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7 Reasons Why Liberals Are Incapable of Understanding The World

snipe 2012/03/15 22:35:51

So, how does liberalism cause well-meaning, intelligent liberals to get this way? Well, it starts with...


1) Liberalism creates a feedback loop. It is usually impossible for a non-liberal to change a liberal's mind about political issues because liberalism works like so: only liberals are credible sources of information. How do you know someone's liberal? He espouses liberal doctrine. So, no matter how plausible what you say may be, it will be ignored if you're not a liberal and if you are a liberal, of course, you probably agree with liberal views. This sort of close-mindedness makes liberals nearly impervious to any information that might undermine their beliefs.

2) Liberals sources of information are ever present. Conservatives are regularly exposed to the liberal viewpoint whether they want to be or not. That's not necessarily so for liberals. Imagine the average day for liberals. They get up and read their local newspaper. It has a liberal viewpoint. They take their kids to school, where the teachers are liberal. Then they go to work, listen to NPR which has a liberal viewpoint on the way home, and then turn on the nightly news which also skews leftward. From there, they turn on TV and watch shows created by liberals that lean to the left, if they have any political viewpoint at all. Unless liberals actively seek out conservative viewpoints, which is unlikely, the only conservative arguments they're probably going to hear are going to be through the heavily distorted, poorly translated, deeply skeptical lens of other liberals.

3) Liberals emphasize feeling superior, not superior results. Liberalism is all about appearances, not outcomes. What matters to liberals is how a program makes them FEEL about themselves, not whether it works or not. Thus a program like Headstart, which sounds good because it's designed to help children read, makes liberals feel good about themselves, even though the program doesn't work and wastes billions. A ban on DDT makes liberals feel good about themselves because they're "protecting the environment" even though millions of people have died as a result. For liberals, it's not what a program does in the real world; it's about whether they feel better about themselves for supporting it.

4) Liberals are big believers in moral relativism. This spins them round and round because if the only thing that's wrong is saying that there's an absolute moral code, then you lose your ability to tell cause from effect, good from bad, and right from wrong. Taking being non-judgmental to the level that liberals do leaves them paralyzed, pondering "why they hate us" because they feel incapable of saying, “That's wrong," and doing something about it. If you're against firm standards and condemning immoral behavior, then your moral compass won’t work and you’ll also be for immorality, as well as societal and cultural decay by default.

5) Liberals tend to view people as parts of groups, not individuals. One of the prejudices of liberalism is that they see everyone as part of a group, not as an individual. This can lead to rather bizarre disparities when say, a man from a group that they consider to be powerless, impoverished victims becomes the leader of the free world -- and he's challenged by a group of lower middle class white people who've banded together because individually they're powerless. If you listen to the liberal rhetoric, you might think Barack Obama was a black Republican being surrounded by a KKK lynching party 100 years ago -- as opposed to the single most powerful man in America abusing the authority of his office to attack ordinary Tea Partiers who have the audacity to speak the truth to power for the good of their country.

6) Liberals take a dim view of personal responsibility. Who's at fault if a criminal commits a crime? The criminal or society? If someone creates a business and becomes a millionaire, is that the result of hard work and talent or luck? If you're dirt poor, starving, and haven't worked in 5 years, is that a personal failing or a failure of the state? Conservatives would tend to say the former in each case, while liberals would tend to say the latter. But when you disconnect what an individual does from the results that happen in his life, it's very difficult to understand cause and effect in people's lives.

7) Liberals give themselves far too much credit just for being liberal. To many liberals, all one needs to do to be wise, intelligent, compassionate, open minded, and sensitive is to BE LIBERAL. In other words, many of the good things about a person spring not from his actions, but from the ideology he holds. This has an obvious appeal. You can be a diehard misogynist, but plausibly call yourself a feminist, hate blacks, but accuse others of racism, have a subpar IQ and be an intellectual, give nothing to charity and be compassionate, etc., etc., and all you have to do is call yourself a liberal. It's a shortcut to virtue much like the corrupt old idea of religious indulgences. Why live a life of virtue when you could live a sinful life and buy your way into heaven? If you're a liberal, why actually live a life of virtue when you can merely call yourself a liberal and get credit for being virtuous, even when you've done nothing to earn it?



http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2011/08/23/7_reaso...


