Sunday, August 10, 2008

Circular Reasoning and the Affirmative Action Mortgage Crash:

Steve Sailer hits on something big:

Trying to think about the mortgage meltdown is reminiscent of the infinitely recursive children's song Yon Yonson, which was memorably featured in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five:
"My name is Yon Yonson / I live in Wisconsin / I work in a lumber mill there / The people I meet / When I walk down the street / They ask me my name and I say: / My name is Yon Yonson / I live in Wisconsin..."
Similarly, in trying to explain this decade's socioeconomic logic, you end up with thought processes like this:
Q. Why did we need so many illegal immigrants?
A. To build all those McMansions out in the distant exurbs.
Q. Yes, but why did so many Americans want to move to the exurbs?
A. To escape all the illegal aliens flooding their neighborhoods and schools.
Q. Okay, so then why did we need so many illegal aliens?
Everything just spins around and around, like those chrome wheel rims, those insanely expensive hubcaps that were the signature useless extravagance of this decade. Neely Tucker wrote in the Washington Post in 2005:
"Today rims are a $3.1 billion industry that stands at the revolving heart of two American obsessions: automobiles and finding ever more expensive ways to buy things you already have and don't need."
Some economist should calculate what proportion of all the money spent on blinged-out rims came out of home equity loans taken out on houses bubbling up in nominal value.
Similarly, it's hard for most people to grasp the interrelatedness of multiculturalism and greed in fostering the housing bubble. "Diversity" gave the big guys an excuse for doing what they had always wanted to do: debauch credit standards and take the money and run, leaving the mess to be cleaned up by taxpayers (through direct bailouts) and savers (through Fed-created inflation eating away their capital).

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