We're a "Nation of Whiners" in a "Mental Recession"!

@anniepa (27251)
United States
July 10, 2008 1:39pm CST
That's what McCain ECONOMIC adviser, former Senator and current lobbyist Phil Gramm said in a recent interview. http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/07/10/1191310.aspx Here's an excerpt from the above article: GRAMM'S QUOTES FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES: " 'You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,' [Gramm] said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. 'We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet.' " 'We have sort of become a nation of whiners,' he said. 'You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline' despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said. " 'We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today,' he said. 'We have benefited greatly' from the globalization of the economy in the last 30 years. "Mr. Gramm said the constant drubbing of the media on the economy's problems is one reason people have lost confidence. Various surveys show that consumer confidence has fallen precipitously this year to the lowest levels in two to three decades, with most analysts attributing that to record high gasoline prices over $4 a gallon and big drops in the value of homes, which are consumers' biggest assets. " 'Misery sells newspapers,' Mr. Gramm said. 'Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day.'" McCain has already said Gramm doesn't speak for him but this is his chief economic adviser and someone whose name has come up as a possible Treasury Secretary in a McCain Administration who made these comments so how much do you feel McCain can really distance himself from Gramm? Will McCain throw him completely under the "Straight Talk Express"? Or will he just hope it blows over? Annie
3 people like this
8 responses
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Bleh, what's there to say on this? The guy's a moron. There's no two ways about it. As a McCain supporter, I'd like to believe there was some other way these words could be interpreted, but I read the transcript before, and after reading Gramm's supposed clarification about what he meant. He claimed that he was referring to the nation's leaders, not the American people. There is no mention in his original statement about America's leaders or politicians. He was being an a$$ and frankly, we have more than enough people like that in Washington. To McCain's credit he strongly disagreed with what was said and was very clear in his opinions on the matter. I think his statement in response sounded genuine and well thought out. I don't think that will help him much though if he keeps Gramm on his team. To the people who agree about it being a nation of whiners, yes, we have no shortage of whiners. Many people would rather blame the government for their ills than actually work hard to better their situation in life. The thing is, we all aren't involved in presidential campaigns. Politicians blaming the American people for the country's ills are in many ways cut from the same cloth as the whiners they criticize. Rather than planning to fix the country, they blame the people. Rather than fix themselves, the people (whiners) blame the government. We need people in Washington who actually have faith in this country and faith in its people. The way Obama, his wife, and his pastor have looked down on this country is a large part of why I don't like him as a candidate. I don't want to see McCain sharing company with people who have similar opinions.
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jul 08
Tizzo I so beg to differ with you, "You don't generally hear the man on the street talking about America's loss of competitiveness, or shipping of jobs to India. " 15 years ago my husband whole department was moved to Mexico, he lost one of the best paying jobs he has ever had. He had the choice to move with it although it would have only been to train his successor, You are generalizing and assuming that the average Joe is not worried about theses issues you could not be further from the truth. WE LIVE them. All of this assumptions that the average American family is stupid with out real political thoughts is quite honestly offending.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jul 08
Tizzo LMAO you must be a politician because your words in type there sure does not read like how you explained them.
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
11 Jul 08
Tizzo I do hear people on the streets talking about a recession. Most of them are morons who don't really know what a recession is and blame the government for their own laziness, but they talk about it. Regardless of whether or not we are in a recession, Gramm's been a politician long enough that he should have known exactly what he was saying and how it would be heard. I'm a McCain supporter and I can't see any logical person believing that he was referring to leaders and not average people from the context of the discussion, not just that one line.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
This just shows how out of touch the Republican leadership is with the American people. He has his cushy job, his great Government pension and taxpayer healthcare that many of us would love to have. This is why the slate needs to be wiped clean. We need people in office who can relate to the American people. McCain can say that Phil Gramn doesn't speak for him, but I don't believe him. The GOP never accepts responsibitity for their actions. Everything happening in front of us must be the fault of a nation of whiners. Don't worry Mr. Gramn. One day you'll realize that people like you are part of the problem and not part of any solution. Just go away. Go away now! Lloyd
3 people like this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
10 Jul 08
I don't believe him either, not for one second. Gramm's a lot more of a surrogate for McCain than Clark is for Obama because he's the economic adviser. They're supposed to be longtime close friends so I don't believe Gramm hasn't said the same things to McBush privately as he said to the Washington Times! I love Obama's response, about how we have one Dr. Phil! Annie
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 08
You are so right when you write that Gramm's a lot more of a surrogate for McCain than Clark is for Obama because he's the economic adviser. The sad part is that the Obama haters will go down with the ship for these GOP imcompetants. It's time for a change and they know it. But they are willing to put up with all the mess we are in to prove some point that I can't figure out. Phil Gramn is a looser. Why anyone supports this idiot is beyond me. Lloyd
3 people like this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
11 Jul 08
I couldn't STAND Gramm when he was a Senator and my opinion of him sure hasn't changed one bit! Annie
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jul 08
Annie I have pretty much stated how I feel on this issue.
