Wednesday, March 19, 2008

laissez-faire huh?

Conservatives like to advocate laissez-faire economic policies. "Let the market solve its own problems," they like to say. But now, with the Bear Sterns bail-out we find that the spirit of rugged individualism isn't really for the Wall Street set. Wealthy investors apparently deserve the very best in government economic intervention - to the tune of a $30 billion dollar guarantee.

I'm concerned about this. I'm afraid that we could be creating a "culture of dependency" among the super wealthy. All of those CEOs, investment bankers, and money managers who are making tens (and sometimes hundreds) of millions of dollars per year are supposed to at least be smart. Turns out, even at that rate of pay these folks can't keep a business afloat. And we're not talking rocket science here. Banking = save money for people - pay low interest + loan money to people - charge high interest. No brainer, right? Then you pay some guys millions and millions of dollars to see to it that this basic system doesn't fail. A bank going under should be about as likely a Las Vegas casino going on a year long loosing streak. But they managed it!

Fortunately our Federal Government has the Leave No Fat-Cat Behind program (fully funded of course) so that the Republican Party can continue fund raising for John McCain. While the bottom drops out of the housing market and most Americans are watching their assets dissolve, Wall Street gets it's bail-out.

To top it all off, the Fed cuts interest rates, in an attempt to calm Wall Street's nerves, but also causing the inflation rate to increase, the dollar to drop against foreign currency even further, and food and fuel prices to increase. Here - just take my wallet you bastards.

Oh - and Happy $3 trillion dollar (yes with a "T") Iraq War Anniversary baby. No, I didn't get you anything.


Angel, librarian and educator said...

It's hypocrisy at its worst. The capitalist entrepreneurs who love to be without regulations and do what they want should be able to bear it when the times get bad. If they want to be bailed out, they should then be willing to accept consequences and regulations. Otherwise, they should be allowed to sink. After all, they are the ones who want a "free" and unfettered market that will work itself. Well, when it "corrects" itself with a downturn and loss, bear it. That's what taking risk is about. Otherwise, you are just a hypocrite.

Anyhow, you make a good point: government is pretty much leave no fat cat behind while the rest of the country goes to hell in a hand basket (likely made with outsourced labor in some third world country).

Proletarian Librarian said...

A friend did point out to me though that we usually only get to gloat for a few minutes as the mighty fall because when they fall they fall on us. If the banking industry collapses, we'll go from recession to depression pretty quickly. But still - it bothers me to see the double standards. They want us to eliminate spending on social programs designed to level the playing field a bit, but when the see a need for corporate welfare - well that's a different matter.

The.Effing.Librarian said...

my outrage is more for the greedy who are borrowing to float those hedge funds and not doing anything to prevent economic collapse. I'm still waiting to get screwed by this, when we hit that depression anyway, and I have the kitchen full of canned soup to prove it.

this was the worst effing administration in my lifetime, and I used to wait in 20+ car lines to buy gas.

Proletarian Librarian said...

For the record, freeze dried food will last more than six times as long as canned food. And if things go as wonderfully as I suspect, you may need to think about personal safety as I figure the police are going to get pretty busy.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Actually, I have heard that same point your friend made. Therein lies the catch. If only we could get out of the way when those really fat cats fall. Double standards indeed. I may need to start stacking up on that freeze dried food, start learning how to keep a small garden, and get some firearms while I still can.

As old Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief."