Grantham Nails It: "The Industry So Much Prefers Bullishness...So Does The Press"

Tyler Durden's picture

In his most recent quarterly letter titled appropriately enough "The Longest Quarterly Letter Ever" GMO's Jeremy Grantham literally kills it. Well, maybe not literally but certainly metaphorically.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing cover to cover, but in the meantime here is a choice selection:

Believe in history. In investing Santayana is right: history repeats and repeats, and forget it at your peril. All bubbles break, all investment frenzies pass away. You absolutely must ignore the vested interests of the industry and the inevitable cheerleaders who will assure you that this time it’s a new high plateau or a permanently higher level of productivity, even if that view comes from the Federal Reserve itself. No. Make that, especially if it comes from there. The market is gloriously inefficient and wanders far from fair price but eventually, after breaking your heart and your patience (and, for professionals, those of their clients too), it will go back to fair value. Your task is to survive until that happens. 

...

Try to contain natural optimism. Optimism has probably been a positive survival characteristic. Our species is optimistic, and successful people are probably more optimistic than average. Some societies are also more optimistic than others: the U.S. and Australia are my two picks. I’m sure (but I’m glad I don’t have to prove it) that it has a lot to do with their economic success. The U.S. in particular encourages risk-taking: failed entrepreneurs are valued, not shunned. While 800 internet start-ups in the U.S. rather than Germany’s more modest 80 are likely to lose a lot more money, a few of those 800 turn out to be today’s Amazons and Facebooks. You don’t have to be better; the laws of averages will look after it for you. But optimism comes with a downside, especially for investors: optimists don’t like to hear bad news. Tell a European you think there’s a housing bubble and you’ll have a reasonable discussion. Tell an Australian and you’ll have World War III. Been there, done that! And in a real stock bubble like that of 2000, bearish news in the U.S. will be greeted like news of the bubonic plague; bearish professionals will be fired just to avoid the dissonance of hearing the bear case, and this is an example where the better the case is made, the more unpleasantness it will elicit. Here again it is easier for an individual to stay cool than it is for a professional who is surrounded by hot news all day long (and sometimes irate clients too). Not easy, but easier.

...

Resist the crowd: cherish numbers only. We can agree that in real life as opposed to theoretical life, this is the hardest advice to take: the enthusiasm of a crowd is hard to resist. Watching neighbors get rich at the end of a bubble while you sit it out patiently is pure torture. The best way to resist is to do your own simple measurements of value, or find a reliable source (and check their calculations from time to time). Then hero-worship the numbers and try to ignore everything else. Ignore especially short-term news: the ebb and flow of economic and political news is irrelevant. Stock values are based on their entire future value of dividends and earnings going out many decades into the future. Shorter-term economic dips have no appreciable long-term effect on individual companies, let alone the broad asset classes that you should concentrate on. Leave those complexities to the professionals, who will on average lose money trying to decipher them

...

If you can be patient and ignore the crowd, you will likely win. But to imagine you can, and to then adopt a flawed approach that allows you to be seduced or intimidated by the crowd into jumping in late or getting out early is to guarantee a pure disaster. You must know your pain and patience thresholds accurately and not play over your head. If you cannot resist temptation, you absolutely MUST NOT manage your own money. There are no Investors Anonymous meetings to attend.

...

On the other hand, if you have patience, a decent pain threshold, an ability to withstand herd mentality, perhaps one credit of college level math, and a reputation for common sense, then go for it. In my opinion, you hold enough cards and will beat most professionals (which is sadly, but realistically, a relatively modest hurdle) and may even do very well indeed.

...

the current U.S. capitalist system appears to contain some potentially fatal flaws. Therefore, we should ask what it would take for our system to evolve in time to save our bacon. Clearly, a better balance with regulations would be a help. This requires reasonably enlightened regulations, which are unlikely to be produced until big money’s influence in Congress, and particularly in elections, decreases. This would necessitate legal changes all the way up to the Supreme Court. It’s a long haul, but a handful of other democratic countries in northern Europe have been successful, and with the stakes so high we have little alternative but to change our ways.

