“This crisis did not come about because we issued too little money but because we created economic growth with too much money and it was not sustainable growth,” Merkel said. “If we want to learn from that, the answer is not to repeat the mistakes of the past.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel
This quote sort of caught my eye, because she's saying what I've been thinking about Bend from the beginning.
It was never growth, per se, that I was concerned about. Too little, too much. Or just right.
It was sustainable growth.
It's as if we built a good solid first floor of a building, and it took us forever to do it, so we skimped a bit on the second floor, but it seemed pretty solid and people liked it and we had an immediate need for a third floor, so we skimped a bit more, on the fourth floor and the fifth floor, as it got progressively shakey.
A few of us who had been through hurricanes or tsunami's or earthquakes before saw the dangers, but most didn't seem to be paying attention. No excuse, really. We just forget the basics. 'Nothing's free.' 'You have to work for the money.' 'If it looks too good to be true...' 'You get what you pay for...'
But as long as the building still stood, no one cared.
The thing about losing the top floor -- as we all know to our sorrow -- is the next floor down is taken out, as well, and so on.
The trickle down theory only works in reverse, evidently.
There is a comment on the Portland Housing Blog that I sort of hope is made up.
"Spoke to a wealthy Bend doctor. He said that most of the down draft you are seeing are the marginally employed and the (hard boiled, institutional, consistently) poor, and the foolishly overleveraged.
For the folks in his socio-economic bracket, things are pretty much the same as they ever were. Sure, some people have delayed purchases, procedures, etc. but that has been an over reaction to the news, not b/c they personally were somehow worse off.
Much Ado About Nothing, was his statement. Bend inhaled a bunch of wannabe jokers and now is exhaling them. Utlimately, it wasn't really that big of a deal if things settled back to where they were 5 years ago. Life was just fine in Bend in 2002-2003 for him and he could do just as well if prices reverted."
Nevermind the "Let Them Eat Cake" morality expressed here, it's just plain foolish and shortsighted. (And as someone immediately pointed out, it was also a 'wealthy' doctor who got caught up by the Shire....)
I also agree with Ms. Merkel in this comment, if you'll allow the stretch, as it relates to Bend.
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned bankers to maintain sustainable growth once the global economic crisis subsides, adding that the pace of any recovery would be far slower than the rapid decline."
P.S. Before anyone points out that Merkel was referring to arcane money supply issues, I'm aware of that. But that was just the mechanism; it was the idea that we could grow past our actual production of basic goods and services, that was dubious.
3 hours ago