December 10, 2008

OJ Simpson jurors. Bush supporters. Evolution deniers. And American homedebtors. Why are some people so clueless?

Man, I just don't get it.

How can so many people be so incredibly clueless?

Still? After all we've been through?

Do they not read?

Do they not understand what's going on?

Is it groupthink?

Are they surrounded by realtors and housing porn?


Batman said...

Just change the channels and this yucky reality goes away.

People don't think they're being hit by a bus until they actually feel the rubber and road palpably squashing either side of them.

This kind of blind optimism in many ways is a positive trait. It just makes it more likely for big bad things to sneak up on you. Read "Collapse" by Jared Diamond. I especially like the part about Easter Island.

Anonymous said...

Many hard working people are trustworthy. The looters (Realtors, Wall Street, etc.) knew this, and they took advantage of them. Most likely, just like the last great depression, these trustworthy people will not trust these scumbags for at least a generation.

Frapper said...

Easter Island and Haiti are the blueprints and future for all nations.

It's just a matter of time.

Why? Too many people can't think beyond their next bite of pizza pie. Conserve resources? Forget it. Move to a steady-state economy? You're crazy. Control the population? That's Nazi talk. Make quality of life a consideration in economic policy making? You're just jealous of people who want to make a fair buck.

Solution: Hope you die before the morons ruin your country.

Rational Renter said...

CNBC still REFUSES to make a connection. "As prices fall, sales seem to be going up." Gee, you think?! You think maybe are going up because homes are (slowly) becoming affordable again? That the correction was necessary, and that there's a whole lot more left to happen?

Anonymous said...

From the Washington Post:

An 83-year old Maryland woman was beaten and burned to death by the brother of Jose Alvarado, a Salvadoran immigrant who did yard work for her. The murderer, Ramon Alvarado, his brother and his brother's wife have been charged in connection with the crime. Ramon Alvarado lived in the basement of his aunt's house. Property records show that Jose Alvarado's mother bought the 1,100-square-foot home on Downer Drive for $450,000 in January 2007. At her job preparing salads at Marshall's Bar and Grill in Foggy Bottom, where she says she has worked for 18 years, Maria Alvarado earns $11 an hour and typically works from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., six days a week.

To cover the mortgage, Maria Alvarado packed her home with boarders. Jose, his wife, and their two sons slept upstairs with her. Another cousin, Inmar Alvarado, slept in the living room on the couch. She rented one basement room for $400 a month and another basement space to a couple with a child.

mickeyc said...

A better question might be why is the odd person is smart.
That survey is a great example. Approx. 75% of people thought their house values will stay the same or go up and the reported story was that people were pessimistic.
People are still delusional.

i've had it said...

Can someone post a link that explains how genetic encoding "evolved" from whatever it did?

Thank you in advance.

cramers bitch said...

I heard oj already got the shit beat out of him.I hope he stocked up on lube.I hope somebody takes care of him for what he did to nicole and her bf.

I think my house will rise in value 20% next year.I miss the free money from my house.

i wonder how nancy pelosis investment in clne is doing?She must be gargleing boone pickens balls about now.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it and I've stopped trying:

Why is deflation portrayed as a bad thing?

Why are declining home values a bad thing?

Mammoth said...

Clueless? Clueless?
Here’s clueless for you:

A colleague moved to another house and put his old house on the market back in March.

Asking price: $875K. Guy got an offer three weeks later for $825K but turned it down.

Fast-forward to December.
Asking price: $775K After waiting all year, the guy just got a second offer on his house - for $735K - and turned it down.

Says he has a $200K bridge loan that comes due in February, but will ‘have no problem’ refinancing if the old house isn’t sold by then.

But here’s the punch line: Today he said his RE agent told him the market is going to pick up in the spring, and that he may be able to raise his asking price then.

Note that here in Seattle, WAMU is in the process of laying off 3,400 well-paid employees, Starbucks will have layoffs in February, and Boeing is next, due to a rising number of cancelled airliner orders. So the number of people here who can afford $700+K homes is dropping these days.

Why even bother to explain reality to people like this? They won’t get it. Yeah – come spring, the housing market here will go back up. Right.

This is going to be fun to watch, and yes I have popcorn.


P.S. I will post on this again when the asking price drops below $600K.

too much rope said...