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  • Thisismyname 2012/03/21 17:16:20
  • Jane 2012/03/19 11:26:13
    Jane
    I'm glad I'm liberal because the person who wrote this is a moron and does't even know he is a lying fool.
  • snipe Jane 2012/03/20 03:00:06
    snipe
    Your comment just proved him right. Reread #4.
  • Jane Jane 2012/03/20 19:16:55
    Jane
    Like I said "lying fool" #4 is double talk and misconceptions.
  • Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F 2012/03/18 21:51:34
    Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F
    +1
    Sums it up pretty good.
  • Jiorgia 2012/03/17 02:27:56
    Jiorgia
    "So, no matter how plausible what you say may be, it will be ignored if you're not a liberal and if you are a liberal, of course, you probably agree with liberal views. This sort of close-mindedness makes liberals nearly impervious to any information that might undermine their beliefs."
    6 of the people on this post have blocked me for simply stating that i like obama i didn't say anything disrespectful against them or republicans in general. so im going to say that conservatives are the same because not only am i being ignored i am being blocked so that they never have to hear my opinion.

    you speak of accessibility to liberal views, and you are correct there are liberal tv shows, liberal radio programs and liberal news networks, but there are also all of those same things for conservatives so it could be said the exact same way for conservatives too.

    "Liberals emphasize feeling superior, not superior results..."
    conservatives want it to work either right now or not at all, the wheels of true change are slow.

    "Liberals are big believers in moral relativism."
    yep sure am, morals are a byproduct of humanity, not a cause of, absolute morality has produced things like the burning of witches.

    "Liberals tend to view people as parts of groups, not individuals." americans themse...












    "So, no matter how plausible what you say may be, it will be ignored if you're not a liberal and if you are a liberal, of course, you probably agree with liberal views. This sort of close-mindedness makes liberals nearly impervious to any information that might undermine their beliefs."
    6 of the people on this post have blocked me for simply stating that i like obama i didn't say anything disrespectful against them or republicans in general. so im going to say that conservatives are the same because not only am i being ignored i am being blocked so that they never have to hear my opinion.

    you speak of accessibility to liberal views, and you are correct there are liberal tv shows, liberal radio programs and liberal news networks, but there are also all of those same things for conservatives so it could be said the exact same way for conservatives too.

    "Liberals emphasize feeling superior, not superior results..."
    conservatives want it to work either right now or not at all, the wheels of true change are slow.

    "Liberals are big believers in moral relativism."
    yep sure am, morals are a byproduct of humanity, not a cause of, absolute morality has produced things like the burning of witches.

    "Liberals tend to view people as parts of groups, not individuals." americans themselves are individuals however they are still AMERICAN, the greater good for one is not normally whats best for many, but the greater good for many has more chances of being whats best for one.

    "Liberals take a dim view of personal responsibility."
    Who's at fault if a criminal commits a crime? The criminal or society?
    The Criminal
    If someone creates a business and becomes a millionaire, is that the result of hard work and talent or luck?
    Both, hard work and talent can only get you so far, you also need a little luck.
    If you're dirt poor, starving, and haven't worked in 5 years, is that a personal failing or a failure of the state?
    Both, you for letting yourself get there in the first place and the state for not helping you get out of it.

    "Liberals give themselves far too much credit just for being liberal"
    I don't do any of that stuff, sorry to be the exception to your rule, yes some liberals are like that, but not all.

    i obviously dont expect to change your opinion but figured an honest liberal one should be heard in response.
    (more)
  • Katherine 2012/03/17 00:02:40
    Katherine
    +1
    Oh this was fantastic!
  • snipe Katherine 2012/03/17 00:22:29
    snipe
    +1
    Pretty accurate, huh?
  • Katherine snipe 2012/03/17 00:28:16
    Katherine
    +1
    Pretty much so. I would love to add something to this if I can get some free time, less distractions, and my computer stops stalling.

