The Culture of Victimhood rescinds Personal Responsibility
Monthly Market Commentary: March 1, 2018
Justice Clarence Thomas recently opined that, "at some point we’re going to be fatigued with everybody being a victim." Clarence Thomas was influenced by economist and social observer Thomas Sowell’s Race and Economics, which criticized social reforms by government.
Instead Sowell argued for individual action to overcome circumstances and adversity.
According to Sowell, "The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from 'society,' rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by society."
The culture of victimhood has inevitable been accompanied by a culture of "entitlement," for which incidentally, nobody wants to pay. Sowell explains that, "One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence."
An informed investor opined that, "a recession could knock down asset values in the short term but expect them back up heavily in the long term."
I tend to agree with this investor, but remember that in times of monetary inflation asset prices move up irregularly. Despite still loose monetary policies a large number of luxury property prices are down by more than 20% from the peak while the Hagerty Market Index of vintage automobiles is down 17% from the all-time high in August 2015.
Over the last 12 months the growth rate of TMS has been deccelerating, which could bing about the next credit and liquidity crisis in the second half of 2018, with an economic recession and asset price downturn to follow. In this scenario, I would expect risky assets (real estate and stocks), to come under pressure because investors will likely shift funds into (so-called) risk-off assets such as Treasuries with medium term maturities.
I am pleased to include a report by my friend John Goltermann entitled, "Twelve Reasons You May Want to Fire Your Investment Advisory Firm If It Compares Itself to the S&P 500."
Thomas Sowell futher thought that, "There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs."
He also asked, "Since this is an era when many people are concerned about 'fairness' and 'social justice,' what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?"
With kind wishes for a Happy Easter