Americans who find that the promises made to their generations are nothing but more hot air. It will happen as the US and global economies burst and melt down and all can clearly see that the emporer truly is without clothes.

It will be another burst bubble for my generationm but one overdue and necessary for our economies to get back to reality and move forward on fundamentals rather than fantasy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Prepare, prepare, prepare... Food, vitamins, ammo, firearms if you dont already have any, fishing gear, precious metals since our dollar won't be worth much soon. Make sure your home is secure to prevent break-ins, crime will increase as things get worse and people get desperate. We've all grown a little too relaxed in this country, but i fear that time is quickly ending.... I hope i'm wrong...