    They're a psychological case study. Not to paint too broad a brush, but for a large part, like spoiled children that never grew up.
  • snipe Katherine 2012/03/17 01:41:24
    snipe
    Feel free, I'd love to see it.
  • Steve Johnson 2012/03/16 18:57:42
    Steve Johnson
    +3
    "3) Liberals emphasize feeling superior, not superior results. Liberalism is all about appearances, not outcomes. What matters to liberals is how a program makes them FEEL about themselves, not whether it works or not."

    The other six reasons are important, but #3 explains why liberals continue to support policies that they know aren't working. Caring about a problem trumps solving it in their eyes.

    Thanks for the link. Hawkins is really onto something with his article
  • sbtbill Steve J... 2012/03/16 22:36:52
    sbtbill
    While I suppose we all like to feel good I support increase spending to end a recession because I know it works.

    Here are some facts. We had 2 Presidents in the last 100 years who really worked to remove regulation and left business do it's own thing. Coolidge and GW Bush. Both were followed by depressions. Coolidge was the luckier he was out of office for 6 months when it started. Therefore those kind of policies should be avoided.

    Hoover came in and attempted to minor stimulus while balancing the budget. He tried a minor tax increase. The economy got worse. No one has been dumb enough to try that again. It does sound like Santorum and Romney want to repeat Hoovers mistakes however. Obama has been kind of Hoover with a little boldness.

    We had 2 Presidents who came in with Major down turns going on FDR and Ronald Reagan. Both spent their way out of it. Reagan talked conservative while spending heavily on the military. FDR talked liberal and first spent on social programs and then pulled out all the stops spending on the military. Conservatives tend to want to take away Reagan's credit and give it to Tip O'Neil but the reality is social spending went down and the spending Reagan promised in his campaign went up. Therefore the best way to get out of a deep recession/...
    While I suppose we all like to feel good I support increase spending to end a recession because I know it works.

    Here are some facts. We had 2 Presidents in the last 100 years who really worked to remove regulation and left business do it's own thing. Coolidge and GW Bush. Both were followed by depressions. Coolidge was the luckier he was out of office for 6 months when it started. Therefore those kind of policies should be avoided.

    Hoover came in and attempted to minor stimulus while balancing the budget. He tried a minor tax increase. The economy got worse. No one has been dumb enough to try that again. It does sound like Santorum and Romney want to repeat Hoovers mistakes however. Obama has been kind of Hoover with a little boldness.

    We had 2 Presidents who came in with Major down turns going on FDR and Ronald Reagan. Both spent their way out of it. Reagan talked conservative while spending heavily on the military. FDR talked liberal and first spent on social programs and then pulled out all the stops spending on the military. Conservatives tend to want to take away Reagan's credit and give it to Tip O'Neil but the reality is social spending went down and the spending Reagan promised in his campaign went up. Therefore the best way to get out of a deep recession/depression is to spend you way out of it. In fact I would say history shows nothing else works. Neither of these Presidents worried about the deficit and both increased it massively.
    (more)
  • Steve J... sbtbill 2012/03/17 00:39:42 (edited)
    Steve Johnson
    +2
    "Here are some facts. We had 2 Presidents in the last 100 years who really worked to remove regulation and left business do it's own thing. Coolidge and GW Bush. Both were followed by depressions"

    I can't speak about Coolidge, but the current economic malaise that we're in is from the housing bubble bursting. Bush has to share the blame (along with Greenspan) for policies that encouraged low interest rates, excessive money supply and the willful weakening of the dollar - policies that are still in practice, BTW. That's an invitation for money to flee bonds and seek hard assets like real estate.

    http://online.wsj.com/article...

