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December 26th, 2008
02:55 PM ET

Are we becoming a nation of wussies?

Susan Lee
Forbes.com

One of the quite reasonable fears about government bailouts is that they encourage moral hazard. Why not engage in risky behavior if there are no consequences? Yet, as the government spends hundreds of billions to bail out some awesomely stupid activities, all signs point the other way.

Reckless behavior has almost disappeared from the financial landscape, sure. But so has a lot of reasonable behavior. And this may create a massive problem. What if, as conditions worsen, reasonable risk-taking totally disappears? What if we're transformed from a nation of risk-takers into a nation of wussies?

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Filed under: Economy • Susan Lee
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Franky

    If we are a nation of whiners, then the 1800's-1820's ain't got nothing on us...

    Is a combination of things. Even John Quincy Adams will tell you...by the way, how ironic. There were only two father and son presidents in our history(Bush Sr, JR and John Adams and Quincy). Maybe President Bush can relate! LOL!!

    I don't know but maybe no father and son combos should run again...the sons get cursed! LOL!!

    December 26, 2008 at 6:59 pm |
  2. Rebecca

    We are a nation of whiners, and it is only getting worse. If you put your money out there, its a gamble, and if you lose it then its your fault. This country has become a nation of takers. We want everything handed to us, and if we don't have everything our way, we whine and want bailed out. If every business was bailed out over the years, we wouldn't have any room for new businesses. Suck it up people.

    December 26, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    Become one? I agree with Ric – we are already there. Add our expectation of instant gratification to it and we aren't only wussies but spoiled children as well. We need to develop some reasonable expectations and realize that things take time to fix; that the government can only do so much; and that we have to do our part as well. Remember there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

    December 26, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  4. Ric Morgan

    Anderson:

    Become? We already are, and have been for some time. Sen. Graham was right...we are a nation of whiners and complainers, we have lost our spine and are no longer the tough, get-going people we once were. Risk taking is OK so long as it doesn't get out of hand to the point there are no consequences.

    Ric Morgan
    http://thekesybook.com

    December 26, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  5. earle,florida

    Great! Now I'd like to add alittle more poison to your pen. The Bail-out with "Tarp" money for "GMAC's" financial arm to become a bank holding company. ResCapLLC,the better half has a 5-7% stake in the Junk Bond Market which is reportedly said to be in the $200-250Bn range! These are CDO's/CDS's bond securitization in the secondary market. Ain't that nice! But guess what's really scary? They could have been cannabalizing their own debt collateralizing off sheet deferred balance sheets. Remember,no oversite is the mantra for the past,which was yesterday,...

    December 26, 2008 at 3:52 pm |