Money For Dummies Book Display Reveals State Of The Union

With all the swirling confusion about whether or not we’re in a recession, this Barnes & Noble display completely devoted to Money For Dummies books is a clarion blast of yellow: we’re in deep doggy doo. This wasn’t simply in the business and finance section, mind you, this was the window display.

(Thanks to c-side!)

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  1. Bladefist says:

    eh reports this morning say we are going to avoid the recession. Not that anyone screaming “recession” has any idea what it truly means. But most media fear mongering plays on the uninformed.

  2. apotheosis says:

    I’ve often felt that with all the confusion about religion, the section devoted to bibles was a clarion blast of Christiany goodness.

    Then I walk a little further and there’s another clarion blast of related items from Judaism and Kabballah, and I get all confused again. :(

  3. Bladefist says:

    oh btw I bought the mortgages for dummies book, good stuff. I recommend these books for when you are about to make investments in your life. I skimmed it, and maybe only learned 1 or 2 things, but they saved me a bunch of money. And the book cost 3 bux used off amazon.

  4. FilthyHarry says:

    Page 1 should be: don’t waste money on self-help books, put the money in a savings account or pay off your debt.

  5. Parting says:

    @FilthyHarry: It’s not self-help, it’s education. Most yellow books is to learn something concrete for beginners : windows, cooking, mortgage (would have been useful to a LOT of people), etc.

  6. Bladefist says:

    ya they are reference books. Not Dr. Phil nonsense.

  7. shan6 says:

    @Bladefist: I am definitely not here to argue, I want you to know that. But just because we aren’t statistically in a recession, and it might not get to that point, doesn’t mean people all over the nation aren’t hurting right now.

    Also, I see this as the same type of marketing idea as BB putting up a Heath Ledger stand the day after he died. This is quite a bit classier though.

  8. katylostherart says:

    @Bladefist: i gotta say fear mongering plays pretty well to the informed at wallstreet too. considering all the downs basically following nothing more than “fears” and “concerns” as stated by the media and then mostly recovering once they realized they overestimated the downturn. well, overestimated at least for now.

  9. orielbean says:

    What does a recession mean for the average Joe? Tough to get a new job; might get laid off from existing job; tough to sell your house; difficult getting a new mortgage. Did I miss anything? Credit cards and cars will still be available. Gas will be more expensive and you will eat Ramen noodles for lunch and some dinners.

  10. Canerican says:

    I actually just read a pretty good article in Forbes that has changed my opinion of the economy. I can’t remember who wrote it, but it is an economist with a great track record for predicting how the economy will go. (He accurately forecasted $110 oil by mid 2008, in 2005 – he also predicted the lowering of the price of junk bonds and loan). Anyway, he actually has said that the recession started in January, but we didn’t know that yet in January, and that it will be the fourth worst in US history (the worst since 1973-75) and will end in December.
    He actually said that unemployment rates will shoot up to 8-9% and that the housing crunch should be mostly over. He says this because people are getting enthusiastic about picking up junk loans for 20x less than they could last year.

    Lets hope that it just lasts until December. I know that everyone in my family has good job security, but a heavy inflationary period always takes time to adjust to.

    On another interesting note, I heard a short lecture by an economist at the University at Buffalo, he predicts that inflation rates should hit 20%, but that once wages are adjusted, that the economy will become very strong again, namely because real energy costs will back to 2000 levels.

  11. Canerican says:

    Oh I forgot to add that I find these displays odd. I snapped a picture of the display at borders in Amherst, NY.

    The display read, “Know your candidates, read before you vote.”
    There were 7 books under the sign, 2 by Barack Obama, It takes a village by Hillary Clinton, My life by Bill Clinton, 1 by Glenn Beck (the one about global warming), One about the Iraq War being illegal, and then one about McCain being a bad bad man.

    I found it odd that we got to see 3 books written by Democrat candidates, and 6 of 7 were Liberal leaning, and the only Conservative leaning book was about global warming (something that McCain believes in anyway). So Borders wants us to know the good on Democrats, and the negatives on McCain, but nothing good about him

    Gave me a chuckle.

  12. morydd says:

    Actually, most of these books seem to be about things like investing. That’s not something the bulk of people are doing in a recession. So, if you actually read the titles, it’s a pretty optimistic outlook. Of course, if you’re doing your economic forecasting based on the endcaps at the book store, you’re probably in need of one of these books.