...

Karl Marx went on and on about the tendency of capitalism to so fixate on growth that in time it would forget the need to put on a friendly face for society and would drive home too clearly and brutally its advantage over labor. Ironically, in some way he and Engels looked forward to globalization and the supranational company because they argued it would make capitalism even more powerful, over reaching, and eventually reckless. It would, they claimed, offer the capitalists more rope to hang themselves with or, rather, to be hung with, in the workers’ revolution. The rope for the job, they suggested with black humor, would be bought from briskly competing capitalists, eager till the end for a good deal. Well, time marches on and it’s going to be hard to have a workers’ revolution with no workers. Organizing robotic machine tools will not be easy. However, Marx and Engels certainly got the part right about globalization and the supranational company increasing the power of capital at the expense of labor. To interfere with Marx’s apocalyptic vision, we need some enlightened governmental moderation of the new globalized Juggernaut (even slightly enlightened would be encouraging) before capitalism gets so cocky that we have some serious social reaction.

...

Capitalism, by ignoring the finite nature of resources and by neglecting the long-term well-being of the planet and its potentially crucial biodiversity, threatens our existence. Fifty and one-hundred-year horizons are important despite the “tyranny of the discount rate,” and grandchildren do have value. My conclusion is that capitalism does admittedly do a thousand things better than other systems: it only currently fails in two or three. Unfortunately for us all, even a single one of these failings may bring capitalism down and us with it.

...

the S&P 500 is materially overpriced, with an imputed return on our 7-year forecast of about 1% real, and because the high quality quarter of the S&P is priced to deliver 5.5% real (about a fair return), the 75% balance of the S&P has a slightly negative return. The rest of the world’s equities were (when I sat down to write this in January) on average slightly cheap at close to 7% real, so that non U.S. equities plus U.S. quality stocks offered a slightly higher average return than normal (a normal mix is about 6.1% real). (Today, after a dazzling rally, the forecast for the same global equity mix has dropped by 1.1%, to very slightly expensive.)

....

The 800-pound gorilla (the one that prefers bond holders to bamboo) is not in the room yet, but you can hear him thumping his chest up in the hills. He will come eventually, and before he does, you should remember that stocks are underrated inflation hedges. The underlying corporations have real assets, employ real people, and sometime even make real things, although a good idea embedded in a small thing (like an iPad) or a service is just as good. Equities have been tested over and over again in different places and in different decades and they have always been found to be very effective hedges. Serious resources – oil and copper in the ground and forestry and farmland – will almost certainly also be good and very probably much better than broad stocks in the short run. Gold may be good too.... But for stocks to work dependably as inflation hedges one has to have a several-year time horizon: in the short term, rising inflation can hurt stocks badly, for as mentioned last quarter, inflation is usually a powerful negative behavioral input. Investors hate jumps in inflation because they sharply raise the levels of uncertainty.

...

When I read the 120 contradictory bits of advice in the Financial Times alone, I find myself asking the question: who is an expert? To the extent that anyone has profitably specialized in this type of problem, I suppose it is George Soros. There are also, in my opinion, one or two investment management groups that seem to talk sense (which groups will go nameless for weasely competitive reasons). This is the problem: these probable experts are much more worried than the general market. This fact is giving rise to a new, tentative but definitely uncomfortable theory: perhaps the default assumption when dealing with ignorance or lack of confidence and skill is to assume everything will muddle through okay. Certainly we were amazed by this attitude generally displayed by the world (and most competitors) in the build-up to the 2000 and 2008 bubbles. Now we at GMO are calmly sitting around playing equities by the numbers, which are not too bad, and the market in general seems quite relaxed, while those few who look like experts on this crisis are pulling out their hair in fright. As I said, this is just a theory. But it is scary.

... and the punchline ....

