Did hippies cause the US financial meltdown?

Story here.

The folks at Citizens United have another offering, Generation Zero, which seeks to link the hippies with the financial woes the US is currently experiencing.

Is there anything to this notion? Can we trace our financial crisis back to the hippies? Is it really all that simple? Or is this just a partisan ploy to try and marginalize (nearly) an entire generation? Or is the hope that people who were not hippies (the vast, vast majority of Boomers) will say “yeah fuck those freaks! I never liked 'em and now we know that everything wrong with the USA is their fault!”

I haven’t seen the movie. I won’t be ordering a DVD copy. If it played in the theatre I highly doubt I would go to see it. I would watch it if the library had a copy, or if someone loaned it to me; I’m just not willing to help them further their cause with my hard-earned dollars.

But considering that this group has an admitted agenda and bias, I have a hard time believing that this film will contain anything other than broad generalizations, rather than any kind of uncovering of some truth.

But I’m willing to ask the question and see what information the SDMB can provide: Did hippies cause the US financial meltdown?

:stuck_out_tongue: Gods, I can’t wait to hear what the general 'doper response to THIS is going to be!

They did, in the same way that the iconic capitalist in a top hat, with a stoggie in his mouth and standing on the backs of the starving peasantry did. Which is to say, not really…or, more accurately, not in and of themselves (even leaving aside the silly stereotypes). There were a LOT of factors, as the meltdown was a complex and multi-layered event with lots of players, and a cast of millions at fault. You can put part of the blame on government regulation (and deregulation), so both Dems AND Pubs get their share (IMHO, a lions share, but that’s probably debatable too), since it was government manipulation and distortions that set up the environment. Then you had banks and other financial institutions that attempted to game the environment and miscalculated things like risk analysis and value assessment…so, they get a big chunk too. And then you have, well, We the People, who basically wanted our cake and eat it too. We wanted low rates, we wanted bigger houses, and we wanted things that were given to us that were beyond our means, and a lot of us also tried to game the system as well. Let’s not leave us out of the blame game, even though it’s fashionable to focus blame on anyone but We, the People.


The fact that the government would, by default, back any sufficiently large venture was likely an extenuating factor in these mortgages being rated AAA (or whatever they were rated) and in AIG choosing to insure so many. A government precedent of a willingness to say, “Heh, if you fall, you burn in hell sucka.”, might have guarded against this.

Of course it might not have.

And of course it might have been that any generation would have reached a similar decision at this time in the world. Hippies or not, it might have seemed like the right financial decision at the time.

Yes I did it.
It wasn’t about Jags or bigger houses. This was far, far bigger. This required greed on a brand new scale. They collapsed the finances of countries for crying out loud. The Gordon Gekko types were not the love and smoke dope generation.

Funny you should mention this, considering the “thing” happening in Greece right now, and what involvment Goldman Sachs had in it.

Fucking boomers. Everything has to be about them, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does. :smiley:

This is just a bunch of baloney from people who couldn’t get laid by the cute chicks with no bra, because they had crew cuts, thought Sinatra was cool, and wore white socks with penny loafers.

You could just as well say hippies saved the country by starting Apple and Microsoft while the US’s old businesses like steel and automaking went overseas.

The conservatives lost the culture war, saw Nixon resign, had to share drinking fountains with the “coloreds” and now they want revenge.

You can’t hide the fact that the US does better under liberal than it does conservatives. Imagine what the US would be like if FDR had not been elected, civil rights bills had not passed, women could not sign a contract without their husband’s signature, and Lawrence Welk had not been replaced by rock and roll.

Don’t forget that a lot of the “manipulation and distortions” you’re blaming the government for were things that the banks and other financial institutions had worked very hard to get.

The financial industry for decades used every form of persuasion and pressure that they could think of to get “Nanny Government” off their backs, and now they’re trying to put the “lion’s share” of the blame on Nanny Government for not supervising them adequately. Yeah, that’s real persuasive.

As for the “blame the hippies” approach: How do you tell who’s a “hippie” in this context? Clearly, the few people who could still be described these days as “hippies”, with their organic-farming communes and their vegan soup kitchens and so forth, are a tiny and financially negligible minority that is essentially irrelevant to the economic meltdown.

Nobody would have called excessive spending and capitalist recklessness “hippie values” back in the boom years. But now that we’re having to confront the less appealing aspects of those qualities, some people have come up with the bright idea of blaming them on the hippies. Yeah, that’s real persuasive too.

It sounds to me like the blame falls not on hippies, but on ex-hippies. The ones who actually stayed hippies (and yes, there are a few of them) probably wouldn’t have had anything to do with these junk investments.

These are hippies.

These are bankers.

The discerning reader should be able to spot the subtle differences.

(I know this post is silly, but it’s all Bossie’s nonsense deserves.)

Yep. It’s all my fault. Now goddammit where’s my Jag?

The “Me Generation” was, if not the vast majority or Boomers, far larger than the hippies per se. It’s not the freaks & weirdos that did the damage so much as a broader, “Do your own thing,” ethos around them.

I’m a Buster, & I totally believe that the individualism associated (somewhat simplistically) with those born after 1945 has led to ruin. I blame the Smothers Brothers. No, really! Tom & Dick made some money, & immediately started complaining about taxes being to high–on the air. They primed a generation to be reflexively anti-tax. And now the government can’t pay the bills. The worm will turn. Sometime in the next fifty years, we may be so sick of a broke-ass government we’ll have become moderately socialist again, as in the 1950’s. Once the Boomers are dead, dead, dead in the ground.

ETA. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s the capitalist “conservatives” in their power suits that really did the damage, as it appears prima facie. Ockham & all that.

Some of them are quite sneaky about it. Stealth boomers.

So, is anybody going to thank us? Didn’t think so.

And they look just like real people.

Wish I could embed a “pod person” pic here :smiley:

Well, 'luci, I think the History Channel did a show called something like How Hippies Saved the US…


Yeah, it’s all my fault. I prefer bmw’s though. And don’t forget the vegan chocolate cake. thnx :cool:

Anyone remember that National Lampoon cover depicting a hippie looking in a mirror, and his reflection is him, 15 or 20 years in the future, with a haircut and conservative clothing?

Or maybe it was MAD.