  13. l0stn0tfound says:

    I’m not going to argue over a recession point… But coming from retail how does this indicate a recession? That’s probably a display in the Finance/Accounting Section of the store. If that was a display on one of those tables the stores put at the entrance then this might mean something.

  14. arch05 says:

    @shan6: People will always be hurting.

  15. DigitalMariner says:

    The main reason these books are displayed is there is currently a ($5?) mail-in-rebate on Dummies books. They probably had an empty endcap near the business/investing section and set them up there, as this month there aren’t nearly as many “required” endcap displays. So no commentary on the economy, just a local manager or lead finding something to do with the mountain of dummies books they’ve been sent thanks to the damn rebate. Mystery solved.

  16. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Canerican:

    I’m pretty sure Borders just wants to sell books, but nice politcal spin on a non-issue.

  17. savvy999 says:

    Okay, I’ll bite.

    So Borders wants us to know the good on Democrats, and the negatives on McCain, but nothing good about him

    Because a book about good things about McCain is a slim pamphlet, covering the POW years 1966-1973, a small slice of 1991 when he adopted a girl from a Mother Teresa orphanage, and 2002, when he and Russ Feingold passed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (which McCain subsequently violated this year).

    Actually, there it all is. See, I just saved you about $3.50.

  18. geekgrrl77 says:

    @DigitalMariner: Yes, this is why books are displayed on endcaps and tables etc. I worked as a manager for Borders for ~7 years and I know B&N is the same way about co-opted displays.

    All store display space is purchased by publishers, and exactly what books go there are also dictated by publishers (through B&N or Borders corporate). There used to be more leeway with this in the 1990s (employees could make their own displays of what interested them in Borders) but nowadays it is all co-oped (meaning bought by publishers) and there is NO wiggle room.

  19. geekgrrl77 says:

    and an addition– If anything, this just shows publishers trying to capitalize over fears about the economy to sell more books.

    :)

  20. spinachdip says:

    @Canerican: I’m not sure if I’d make anything out of it. You’re in the Northeast, in the Rust Belt, and there’s a SUNY campus in Amherst, right? I can’t imagine right wing books selling all that well (plus, there’s that whole anti-intellectualism thing with American conservatives, so books by non-pundits aren’t exactly popular).

    If you went to a Borders in a Red State town of similar size and demographics, I’m sure the display would be a lot different.

  21. @Bladefist:

    Keep in mind, much of the issue centers around how we define “recession.” Historically, it’s been two quarters of negative economic growth, which is very rare and less than illustrative. People experience general economic discomfort well before those criteria are met, and the pervasive media help us experience it faster than ever. Did the last 4 years actually feel like the boom they were to anyone?

    I think the elevated inflation levels, bear stock market, rising unemployment, and flat economic growth already indicate that a recession is taking place. Or, in the terms of the definition, I believe Q2-Q4 2008 will be an extended period of flat or negative economic growth.

  22. smoothtom says:

    @Canerican: You’re saying there’s something good about McCain?

  23. arch05 says:

    @savvy999: I’m not a mccain supporter, but that’s ridiculous.

  24. smoothtom says:

    @morydd: The fact that books are advising “dummies” how to make investment decisions that should really be handled by people with advanced degrees is more of an indication of WHY things are going the way there are. When everyone wants to get in on the action, stupid decisions are made, and the whole system tanks.

  25. Jackasimov says:

    People are such sheep…blah blah, uninformed…blah, fear mongering…blah blah…idiots…media…something negative about liberals…blah…

    Fill in the blahs. Heard it all before…blah, blah.

    BTW, show me a list of well-written noteworthy books by conservatives and I’ll show you an extremely short list.

  26. DigitalMariner says:

    @geekgrrl77: I don’t pretend to know what goes on at that “other” bookstore, but as I currently work for B&N for a few years there still is plenty of wiggle room for store created displays on all types of fixtures. In fact, our location is in the process of “assigning” endcaps to different booksellers to create and maintain with whatever they want. Since this picture is from a B&N, and the “required” display is to be on a large pine table, I’m fairly certain this is just some bookseller’s idea of a nice display (and other than the lack of a sign, it is) to get rid of some overstock.

  27. humphrmi says:

    @ADismalScience: FYI inflation does not indicate a recession. In fact, normally the two are opposites, except when you have stagflation, which is the combination of both.

