I am becoming increasingly bitter. It's because I've realized that almost everyone has a religion. With the Right, it's a belief in holy ghosts that are so powerful that religious people go see doctors for the latest product of rationality. With the Left, it's a belief in Political Correctness. Neither group is open to persuasion, since neither side analyzes issues based on facts. Instead, either side has their articles of faith. You simply cannot have a rational conversation with 90% of the population. So why bother?
I've been in several heated discussions with well-educated but ignorant people about Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's role in the market meltdown. "It wasn't their fault," they say. "It was Wall Street. It was the private-sector subprime lenders!" This is a totally moronic argument unworthy of serious discussion. Yet we live in a society where people want to teach children the world is but 6,000 years old. What can one expect?
For those interested in facts rather than revelations from the gods of Political Correctness, here is how the leading subprime lender - Countrywide (yes, that Countrywide) - felt about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is from 2005:
While he is sanguine about the stock price, [Countrywide CEO] Mr. Mozilo remains volatile
about so much else. Particularly irksome are calls by Alan Greenspan,
the Federal Reserve chairman, to shrink Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the
quasi-government institutions that buy huge numbers of mortgages from
financial institutions, notably from Countrywide.
"Fannie and Freddie are a threat to his banks," Mr. Mozilo said of Mr. Greenspan, whose agency regulates big bank holding companies. By buying his mortgages and thus freeing up his capital to solicit even more business, Fannie and Freddie are a big reason Mr. Mozilo has driven Countrywide past the Citigroups and the Wells Fargos to the top of the mortgage heap. "If it wasn't for them," he said of Fannie and Freddie, "Wells knows they'd have us."