Saturday, August 20, 2011


I just had an interesting epiphany.  I was reading up on the SEC and I realized... I'm not sure I agree with their mission.  So my random spin on this: the SEC ensures that the stock market doesn't devolve into the Wild West and there is fraud.  But oh look!  They totally failed!  They have been participating in the fraud!  So I think that to a large degree it might be better to get rid of it as a government office.  The answer isn't to try and change the fact that humans like to commit fraud.  If there was not a government bureaucracy to solve this problem... it would be solved any way.  This is something that would be pretty fucking easy to solve these days.  The internet can solve this problem.  I think that private groups would form to help fill this function.  Yes, some people would get screwed.  Dude.  That already fucking happens.  Why lie and say that it works?

I really think the SEC should be dismantled.  I think that what records they have should be made available to the public.  I think that private watch dog groups would go after this and build the cases against these companies.  I think that if people stopped having the protection of government they would have to learn to be more self-reliant.  We did not build this fucking country with the safety of a federal umbrella.  I don't think that people should be protected from fucking up.  There.  I said it.

Holy shit.  I just went did the little Advocates quiz about where I am on the political spectrum.  I'm not actually a libertarian anymore.  I'm a liberal.  According to this highly specific dogmatic non-nuanced simplistic internet quiz.  And that makes me squirm.  I'm an idiot.  Really.  I don't think I know what I am.  On one hand I could easily construct a politic agenda out of my lifestyle choices.  It would be kind of funny for me to do so.  I guess I feel like I am a realist?  I don't think that all government agencies should continue to exist.  If we do not have enough money to do what we are doing... we need to change the equation somehow.  Some agencies are broken.  They were formed with nice intentions and all... but they were formed to solve problems we no longer have.  It is not hard for people to make complaints now.  I don't know for sure how I believe it should be done though.  That's the rub.  That's what traps me in the current spot of indecision.  I don't like what we have.  But I don't like what we have.

People will get fired.  Lots and lots of people will get fired.  I think that people need to stop living alone.  I think that people need to learn to live on a lot less money.  I think we are going to have a very depressed economy.  I think that people will have to feel desperate and scared.  I think that there will have to be sad things that happen.  I think that those cycles happen in all societies.  There isn't a way to have a perpetual growth curve.  It can't happen in nature.  I don't think that broken agencies being dismantled, or at least broken down into a bit that can be useful.  If the SEC became some sort of informational or organizing force that worked with private groups, that I could see being useful.  But they can't be enforcement.  They are enmeshed in the bad.  They are the bad now.  They have to be pruned from the tree.  That is how this draining part of our government can be pruned back to make the overall system healthier.

And I feel like that makes me an elitist bastard.  I feel like I am sitting pretty in my privilege.  I married someone in an industry that is doing well, of course I feel smug--right?  And that is true but it isn't.  I am pretty carefully preparing our lifestyle so that we can take a massive financial hit and be ok.   However that happens with whatever vagaries of fate one can dream up.  I am doing a really lot of long-term planning for all of my goals.  I am doing everything I can in every way I can dream up to prepare for future problems.  That last sentence would be easy to blow past.  Yeah yeah, everyone does.  I am really not living in the now.

I guess I feel like politics, government agencies, worrying about the emotional weight of "should be" true stuff is kind of oppressive and takes up too much time.  Whether I like it or not eventually all societies go down hill.  Our society looks like it is doing so to me.  I really don't have time emotionally to worry about fighting the treadmill back to try and slow it down.  That isn't my role in the story.  Other people have that role.  That is because of a lot of privilege, I suppose.  But I genuinely believe that the agency was created to fill a role that no longer exists in society.  Why is it evil to eliminate it or change it in such a way that it actually works?  In the process a whole lot of people should be fired.

But I have this guilt because I think a whole bunch of people should be fired in a down economy.   And I just deleted this really long, really convoluted paragraph in which I end by revealing my horror at the magnitude of the responsibility for any decision.

And this is why I'm hiding at home.  I don't feel I could deal with the weight of guilt involved with picking the wrong side at any point.  Oh my god.  I'm so glad that my opinion doesn't mean anything.  I'm a god damn peon.  I mean nothing and it doesn't matter what I think.  I feel really guilty for that.  I want to beat myself over the head with the fact that I am selfish and bad for not wanting to be more politically active about every topic under the sun.  I don't have time.  I'm tired.  I have babies who need me.  And then I feel like I am letting down feminism.  I can't be bothered to be political.  I have kids.

This is why I don't read the fucking news.


  1. aw, grrr, I just wrote a huge comment on this, then tried to post it while logged into my new blog. And then, when blogger suggested I change accounts so I could post a comment here, it deleted my comment :(

    I just saw this post now, for some reason, and I really mostly agree, although I don't know anything about the SEC, because I can't be bothered to be political anymore. And I wrote something a little more compelling about why I'm ok with that, before, but mostly I was just saying I don't think being "political" is all that important as long as one is trying to be a decent person. It's weird for me because I used to be really political, but I don't really follow the news at all, anymore, either.

  2. I love this post. I deeply appreciate your reposting it. Because this is the problem with politics, damned if we do, damned if we don't. And most people don't bother to ever look at any side but the one irritating them most in the moment. It's easy to say "Education doesn't get enough!" or "Education gets too much!" When all you're looking at is one goal. But when you step back and look at everything, it's not so easy... [insert your program of choice here] *should* get more money to really do the most good they could do... But then [insert another worthwhile program here] can't possibly get the money it needs to do what it needs to do. People try to make everything black and white because it's simple and then they don't have to think about it... Until whatever they've neglected comes and bites them in the ass. It's hard and there is no easy answer and that IS the answer. Yay to you for looking the confusion square in the face.