    Recession is in fact two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction. The biggest impact of a recession, in general terms, on the economy is loss of jobs. A bear stock market is a good thing for long term investors who do not have the need for their capital in the very short term; aside from stocks and funds being down now, it provides a buying opportunity for everyone else.

    And again prices going up is not a normal indicator of recession; usually the opposite happens, as demand is reduced, pressure is put on prices and they go down. But the fact that we’re seeing recession indicators now along side inflation indicators means a very bad thing – stagflation. The last time this happened was around 1979. Those of you not alive then will pardon us that were while we groan in pain. Double digit inflation and interest rates paired with double digit unemployment… it was a freakin mess.

  28. c-side says:

    @l0stn0tfound: Actually, this rather prominent display faced out the window toward a busy pedestrian thoroughfare in Brooklyn. And it was NOT in the finance/business section. Maybe that clever little B&N manager was actually responding to the world outside their big picture window: “Hey, Dummies on the street! Let’s get empowered to protect ourselves from the market’s tomfoolery! Wake up and read the fine print! Take some time to learn what a “good investment” really is! Here’s how to manage your cash flow (when you finally tap into it)! All of this adds up to making and saving more money FOR REALS so you can hurry your tuchus back to our store and buy more books!”

  29. larry_y says:

    @Bladefist:

    Actually, while the UCLA report says no recession, it hints at something worse: stagflation.

    Even it’s not technically a recession, we have a downward trend in employment, rising prices for grains and oil, real estate deflation, credit crunch. The political hacks, brokers and bankers just tell us: “move along, nothing to see here”.

  30. @humphrmi:

    In this case, since the excess capital being generated by loosening fiscal policy is not in demand, the overall debasement of the currency in prices is not creating capital in the primary markets as intended. You could call that “stagflation” but I hesitate to refer to it as such, given that the phenomenon is also tied to other economic realities that we aren’t even close to seeing yet.

    As you indicated, there were also extremist realities in unemployment and interest rates that are crucial component prerequisites of a “stagflation” phenomenon. We’ve seen one but not the other, and I believe interest rates will normalize before this becomes “stagflation.” Liquidity/market function will return, and the “stagflation” concept will return to its rightful place in economics hell. All that is required is a rationalization of lending policy created by a resumption of faith in the ratings process.

    I’ll simply call it a negative USD wealth effect for now, and note that I believe it’s a recession indicator. The rest of my indicators, as well as others – inventory effects, credit market malfunction, etc. – are more classical redemption flags and are taking place.

  31. shinyvandal says:

    I used to work at a Barnes and Noble, and since there’s no sign I’d bet it’s an “optional” display, or just something they used to fill up an endcap. In that case, the bookseller probably just went to a section with a lot of Dummies books. If I were filling up an endcap and didn’t have a title list, Money Management would have been my second choice after Computers.

  32. @larry_y:

    Please. UCLA to economists: let’s overstate a 1 bps increase in unemployment as an overarching trend! Real estate deflation, the most pervasive economic effect in America right now, is anti-inflationary, which is an argument against the “stagflation” concept. Maybe, just maybe, inflation is being caused by a dramatic loosening of Fed policy and not some bugaboo from the 70′s?

    What a bunch of hand-waving attention-seeking babble.

  33. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    Ive got no problems with marketing these books during this time. People are worried about their finances, investments, and being ripped off by financial actors. A little basic information will go a long way for those consumers.

    The Dummies titles tend serve as a catch all for basic self-education books. The people who write them tend to be pretty smart folks who are putting massive amounts of information into the hands of people who wouldnt have access to it under other circumstances.

    Hell, some of the articles on this site could be called “consuming for dummies”. Yeah, you only take away a little from them, but most of us are better consumers because of the information available

  34. l0stn0tfound says:

    @c-side: Hmmm.. Window display.. Oh well. I suck with money no matter what a book tells me

  35. Corydon says:

    @smoothtom: The fact that books are advising “dummies” how to make investment decisions that should really be handled by people with advanced degrees is more of an indication of WHY things are going the way there are.

    Wasn’t it all the “experts” on Wall Street and in the Fed with the “advanced degrees” that got us into this mess in the first place?

  36. savvy999 says:

    @arch05: I’m not a McCain supporter either! So we’ve got that going for us. How about Breakfast At Tiffany’s… hate or heart it?

