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Thread: I feel like I'm in a Frank Capra movie.

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    Super Duper
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    I feel like I'm in a Frank Capra movie.

    Here's a Holiday thought ... think of the movie ... "It's a Wonderful Life" so topical at this time of year.

    As we limp into another year of the slyly diversionary titled "Economic Melt Down," I watch neighbors, friends and family silently struggling while putting on a brave face. Increasingly, there is a fear in their eyes which can't be hidden behind the mask of stubborn pride ... a sort of embarrassment at a personal failure they had little to nothing to do with.

    As time passes, their rope is getting shorter and shorter ... what is left of their savings, and money from sold assets, is running out. Even in my upscale, insulated community, I see family homes going up for auction ... being sold by the very institutions that caused the melt down! No regular person seems immune ... people trapped in homes they no longer can afford, and can't refinance because those same financial institutions refuse to approve them. Only those already wealthy enough can take advantage of refi ... federal assistance is a cruel myth ... pure propaganda to make it seem like there is help available ... which the very people that need it cannot qualify for.

    "Economic Meltdown" somehow makes it blameless sounding, like an unbridled force of a natural disaster, when in fact this continues to be the greatest Grand Larceny in world history ... and not one perp has spent a day in prison ... unless one considers a $10,000,000. mansion in the Hamptons tantamount to a cell in Attica. Bernard Madoff is a petty shoplifter compared to these despicable people. Greedy somehow falls miserably short in describing them.

    Meanwhile, we all act like this is a Frank Capra movie and the ending will be a happy one with Disney blue birds flying around our heads and rainbows in the background ... or quip that the perp's Karma will catch up with them ... to which I reply, get real ... Stalin died at age 75 after murdering tens of millions, and was never called to account for his actions by anyone.

    Never in a million years did I think I would cruise down retirement lane after 50 years of hard work and dutiful responsibility to be met at road's end by a masked highwayman with a gun. Actually I'm grateful I'm at my age with my responsibilities behind me ... I pity those still faced with them. I also feel a pinge of guilt for the things I have when so many hard working, talented, and honest people have nothing. Some of my photo gear actually feels obscene ... but I worked all my life, met every family and community responsibility to finally be able to induldge myself for a couple of my so called "golden years". Something a lot of folks will never have the pleasure of doing because this "meltdown" will financially dog them the rest of their lives.

    I wished I lived in an old village, so we villagers could storm the castle with pitchforks and torches ...


    -Marc

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: I feel like I'm in a Frank Capra movie.

    Great thoughts and strong words of expression .
    Marc , I can only agree to what you say .
    Unfortunately , my vocabulary is not big and good enough to respond in the way I would like to .

    I the past couple of years , many things have changed in importance for me .
    Many things faded away while others got very important for me .
    There is one event in my 2010 photographic life which is outstanding for me .
    Simon from Australia came to Germany , and I could spend a couple of days with him travelling around Germany and show him a little bit of my country .
    What a great human encounter and friendship , as if we would know each other already since many years .

    No event in 2010 can compete with this and my "gearmania" has lost its importance .

    Coming back to your words , it is similar . Looking at all the trouble the human made world financial crisis left behind , I discover , that I can live in wealth , which I must not be ashamed of , but I realize , all that has changed my thinking very much and many things have lost their importance .

    Thank you for your courage to express what you did .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: I feel like I'm in a Frank Capra movie.

    Marc,
    While there is plenty of blame to go around, with banks, mortgage brokers, investment bankers, rating agencies etc. at the end of the day, and in many cases, nobody forced people to refi their homes to, to take money out and essentially live off of credit.

    As an example, I recently met someone who bought a house and had a mortgage they were perfectly able to pay for. The house was down in value pushing them under water. They believed since everyone else was getting loan modifications that they should as well. Bank wouldn't budge - no financial need. So what did he do? Still had good credit so he bought a second home, declared it his primary residence. Stopped paying the old mortgage and told the bank to keep it. This is happening day in and day out in some of the worst areas.

    That is just one example of how hard this is and will continue to be to unravel and work out.

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    Re: I feel like I'm in a Frank Capra movie.

    Hi Marc

    I think the crux of the problem is that both political parties seem to be fully compromised by narrow interests and no longer acting on behalf of the country or it's citizens. The two party system has failed us (i.e. they caused this mess and are unable/unwilling to take the required steps to fix it).

    Unless substantive action is taken, this crisis will not end well. Time and gridlock are not our friends. Unfortunately, elected officials spend much of their time getting re-elected and are disinclined to act.

    I believe a first step should be term limits, a single six year term for the house, senate and chief executive (with one third of the house and senate elected every two years).

    The second step should be revised campaign funding to allow only individual voter contributions to campaigns (with a dollar limit) and only to those candidates running within the voters state/jurisdiction. Hopefully this will break the "bought and paid for" grip of the special interests on elected candidates.

    Have always enjoyed your comments w/r/t photography here on GetDPI, learned a lot about the practical aspects of shooting.

    Paul

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    Re: I feel like I'm in a Frank Capra movie.

    The New York Times has an interesting story about one family's fall from affluence: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/bu...e&ref=homepage

    Of course, they did some very stupid things with their wealth, but much of the collapse was caused by people doing stupid things. And they added up.

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    Re: I feel like I'm in a Frank Capra movie.

    I'm sure there are plenty of folks that succumbed to the siren's song being sung by the financial institutions before the drop off the cliff. Stupid people? Perhaps. It's always the little guy's fault, and their burden to carry isn't it? It all reminds me of a Mafia movie ... it's just business to justify anything whether fundamentally right or not.

    In their defense ... it was a very seductive boiler-room promise of plenty by people selected, trained and drilled to competitively convince regular people that just weren't all that financially savvy. In other circumstances that kind of deliberate behavior is called Fraud, and the perps are grifters or con artists. The documented fact is, the greedy perps went after the weakest, most irresponsible or most financially ignorant section of the populous and made credit available to them willy-nilly ... and financed it with other more responsible people's money. They did this right under the noses of "experts" assigned the responsibility of watchdogging ... many of whom previously worked for the very institutions they were supposed to be watching over. The little guy never had a chance.

    So, in effect, every person in this country (and many others) has lost huge value in their largest purchased item ... and for many regular folks, that is a major part of their projected retirement. It need not be an auction situation for the impact to be financially devastating to an individual or family.

    Paul, the whole political issue sickens me. Your suggestions make a lot of sense ... but I fear that greed and the hunger for power is like a weed, it finds a way to grow through the cracks. IMO, the change has to be in the fundamental human values of those given the responsibility to govern AND to act on their convictions ... which would thin the herd in Washington DC to almost zero.

    What pisses me off are all the regular folks that came before us, and the sacrifices they made to make a better life for their off-spring ... all brought low by a relative handful of despicable traitors. There I said it ... I consider these people to be traitors. Nothing short of Financial Terrorists. One need not be wielding an AK47 to be a terrorists in a civilized world. While Osama bin Laden rides donkeys and hides in caves, these people are driven from their yachts to their palatial mansions in limousines.

    Take a look at this current movie trailer .... note the continued highway robbery still happening ... Click on SONY PICTURES "INSIDE JOB".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2DRm...layer_embedded

    -Marc

    PS, Jurgen, you are so lucky to have met Simon in the flesh. I also was friends with him for many years and corresponded via e-mail. I have been remiss in not keeping up contact. I do hope he is hanging in there.

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