    But the housing bubble bust was caused by the subprime mortgage collapse. That was caused by aggressive enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act, followed by speculation by real estate investors who foolishly thought that real estate prices can only go up. This was in progress before GWBush took office
  • Katherine Steve J... 2012/03/17 01:52:42
    Katherine
    +1
    I blocked sb a while ago, but the Great Depression was in massive part due to the Federal Reserve. McFadden warned people for years but no one ever did anything. Too many regressives at the time, I suppose. It's interesting to note that he had been shot at and poisoned before dieing in 1936.
  • Steve J... Katherine 2012/03/17 02:28:01 (edited)
    Steve Johnson
    This guy?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    "McFadden moved to impeach President Herbert Hoover in 1932, and also introduced a resolution bringing conspiracy charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. The impeachment resolution was defeated by a vote of 361 to 8; it was seen as a big vote of confidence to President Hoover from the House.[4] According to Time magazine McFadden was “denounced and condemned by all Republicans for his ‘contemptible gesture’.[2][4] The Central Press Association reported that he was “virtually read out of his party…[had] his committee posts…taken away from him…was ostracized by Republicans [and] called crazy…”.[5] Sen. David A. Reed (R-PA) said “We intend to act to all practical purposes as though McFadden had died”.[6]

    In 1933, he introduced House Resolution No. 158, articles of impeachment for the Secretary of the Treasury, two assistant Secretaries of the Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the officers and directors of its twelve regional banks.[7]

    In 1934 he made several Antisemitic comments from the floor of the house and in newsletters to his constituents wherein he cited the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, claimed the Roosevelt administration was controlled by Jews and objected to Henry Morgenthau Jr....







    This guy?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    "McFadden moved to impeach President Herbert Hoover in 1932, and also introduced a resolution bringing conspiracy charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. The impeachment resolution was defeated by a vote of 361 to 8; it was seen as a big vote of confidence to President Hoover from the House.[4] According to Time magazine McFadden was “denounced and condemned by all Republicans for his ‘contemptible gesture’.[2][4] The Central Press Association reported that he was “virtually read out of his party…[had] his committee posts…taken away from him…was ostracized by Republicans [and] called crazy…”.[5] Sen. David A. Reed (R-PA) said “We intend to act to all practical purposes as though McFadden had died”.[6]

    In 1933, he introduced House Resolution No. 158, articles of impeachment for the Secretary of the Treasury, two assistant Secretaries of the Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the officers and directors of its twelve regional banks.[7]

    In 1934 he made several Antisemitic comments from the floor of the house and in newsletters to his constituents wherein he cited the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, claimed the Roosevelt administration was controlled by Jews and objected to Henry Morgenthau Jr., a Jew, becoming Secretary of the Treasury.[8][9][10][11][12] He was also reported to have made various comments “in support of Adolf Hitler”.[13] In September the Nazi tabloid Der Stuermer praised McFadden.[14] He was also lauded by the publications of William Dudley Pelley, leader of the fascist Silver Shirts, on several occasions [9][15] On election day that year he lost to Charles E. Dietrich by “about 2,000 votes”.[16] This was the only election between 1912 and 1950 when the district elected a Democrat.[17]

    According his Jewish Telegraphic Agency obituary ‘In January 1935, he announced his candidacy for president with the backing of an organization called "the Independent Republican National Christian-Gentile Committee" on a platform to"keep the Jew out of control of the Republican Party!"’ [18] Not garnering much support for his presidential bid he tried to win back his congressional seat but lost the nomination by a wide-margin to Col. Albert G. Rutherford [19][20] who went on to win the general election.

    He “was in New York City visiting with his wife and son in late September (1936) when he was taken ill at his hotel died shortly thereafter” [21] of coronary thrombosis in the Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled, in Manhattan.[18][22][23] He was interred in East Canton Cemetery in Canton, Pennsylvania.[1]"

    Never heard of him, but he sounds like an unsavory character.

    I've been told that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 led to a trade war, which caused a normal business downturn to spiral into a depression. But economics isn't my area of expertise, and I wasn't around then.
    (more)
  • sbtbill Steve J... 2012/03/17 06:23:39
    sbtbill
    FDR was heavily opposed by the Republicans most of them opposed the deficit then as now. In fact if you read one of the Heritage Foundation books on the depression you will see a lot of similarities between conservative attitudes then and today. They were heavily rejected. Basically, they followed the Austrian Economics argument of we have to destroy everything so we can rebuild. That has never worked anywhere. It isn't working in Greece today.