    Ridiculous != false

  37. Coelacanth says:

    The whole point of the Dummies series books is to provide a basic education for people to develop their own savvy in a seemingly complicated field.

    I’m willing to bet that if people followed the common sense contained within these books, they’d probably not run to take out subprime loans and create much of the debacle we’re now facing in the mortgage industry.

  38. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    Professional traders realize we’re in a recession. What is taking people so long to agree is the continuous “noise” by the goofs on CNBC and other media outlets that just keep asking the question as if that’s going to put it off.

  39. smoothtom says:

    @Corydon: Yes, I suppose you’re right–but it’s also these “experts” who fanned the flames and got everybody all excited that they, too, could be the next investment success story! Day trading (remember that?) … house flipping … all of these are popularized versions of investment games that have made the “experts” rich. A few people with expertise can do it well. Everyday people (I include myself, definitely) stumbling blindly into these schemes armed with basic information “for dummies” are destined to fail.

  40. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @savvy999: Was that really a Deep Blue Something reference? If so, +1

  41. Optimus says:

    @Bladefist: I think this is just as much a recession now as it was this time 8 years ago… Last time it was caused by the fear mongering of one currently residing president. This time it is being caused by the fear mongering of a media who disliked him then as much as now. I’d consider turn about “fair play,” if I considered anything in politics “fair play.”

    <rant>
    All the same (no pun intended), it seems the only things that the current president has successfully accomplished are removing a large portion of our constitutionally granted rights (only to have most returned before he finished his terms), artificially stimulating the economy with a $300 per capita socialist band-aid (only to have the economy go back into another worse recession before the end of his terms… no surprise: he’s is trying it again), screwing up the working hierarchy of the executive branch to add a needless, powerless entity just so he can claim to be “Securing” the “Homeland” while doing nothing of the sort during natural disasters, and utterly pissing off most of our country’s formerly friendly nations (thankfully, they’re blaming him more than they’re blaming us).
    </rant>

    The only thing about the current president that makes me proud to be an American…

    is that we can vote him out of office without a civil war.

    But let me tell you my real opinion on the matter…

    ;)

  42. @smoothtom:

    Are we really arguing against reading a “For Dummies” book, absent any analysis of the validity of its contents, simply because it’s about finance? Should I not read “Carpentry for Dummies” because I might put a nail through my finger?

  43. Bladefist says:

    @Optimus: I like your response. I disagree with it, but I like the attitude of it.

    Everyone says “People are hurting,” who is hurting? Everyone assumes their neighbor is hurting, does anyone here actually know of anyone hurting? The media claims people are hurting, I have yet to find someone who is hurting more then they ever hurt. Some people are poor, and that hurts, and they’re still poor. Tell me someone who wasn’t hurting, and now is. Its bs.

    It’s ourselves and the media who caused all of this. We bought mortgages we cant afford, and the media hyped it, now our dollar is worth nothing, and the media hypes it, it scares the shit out of investors, its a snow ball affect. A free press is one of our rights, but sometimes I wish it wasn’t. These people are the anti-americans. They thrive on our failures. They want you to lose your job so they can blame Bush.

  44. FilthyHarry says:

    @chouchou: Education from a book isn’t self help?

  45. @Bladefist:

    I’d caution you against being too PollyAnna-ish about the economy and against expressing fascist anti-media sentiment underneath a GOP logo. You’re basically casting yourself as a Conservative UberMartyr drone or something. Trust me, things are bad enough to notice, and though your core point re: a media feedback loop has some validity the majority of the problems are not being actively discussed/expressed/exacerbated by media attention.

    If I say “subprime” you all have an opinion, but maybe 10% of you could identify “Commercial Paper,” much less express your fears regarding its total inability to transact.

  46. Bladefist says:

    @ADismalScience: umm okay. By Drone you would mean I don’t think for myself and I’m out here repeating all the ideas of my idol. hmm sounds like Obama fans.

  47. spinachdip says:

    @Optimus: Seriously?

    Recessions are an inevitability. It’s just that bubble economies like the dot com boom and the housing boom can exacerbate and lengthen downturns. It’s really Greenspan’s failure to see the bubble bursting or unwillingness to acknowledge it.

    You say it’s “fear mongering”, but the usual predictors like the US Treasury yield curve, indicated a looming recession long before anyone in the media said the “R” word.

