We reside in a wondrous and complicated world and a great number of individuals consider it impossible to make sense of. It is simpler for people to give up, unplug and concede their uniqueness to the tramlines of programmed convention (Icke, 2012). In fact, it is a considerably different place from the world we came to recognize as children, or even of ten years ago for that matter. There are many reasons for these changes, one of which includes the significant events that occur which continue to help shape our evolution.
It is important to differentiate between the causes and consequences of an event to better comprehend the impact it may have. In the social sciences, causes are implications, not things that are self-evident from a given set of observations (Harper & Leicht, 2011). This can make analysis and documentation of significant events a difficult task, whether arbitrarily treated as a cause or consequence. In addition, a biographer may view and describe a noteworthy event from a different perspective than that of a social scientist. For example, a social scientist would be interested in how a momentous event would impact the culture’s values, problems, fears, as well as hopes and dreams that people share; whereas a biographer tends to focus on investigating the story without the conjecture of outcomes. A historian on the other hand, may implement a bit of both as they may wish to reveal the process, progress, evolution and development of an event.
One such recent significant event that had great impact on the country was the mortgage and loan crisis. The US economy entered a mortgage crisis in 2007 that caused panic and financial turmoil worldwide. It was a result of too much borrowing and severely flawed financial modeling, largely based on greed and fraudulent practices as well as the assumption that home prices would only continue to increase. One noteworthy consequence of the mortgage crisis is that a shocked public discovered how leveraged the world is. Bankers, lawmakers, consumers and business people all continue to work diligently to reduce the paramount effects of that crisis.
A reverence for homeownership has been a central theme of the American experience, which was the mindset behind making home loans more available to everyone. In their book Reckless Endangerment Morgenson and Rosner (2011) purport:
The Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act actually encouraged unsafe and unsound activities at both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by assigning them a new affordable housing mission. Under the law, the companies had to use their mortgage purchases to help provide housing to those across the nation who had previously been unable to afford a home (p. 25).
The mortgage crisis affected many cities and communities severely. Many local mortgage and loan organizations suffered bankruptcy leaving many individuals unemployed and destitute. Additionally thousands of families became homeless, losing their places of residence to foreclosure. Can an event like this ever happen again? Morgenson and Rosner (2011) seem to think so. In fact, they contend, “Most certainly, because Congress decided against fixing the problem of too big to fail institutions when it had its chance” (p. 304). Only time will tell.
Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Icke, D. (2012). Remember who you are: Remember where you are and where you come from. Isle of Wight, UK: David Icke Books.
Morgenson, G., & Rosner, J. (2011). Reckless endangerment (1st ed.). New York, NY: Times Books.