I had a long conversation with a Vietnam veteran over the weekend. He is renovating a tavern in the neighborhood and he gave me a tour of the project. He is putting out some risk after a career in construction to leave a business for his son. Existing restaurant structures at the bank for $1.2 million were contracted in the $500k area. The banks tended to stop the closing with additional requests for personal capital late in the proceedings. The man's frustration was palpable.
What struck me as significant was not the detailed example of risk takers being blocked from economic opportunity, however. The man said that when he was serving in Nam the Colonel's would regularly gather the men for open discussions. The rank and file would never miss the chance to ask the brass "When is this mess going to end." He said the answer was always the same, "When the American public has had enough of it."
The similarity to the post collapse economy was obvious. To the new tavern owner, this was not a Tea Party or Occupy angle. The malaise stays with us until all parties decide to move on. Europe is suffering from its own type of hollow endeavors. Some of us are ready to clear the deck and stop the madness. As a nation, we are not there and thus, this is not over yet.