Thursday, October 9, 2008

Remember the Bailout Now?

Remember Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson's warning that if the American taxpayer did not give him $700 billion, that our economy was going to sink into a near depression? Here, let us replay the words of our nation's leading apologist for corporations.

These alarmists for the taxpayer-sponsored bailout sounded as if the Nebulans were about to land and enslave us all. Here is CNBC's Jim Cramer, Wall Street's version of Howard Stern, claiming what could happen if there is no bailout.

For those who are wondering about Jim Cramer, he is probably one of the dumbest investment advisers I have ever had the misfortune of seeing. This same man who screeches about the end of the world as we know it was positively enlightened and excited about one of the lead players of the economic collapse, Bear Stearns, back in March.

And after advising everyone to not sell their stocks, he flip-flops (just as he did on the Federal Reserve). Anyone who watches these shows need to account for fools like this.

It just goes to show that having a couple of billion dollars is hardly a sign of intelligence.

Well, after much gnashing at the teeth, pressure by the Bush Administration, Democratic Congressional leadership, as well as the 700-plus point drop by the DOW Jones the day the House of Representatives had the gall to show a set of balls a couple of weeks ago by voting no on the first offering of this robbery, the elected prostitutes of our corporate sponsors flipped and passed the bailout, with an extra $150 billion of pork, tax cuts, and earmarks (the kind of pork that John McCain used to rail against, until he voted for the bailout, of course).

Low and behold, the bailout has had no impact on relieving our economic crisis. The credit crunch is still in effect. The banks are still teetering on collapse. Unemployment and joblessness is rising. And the Dow Jones is dropping like a brick house in quick sand.
So bad is it the Bush Administration is now proposing a "temporary" nationalization of our failing banks. Still, in between all of this, the people taking are money found the time to go on a sojourn to an exclusive retreat to receive much-needed facials and massages. The life of the aristocracy.

You see, Secretary of Treasury Paulson waited until after the legislation was passed to warn us that it will take months (long after the election and he is gone to golden parachuteland as some lobbyist or returned executive at one of our finer investment criminal syndicates) before any of the $700 billion will begin to positively influence the economy. To extenuate this theft, the allotment and use of the monies will be managed not by the federal government (even though it is federal money) but with outsourced help from Paulson's ex-employer. In between that time, naturally, we must wait while the ship sinks.

Nothing can be done about the $700 billion at this point, and John McCain did have a decent idea of spending $300 billion to save peoples' homes, but what is needed is something on a much larger scale. What is going to be needed is a form of nationalization. We have already partly nationalized the banking, insurance, and housing sector, at least at the lending end. What is wrong with a national moratorium on foreclosures during an existing economic crisis (however loosely defined to protect people from being expelled from their homes)? There are already some local sheriffs taking the lead on this regard. To be sure, sayeth the creditors and supporters hiding behind the gates from the barbarians, such actions may discourage payment, but that is just the point. They are already eating the cost of their loans by passing it off on the taxpayers. There is nothing wrong with getting something in return for that money, including a stay of execution from losing your home.

Better yet, eliminate all variable interest loans and bring back the usury laws that our beloved Supreme Court abolished (for nationally-chartered banks) back in 1978 (leading directly to the credit card debt problem we face in this country). Yes, we would be restricting the ability of people in the business sector from "having the freedom" to give out credit, but is this not why we have many of our problems? If people are such credit risks, just force the companies to give people what they need (since we are no longer capitalists and they now are forcing me to subsidize their losses).

After all, if we are to forgive the debts of corporations, why not eliminate our own? This may sound radical, but it should not. We are spending nearly a trillion dollars of our tax money on incorporated entities because they cannot do business. Why should it offend anyone that we would have our inability to pay debts off be forgiven, as well? True, we are not as individually profitable, but neither is the business sector, and they are still allowed to feed off my dollar. Why renegotiate when Bear Sterns and AIG are permitted to have their debts completely written off? If it is truly about the consumers and easing up the credit crisis by creating a permissible and solvent environment for them to consume, there are fewer better ways I can think of than abolishing the debts of the people we want to see in our malls and showroom floors.

Of course, we all know why this will never happen. It is not about consumers, relieving their problems, or making it possible for the average joe sixpack to buy a car. It is about taking our money to make sure the campaign sponsors of our politicians can privatize the gains (tax cuts and deregulation) with the assurance that if all goes badly they will then be subsequently allowed to socialize their losses (with $700 of our money). Nothing better explains the non-existence and hypocrisy of laissez faire capitalism (the ideology of the business class for the last century) than the fact none of these people ever bother to live by these principles. Yes, it is all about pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps, until you can no longer afford it.

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