    And seriously, the media hating the president? The MSM, as the kids like to say, have treated Bush with a kid glove – we’re talking about newsrooms specifically asking their writers, “Can we find a story other than Iraq to lead with?” (I wish I was kidding about that). And it’s easy to forget with the media fawning over Bill, but they absolutely savaged him during his presidency.

  48. humphrmi says:

    @ADismalScience: I hope you’re right. Stagflation would suck and the Fed seems more interested in lower rates right now, which would definatly only make inflation worse. But agreed, outside of Energy (and it’s immediate knock-on effect on food) inflation isn’t a huge looming monster right now. Let’s just hope it stays that way.

  49. elislider says:

    haha i love the one in the bottom right – “house selling for dummies”… how fitting for the times…

  50. @humphrmi:

    I think you’ll find that the root cause is an irrational capital movement from other asset classes into commodities, that people who got into commodities recently are about to lose a lot of money, and that once they lose said money this “stagflation” nonsense goes back to the memory bin

  51. krush says:

    First, a disclosure. I work for John Wiley & Sons, Inc, the publisher of the For Dummies series. I enjoyed all the comments so far, both positive and negative. And no, I’m not responsible for this display, but I’m familiar with the process.

    March is Dummies Month, hence the display. You’ll find details about our $5 rebate and many other retailers participating at either http://www.wiley.com or http://www.dummies.com.

    I’m sure the state of the economy had something to do with the book choices, but it’s common to group books of fairly common theme together (money, sports, religion, Vista, Mac).

    Thanks for the the comments from those of you who’ve used a Dummies book to learn a little something about whatever your chosen topic might be.

  52. Optimus says:

    @spinachdip: I agree with you in saying that recessions are inevitable. It’s a wave function and any instability of any minute amount is going to cause fluctuation. Without the fluctuation, there would be no opportunity to move forward.

    What I am saying about “fear mongering” is that it makes the recession kick harder. Where you would normally have a slight downward decline over a long period, “fear mongering” causes a steep cliff off which everyone is forced to jump. I’m not saying that ignoring a recession is a good idea either. I’m just saying that any attempt at playing up a recession to get a bigger reaction than a “ho-hum” is equivalent to playing with hairspray and a match. I’m also very free speech oriented (i.e., “If it isn’t true then what are you afraid of?”) so I’m not advocating any fascist blocking of the press. I’m just suggesting that the press, and famous notables alike, take some responsibility for their words when they cause flare ups.

    As to the media “hating Bush,” I’d consider it more of an active but mild dislike. And I didn’t mean to suggest that it was somehow inappropriate or disproportionate. I’m just saying it’s been obvious everywhere except Faux News, though even they’ve hopped on the wagon recently.

    Let me reiterate: I believe it is the active responsibility of the press to oppose the government when they seek to hide or down play information, but there is a certain level of safe guarding of the public required of the press just as much as the government.

  53. Canerican says:

    @spinachdip: Right, SUNY Buffalo is in Amherst, yet NY-26 (which includes all of Amherst) is the most Conservative district in NY, even more than upstate.

    It honestly doesn’t matter if Borders wants to fill their shelves with Liberal/Democrat books, but at least be straightforward – don’t take a centrist view when you are clearly not a centrist. I would never claim to be a moderate, but there are idiots on both sides claiming to be centrists when they so clearly are not.

    Unless you are Lou Dobbs, you probably don’t fall into the middle ;)

  54. Orv says:

    @smoothtom: We’re forced to make investment decisions now, whether we’re dummies or not. We can’t leave it to “people with advanced degrees” anymore because we’re all responsible for investing our own retirement money.

    Whether we’re in a recession or not, things are going to be interesting for the next few years. The net personal savings rate in the U.S. has been negative for nearly four years. With wages flat or declining, the middle class has been borrowing money to sustain their standard of living. Now the easy credit is gone and there’s nowhere left to borrow from, we’re in for a period of belt-tightening. Since consumer spending is about the only thing that’s kept the economy propped up for the last several years (remember after 9/11 when Bush told us to all go out and spend money?) we’re in for a bupy ride.

  55. Canerican says:

    I meant “don’t claim a centrist view when you are clearly not a centrist,” sorry.

  56. smoothtom says:

    @ADismalScience: No, by all means, read up and enjoy. But think about that photo for a second, and read the titles. The books are intending to demystify and open the processes of many highly complex financial instruments–the very instruments that, now democratized, are exploding in our faces.

