Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Save Wall Street!

So the financial markets are in even more turmoil. The Treasury (with Bush nowhere to be seen, mind you) is now going to insure money market funds. They have done such amazing things as banned the short selling of financial institutions' stocks. These are massive, I repeat, massive interferences in the free market. Paulistas must be apoplectic. For years, the cry of conservatives, Republicans, and financial businesses has been: "Get government off our backs! No regulation! Let the free market rule!" Amazing how all that goes away when they need some cash. Save us! Save us!

Now when ordinary people say that - whether their house was flooded or about to be foreclosed - these financial folks and economistas cluck their tongues and say that people should be forced to live with their own decisions. Ordinary people are getting tongue-clucked (or a word that rhymes with that) for having "speculated" or taken "risky investments." That is what Wall Street did in spades. They get bailed out, but not homeowners? Who matters more? When we talk about "improving the economy" only Republicans mean "fixing corporate balance sheets or GDP numbers." What we really mean is "improving the lives of regular people who work for a living." We don't care about the DOW or GDP for its own sake, but for its effect on people.

Apparently regular people need to be able to learn from failure, but not big businesses and banks. Sure, I understand that massive economic havoc will be caused if they are allowed to fail, and I more or less think we have to do it, but we should NOT then turn a deaf ear to the real financial crises of real Americans.

Now that we are shoveling out our money to investment banks like there's no tomorrow, we should form a national mortgage bailout fund so that we can eliminate all these freaky mortgages and put everyone who wants it on a fixed 30-year 5% mortgage. And we should make universal health insurance happen so that unemployment or "downsizing" does not mean losing the ability to take your kid to a doctor. And we should extend unemployment benefits. Republicans have opposed this bitterly. Here's the truth: In every family, there is a person who is "too big to fail" for that family. Maybe it's about time we took that seriously, too.

There also needs to be punishment for the greedy bankers who made all this personal profit for themselves and left us the bill. I would recommend a dramatic retroactive tax on all investment-banker bonuses for the past 5 years would be a start. These people have been making $50K-$100K or even more in bonuses for all the proifts they have reaped. And the management of these institutions must be sacked without golden parachutes. There are jobs in Starbucks: go work there and learn what the real economy is like. See if you still think, like Reagan did, that "Government is the problem." In fact, I think that before taking any bailout money, each corporate executive should be forced to publicly recant their (numerous) statements that "Regulation is Bad."

I hope Obama makes a dramatic proposal for a rescue for ordinary people in this mortgage crisis, not just the financial sector. If there's one thing this financial crisis should do, it should make Phil Gramm and every other freakonomics yahoo who mouths "trust the free market" or every Reaganite who says "Government is the problem" shut up and sit down while the grownups get to work trying to stave off a depression.

I'm sure my biting tone is not atypical of a lot of working people reading the news and then coming home and wondering, "Why is nobody going to bail me out with my mortgage that I can't pay, or college bills I can't pay." Obama will surge ahead in this election if he can tie this financial crisis to people's lives and the need for real change in how government works.


Anonymous said...

I am very sure that a few years after the massive bailout, and when the fat, rich guys of Wall street make money again, their political campaigned machine will again chant the "GREATNESS of FREE MARKET" and Capitalism. They will want the government laissez-faire their loots because the profits are private. Of course majority of blue collard workers, red neck idiots, airhead soccer moms, beer belly Nascar guys who have bigger stomach than their brains in this country will again believed in the propaganda, just like they did in the last couple of years. They are too stupid to feel pity for them. Let's bailout all the rich, fat guys because majority of people in this country are just dumb slaves.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I am tired of hearing conservative blowhards tell us we must bail out big financial firms like AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac because they are "too big to fail."

They have already failed. They took big risks and they lost.

I am tired of hearing conservative blowhards tell us these companies failed because they invested irresponsibly and irrationally.

They were perfectly responsible and rational. They knew they would get rich when the big risks worked and would get bailed out when they did not.

Treasury Secretary Paulson now wants to buy up lots of "bad" mortgages to save Wall Street. Here's a better way: guarantee those mortgages instead.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I know it was unintentional, but the phrase "blue collard workers" reminds me that we are also are talking about a lot of black people.