McCain blames greed for economy's problem

09/16/08 Seán Kinane
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A day after telling a campaign crowd "the fundamentals of our economy are strong,” Republican presidential nominee John McCain dedicated most of his 18-minute speech in Tampa to criticizing the damage that Wall Street’s “unbridled greed” has done to the country’s economy.

McCain was joined on stage today at the Tampa Convention Center by his wife Cindy, Sen. Mel Martinez, former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez and former Sen. Jack Kemp. McCain said that if he and his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are elected in November they will make sure the federal government protects the savings of Americans.

During the speech, two pink-clad protesters from the peace group Code Pink held a banner that read “YOU CAN’T PUT LIPSTICK ON THE ECONOMY” and were slowly escorted out of the hall by security. The remaining 2,000 or so supporters held signs that said “McCain-Palin” or “Country First.” They chanted “USA, USA” or “Drill, baby drill” during McCain’s remarks.

The Arizona senator said financial institutions need to be strongly regulated, but many regulatory agencies are not doing their jobs.

McCain’s motorcade from the Tampa Airport consisted of 23 Tampa Police and Hillsborough Sheriff’s motorcycles and 18 other vehicles, including marked and unmarked patrol cars. On the route to the Convention Center, the motorcade passed four homes with Barack Obama yard signs, but none with McCain signs. It stopped northbound traffic on I-275 and wound through neighborhoods in West Tampa and Hyde Park before a 15-minute stop at a home on South Orleans Avenue, near Bayshore, reportedly so that McCain could film scenes for a television commercial. Closer to the Convention Center, police boats patrolled the mouth of the Hillsborough River and several dozen protesters waved signs under the watch of mounted police.

Inside the venue, McCain claimed that the Democratic Presidential nominee Obama wants to increase taxes.

McCain listed several energy sources he said should be used to reduce the United States’ dependency on imported petroleum, such as wind and flex-fuel automobiles.

McCain’s jet, which has “Straight Talk Express” painted on the sides, was delayed briefly from taking off for his next campaign stop in Ohio because a latch on the rear door was not closed properly. The latch was put back in place by a worker using a long stick.

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I don't know if he really gets it...

I think ultimately, the financial crisis can be attributed to a single factor that has been at the root of all major crisis - Human nature. In an article analyzing the Lehman Brothers collapse, Tom Raum of the AP opines, "People bought homes they couldn't afford. Investors eagerly bought mortgage-backed securities they didn't understand. Human nature was a guiding force in markets that were first driven by greed and then shaken by fear." While age old economic theories work well against macro market behaviors, regulation that is informed by the erratic probabilities of human motivations is a new school that offers some new solutions to our current situation. Obama's economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, is an economist who has been studying a branch of economics called behavioral economics... I made the correlation after reading an article on MIT's Technology Review - If my link gets stripped, search "Obama's Geek Economist", "Technology Review", "MIT". It is easy to take McCain's claims that Obama offers "big government" and "more regulation" and reform at face value, but we need specifics. To protect the interests of investors, America does not need MORE regulation, but SMARTER regulation that factors in the chaotic nature of human behaviors. While McCain wants to set up a commission to study this problem...Obama and his advisors have ALREADY been studying this for a long time...and have applied some of this thinking into his plans. This is the kind of economic firepower we can expect from an Obama administration...this is the kind of innovation that will take America to our next stage of growth. Can we really trust McCain, who has said he does not understand old economics, to even begin to understand his new era?