    The “dummies” books are not the cause of our problems, and I never intended to say they were. They are, however, a symptom of the problem of a bubble economy.

  57. UpsetPanda says:

    I think a little bit of what has happened is that people who don’t know a thing about money got into dealing with money and are now running to a person or to a book to figure out why they are in trouble with money.

    There isn’t enough education about simple common sense anymore. Don’t buy what you can’t afford. Don’t get into debt unless you have money in the bank when you purchase it to pay for it. Don’t go buying big ticket items if your car seems to be on the fritz. Keep extra money in case of emergencies.

    Sometimes people can access the ‘dummies’ self-help books a lot easier than the internet. Hello, local library. Some of these books are actually a good tool to educate everyday consumers. Let’s face it: Not everyone reads SmartMoney.com and Fortune every day. Not everyone reads the news…all they hear is “RECESSION RECESSION RECESSION” and have no clue just how it will affect their quality of life.

  58. @smoothtom:

    Don’t be such a chicken little. Nothing is exploding. A few things are declining in value; it’s a bear market. Shit happens, but take comfort in that the shit never ends. The only symptom here is that there’s a demand to understand finance, which, you know, fucking finally. People get all the way out of college without understanding basic personal finance and investing in this country’s education system. Good luck with that strategy.

    @Optimus:

    Most investments are controlled by vast institutions who, believeyoufuckingme, are not worried about Jim Cramer’s analysis.

  59. spinachdip says:

    @Canerican: When did the strawman say what? For what it’s worth, the center of public opinion in America, based on opinion polls, lies to the left of center of the Democratic Party. So in a sense, you are correct – Republican centrists are actually conservative, while Democratic centrists like Obama and Clinton are actually to the right of center.

  60. @spinachdip:

    I find that argument patently ridiculous. Democratic social issues have lost on general-election ballot items for 8 years.

  61. Orv says:

    @ADismalScience: Which ballots, where? I’d argue the last two Presidential elections haven’t been about social issues at all, but rather about national security and fears of terrorism.

  62. spinachdip says:

    @ADismalScience: Election year issues drive people to or away from the polls, but they aren’t necessarily issues that the majority of the people are primarily concerned about. When it comes to bread and butter issues, the center of opinion is, by modern American standards, pretty liberal, whether people realize/admit it or not. It’s just that “liberal” and “Democrat” have become dirty words in the American lexicon, and wedge issues have trumped the bread-and-butter.

  63. Beerad says:

    @ADismalScience: Well, far be it from me to derail this thread more than it already has been, but I think it’s pretty well established that the true number of Democratic/liberal voters in society tends to be under-represented by those who actually vote for a number of reasons. (Put another way, liberals are less likely to get to the polls). Thus the fact may well be that Democratic social issues, while more popularly-held, are still not winners in the election booth.

  64. @Orv:

    I’m talking about physical ballot items vis a vis gay marriage etc.

  65. spinachdip says:

    @Optimus: You might be missing my point. Even before the mass market media was screaming about it, people in finance realized this was an “Oh shit!” recession, rather than just a temporary downturn.

    Whereas the 2000 recession was the result of the bubble bursting in a relatively small sector of the economy, real estate loans are not only a much larger segment of the economy, it also is more intertwined with other asset classes. Which is to say, this isn’t big because of the media blowing it out of proportion. In fact, I don’t think the media or the public realize exactly how big it is i.e. calling it a “sub-prime crisis” trivializes its magnitude and reach.

    My point about the inevitability is that, had market gone through its natural cycle, we would’ve hit a downturn much earlier. But my guess is that the Feds could have slowed down the housing boom (if not the ARMs and the bogus AAA ratings) but refused, because the rise in home sales was a silver lining in an otherwise ho-hum economy and “Ownership Society” was a pet cause for the administration. Whether that was due to miscaluculation by Greenspan, hubris, or influence by the White House, I don’t know, but they had to have known it was a bubble economies, and yes Bart Simpson, bubbles do burst.

  66. spinachdip says:

    @ADismalScience: @ADismalScience: That kinda proves my point about the disconnect between election year issues and general public opinion. Gay marriage isn’t a bread and butter issue for most Americans, but when polled, people are generally supportive gay civil unions, if not marriage. But referendums mobilize people who support the initiatives, which is what happened in 2004 with gay marriage ban referendums in battleground states.

  67. Maulleigh says:

    Very funny! :)