3 people like this
@missybal (4492)
• United States
10 Jul 08
I'm sorry but I would have to agree with Gramm. I'm surrounded by whinny people who say stupid things like I can't afford food but I will not discontinue my directv. People who complained about the high cost of gas and then spent their stimulation check on a big screen TV. People who went out a bought a 5 bedroom home when they only needed a two or three. People who bought a brand new car and now can't afford the payments, or got a gas hog truck when they didn't need to hull things. My grandmother tells me of the days she use to wipe her butt with newspaper because it was cheaper than buying toilet paper. The economy is not that bad... just people are not willing to make sacrafices as they use to. Use to be people would live like they were poor anyways to save money for these hard times. Even when my husband and I have had really good times I did all I could to save money and it came in handy when those times did come. That was how I was raised. As for as one man speaking for another... This is America... Everyone has the right to speak for themselves. It came out of Gramm's mouth not McCains.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jul 08
What you are saying is not true of everyone however. I live in a very humble poorer home town the people here only know hard work. What they have they have fought for. To excuse the government and our leaders is like a slap on the face to some of theses folks. I am not speaking for myself here, my husband makes an okay living, we are not by any means well off, but we have very little debt other than our mortgage. We could live with out a few things before our house payments were endangered. But I have friends who have already started selling off property, we see farmers who are leaving livestock in the fields to die unfed because their land is up for auction. Who answers to them? Who can they ask, or seek answers from if not our government and leaders? Someone has to be held responsible. It is not our fault that oil is as high as it is or that this war is beginning to take its toll on every human. Where is the compassion for the American dream anymore... Are you all ready to hole up when even you have to make decisions on whether to eat or pay your electric bills? Unless we start asking the hard questions this is going to happen to everyone who is not rich.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jul 08
One more point I would like to add, is when the stimulus checks were coming out, there were several discussions and polls so to speak, about what were you using your stimulus payments for, in fact I think Annie did one. If mylot is a fair representation of the american people and I do believe it is, you would find 95% of the folks in here had to use their money for shelter, bills, and living expenses. We used our to pay dental (for which we have no insurance) bills, and got a couple small lingering medical bills of our as*ses. NO one here has even bothered to mention our disabled and elderly folks retired Americans that are on a fixed income. Where do they turn for relief when they have nowhere else to turn? Who do they voice complaint to? Should everyone just shut their moths and take this screwing in silence?
2 people like this
@missybal (4492)
• United States
11 Jul 08
I didn't say for all American's that what is happening is their fault. I realize you live in a farming community and I am a small town girl myself and a great deal of the farms around here have gone under and people just sold their land and livestock and had to find a new way of life... But you know what they survive. It's sad...it's terrible... but you know it's happened before it will happen again when times get bad. When the economy goes through recession it is more difficult on some than others, and all depends on each individual, and some areas of the country have not been effected. A lot of the problems would be smaller if people would make a bunch of small changes. I do feel that welfare does have a play in this also however. For a large part of our problem is the people who commit fraud and may even work under the table and collect money from tax payers anyways. This takes money that could have gone to those who really needed it. What I meant by the statement about my grandmother is they did what they had to do. I'm glad things aren't that bad that I would have to go without electric and heat as they did although I did have to keep the therostate down more than I usually would this last winter and I will this next. Use to be you couldn't get welfare. Our government didn't hand out nothing if you were broke or disabled. I'm glad people you know spent the stimulation check wisely but I'm the only one that did here. I know the only reason that my husband and I are not seriously hurting is because we made those cuts even when things weren't so bad and made hard decisions to go without to survive. I'm glad... Maybe it's the different location I am in New York, the welfare state, but I'm surrounded by people who just complain and don't want to do what they should to get by. They look at me like I'm nuts for unplugging things to save electricity and actually canceling my tv. All my furniture I actually got second hand or on what they call junk day here where people put things on the side of the road. I just strip and refinish the wood and I got the most beautiful stuff. Crazy I know!