    The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was part of an attempt to bring jobs into the US. It was likely a bit extreme. It has given reasonable tariffs and buy American laws an unwarrented bad name. Basically foreign trade was way down because the depression was already world wide. It probably didn't help but I doubt it made things significantly worse.

    If you want to look at causes I'd suggest looking at the affects of automation on agriculture. In 1919 the US employeed about 25% of the population on farms. Tractors and other farm automation methods both increased production driving prices down and displaced many farm employees. Since farmers were cronically in debt that caused farm forclosers throughout the 20's. Also there were no margin requirements and people often bought stock with 10% down. That meant even a small decline was devistating.
  • Katherine Steve J... 2012/03/17 20:35:39
    Katherine
    +1
    I wouldn't bother with wikipedia. Aaaall sorts of new, previously unknown information is being added to that website... if you get my meaning.
  • Steve J... Katherine 2012/03/17 21:03:21
    Steve Johnson
    The article lists sources, like this one:

    http://archive.jta.org/articl...

    "NEW YORK, Oct. 2 (JTA) –
    Former Representative Louis T. McFadden of Pennsylvania, whose attacks on the Jews were instrumental in securing his defeat in 1934, died last night of coronary thrombosis in the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled. He was 60 years old.

    In January, 1935, he announced his candidacy for president with the backing of an organization called "the Independent Republican National Christian-Gentile Committee" on a platform, "keep the Jew out of control of the Republican Party!"

    Before his defeat in the 1935 elections, Mr. McFadden had been a representative for twenty years. His anti-Semitic speeches in the House, printed in the Congressional Record, were franked through the mails.
    Strong Jewish protests were aroused when Mr. McFadden, following a bolt from the Republican ranks when he demanded impeachment of President Hoover, was restored in the party's good graces. The Philadelphia Council of the American Jewish Congress was active in the fight."
  • Katherine Steve J... 2012/03/18 01:29:05
    Katherine
    Thanks... I'll have to concede. I tried looking this up elsewhere but drew no results. Also on antisemitic, but got duplicates from Richard C. Cook. Google previous had an archives section with scans, but I think they did away with that. Too limited in search availabilities to confirm......

    In any case, Ben Bernanke, Milton Friedman, Anna J. Schwartz and Ron Paul agree that the Great Depression was caused by the Federal Reserve. I get different reasons, from running up foreign debts, overprinting money, credit rates, screwing with the speculation, etc.


    To sb: Afraid? No. I don't like you.
  • sbtbill Steve J... 2012/03/17 06:12:03
    sbtbill
    The housing bubble was certainly a factor. However, it really started in the 80's. You hit on the main reason people "foolishly thought that real estate prices can only go up". That attitude meant that most people came to the decision that only wrong decision was not to buy. For the bank it meant real estate loans were alway safe because if the house got forclosed it could be sold for more then the loan. Could the fed have rained this in probably Volker did it in 1980 and wrecked the economy. The Community Reinvestment Act is just an excuse on the bankers part to explain their foolishness. Mortgages were profitable and they wanted profits more then safety.

    You might be interested to know that a Florida land bubble was involved in the 29 crash. The beliefs were very similar.

    You are correct that we are increasing the money supply. That is a negative for bonds. It is also a major reason a lot of jobs are coming back because a decline in the value of the dollar makes it cheaper to make things here rather in Asia. It also means that people who owe money on credit cards, student loans, and mortgages will find them easier to pay off. The SS COLA's make it less dangerious for people on fixed income. We should change the SS COLA to include health care, gas, and other things seniors have to use. Write your Congressman about that.
  • sbtbill sbtbill 2012/03/17 06:24:02
    sbtbill
    Guess Katherine is afraid of me.
  • Steve J... sbtbill 2012/03/17 12:32:33 (edited)
    Steve Johnson
    +1
    "The Community Reinvestment Act is just an excuse on the bankers part to explain their foolishness. Mortgages were profitable and they wanted profits more then safety."

    Sorry, but I don;t buy that: Politicians can't wash their hands of the mess that they created by making home ownership a "right." Especially Andrew Cuomo:

    http://www.downsizinggovernme...

