Thursday, November 13, 2008

Disengaging.

I’ve had an election hangover. Barely managing to scan the headlines each morning, I haven’t much cared what’s going on during this transition period. Even all my addictive partisan news shows have lost their luster. It’s hard to stay too engaged when all the same horrible problems continue to face the country today and for now we still have the worst president in American history. And how are we addressing our most immediate and largest problem – the ever downwardly-spiraling economy? With the incredible juggernaut that is “The Bailout.”

The Bailout, also euphemistically known for a brief period as the “rescue package” before reverting to its harsher but more accurate descriptor, is something to behold as it spreads like slime into every crevice of American business. I’m a liberal and all that, but is every last segment of the economy planning to take NO responsibility for getting itself into this predicament, and instead come to Uncle Sam, hat in hand? The argument is that the situation is now so dire that finger-pointing will not solve the crisis and something simply has to be done immediately to stanch the bleeding.

Yes. It was imperative that AIG receive a second influx of the taxpayers’ money when the first wasn’t enough to fund those corporate jaunts to plush resorts or the bonuses to which management believed it was still entitled, and it was imperative that the homeowners who didn’t read their own contracts or bother to check their figures adequately receive some kind of relief to stay in their homes to which they, as Americans, are entitled. And now it’s essential that an industry of companies that largely refused or failed to develop products that could compete on some level with foreign automakers receive a massive influx of cash so that they don’t close down and put thousands of “real Americans” out of work.

Perhaps my sympathy would have flown as freely as our government’s cash if the greedy financial companies hadn’t already sucked up all my goodwill. Frankly, a failing auto industry, even if that failure is somewhat of their own making, is a more compelling recipient of government funds than grossly overpaid financial types who twisted the system for their own staggering gain and now mewl about it while the rest of the country pays the price. But where does it all end, and where does this money come from?

What would happen if the Republicans’ prized market economy was allowed to experience the brunt of its own mistakes and excess? I guess the government would be paying for it one way or another.

2 comments:

Broady said...

"What would happen if the Republicans’ prized market economy was allowed to experience the brunt of its own mistakes and excess?"

You know, I really struggle with that myself. This bailout goes completely against my grain, and so your paragraph outlining the bailout "victims'" hand in their own fate pretty much makes me feel like a hypocrite: I toast free market/captitalism when it works, but abandon it when it fails. I'd say that I need to grow a backbone, but the thought of dirty faced children standing in bread lines turns me into a chicken sh*t.

Well, at least we'll all have the McDonald's Dollar Menu as a safety cushion.

Kimberly said...

It is depressing for everyone. From my vantage point, I'm sitting here wondering why the hell don't I buy a 5 bajillion dollar mansion and blow off all my credit cards... apparently it doesn't matter anyway.

Then I come back to reality and do the right thing, every damn time.