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ChrisGraley (30.03)

Failure is good.

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July 05, 2010 – Comments (13)

If you truly want to fix the US economy, you have to swallow a bitter pill. You have to start allowing failure. I just saw the trailer for the new "Wall Street" movie where Gordan Geko repeated his famous "Greed is good." line. In this economy, failure is good.

I'm not just saying that we should have let the banks fail, but we should have let the perpetual debtors fail as well. We should let state governments fail.  If California can't figure things out, we should let them fail. 

Winners don't learn lessons. Failures learn lessons. The economy is cyclical precisely because Keynesian economics mandates it. It's a "buy now and pay later" (with interest) philosophy. If we don't allow failure to have consequences, we guarantee it to be repeated. If we don't allow fraud to be punished, we guarantee it to be repeated.

I want you to imagine a sports team that has a bunch of star players. These players do so things off the field that they shouldn't because they learn quickly that because they are good at throwing, catching, hitting, kicking, or shooting a ball, they don't face the same punishment as most people do. What occurs more often then not is that they escalate their bad behavior to the point that their special treatment can no longer go un-noticed. I used this analogy because there are a lot of sports fans, and it's easy to see how the above things happen over and over again. I knew a sports star like this in high school and he's going to die in prison. I'm not going to mention any team names, but I'm sure a few sports fans can name a few teams that thought they could pay big bucks to athletes with proven bad ethics and expected a lesson learned and the results not to be repeated. As soon as they gave that idiot a big paycheck, they rewarded him for bad behavior and you can be pretty certain that he'll repeat it. 

For a very short time in my life, I lived in southern California. I lived in California in a booming economy, but even back then I knew it was destined for failure. I loved the weather and the scenery and if it wasn't for their government, I would have loved to retire there. This was probably my first "Big" job and I learned quickly as the plant manager of the company why most business avoided being located in California. It's because it's close to impossible to do business there. We were a new and small branch of the overall company. I spent most of my time filling out unproductive paperwork for the State. That wouldn't be too bad, but a few months into the job, I started getting visits from the local bureaucrats. Even though I was truthful on the forms, I started getting hints that my forms would be denied if I didn't show certain events occurring on them. I then started to realize that I was being shaken down. Not the shake down that most would think. (although I did get a couple of those too). These were cronies from dimwit politicians that told them that forms had to show that failed policies were working. If they couldn't show false results, they would soon be out of a job. The strongest cronies were from the California EPA. Even though my company wasn't normally something that I think most EPA's would even blink at, because we had a forklift that ran on propane, I had about weekly visits and had to do air monitoring in an open warehouse and had literally hundreds of forms to fill out. I could literally photocopy the forms from week to week because the answers never changed unless they told me that they should change, but each week I filled the forms out by hand and signed them because cronies prefer handwritten signed lunacy over photocopied lunacy.

I can't name a bear economy in my lifetime, where California wasn't on the brink of failure. I can name numerous times where they were bailed-out before and quite frankly, I am surprised that they weren't bailed out yet this time. I'm thinking that solution is being saved for just before the elections. California tries it's best to lure in business with a false consumer base, but even in that scenario, most companies prefer to locate across the border and import goods. In every poor economy, it gets revealed that California consumers don't have the purchasing power that they say that they do.

About failure

We've created the 2nd biggest overall bubble globally and we are going to need the 2nd biggest overall global failure to rid ourselves of it.  The Greeks have a bigger pension bubble. Most of Europe has a bigger entitlement bubble. The UK has the biggest overall bubble and the chances are bleak that they can safely deflate it. If we don't deflate, we encourage it to happen again and even bigger the next time. China's bubble may be bigger than ours or the UK's, but that's impossible to figure out right now.

You have to pay to play. There is no free lunch. 

We can't keep surviving by putting off payment.

Eventually someone is going to get tired of hearing that the check is in the mail. 