    "Cuomo also supported efforts to have home sellers funnel money to nonprofit groups to help pay for buyers' down payments and closing costs. These "down payment assistance" loans ended up having default rates twice that of standard FHA-insured mortgages.51 Cuomo portrayed his efforts as helping to increase homeownership rates for minorities, but he also had an interest in not upsetting mortgage industry officials who would later help finance his gubernatorial campaign. He also worked hard to receive support from leftist housing advocate groups, such as ACORN.52

    During the Cuomo years, mortgage industry officials and housing advocates wanted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase higher volumes of riskier loans that were offered to less credit-worthy borrowers. Cuomo's HUD continued to pressure Fannie and Freddie to increase the portion of their portfolios consisting of loans to moderate-income borrowers. Cuomo applied pressure by ...





    "The Community Reinvestment Act is just an excuse on the bankers part to explain their foolishness. Mortgages were profitable and they wanted profits more then safety."

    Sorry, but I don;t buy that: Politicians can't wash their hands of the mess that they created by making home ownership a "right." Especially Andrew Cuomo:

    http://www.downsizinggovernme...

    "Cuomo also supported efforts to have home sellers funnel money to nonprofit groups to help pay for buyers' down payments and closing costs. These "down payment assistance" loans ended up having default rates twice that of standard FHA-insured mortgages.51 Cuomo portrayed his efforts as helping to increase homeownership rates for minorities, but he also had an interest in not upsetting mortgage industry officials who would later help finance his gubernatorial campaign. He also worked hard to receive support from leftist housing advocate groups, such as ACORN.52

    During the Cuomo years, mortgage industry officials and housing advocates wanted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase higher volumes of riskier loans that were offered to less credit-worthy borrowers. Cuomo's HUD continued to pressure Fannie and Freddie to increase the portion of their portfolios consisting of loans to moderate-income borrowers. Cuomo applied pressure by having HUD publicly "investigate" whether Fannie and Freddie were sufficiently in compliance with government fair-lending standards designed to prevent discrimination.53

    We know now that Fannie and Freddie's expansion into low-quality mortgages was a huge mistake. A decade ago, numerous financial analysts saw the problems coming, but policymakers ignored their concerns and did not change their policy course. Here is a prescient observation by a New York Times reporter in 1999:

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980s.54

    Unfortunately, the housing and financial debacles of 2008 and 2009 were far larger than the savings and loan mess. But with Cuomo, fiscally prudent policies took a backseat to his political aspirations."
    (more)
  • sbtbill Steve J... 2012/03/17 17:06:15
    sbtbill
    OK, you've established that a lot of Democrats believed housing was a good investment. I don't disagree. So did a lot of Republicans. House flipping and the like was quite a fad from the mid 80's on. A number of people said it couldn't last. We were laughed at and frankly lost money for about 20 years. I don't see this as political it was a bi-partisan mania. Show me one bit of proof that most Republicans weren't as active in it as most Democrats.
  • Steve J... sbtbill 2012/03/17 18:37:09
  • Steve J... sbtbill 2012/03/17 14:19:14
    Steve Johnson
    Also Henry Cisneros:

    "When Cisneros left HUD, he was lauded for the increase in homeownership rates that occurred on his watch. Part of his apparently winning strategy, Cisneros noted, was HUD's "ability to convince lenders, builders and real estate agents that there was money to be made in selling housing to low- and moderate-income individuals."26 Part of this "convincing" involved HUD-initiated legal action against mortgage lenders who declined higher percentages of loans for minorities than whites. As a result of such political pressure, lenders begin lowering their lending standards, which was another contributing factor to the housing meltdown in the 2000s.27

    A key weapon in the Cisneros arsenal was the Clinton administration's changes to the Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA was passed in 1977 and updated in 1995 to pressure lenders into making more loans to moderate-income borrowers by allowing regulators to deny merger approvals for banks with low CRA ratings. Even complaints brought by activists, such as the leftist group ACORN, were now counted against a bank's CRA rating. The result was that banks began issuing more loans to otherwise uncreditworthy borrowers while purchasing more CRA mortgage-backed securities.28 As housing finance expert Peter Wallison noted, "Th...