The U.S. market was terrible for the last 10 years, gaining a pathetic 0.5% per year overall, after inflation adjustments and even including dividends. Without dividends, the index itself has not gone up a penny in real terms from mid-1997 to end-2011, or 14½ years. This is getting to be a long time! Are we expected to be bullish out of patriotism? You might think so given the flood of optimistic views for the last 10 years (or is it 100?). The industry so much prefers bullishness. It is much, much better for business. So, in general, does the press, and I do sympathize – optimism really does make for more compelling reading. I’ll tell you what. Try taking it out on the army of well-known bulls who blew the trumpets in 1999 and 2007 and waved everyone into the rather bloody breach. (Did you know that trumpeters were killed out of hand in the Middle Ages because of their pernicious role? How about that for a precedent when we get to the next burst bubble?)

Alas, now it's different.

Full letter (pdf)

 

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Cursive's picture

The U.S. in particular encourages risk-taking: failed entrepreneurs are valued, not shunned. While 800 internet start-ups in the U.S. rather than Germany’s more modest 80 are likely to lose a lot more money, a few of those 800 turn out to be today’s Amazons and Facebooks.

 

This thinking is why SalesForce.com is a new internet juggernaut, right?

Hansel's picture

Salesforce lost $11.5 million last year.  They only plan on losing $70 million this year.  Why wouldn't the company be worth $19.5 billion?  Right?

Cursive's picture

@Hansel

TM P/E of 9,576x is just screaming, "Get in on the ground floor.  Buy me!"

Hansel's picture

There is no ttm P/E anymore.  With yesterday's report, ttm earnings is $-0.09.  Negative P/E now, whatever that means.

A L I E N's picture

Was the intro even written by a real TD?  We currently have nothing close to capitalism.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Grantham was blaming successful capitalist for many of the current problems.  That is so far from reality how can ZH say he killed it?

Perhaps some need a refresher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wXWoU0YqsU0

 

strannick's picture

I think the market realizes that stocks are not any less risky than government bonds, so go Dow go!

Harlequin001's picture

'...You absolutely must ignore the vested interests of the industry and the inevitable cheerleaders who will assure you that this time it’s a new high plateau or a permanently higher level of productivity, even if that view comes from the Federal Reserve itself. No. Make that, especially if it comes from there. The market is gloriously inefficient and wanders far from fair price' - Don't you just love this.

There was once a time when fund managers actually needed some skill, when they spent valuable funds (and effort) on trying to procure information ahead of the rest of the market in specialist areas, once. But that was before all information came from the Fed or some other central bank. Easy money. When that happened even those that tried real research were undercut by those other fund managers who simply accepted Fed data as real, Now every fund manager accepts Fed info because they have to, because even if they don't want to they have to charge their fees and cut research to save costs and be competitive with other fund managers.

Now all we have IS Fed data. There is no other source of information but the bullshit spoon fed to us all be people who take our fees under the guise of real research yet spew forth the same shit, and lose the same sums as everyone else. Now the only way they can get ahead is to use what funds they have to buy inside info and hope they can squeeze a few hours, days or even milliseconds to front run and basically defraud those who would pay them for their 'specialist' knowledge.

The whole system fuckin stinks, and the sooner it's gone and I can put my own money to good use without some half-whit cretin with a super computer front running my trades the better. Until then I keep my gold and the world gets to go screw itself.

 

rlouis's picture

The answer to the credibility gap (gulf/canyon) is reconciled quite easily by answering the question; Why do liars lie? Because they're liars, that's what they do. 

Zero Govt's picture

nicely put/called Harlequin

the Feds 'Goldilocks economy' is a fuking zombie bitch.. they're making zombies of us all but this'll end 100% guaranteed in a graveyard

..but as you say there's always Gold, although the Fed/fraud cartels are stiffing that market too and how long before the sucker-of-all-life, the US Govt, sticks its jack-boots in that last resting place?

algol_dog's picture

Nice oversight and excellent insights by Peter Schiff ...

caerus's picture

“hope in reality is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man"

nietzsche had it figured out

strannick's picture

thats why I spend my days pulling lint from my bellybutton

falak pema's picture

Nietzsche : awesome critic of enlightenment and age of reason, believer in decadence and spiritual revival by resuscitating mythical supermen heroes. 

