As I watch today’s “banking crisis” unfold, it occurs to me that political correctness is a major culprit at the root of this colossal mess. Put simply: there came a time when OFHEO, the regulatory agency overseeing the government sponsored enterprises of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, alerted our elected representatives that a financial crisis was brewing within these entities. The facts were presented at a House subcommittee hearing in 2004. Those representatives in charge of the subcommittee basically ignored and flatly denied those facts, with no proof but the honor of their words, and claimed there wasn’t a problem.
My question is, why, when there were facts supporting that there was indeed a problem, didn’t those who were sounding the alarm bell continue to do so?
I posit that the answer lies in the political correctness disorder that has spread throughout American society. The banking crisis seems to be a perfect illustration of this. These entities issued loans to people who normally couldn’t afford a home loan, basically by customizing them to fit high-risk financial circumstances. People who can’t afford a home mortgage under normal lending practices are generally those who don’t have jobs or have low paying ones. By default those in this category generally fall into a “disadvantaged category,” and, in turn, many of the “disadvantaged” are minorities.
Back to the alarm bells being sounded. And why they stopped. If those who were issuing the warning of the crisis that had clearly begun to take shape had continued to do so, those who denied there was a problem would have cried foul that their counterparts were against helping the disadvantaged and only out for the better half of society.
In today’s culture and with the media generally on the bandwagon to trumpet the foul cries across their front and home pages, and TV and radio broadcasts, the continued drum beat to fix the problem would have lead to accusations that the harbingers of this crisis were against the less fortunate. Enter Pavlov’s Dog: Our government representatives are so conditioned for this that no foul cries of political incorrectness need to even be uttered … they just back down. This in and of itself is a selfish act that is politically expedient and short sighted, and thus wrong — and makes them as culpable as everyone else involved in letting this get out of hand.
Many would say that this is a simple-minded answer and it’s not as black-and-white as all that. Maybe so. But there is one root to every problem, no matter how complex the root system becomes.