About the weak 

I don't have a problem with redistributing wealth to the weak. If you can't do something, you can't do it. You should never fail because of can't. You should only fail because of won't. The thing with can't is that it isn't always permanent. If you spend all your time subsidizing failure, you'll never get to achieve a permanent solution, but every solution that I see from people trying to help people that can't makes it permanent. "We'll give you this, but if you try to improve yourself, we'll take it away!" You are turning people that can't into people that won't. It's as bad of an offense if the weak get subsidized to the point that they overachieve and beat the strong and the strong become weak. You can't turn people that will, into people that can't either. You need to create achievement to create success. If you try to make someone stronger by making someone else weaker, your not only trying to play God, your not helping the overall economy.

You want to help the weak? Make them strong!  But if you are trying to make them strong by making someone else weak, you aren't helping anything.

How to survive in the above solution 

If we do deflate this time, it's too late for any readers to prepare financially. Buy a gun , stock up on canned food and own a vicious dog is about the only advice that I can give you.  It's going to hurt bad, but we'll be stronger when we come out of it. If we do puff (inflate) our way out of it again, save money like crazy and invest it in precious metals, store a big portion of those metals out of the country and buy a few guns and grow your own food and buy several vicious dogs.

When we start over 

You can't keep buying the political BS that you buy now. You have to do research and you have to take an active role. We've had some amazing forefathers that were tired of the BS and created a platform to do away with it. That platform got eroded quickly by politicians that realized that selling promises increased their wealth more than arguing valid concepts.

If you subscribe to either dominant political party wholeheartedly, you need to admit that your not an active player in the game. The thing that bothers me the most is when you think abandoning independent thought is a badge of honor. It's what they sell you, and you are happy about buying. 

It's up to everyone how things turn out, and the majority seem to be willing to follow the plan that the politicians have set up. 

Some day when you grow up, you'll come up with your own plan.

Some day you'll come up with your own plan without influence.

Some day a sovereign man will create his own destiny.

Some day I think that this nation will fail and a sovereign man will rise from the ashes.

I actually would love to wait for that some day. I think that it's in the not so distant future.  I can't afford for my kids to be destroyed in that event though. 

My friend David may the only one to understand this, but I am a strange man. because of training that I had in the military, I can create and destroy very well. I don't struggle to understand right and wrong, but I do struggle to understand popular. I've seen enough popular things that don't make sense and I've seen popular opinion to be the opposite of what should be right and wrong. I've been in the military long enough to understand that popular is what's wrong and politicians create what's popular.

What do I want above everything?

I want to be free.

I want to create my own life.

I want my kids to have a chance.

I don't want your help no matter how much some of you want to force it on me.

Somewhere along the line, I was promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Some time before I was born, those promises were taken away.

I'm tired of standing in the line to get life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and getting healthcare created by the highest bidding health insurance companies instead. 

You know what, I've paid my dues. I've volunteered for twice of what most people get drafted into. When I wake up in the morning, I am a man. Most of you that think you wake up as men are just political recordings.

I'm not trying to get you to choose 1 of the 2 sides.  I'm just hoping that you don't buy 1 side totally.

If you really are a man, you care more about the results than the rhetoric.

Most of the arguments that I make at this site are against rhetoric.

Happy Independence  day and I hope that people like devoish will eventually let me be free.

 

One day I might be able to declare myself independent without being thrown in jail. If I did it today though, I'd be facing charges. 

You know what, despite what others say, tomorrow morning, I still wake up as a man.

I didn't give away anything to get there.  

I've seen the political games, I don't choose to participate.

I'm a guy that did, arguing with a few guys that thought about it. 

If you want change, you can listen to me or listen to the guy with the speech.

Either way, you get what you pay for.

Happy Independence day!  Eventually someone might be allowed to become independent!

Wake up,

Chris. 

13 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 05, 2010 at 6:36 AM, outoffocus (23.12) wrote:

I wrote about this 2 years ago and got hardly any recs.

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/take-the-pain-now-or-later/92857 

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#2) On July 05, 2010 at 6:52 AM, outoffocus (23.12) wrote:

Actually, now that I look back, I blogged about this stuff alot. I was very angry back then.  Of course then was back when no one knew me so I got no recs but I still believe in what I wrote. 

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/bailout-the-demise-of/92167

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/americas-quotcrisesquot/91786 

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/inflation-factor/91785 

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/raise-interest-rates/95481

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#3) On July 05, 2010 at 8:53 AM, whereaminow (52.50) wrote:

outoffocus,

I think if someone collected all the blogs that were written on CAPS warning about the dangers of bailouts and advising against them, it would be a pretty powerful thing to behold. 

Chris,

We are so similar in beliefs and experiences. Thanks for sharing the personal story. Once again, I am thankful for knowing you.  (And you give me pause about moving to southern California next year.)

David in Qatar

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#4) On July 05, 2010 at 8:56 AM, ChrisGraley (30.03) wrote:

I just recced the posts that I didn't rec before outoffocus.

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#5) On July 05, 2010 at 9:38 AM, cthomas1017 (95.62) wrote:

If you want one of the best movies about the fruits of failure, get the movie with Danny DiVito and Gregory Peck, Other Peoples' Money.  Here's a great scene (if you want the full impact, don't click on it.  EIther watch the movie or watch the second video below first)...

 

 

 

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#6) On July 05, 2010 at 10:35 AM, binve (< 20) wrote:

Excellent post Chris!

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#7) On July 05, 2010 at 10:43 AM, kdakota630 (29.90) wrote:

Excellent blog, and Happy America Day (yesterday).

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#8) On July 05, 2010 at 11:03 AM, topsecret09 (37.90) wrote:

 You speak truth to power.... Well said...   :)   TS

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#9) On July 05, 2010 at 3:03 PM, simplemts (< 20) wrote:

I agree with your post. 

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#10) On July 05, 2010 at 6:53 PM, dwot (72.09) wrote:

Good post.

I need to go shopping and stock up :)

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#11) On July 06, 2010 at 4:06 PM, USNHR (35.37) wrote:

Winners don't learn lessons. Failures learn lessons.

Chris, I understand you meaning but disagree.  Winners learn to repeat the behavior. So if Cali gets bailed out... then repeat process and get bailed out again. If they fail, ah... change process and don't fail again.

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#12) On July 06, 2010 at 4:19 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Dude!!! -- Surfs up -- Global "Hello"

Where was the "WE" in this?

There wasn't any "WE"!

Because "we" are eyes wide open and not shut, its a new day!!!

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#13) On July 09, 2010 at 11:16 AM, tomlongrpv (84.88) wrote:

Actually California's debt service is only about 7% of its budget and has to be paid as the highest priority by the state constitution--so the risk of debt failure is low and would require a much bigger drop in revenue than we have had.  Our biggest problem is the rest of you demanding tribute from us.  The structure of the federal government is such that even now in times of a terrivle defecit California sends way more to Washington than we get back in federal spending.  We are a donor state--one of a very few such states.  And we are way underrepresented with respect to our population.  We are not asking for a "bailout" like the one New York got or like the one the "Sunshine" red states get every single day.  We are just asking for fair treatment.

In the meantime you will find California bonds a very good investment.  And the liklihood of a default is very low, notwithstanding the press hysteria.

And hey--sorry your business had to fill out a lot of forms.  So you went elsewhere.  Fine.  Again, notwithstanding all the media hysteria, it is only the weak businesses that bug out.  Those that want our market (a pretty big market to just walk out on) and are strong stay.  So there perhaps failure does work to weed out the weaklings. 

As for the rest of your ideas--if we had not bailed out the banks we would end up where we were in 1933 with 28 states having no banks.  What lesson does it teach depositors if we let banks fail?  That a modern economy cannot be trusted?  Keep the money in the mattress?  Buy gold?  None of these lessons will help a recovery.  Letting the banks fail would have been just flat out buts which is why no responsible person in a position of power proposed doing so.  Yes we have problems but the solutions need to be rational ones, not emotional ones.

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