To the anon who stated "Many hard working people are trustworthy. The looters (Realtors, Wall Street, etc.) knew this, and they took advantage of them."
How,for simplicity's sake, I'd love to agree with you on this, but I just can't. The entire problem with the housing boom was that the greed was systematic. Its never been a problem to find someone who was doing some pretty extreme sales puffing in order to make their commission. But the boom was different because the average homeowner or buyer wanted to believe all this crap because they were thinking about how much money they were going to make, instead of asking whether they could actually afford what they were buying, or whether there might be a bubble.

In addition, it is hardly because people were so easily taken advantage of. Having work as a self-employed carpenter during the boom years, I was amazed at how more than one new homeowner, after being top moron in a pricey bidding war on a 700-800k home, would then call in someone like me and then haggle to death over whether they were charged $40 instead of $50 to do a few hours work (like it could possibly matter.) Needless to say I was none too impressed with those who couldn't bid high enough on a house but suddenly appreciated the value of a dollar when it was time to deal with a human being.Seems to me that they were afraid somebody else was going to cut into their profit margin.
But hey, my experiences were limited to the NY area, maybe people in your neck of the woods weren't such jerks.

Flim Flam said...

Anonymous said...
Many hard working people are trustworthy. The looters (Realtors, Wall Street, etc.) knew this, and they took advantage of them. Most likely, just like the last great depression, these trustworthy people will not trust these scumbags for at least a generation.


That's what I thought after the tech bubble burst but there everyone went jumping on the housing bandwagon as I looked on dumbfounded. You give Americans too much credit. We are programmed to consume and consume we will no matter how the next bubble finances the next wave of excesses. Greed and destruction is all we know and they're what we like.

Anonymous said...

because they think all this bad stuff is happening to other people and not them, that is why gas was 4.50 a gallon and they were still buying hhrs and big pick up trucks. they want to give the illusion that they are not bothered with 4.50 a gallon gas they buy what they want. they are told to hold on and see what the market does before they buy a house but they believe that this particular house will not be there at that particular price (still overpriced)even though it has been sitting empty for a year. and the most deceptive is I don't have any money in the stock market so I don't care what it does, but they find out that their company is dependent on Lehman Bros (as in the case of the people who got laid off at the window place)and there is no more Lehman Bros. America is like a land of the ostrich just stick your head in a hole in ground so you don't have to see the distruction going on around you. JUST PUT ON A HAPPY FACE.

Anonymous said...


Evolution is for monkeys!


Anonymous said...

Intelligent design is everywhere

just take a moment and look around!

vanilla ice said...

Ron from the bank was by far the most frustrating person on that video. He doesn't care what it takes to start home buying.

Wind Farmer said...

OK, here's an idea. Let's see if we can find out how clueless people are. To do this scientifically, we need a random sample. But, perhaps we can get close if we all participate.

A Soot and Ashes National Poll:

Let's all ask 10 strangers 10 quick questions. Questions like:

Who is Ben Bernanke?
What does MBS stand for?
Who is Peter Schiff?
Who is Nouriel Roubini?
What is the Case/Shiller Index?
Who is Henry Paulson?
Who is Nancy Pelosi?
What is peak-oil?
Name one country that borders Iraq.
Who is Keith?

Suggestions welcome. I'd bet over 90% of people couldn't answer one of these questions.

Jeff said...

Sorry Keith, natural selection is provable. Evolution is still a theory.

Anonymous said...

IMO people believe what they absorb. If you look around for negative news, it's the Great Depression II. If you look around for positive news, it's the Deal of the Century.

I was vacationing in Disney World last week and started talking with an older guy in the lobby of the Grand Floridian. When he said he was in real estate I wasn't sure if I should run or punch him in the face, but he seemed all right (because we weren't doing a deal) so I kept talking with him. He said for all the bad news he is still doing business, and was just in MI and IA in the last month doing deals. I was also surprised at how busy the theme parks were.

WTF1920 said...

Some people almost never catch on. The only way they'll get the idea that something *might* be wrong, is when a hungry mob kicks in their door to steal all of their food...But even then, I wouldn't count on it. I wouldn't worry about these people too much, screw 'em all.

Anonymous said...

Massage the debt all you like, Grifters.

There aren't enough people on the planet to perform the future labor represented by it.

You knew this as it was generated, of course. No matter.