Easy to be critical, more difficult to construct a way out; unless you be of school that man is and stays his own fool. Sisyphus.

The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, they are practically profitable, which is more than Amazon could say in its early days, so they should be worth $100b.

Michael's picture

The power of positive thinking is bullshit. Causes more trouble than it's worth.

Michael

Michael's picture

All Bills coming out of the US Legislature should be required to have a price tag for the Taxpayers on how much it's going to cost them.

A breakdown on how the money involved is being shifted around would be nice too to be required.

Michael's picture

Ron Paul "I Don't Think My Son Needs My Help To Get Him A Job"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMmwce5GC1Y&feature=youtu.be

snowball777's picture

No, but he does need Jessie Benton and StormFront's endorsement.

 

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"Resist the crowd: cherish numbers only."

Show me some numbers that I can believe and I will cherish them!

What Grantham fails to point out is that the optimists have the means, motive and opportunity to publish any numbers that they wish to be heard by the world.

Seer's picture

But... optimism cannot overcome reality.  Mother Nature is neutral.

ultimate warrior's picture

This country is in alot of trouble. I was just out to eat at a supper club in WI and had a chat with the owner. This is a nice place great food and they book alot of weddings in the spring and summer. I asked him how everything was going and he said it was ok. He lost about 1/4 of the weddings that he normaly books at this time. There are lots of places closing up shop and I would say bars are almost always empty compared to a few years ago. If people are not spending money on drinking in Wisconsin then you know we are in trouble.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Ultimate Warrior...

Dinner theaters, supper clubs, bars, even house parties, have been in serious trouble since the introduction of 'driving under the influence' laws were introduced. When the DUI laws were introduced there remained latitude for a person to have one or two beers and still drive. Now that has been changed to Zero Tolerance or No Beers.

I'm not saying that this is a bad thing... simply pointing out what I have observed in a Florida beach/party town... or, what used to be a Florida beach party/town. Now the sidewalks are rolled up by 9pm and if you are driving at 11pm the only other vehicles that you are likely to see are police vehicles...and those police vehicles contain bored policemen that are curious about your presence and how you would score on a DUI test.

In truth I don't know how much the nite life business is off due to DUI laws and how much reduction has been caused by a poor economy... probably some of both.

 

duo's picture

Wisconsin is a different story.  Many small hamlets have a gas station and a bar as the only businesses.  People not drinking in WI is like Floridians not going out in the sun.

Bob's picture

When you throw the relatively recent No Smoking laws into the mix, partying in "public" just doesn't have the same appeal is used to have.  Even without trip to jail. 

nmewn's picture

"I'm not saying that this is a bad thing..."

They always start out small...the laws, the regulations. It always comes down to, how much liberty are we willing to give up for safety.

My personal pet peeve is seat belt laws.

Here we have a law that was introduced as nothing more than a "concern". No one would be pulled over for not wearing one. It could not be used as a "reason" to pull one over and usually just a warning would be issued if found to not be wearing one during a traffic stop for another infraction.

What could possibly be the harm?

To those who have watched these things develop all their lives, we knew what would happen with the passage of time.

Now, it's mandatory seat belt laws. They can now pull you over when they see you not wearing one. They can even pull you over for not having it on properly (lap but not over the shoulder).

It is nothing more than another "revenue stream".

For the one millionth time...who do I physically harm by me not wearing a seat belt?

BlankfeinDiamond's picture

Amen. And yet in many of these states, it is legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. That makes no sense whatsoever, and I ride.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

From 1986 to 1993 I worked at a trauma center at San Diego. We used to call motorcycle riders w/o a helmet " organ donors" because that was the number one group we harvested. I noticed a definite drop when helmets became the norm. Personally I wish we were all allowed to make our own decision in these matters but more regulation appears to be the norm. My husband calls it the " effeminization" of America .... Well not exactly that but you get my drift.

eddiebe's picture

You are harming the insurance agencies by not wearing seat belts. They lobby the g men, laws are passed, the cops get to hassle and intimidate you, and you get to support them all.

nmewn's picture

Well, I support very little of it. Been that way all my life.