1 person likes this
@Latrivia (2889)
• United States
11 Jul 08
Well, while I will admit I believe America is in a mental recession, and that we're far too whiny, I don't agree with his reasons. It's obvious he's applying his partisan opinion of "right and wrong", but if you actually look around, it's stunning just how stupid some American's really have become. I know people who could name every actor on an MTV reality show, but wouldn't be able to name 2 freedoms in the bill of rights to save their life. I don't bother holding presidential candidates responsible for the words of their friends, advisers, and family. You can be friends with a person, have a professional relationship with a person, or be a loving relative to a person without sharing the cynical ideals. Gramm speaks for himself and only himself, and I don't think McCain should have to distance himself from Gramm just because Gramm said something that rubbed people the wrong way. It'll blow over eventually.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
11 Jul 08
You sure are correct about people knowing everyone on any given reality show but don't now a thing about our government, our rights or our history and that's sad! I also agree that people can be friends with someone with whom they disagree with on different things so McCain and Gramm being friends or even Gramm being a supporter of McCain isn't a problem in itself but the fact that Gramm is McCain's chief economic adviser makes it a little different. Because of that I find it hard to imagine Gramm hasn't said pretty much the same things directly to McCain that he said in that interview. Annie
1 person likes this
@rodney850 (2145)
• United States
11 Jul 08
Annie, Hmmmm, seems I made the same point about Obama and his "spiritual advisor" some weeks back. You didn't seem to think it mattered then!
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
11 Jul 08
Rodney, a "spiritual adviser" isn't going to affect our pocketbooks, now is he? Religion and politics don't mix, that's my very firm belief, so I'll say again I'd just as soon not know a thing about any candidate's religious affiliation or lack thereof. Annie
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 08
McCain will not throw anyone under the bus, so much so that it has somehow been spun as a bad thing (?). And I'd be more likely to criticize Gramm for calling the general public stupid whiners if it weren't 90+% true. Everyone always has something to complain about, and tell me honestly that you don't think people get dumber every day. You're lying.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
10 Jul 08
I'm not going to argue that there are some dumb people around, but what does that have to do with us whining about the economy or about it being a "mental" recession? Gramm, big banking lobbyist married to a former Enron board member that he is, has no clue what "real" people go through and he's the guy McCain has chosen to write his economic plan. In case you hadn't heard, at a town hall meeting McCain was asked about Gramm's remarks and if it was true he may be his Treasury Secretary and McCain "joked" that he'd be great for an ambassadorship somewhere, I'm sorry, I can't recall where right now but it was near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Annie
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
10 Jul 08
I think it was something along the lines of him making a good ambassador to Belarus, but he didn't think the people in Minsk would appreciate it.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jul 08
I am not WHINING but I want to know what the hell is my government going to do to dig us out of the position they have lead us into. You say that Americans should not spend what they do not have, LOOK at our Government DEBT? Tell me that does not say something about this country. I am not in debt, except for the mortgage payment. Are you telling me that no one should own a home unless they have the money to pay for it? What happens when you have no debt but the cost of gas to get back and forth to work is cutting into your food, electric, gas and water budgets. Forget the cable, telephone bills and things you can live with out. What happens when you lose your home because of this recession. How did honest hard working people bring this on themselves? WHO do they complain to if not the government? Who do we take our concerns to? I do not want a leader, that considers 90% of his fellow Americans stupid I am so sick of this kind of bullchit that it makes me want to throw up! WAke up people.... those of you that continue to be asleep at the wheel are the very ones that are in for a rueful rude awakening.
