Buy American

I just bought some shares in an <a href="http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/f.aspx?t=VTSMX" target="_blank">index fund that tracks the Wilshire 5000</a>, which means I just bought shares in the 5,000 largest American companies. I did this because I wish...

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Aug 11 2011, 12:00am

I just bought some shares in an index fund that tracks the Wilshire 5000, which means I just bought shares in the 5,000 largest American companies. I did this because I wish to take substantive action against Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US credit. Standard & Poor’s, and to a lesser degree Moody's and Fitch, bear much responsibility for the global recession from which we are trying to extricate ourselves. They maintained AAA ratings for companies run by abject criminals who knowingly, consciously, and systematically lied to US citizens and citizens of the world at large. Thus they are culpable for the collapse of many banks (my own included) and their actions, among other things, drove thousands of families from their homes. As such, their opinion is worthless to me and it should be worthless to you.

I am not rich. I don’t make enough through SAG or the WGA to qualify for health insurance. I currently make my living writing for magazines and performing live comedy, though I have worked in factories, publicly traded corporations, schools, and newspapers at other times in my life.

But based on S&P's own reports from 2008, their forecasts, analysis, and the human beings who write and disseminate them have been so wildly incorrect (not to mention nefarious and motivated by political gain) that I thought it was time to buy some stock in the US of A.

I am NOT saying that our Congress isn’t a GLOW-IN-THE-DARK EMBARRASSING DISASTER. They are. How could they not expect negative consequences from their shameful, childish performance over the past months?

It is worth noting that I am NOT buying U.S. Treasuries at the moment. I’m buying stocks. Right now, if the government wants my money, they’ll need to tax the companies I just gave it to or wait until they hire someone and tax their earnings. S&P’s assessment of U.S. credit is not wrong, but they have forfeited their right to have their opinion valued and embraced.

What I am saying is that I believe in me, and I believe in you. I believe in elbow grease, objectivity, and history. Did you see the recession coming? Did it announce itself and tell you when it would arrive? No, it did not. Nor will recovery. So quit whining. Pessimism is for losers.

So, to paraphrase Warren Buffet whose sterling, brick-and-mortar, brilliantly run, and cash-rich company Berkshire Hathaway was ALSO downgraded by S&P in the past, “American stocks are on sale.” Why not pick some up? I did. And I’m a 34-year-old, hard-working husband and father who gives a shit about the country he lives in and doesn’t take orders from S&P, CNN, or Congress. I give them. And so do you.

ROB DELANEY

The above post originally appeared on Rob's website.

http://twitter.com/#!/robdelaney

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