Continuing with the freedom of movement theme here, same with DUI laws.

Here is another example of fleecing the sheep for their own good where lobbyists for MADD (manipulating peoples emotions) helped pass laws infringing on my and our liberty.

We will start with the blood alcohol level at X...it doesn't matter what X is. 

Every five years or so we will lower X until we get to the point where if someone even uses mouth wash in the morning, they will have to prove on the side of the road or in a court of law they are not intoxicated.

It used to be, someone had to be "observed" driving erratically. Now, they set up little gestapo-like "check points". You are presumed guilty instead of innocent.

I actually rolled up on one of these where they had FDLE, state troopers and county cops (about 15 cars lining the sides of the road) and I asked who were they looking for...some bank robber no doubt...an escaped mass murdering convict with blood shot eyes & fangs...fucking Bin Laden?

No, just checking for zeee proper paperzzz as he leaned in the window to get a whiff.

I said are you fucking kidding me? He said you better get your ass out of here.

Yes, we pay for this shit in more ways than one.

chubbar's picture

Yeah, well have them find a grand in cash that they take due to asset forfeiture laws and see how that tastes? These fuckers get to keep the money and the burden of proof resides on YOUR shoulders to prove it was legally obtained,assuming you even get your day in court. I can't believe the shit that goes on nowadays!

cbxer55's picture

nmewn

 

They do these check points all the time in Oklahoma. And they actually catch a lot of people driving without a license, no tags, no insurance, etc. I do not like them, but if it keeps people off the streets that do not have insurance, its a small price to pay.

nmewn's picture

But you see that's the issue isn't it?

It doesn't keep them off the streets, they did catch them at a gestapo check point. I'm sure they all walked home and said boy I'll never do that again...thank you kindly gestapo agent.

And in the process of all this, we have to listen to absolute nonsense about how this is all for the public good and keeps all of our insurance rates down as they rise year after year.

Yes, let's make it a crime for the guy next door to eat a cheeseburger because I'm a vegetarian and it will keep my health insurance rates down...excellent...lol.

This is how it's done and most people fall for it hook, line & sinker until a majority decide brussel sprouts contributes to manmade global warming and elarged thyroids.

Well, gosh, we need to pass another law limiting brussel sprout consumption and fund it's enforcement.

Don't laugh, nothing surprises me anymore ;-)

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

What's lacking in your argument is the lack of personal responsibility. After working as a clinical microbiologist for 27 years I have come to the realization people don't give a shit any more about themselves and, well,just fuck all of you, I'm going to eat what I want and you're just damn well going to pay for it. About 75 percent of my work is diabetics. Typical patient is 300-400 lb coming through the er with a 400-600 glucose (kid u not!) with a raging MRSA infection in a leg stump ( which had been earlier amputated for said infection). My job is to find I drug that will deal with the infection that has now gone to the blood (bacteria love sugar). Daunting task this day. This patient will be in the hospital for 1-3 weeks and if they make it, will be discharged with a 125-150 glucose with " diabetic" counseling. I will get them again within the month with a greater than 400 glucose and we'll do it all again. They are not getting to this state eating brussel sprouts and broccoli. I guess I have no problem with them living their life as they want. I'm just sick and tired paying for them. Believe me, none of them is taking " die honorably" route!

nmewn's picture

So what set you off? The fact I knew what you were going to say before you ever said it?

In your little corner of the world you see a small slice of society and have determined that all of society should live a certain way according to your world view, not theirs, that is, eat more vegetables and less sugar.

You attempt to justify the implications of this draconian moral standard by saying you are "paying for them" (I will suppose by increased health insurance rates) and then end with a veiled admonition for them to end their miserable lives "honorably" so as to not burden you financially.

Poor baby, quite the bedside manner. Small wonder they keep you locked in the lab. Clearly what the world needs are more statists and nosey busy bodies to be given extreme power to stop this assault on your purse...lol.

However, your influence on me is and always will be nil...your sense of self importance, though shocking, doesn't rise to the level of delusional just yet...but try not dwell on it or let my comments upset you so much that you are driven into the arms of a shrink.

You may not like what he has to say either ;-)

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Wow, what set you off?? Hit a nerve did I? Don't want to eat your veggies? Frankly fine by me. My expertise in my job has saved hundreds of lives. Infectious disease docs consult with people like me because they'd be flying blind without our knowledge. My having a sweet bedside manner will not help any one. Your comment is confusing. I have shown you my world as it is today. It is a very sad world I see. I did not mean to imply judgement accept where people have not taken responsibility for their actions. 95 percent of diabetes is type 2... Lifesyle caused. Watch biggest loser and see what people can do to reverse it... Amazing even in the most extreme cases. I have not implied that we must do away with all the diabetics in some as you put, draconian manner. Think about this man, I would be out of a job. This is why big Pharm and Food have quite a vested interest in the status quo. No I don't want the veggie police.and if you think some pathetically ignorant comments as yours drive me to a shrink? Oh my god ROTFL...people like you moral pontificators wouldn't last a night working in the Trauma Dept

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Oh yeah nmewn, thanks for the comment. I've been lurking here about a year and been teased unmercessly by my husband for not commenting on anything. He can't call me a wimp any more...I've been Blooded yeah!

Miffed :-)

nmewn's picture

You have to fight on your first post.

Welcome to Fight Club ;-)

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I'm glad it was you, had always respected your comments on this site (cue humble warrior pose) Looking forward to future exchanges! God I feel so good I could go out and bag me a bankster!

Miffed :-)

satan2liberals's picture

You don't seem to get it , it's not a lack of personal responsibility that makes you have to pony up for someone else's poor choices. It's the collectivist system that does that. Sadly  you appear to  have bought into the ruse of why legitimately they must regulate all behavior they think needs managing thus far  (since they know best of course).

 

You seem smart it's not to late to wake up to where the crux of the problem lies/leads.

 

 

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

If by collectivist system you mean insurance companies then I agree with your point that I have no power determining what I pay for my healthcare. Yes the system is rigged and an individual has little choice. Yet, I do have power deciding what I do personally with my own health. Where you get the idea I believe there should be more regulation is beyond me. The collective wants me to eat McDs, Tyson foods and cheez whiz. Why don't I? Because I've been 40 lbs over weight and on 4 different asthma medications which I've used every 4 hrs around the clock for 20 years. I once begged my Dr for some way to get of the meds. He looked me in the eye and said that I had a chronic condition and that I should be thankful there is so much research being done so when the meds I'm on quit working there will be more for me to take. Well that was five years ago and I'm off all meds and 30 lbs lighter. I regularly run in 5ks, my labs are like a twenty year old and I have a brand new life at 50. Would I want everyone to follow me? Sure,of course! Not because I want to regulate everyone but I would like for them to share in the joy unhooking themselves from the horrors of modern day medicine which I, unfortunately am apart because of my profession. I did it by lots of research on the Internet,querying many alternative therapies,naturopaths chiropractors. Yes, in my own way I unplugged from the Matrix,yet as Morpheus said,many don't want to be unplugged. I accept that. However that still doesn't prevent me from being angry and sad when I see people dying by slow suicide when there are ways out.

Clay Hill's picture

So you think giving up the presumption of innocence is a small price to pay ?

Let's just forego the trial by jury then, I'll save the taxpayers some money by just driving over to Raiford State and strapping myself to the gurney now.

ISEEIT's picture

Well said nmewn.

Couple of links I'd like to share. The first is really for the ZH crowd, it would fly right over the heads of a sheep.

The second is just a tool that I've used recently when fighting off the progressivite hoards who love to spew their wisdom regarding 'propaganda and filthy lies', CORPORATE greed and anything conservative or GASP Libertarian.

 

http://thedailybell.com/3643/In-Europe-and-America-No-Retirement-Just-Su...

 

http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart/main

 

The cute part is they seem genuinely baffled that North Korea is a real place and that the citizens can actually be so cleverly duped!

Astonishing but true.

nmewn's picture

I've always been amazed how easily people submit or even advocate for still more law.

