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Have Americans Moved From Outrage to Resignation?

Posted by Larry Doyle on September 8, 2010 6:09 AM |

The human spirit is not physically or emotionally able to maintain a heightened sense of acuity for an extended stretch. Although periods of stress or pain will cause sharp responses, eventually the human body is forced to accept the pain and learns to mask it. In the midst of our current economic crisis, I believe this distinct reality is setting in across our land. Let’s rewind the tape and review the developments which emanated on Wall Street and then plundered Main Street.

Fall 2008 brought us absolute shock, awe, and disbelief as the markets careened lower and the economy suffered a ‘heart attack.’

Throughout 2009, the shock wears off and America’s rage burns as people become fully aware that the banks, our regulators, and ultimately our government all failed us. While there are those on both sides of the aisle who would malign the opposition, the fact is both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of not properly defending the American citizenry against the plundering of our financial system. I captured this sense of rage in two specific commentaries:

“Reflections and Outrage” by Bob Rodriguez, June 1, 2009 and What’s Fueling America’s Rage?, November 20, 2009

In the latter I wrote:

I do believe, however, that the rage sweeping our country on both sides of the political aisle stems from the reality that Americans are increasingly convinced that our political representatives, government officials, financial leaders, and their selected constituents have not been honest with America.

This lack of integrity and its growing level of awareness enrages Americans. They are voicing their rage. Congress is starting to hear this rage and is redirecting the anger and frustration toward leaders in Washington, state capitols, and Wall Street. We are now seeing this reality each and every day. America knows a lack of integrity when it sees it or feels it, despite the fact that large swaths of our media (exceptions include Susan Antilla and Jonathan Weil of Bloomberg, to name a few) provide the establishment cover.

Even though there remain a multitude of reasons for Americans to remain enraged, I believe to a very large extent we have now moved to the third stage of our human crisis. What form of behavior exemplifies this phase of our crisis? Resignation.

Americans strike me as caring less about the political and economic realities of the day.

Unemployment report last Friday? Can we trust the report and the reporters?

Presidential polls and politics? Do we have to?

The daily swings of the market? Why bother?

Americans’ sense of betrayal will evoke spurts of outrage because the betrayal was so vicious; however, those pangs of anger and rage have passed only because they took so much energy to maintain. While life does go on, we need to go on along with it. I am not writing this commentary based on my personal feelings. Rest assured, Sense on Cents is determined as ever to “keep punchin'” for truth, transparency, and integrity. I just do not sense that America has the same energy.

Thoughts, comments, questions always encouraged and appreciated.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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