Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Bailout

So in the void of literary babbles that I intended this blog to be, today I write about the bailout.

As politicians ponder, pander and politic, the question remains what is going to happen to the US economy. I have spoken with many bright minds and read the chants of those dimmer flashes. Those in the know seem to be lost and unsure of the benefits of the plan, while Joe America screams foul for over paid CEOs and the potential for raised taxes. So here are my thoughts, albethem from a liberally educated, avoid economics, self-proclaimed dummy in regards to the markets. Thus I must warn you that in no way do I suppose or presume that I speak the truth except to the extent that I assure myself that I am right so that I will sleep well tonight.

First and foremost. Hey guess what!! The economy is in trouble people, $700 billion or not. The general consensus seems to lay most of the blame on Wall Street. However, I would like to remind the American pubic of its role in this debacle. Remember the '90s, oh glorious days of the tech boom. People were living high on the hog, not a care in the world. Then it came crashing down, or at least it stumbled a bit. People scrabbled and created a massive overblown housing market. A few regulations were pulled down, enough to let the subprime market grow and grow. Nobody questioned why their mortgage broker was lying on applications, nobody pondered why they were being approved for a loan. Lost in pacificity, Joe America (and Jane) asked no questions. As Congress is a reactionary archaic titan, it is slow to move and only really moves when provoked. And thus, like a sleepy old dragon, our not so beloved Behemoth dozed as "Wall Street" and the American public robbed its bits of Elivn gold. Some took alot, some took little, but most took. Massive SUVs to take an only child to ballet class. More TVs than persons per household. We stood in line for an iphone that sucked. We camped out for Playstations. We amassed credit cards from macy's, homedepot, bestbuy, sears, toys r us, and "We sell useless junk and charge you 30% interest." store. A complacent and lazy phoenix that rose from the death of the hippie, America had grown from an infant of commericialism into a towering Babel of consumerism. Band-aids and expensive pharmaceuticals were prescribed to sooth the fearful hearts and numb the soul. Cynics were chastised and labeled debbie downers. And here we are, desperately needing our fix, our techno-junkied happy button. We are a nation who's last hit of Ecstasy finally is wearing off.

So what does this have to do with the bail out? If we, the American people, through our surrogates, write this blank check with superficial "oversight provisions" and pinky swears, what will it do? Nobody really knows how much it will cost. Nobody really knows what it will do. So it could just be a drop in the bucket, leaving the economy still crappy, except we now owe some imaginary bond purchaser $700 billion. Or maybe it protects what value is left in the targeted markets, but it sends the dollar plummeting, in turn causing oil to sky rocket and the US economy comes to a hault. Of course, I imagine those holding dollars will make sure to drop a few more bills into the market as well, just in case we weren't sure if "King Dollar" could go any lower. OR maybe, just maybe it works. The economy stabilizes and we return to our mantle as the Empire with no clothes. Economic prozac returns our fragile selves back into a joyful passiveness. And then what?? Exactly.

Perhaps it is time for a little tough love America, a cold stale slice of humble pie. Humility is revealed in the dull concave boil of an old spoon, not the tinted lime light of your Lexus sideview mirror. The expectation of privilege must be replaced by wholesome value of appreciation. You learn many things about ourself sitting at the bottom of the barrel. it is with this thought that, sadly, I think the economy needs to tank. Besides it is going to tank anyway, so let it. Consider it controlled demolition. We minimize the fallout with careful and tenacious oversight. Meanwhile, since Quick Draw McGraw Congress is so willing to sign away our tax dollars, let's use it for something practical. Offer huge grants to green and alternative fuel companies. Rebuild Detroit on the condition that they rejuvenate American innovation. Universal health care will help guarantee that the new manufacturing jobs created from a tanked dollar will be full of healthy workers. And here's a thought, lets throw a couple hundred billion into a comprehensive and well planned education reform, so that our children will be able to compete with India and Chinese scholars, intellectuals and scientists. With a rebuilding of our industrial base, we can finally exploit NAFTA for its intended purpose. We could loosen our reigns as the self appointed world's police force and reduce military spending. With a return to a more insular economy, we will actually compete with Chinese manufacturing. Does it answer the questions of today?? No not really, but at least it has sights set for the future!

This plan does requires one very key ingredient, however, the power and force of the American people. We must shed ourselves of our do nothing garb. We must work together as Americas for our future and comfort each other in the bad times to come. Perhaps humility will remind us all our the precious gifts that should be appreciated and not taken for granted.

All this said, I have no idea what will happen in the coming months and years, but I can guarantee we will see drastic reduction in quality of living. We will see more job losses, more foreclosures, more crime and more instability, regardless of whether this blank check is written. Paying this $700 billion will not have any great manifestation for the American worker. However, not paying the piper will almost absolutely lead to a solid and rocky bottom. Thus it is a choice of two evils, one with perceived and wishful immediate results with not glance toward the future, and the other with certain chaos with hopes of building a new tomorrow. However, if we, the American public, choose to do nothing, Wall street and Washington will almost certainly help turn the page of this our short chapter in history. If we truly intend to change Washington and thus change Wall Street with the hope of changing our lives, we must be accountable for our own sins, and in due course take responsibility for what is ours.

Perhaps the Leviathan is a beast in need less of taming and more of purpose.

1 comment:

  1. You said it!I completely agree. I think it's time we take responsibility. Does anyone realize that if this 700 billion dollar bailout happens....all the reasons we had for voting for Obama/Biden go out the freaking window! It's almost like the Bush republicans planned it this way. What can any candidate do for us without a budget!!!! It will put us another 20 years behind. Let wallstreet crumble, let the banks fail. Valerie