Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Un-American bailout

"This massive bailout is not the solution, it is financial socialism, and it is un-American."

Thus spoke Senator Jim Bunning today about the so-called Paulson Proposal, and I couldn't agree more. Why would a republican-led congress coupled with a republican administration even consider a $700 BILLION plan to resuscitate our failing banks? Republicans are supposed to be for DE-regulation, free markets, free enterprise, and less government intervention. That is the FUNDAMENTAL set of ideals that makes their party attractive.

The United States market system is based on the principles of a free market. It's that simple. Sure, there must be some oversight and regulation, but in general it should be only as intrusive as it absolutely must be to ensure FAIRNESS. Injecting $700 BILLION into Wall Street to float banks that would otherwise auger violently into bankruptcy is about as far from free market as you can run.

"The situation is very fluid."

That's what I keep hearing from our best economic minds today on the radio. That's a euphemism for nobody knows what the fuck is going to happen.

Why the bailout? Because a resuscitation is exactly what it is apparently to be. Our market system is not just ailing, it's feeling the icy touch of death's hand on it's shoulder, and it's freaking out big time, because there's really nowhere to run. If we let this thing play out, as free market principles mandate that we do, the so-called "adjustments" could set the world back for years. Markets around the world would seize. The import and export of goods would halt because credit would not be available, which would slow the movement of goods, since nobody can trust each other (that's what BANKS are for - uniting buyers and sellers), massive job loss, starvation, you get the idea.

Ahmadinejad is laughing his ass off. I can't stand that douchebag.

Of course, the adjustments would take place, and from the moldering carcass of our financial system would rise something more robust and powerful, presumably, if our nation could maintain cohesion through it all, which we have done before (see Great Depression).

But my favorite bit of news today was hearing Treasury Secretary Paulson slyly rest blame on the American people:

"There is a lot of blame to go around - a lot of blame with big financial institutions that engaged in this irresponsible lending ... blame to the people who made loans they shouldn't have made, people who took out loans they shouldn't have taken out,"

Dude. I'm sorry, but if you honestly believe that the number of people making $60,000 per year (the median US household income), who would knowingly risk their family's livelihood on some shady mortgage, amounts to anything more a negligible percentage of all home buyers over the past 10 years, you do not represent us.

So, if the American citizen is such an ignorant stooge when it comes to personal finance, the biggest question in my mind is WHY!? We are citizens of the United States, the (for the moment) world's largest, most powerful, enlightened economy! WHY don't we learn anything about it in school?

All US high school seniors should be required to know the difference between an ARM and a fixed rate mortgage. I mean they all plan on buying homes at some point, so why not teach kids how to create a budget, acquire and pay off a loan, invest in the stock market, RESEARCH A MORTGAGE!?

That question has bothered me for many years, and I finally found a reason to blog about it. In fact, I believe it is this fundamental lack of economic knowledge that contributes to persistent poverty in the United States. If schools would teach poor students how to wisely manage money, perhaps some of them would see the light, and find a way to break the cycle.

You can be ABSOLUTELY SURE that if every American home buyer of the past decade knew the difference between an ARM and a fixed-rate mortgage, and what the risks and consequences involved in using those tools are, we would not be in the situation we're in now.

IF EVERY American student was educated in the ways of the American market, don't you think that our country would be stronger because of it? Don't you want a country of informed investors?

How embarrassing is it to be the Secretary of the Treasury, and blaming the failure of your country's financial markets on citizens whose greatest sin was believing they could afford a house? As the Secretary of the Treasury, you should be taking a very hard look at yourself and wondering what is wrong with the system you've helped supervise.

Oh wait, let me go ahead and tell you, so you can get on flushing our money away: It's not the fault of citizens you dipshit, it's your fault. You stood by and watched as millions of ignorant Americans were preyed by silver tongued jackals who sold them into the possibility of owning homes they couldn't afford. YOU had the power to do something about it then. You and your ilk.

You're the asshole, Paulson, not us.

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