You stuffed your pockets well, and Federal preparations for unrest of Biblical proportion are well underway.

The average rube will develop a sudden, intense interest in {strike}all this{/strike} blaming libruls/conservatives when major cities are set ablaze to a Martial backdrop.

Hopefully starting with Washington and New York.

Go Snake!

Anonymous said...

Erin Burnett-Becky Quick Double Team
I have a dream!

Randall666Flagg said...

Quote from Keith:
"How can so many people be so incredibly clueless?


Answer: Keith, my friend. You are being naive with your question. Many people be so incredibly clueless BECAUSE they are American; Born and raise in the land of East L.A like Cheech and Chong.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Keith, you'd be amazed at how stupid Americans are. On your blog, you communicate with people who are smart enough to use a computer. Even though some of them have surly opinions and poor spelling, they're smart enough to use a keyboard. And that makes them the smart minority.

In hospitals and nursing homes in the U.S., I got to talk to a cross-section of America. A lot of these people were literally too stupid to live. Not in some over-the-top Darwin Awards kind of way, but garden-variety TSTL.

Like, "You have congestive heart failure. If you keep on drinking quart after quart of soda, your lungs are going to fill up with fluid and you're going to die with bloody foam running out of your mouth." To say nothing of the diabetics who'd keep on gorging carbohydrates even though their toes were turning black and getting amputated, and the alcoholics, and the morbidly obese...

We'd counsel them on what to do to avoid death. And they'd do the oppisite. And they'd die. The last U.S. place I worked was for three years at a hospital in San Francisco and I got to see a number of people as they circled closer and closer to the drain on multiple admissions, before they finally went down it.

So if people are too f@cking stupid to do what's necessary to keep breathing, it's not bloody likely they're going to grasp esoteric subjects like "Your mortgage is a ripoff" or "All political parties are thieves" or "This is how to read."

The ignorance of people -- not just Americans, because I deal with fatally dumb shits of all cultures -- is stunning.

The Western World has been an easy place for even stupid people to live in for a long time. If things do get really hard, there's going to be a winnowing. If people have to live by their wits, a lot of people are going to die without them.

vanilla ice said...

"But here’s the punch line: Today he said his RE agent told him the market is going to pick up in the spring...."

Please keep us up to date on future developments Mammoth.

JaneZ said...

Bukko said...

The ignorance of people -- not just Americans, because I deal with fatally dumb shits of all cultures -- is stunning.

The Western World has been an easy place for even stupid people to live in for a long time. If things do get really hard, there's going to be a winnowing. If people have to live by their wits, a lot of people are going to die without them.

Isn't that why the Darwin Award was created? IMNSHO I believe that once you take people out of survival mode and put them into the masses of city living they lose their purpose. You sure as hell know your purpose when you are hunting up something to eat or growing food. I think a lot of people are empty, and have no clue how to do something creative, therefore they are just counting minutes until their pointless existence is over. That would explain why so many people engage in self destructive behavior. They get up in the morning and today is exactly the same as yesterday, for years and years and years.

Gambling on wall street and making money the core of your purpose in life just isn't the same. The motto at our house is "Get a Hobby", make something, do something different, help someone else.

I like that word "winnowing". Nice.

Lost Cause said...

Illinois first lady scrutinized before husband arrested

"Hold up that f---ing Cubs s---. F--- them," she allegedly said as her husband, Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, bandied about a scheme to withhold state funds from the Cubs' parent Tribune Company unless the owner agreed to fire certain Chicago Tribune employees...

The first lady, a licensed real estate broker and appraiser with an economics degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, has not been charged with wrongdoing.

Robert M said...

After reading some of these comments, I now know why there are so many people here that have simplistic answers to complicated issues. Just let the "free market" do it's thing and everything will be hunky-dory. Never mind that there are very few markets that are actually "free" and that what we have now (and is being promoted as free markets) encourages abuse and monopolies. Never mind that managed capitalism raises the prosperity of all and is more sustainable. Never mind that excessive inequality in wealth promotes instability.

Why people continue to cut off their nose to spite their face and add to the death spiral our economy is in because of their refusal to think things through to their logical end and cling desperately to a disproven ideology is beyond me.

Tell you what- I'll start praying to your magical cloud being and believe in your free-markets-trump-all ideology when your cloud fairy regrows the limbs of an amputee. Until then, I'll stick with reality.