    Also Henry Cisneros:

    "When Cisneros left HUD, he was lauded for the increase in homeownership rates that occurred on his watch. Part of his apparently winning strategy, Cisneros noted, was HUD's "ability to convince lenders, builders and real estate agents that there was money to be made in selling housing to low- and moderate-income individuals."26 Part of this "convincing" involved HUD-initiated legal action against mortgage lenders who declined higher percentages of loans for minorities than whites. As a result of such political pressure, lenders begin lowering their lending standards, which was another contributing factor to the housing meltdown in the 2000s.27

    A key weapon in the Cisneros arsenal was the Clinton administration's changes to the Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA was passed in 1977 and updated in 1995 to pressure lenders into making more loans to moderate-income borrowers by allowing regulators to deny merger approvals for banks with low CRA ratings. Even complaints brought by activists, such as the leftist group ACORN, were now counted against a bank's CRA rating. The result was that banks began issuing more loans to otherwise uncreditworthy borrowers while purchasing more CRA mortgage-backed securities.28 As housing finance expert Peter Wallison noted, "The most important fact associated with the CRA is the effort to reduce underwriting standards. … Once those standards were relaxed … they spread rapidly to the prime market and to subprime markets where loans were made by lenders other than insured banks."29

    The Clinton administration's National Homeownership Strategy, prepared under Cisneros's direction, brought together public and private housing market participants to coordinate plans to achieve record homeownership. This plan advocated "financing strategies, fueled by creativity and resources of the public and private sectors, to help homebuyers that lack cash to buy a home or income to make the payments."30 This is an important point to underline: the Clinton administration pursued a range of policies to put people who could not afford them into homes. Interestingly, HUD removed this Strategy document from its website in 2007 after the housing bubble burst.

    Writing about the Clinton plan in 2008, financial expert Joseph R. Mason noted:

    The Strategy certainly helped some renters achieve the dream of homeownership. But the Strategy was also fundamentally misused to extend more credit to prime borrowers, fueling home price inflation. That home price inflation led builders to build ever more developments, using creative financing to leverage their bets on home price appreciation in the bubble environment, ultimately resulting in record foreclosures in the present marketplace.31

    Cisneros planted another seed for the housing bubble and its subsequent burst by putting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under constant pressure to facilitate more lending to "underserved" markets.32 While Cisneros's own HUD administration acknowledged that mortgages financed by Fannie and Freddie in "underserved" areas have a higher risk of default, it did not see that "there need be any safety and soundness impediment" to the policy.33 It was under Cisneros's direction that HUD agreed to allow Fannie and Freddie credit toward its "affordable housing" targets by buying subprime mortgages.34

    After eight years of introducing economic distortions into housing markets, Henry Cisneros spent most of his post-HUD career making money in housing markets, as many ex-HUD officials do. In 2000, Cisneros formed a housing development company in partnership with KB Homes, and he became a KB director. The KB board also included the former CEO of Fannie Mae, James Johnson. The New York Times noted that "it made for a cozy network."35 Indeed, Fannie Mae bought or backed many of the mortgages that were in the developments of KB Homes.

    In 2001, Cisneros joined the board of Fannie Mae's biggest client: the now notorious Countrywide Financial, the company that was center stage in the subprime lending scandals of recent years. When the housing bubble was inflating, Countrywide and KB took full advantage of the liberalized lending standards fueled by Cisneros's HUD. In addition to the money he received as a KB director, Cisneros's company, in which he held a 65 percent stake, received $1.24 million in consulting fees from KB in 2002.36

    When Cisneros stepped down from Countrywide's board in 2007, he called it a "well-managed company" and said that he had "enormous confidence" in its leadership.37 Clearly, those statements were baloney—Cisneros was trying to escape before the crash. Just days before his resignation, Countrywide announced a $1.2 billion loss, and reported that a third of its borrowers were late on mortgage payments.38 According to SEC records, Cisneros's position at Countrywide had earned him a $360,000 salary in 2006 and $5 million in stock sales since 2001.39"
    (more)
  • sbtbill Steve J... 2012/03/17 17:13:37
    sbtbill
    You might check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... on this you'll see that it goes back to 1977 and had a lot of hands all over it including Bush 1 and Carter. The banking business originally opposed it and then fell in love with it.
  • Steve J... sbtbill 2012/03/17 20:52:04
    Steve Johnson
    "The banking business originally opposed it and then fell in love with it."