3 people like this
@greysfreak (1385)
• United States
11 Jul 08
McCain should really ditch this dude, I'm not a fan of either people running, but this is just idiotic for this guy to say. We are in a terrible place financially and in a lot of other ways. And if he wants to call American's whiners, well, maybe he is anti-American. I hate when people throw that phrase around, but he sounds so heartless saying that American's are whiners. We CARE about things, but I guess having a heart is evil to a money hungry rich politician like him. Of course HE doesn't have anything to "whine" about because he is part of the problem, it is us, the general public that gets messed over. We are told to just sit back and deal, but the last time I checked, this country stood for free speech, and that includes being able to complain when people are driving us into the ground. Also, I always hear the saying "if you don't vote you have no right to complain" and while I only half agree with that statement, it's very true, I voted in 2004, I very openly and proudly voted against the current messed up administration, because they SCARE me, and we really don't need this attitude continuing. I am not Anti-American, I love my country, that is why I want to see someone actually make the country better for once. I am tired of hearing about the bad things and I'm tired of being scared for the future. Anyway, just my opinions. Feel free to disagree, but you can't take my thoughts away, thoughts are free.. utilize them often.
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
11 Jul 08
Great post, and I especially loved your point about him maybe being anti-American. That phrase sure has been thrown around a lot lately as has Michelle Obama's comment about being "proud" of her country, but what does that really mean? I love my country, I love the freedoms we enjoy, I love how we have so much beauty in all of our 50 states but how can anyone say they love their country or are proud of her when they seem to disrespect and even DISLIKE so many people who live here? Also, why can't we love our country without being PROUD of everything its leaders have ever done? When you love something you want to make it the best it can be so you can be proud! Annie
• United States
12 Jul 08
"am not Anti-American, I love my country, that is why I want to see someone actually make the country better for once. I am tired of hearing about the bad things and I'm tired of being scared for the future." Absolutely Greysfreak, right now my family is secure but another year of continual rise in the cost of living will see big changes for us. We do not own a SUV, instead a Ford Tarus, and my husband has an old work truck used for many things and shared among our boys, but it is not driven on a daily basis. I do so agree in the points that a couple of posters have raised about gas hogs and then screaming high gas prices. We have made major changes already to the things we do so that we can continue to save money. We have only seen one movie in the theater in 6 months, we might go out to eat once every 3 months. We do not joy ride on sundays any longer, trip anywhere are consolidated. We also try and do our part for the environment. My family and I are very proactive. What really bites my butt and has all day is that when any group of people start to raise their voices in protest some group is going to call them bleeding heart liberals and Whiners. I take offense to that. If whining is what I am doing then so be it, but I am not going to be dismissed or shut up. WE have been asleep far to long, and yes I blame us the american people we have allowed ourselves to be lead like sheep, its time to buck up and wake up and WHINE!
1 person likes this
@cblackink (969)
• United States
12 Jul 08
McCain will throw anybody under the bus, but pull them out when it's convenient for him. I'm sorry, but I can't trust this man. Whichever way the wind blows, that's where he goes. I have very little debt, compared to most Americans. My debts are medical bills, because I have no insurance, and back taxes I owe to the IRS. I'm living high on the hog, right? I guess my mistake was being such a big loser that I didn't "get rich". Oh yes, I have a degree from a university, so I'm neither stupid nor lazy. But I've been unemployed for close to a year now. How do I explain that? There's no recession and no job loss? There's no problem with our economy? Every body considers me "too expensive" to hire. Please don't insult me, Phil Gramm, by saying I'm a whiner.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
12 Jul 08
Great post! You're the perfect example of someone who has been hurt by this "mental" recession through absolutely no fault of your own. As I posted earlier, there are lots of over-qualified, well-educated people working at McDonald's for a small fraction of the wages they should be earning and that's not their fault and if they're "whining" I sure don't blame them! You said most of your debts are medical expenses and that's another thing that shouldn't be happening to hard working Americans who have done everything right. Annie