Set forth below is the text of an e-mail that that I sent on November 19, 2012, to a fellow who posts on the internet as “George Washington”:
Thanks for all of your help. You put in efforts
well beyond the call of duty!
I have one more favor to ask. Do you have any
suggestions for places I could post to get my
The placement at “The Big Picture” was perfect. The
people who visit that site are heavy-hitter economist
types. I was of course discouraged that there were
not many endorsements of the VII concept forthcoming. But I saw
it as good news that no one attacked the idea or made
much of an effort to defend Buy-and-Hold. I view that as
a sign that the change in thinking we need to see is taking
place underneath the surface.
You must be very well-connected (certainly compared
to me!) to get an article placed there. If there is anyone to
whom you could recommend me or refer me, I would
be most grateful.
Another need I have along the same lines is for access
to a site that does mostly politics but that views the
economic crisis and its cause as a political issue worthy
of exploration. For a long time, I had a weekly column at
the “Death by 1,000 Papercuts” site. I wrote over 100 columns
for them and I loved the column because it was the only
place available to me where I could write about the political
aspects of this. That site went under earlier this year and
it has been hard for me to find a replacement.
I have found some personal finance blogs that are willing
to run occasional guest posts. The problem is that many
bloggers don’t feel confident in their ability to challenge
the “experts.” That of course is not so at a place like
“The Big Picture.” My guess is that the problem with the
readership at a place like “The Big Picture” is that they
themselves are economists and challenges to the orthodoxy
are perceived (on some level of consciousness) as challenges
to one’s ability to make a living.
Political bloggers would not have these concerns. The problem
with political bloggers is twofold. One, they don’t immediately
see this as a political issue (I see it as the most important political
issue of our day). And, two, there is no liberal/conservative dynamic
to this. I had one conservative blogger tell me that he agreed with
what I was saying but that he didn’t think it was newsworthy because
I was not blaming the government for the problem! That one blew
my mind. My personal thought is that it would be refreshing to pursue
an issue without engaging in finger pointing. But I worry that finger
pointing has become a reflex action with some of us.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. My ultimate goal is to create
a community of people who are pursuing a better path and showing
others BY EXAMPLE how to handle these questions. When the next
crash hits, we are going to need to act quickly to avoid falling into
the Second Great Depression. I would like to have a community
in place when the time comes. The internet is of course the perfect
place to form communities. But I have had a very hard time establishing
one around this issue. The “bulls” tune it out because it makes
them uncomfortable and angry and scared. The “bears” take the view that we are doomed as a society and there is no purpose served by taking constructive steps outside of achieving self-preservation in a doomed society. I am very much in the middle of those two extremes. My aim is to
acknowledge the good work of those who came before us and to
begin a rebuilding effort that all will be welcome to join at any time
they are ready.
You have already done a bunch. I am deeply grateful. But I have
to ask. If there is anything at all that you can suggest, it might end
up turning a key somewhere down the road. I have had several
occasions during this ten-year journey in which a chance connection
led to something big.
Also, just in case you are wondering about the craziness of all this
in your own mind, you might be interested to know that Wade Pfau
commented on my blog entry for yesterday. If you are good at
reading between the lines, you may be able to pick up some clues
to solving the mystery by reading his words. It takes some skill
in this case! I like to think that not much gets past me on this one
anymore, but even I needed to read his words several times to
feel confident that I understood what was going on with them.
The core difficulty with this one is not that people are deceiving
others. What makes this one so special is that people are putting
so much energy into deceiving themselves!
Take care, man. You truly have made a big difference.