    You must have missed this:

    "The CRA was passed in 1977 and updated in 1995 to pressure lenders into making more loans to moderate-income borrowers by allowing regulators to deny merger approvals for banks with low CRA ratings. Even complaints brought by activists, such as the leftist group ACORN, were now counted against a bank's CRA rating"
  • sbtbill Steve J... 2012/03/18 00:44:37
    sbtbill
    I've seen similar. The point is the banks came up with ways to make the loans and resell them. It was highly profitable. Taht is why they didn't object to Bushs "ownership society" Note the law as also updated in 91 under Bush 1. I'm not saying your wrong only that you are only looking at half the story.
  • Steve J... sbtbill 2012/03/18 01:47:16 (edited)
    Steve Johnson
    "The point is the banks came up with ways to make the loans and resell them. It was highly profitable."

    That's called making lemonade out of lemons.The banks were forced into the subprime market by the government. Blaming the banks for taking advantage of a situation that the government mandated is misplaced blame. Cowardly politicians hide behind the "greedy banks" lie to avoid taking responsibility for the mess they created. What else is new?

    Fannie and Freddie stuffed their portfolios with the subprime loans, implicitly giving the subprime market the support of the US government. They employed accounting methods that would get regular companies penalized. Now both entities are bankrupt, as was predicted years ago. And they dragged the housing market (and thus the economy) with them.
  • urwutuis 2012/03/16 18:25:06
    urwutuis
    If nothing else this show that objectivity is to conservatives what music is to the deaf.
    They know it exists they just don't have a clue what it sounds like
  • Ukie 2012/03/16 17:18:05
    Ukie
    +3
    Liberalism is the outgrowth of a mind dominated by the need to feel superior and dominate; producing a mentality that says that "it is my way or the highway" and the delusion that they are so far superior to everyone else that is their "right" to impose their ideology and dogma over anyone who disagrees.. Of course, what follows is an extreme sense of entitlement which to them means they are accountable to no one including God. liberal Godless society liberal Godless society liberal Godless society obama Godless obama Godless obama Godless Bill Maher the finger
  • whitewulf--the unruly mobster 2012/03/16 16:58:39
  • GINGERBREAD 2012/03/16 15:52:36
    GINGERBREAD
    +4
    It's because they are wearing blinders. Look, it's the same as putting blinders on a horse. When you put blinders on a horse, all he sees is what's in front of them. Nothing that happens around them will matter, because the horse doesn't see them. This is the same with liberals, socialists and communists. Since they are wearing blinders, they only see what's in front of them, and they react to what they see, nothing else.
  • Thisism... GINGERB... 2012/03/21 16:52:05
  • GINGERB... Thisism... 2012/03/21 17:09:32
    GINGERBREAD
    Okay, you tell me why these liberals continue to deny what's put in their faces?
  • DavE 2012/03/16 15:49:58
    DavE
    +4
    Spot on !
  • Ramon 2012/03/16 14:49:46
    Ramon
    +6
    Very true...excellent article.

    liberal morons


    dumb liberals


    dumb liberals
  • JAA 2012/03/16 11:04:28
    JAA
    +3
    Liberalism is a mental disorder, & if liberals would just spend some extra time trying to find a cure for it, rather than supporting studies of the STD rates of homosexual teenagers in South Korean brothals [true study].

    Of course, having said that, conservatives ain't exactly perfect, lol.
  • Thisism... JAA 2012/03/21 16:53:04
  • JAA Thisism... 2012/03/21 21:40:41
    JAA
    +1
    Google it. I'm not going to do your homework for you. ;-)

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