My thought has always been, if someone proposes a new law, they have to propose ten to get rid of, before it will even be considered.

falak pema's picture

your wife, kids, mistresses, golf buddy, your employees. Not counting your banker. F him!

 

Shock and Aweful's picture

I have a feeling that the seat belt laws were passed...due in part to alot of pressure put on the states / federal government by the insurance industry.

it is no secret that wearing a selt-belt saves lives...and by extension, saves auto / health / life insurance companies ALOT of money.

We are talking about 100's of thousands of accidents a year in the US....and 10's of thousands of serious injuries and deaths.

 

While I agree that the state and Fed govt's overreach on just about everything....I would posite that just about every one of the shitty laws that gets passed in this country (and states, and local gov'ts) is due to, in no small part, influence and lobbying by a corporation or private party / organization who has a financail motivation or hope of one)

If you are actually so ignorant to think that laws are passed by govt'...because they like to fuck with you ...then you might want to study up onwhere the ideas for new legislation comes from, how it gains support of enough members to come to make it out of comittee, and how it ends up coming to the floor for a full vote.....there is a MASSIVE amount of influence exerted by corporations and orgnaizations....and I would say that just about every last bill that is passed...a seat belt law, the SOPA bullshit, the medicare drug act, the Obama care law, citizen's united...hell, even the patriot act and the NDEA laws.....every last one of them would not have been possible had it not been for the support, influence and pressure exerted by private corporations and NGO's on and over your elected representative  - 

It has ALWAYS been this way...but it has NOT always been as bad as it is now.  

What you don't understand is that you are actually getting fucked more by private corporations than anyone or anything else  -  the government is really nothing more than the enforcement arm for the wishes and demands of the corporation  ( i think there is a term that describes a government that operates that way....)

So...the next time one of you guys sits down to write a blistering opinion piece on the evils of the "gub-mint"...maybe you should spend a little time thinking about the powers lurking in the shadows.

I could believe in the idea of a government that fucks things up because they are incompetent....but only if they only fucked up shit everyonce in a while. However, the amount oflaws and regulations that are passed by our federal and state governments...that end up hurting our nation / state and people can, in no way be attributed to an accident or to incompetence.   The disaster that is our government  is by design.  So, that makes me ask....who's design? 

I know many people like to say that the people in government pass laws because they like power...and because they are "socialists" or "Facsists"...(or whatever the popular term is these days)...but when you stop and think about it rationally, the people who sit in Washington are not there for ever (most are there too long....but even new members vote the same way as old ones)....it is not as thought they are kings or monarchs who rule until they die, and then turn the power over to their children. 

And they honestly do not receive any lasting power out of being a representative.  It is true that they make connections that benefit them financially later in life...(but only if they are the type of represntative that goes along with what is required of them) -   So, if these people are not passing these laws out of incompotence or out of a direct benefit to themselves...then why do they continue to systematically weaken, damage or outright destroy the constitution?  Who is benefitting from this?    My point in all of this is that you can claim that government is the problem...but that is only addressing the symptom of what is killing us.....the real infection...the real cancer are those who benefit directly from these laws being passed...from a 140000 page tax code....from a military /  industrial / congressional complex and from a two-party system that does not allow for dissent against their corporate masters.  

So, continue to bitch about the governement...about seat belt laws...about birth control and obama care...and about social security and medicare.....but until you cut off the head of this monster, the nightmare is going to not only continue, but it will consolidate more and more and more power, wealth and influence, until all that is left is a nation of completely indentured servants, governed by a corporation, to which you will be a non-voting share holder.

I am not drecting this towards any one person in particular - No offense meant to the poster above.

Sorry for rambling....I just get sick of hearing the "government this...and government that" shit..

satan2liberals's picture

Seat belt laws save lives but it's not cheaper the last time I studied it.

Dead people don't reqiure much emergency care or rehab for that matter.

Seer's picture

Is it govt, or is it the insurance companies?  I suspect both: but, I also tend to believe that it's the insurance companies who are the ultimate drivers (they're the ones that can funnel money to campaigns).