People can convince themselves to believe anything, or so it would seem, as the financial meltdown continues to unfold and, unfortunately, expand.
Isn’t it amazing how clear it becomes once something collapses that it was all just another version of that oldest of architectural tricks–the house of cards. But while it was happening, there are usually only a very few isolated voices trying to pierce the din with warnings and other cautionary reminders.
People, it seems, just love getting caught up in a mania. Let’s fly with emotion, and reason be damned.
It doesn’t matter whether that mania is for stocks of start-up technology companies whose horizon for any kind of meaningful profit is somewhere over the rainbow; or for real estate investments that supposedly can be flipped for huge profits ad infinitum; or, going back in history and across the ocean, for tulip bulbs.
And let’s face it, it’s not just individuals that get caught up in the madness. It’s whole swaths of the population, not to mention whole segments of the business world. And it’s this factor that makes the situation so interesting. After all, how much would anybody really care about only one lemming diving off a cliff?
No, it’s the fact of their collective madness that has made lemmings a reference point for human conduct.
All of this brings to mind some of the lessons we really should be teaching our kids in school (and at home) but which seem to be getting short shrift in our educational factories.
First lesson: If something seems to be too good to be true, it is.
The sage graybeards among you will pooh-pooh, saying “that’s only common sense.” To which my reply would be “it ain’t that common.”