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« What do these two men have in common? | Main | WTF? Commercializing the Big Red One »

Drunk and Drunker, thoughts on the world economy

By Melissa Tuckey
September 24, 2008

Imagine a drug addict in your basement who spent all his money on his last fix. He begs you for more. He’s already spent your retirement. The world will end if you don’t loan him 700 billion dollars.

Is anyone else feeling flummoxed by credit crisis? Why are we about to bail out lenders who took outrageous risks and made insane profits, up until the last several months. I know I am not alone in feeling that I’ve been responsible with my money and now I’m supposed to chip in and help out the wealthiest sector of our economy.

There are so many things I don’t understand. Like – what will the 700 billion dollars be spent on? Is this a give away or will we own something? Is the government going to own hundreds of thousands of mortgages—and then have to manage the property and collect the debt? What constitutes a bad debt? Why are we buying bad debts? If we are going to go into the credit industry why not do it right and buy good debts?

What would happen if they didn’t bail out the credit industry? The dollar is teetering, our economy is broken—these things are true, but will throwing good money at these people who obviously don’t know how to manage it really solve our economic problems? No offense, but why are they still in business? Shouldn’t the CEOs of these companies be on the road to nowhere?

How else might 700 billion be used to develop our economy? How about job training, government work projects (for example, how about a public transportation system?) why not retool our auto industry for the 21st century, assist with development of new technologies so our industries can compete in the world market? Our highways are broken, our children are failing in literacy, science, and math. What do we export besides soldiers and weapons of war? Bad credit risk apparently.

So we bail out the gamblers on Wall Street. Do we send them to a drunk tank to sober up or do we just hand them a pile of money and say better luck next time. As I understand it part of the problem that has led to this crisis was the deregulation of the financial industry, legislation authored by Phil Gramm (McCain’s Economic adviser) and signed by a majority of republicans under Bill Clinton. We’ve heard about debt bundling where one financier sold debt to another and so on, with everyone making big profits and no one thinking they’d actually have to be responsible for the loan repayment. So now it’s up to Joe taxpayer to deal with the unpaid loans?

Imagine a drug addict in your basement who spent all his money on his last fix. He begs you for more. He’s already spent your retirement. The world will end if you don’t loan him 700 billion dollars. Our financial system is very, very drunk. And I question the sobriety of Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulsen as well. He apparently has been having such a good time with his good friends in the financial industry that he didn’t see this coming until it became a full-blown crisis… and now we should trust him with 700 billion dollars to give out to, errrr, uh, well, whoever is wealthy enough to need it?

It’s going to affect Main Street they say. This whole thing could go off, if we don’t act. Exactly how? These creditors will go under. Then there won’t be any more money to lend out. It might be possible that other countries will grow tired of buying our dollars and supporting our debt. So you see, we must make more debt.

What exactly constitutes a crisis in this nation? 46 million American citizens lack health insurance. Ten million are children. Wouldn’t it be a relief to have the President call Congress to solve that crisis in 48 hours? In the next 48 hours, people will surely die because they did not get the medical treatment they needed. In fact, 18,000 people die every year in our country because they don’t have adequate health care. Others lose their homes paying medical bills.

Already, Obama is saying some of his plans to bring relief to everyday Americans will have to be cut to make way for this 700 billion bailout. Can anyone give a good reason why?

The dollar might fall, inflation might overrun us, the whole world’s financial system is stumbling, possibly crumbling—these things might all come to pass. Will 700 billion feed the beast? Why are we feeding a beast and not the people?

Comments (2)

Nora Thomason Author Profile Page:

Melissa your metaphor of thinking of Bush, Paulsen and Wall Street as a drunk drug addict looking for another fix - is perfect. I also question their sobriety. They HAVE spent our retirement, stolen all of our treasure - and now - they refuse to stop stealing from us.

Every blog post on every site should be saying exactly what you have said here. You've nailed it.

Melissa Tuckey Author Profile Page:

Thanks for your comments. If indeed our entire economy rests on mortgage hocus-pocus, and I agree it does appear so, then how will propping up that false economy with government money help our economy in the long term? A shot in the arm--a temporary rush of sensation- and then what? It makes no sense to me. It's like cannibalism. We tax our citizens to pay to make it appear as if they live in a sound economy.

I am not convinced that giving 700 billion dollars to speculators is going to help middle class America. $700 billion would be enough to pay for social security for 40-50 years. The same junkies who tell us our social security is in trouble (and should be privatized) are responsible for both the cause of this problem (deregulation of the financial industry)and the solution (taxpayer bailout of extreme proportion, without regulation).

I think we can expect what comes after this bail out-- oops, well, uh, sorry, we can't afford social security, the government mismanaged its money!.......or at least this is what the economist Michael Hudson (Kucinich's economic advisor) predicts....

The government has a responsibility to protect our savings and loans through FDIC. It has no responsibility to protect investment bankers, lenders, or speculators. Unfortunately the two kinds of financiers have merged under deregulation, this is the problem that no one is addressing.

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