My shock is not lost on the general American public...
For years the financial industry has been a cash cow for the few and a gamble as much as the Superbowl for the rest of us.
The big wigs on the top took unbelievable salaries for a decade and ran their companies into the ground. The boards of directors looked the other way and everyone kept yelling the "P" word (privatization) as if it was the second coming of Christ.
McCain is deep in this. Remember as a member of the Keating 5 who raped the financial world in the 80's with the first wave of financial industry privatization under Reagan, he was exonerated for not KNOWING he was doing anything wrong, although they never did do anything about the fact that he DID do something wrong. Something really wrong that bankrupted Savings and Loans all around the country. Have you noticed there aren't any of those anymore? Banks, credit unions, and financial institutions, but no S & L's? You can thank McCain and his buddies for that.... It took 10 years, and billions to pull the banking industry out of that scandal and not until Clinton did the economy really recover.
Then deregulation/privatization rules kicked in with the help of guess who... John McCain. Now we have a complete and utter collapse of the financial industry in this country and these guys who personally stand to lose millions, no billions of dollars are running back to the same Congress who let them loose with their greed and begging for a bailout the size of the Titanic!
They are threatening the American public (we won't pay your paychecks!), they are threatening the world (we can't pay back our Iraq War debt!), they are threatening the media (this is too scary/frightening/terrifying to ignore), they are threatening Congress (do this NOW or we'll send you into an election with a new Great Depression that will make the 1929 crash look like the 2001 crash), they are threatening everyone in this country and there is a simple answer to all of this...
They COULD just give the money they stole back! I mean give me a break! Carly Fiorena got $50 mil for running HP into the ground, surely she could give back $40 of that... The investment firm CEO's make hundred's of millions annually (I'm NOT exaggerating) and surely they could do what they used to do in the past and give back their salaries this year to save the country...
I bet we could find 20 of them over $100 million annually, that would be $2 billion of the missing cash right there and we would only need to find another $698 bill more... I don't know about you, but to me $2 bill is $2 bill... more money than God in my world and $2 billion more than I'll ever see in MY lifetime.
In fact, I bet we could find 200 making that much on average and now we're up to $200 billion and with that kind of infusion, the taxpayers may not need to foot the bill at all.
Where is that $700 billion coming from by the way? They want to print more money???? Now I HATED my macroeconomics class in college, but one thing I remember really clearly is that printing money does two things.
First, it deflates the value of the dollar. Supply and demand. Simply put, more dollars in circulation means they are worth less.
Second, it creates massive inflation. You wonder why the price of milk, butter, flour, etc has skyrocketed in 2008 like never before? Because the US government has been printing money like monsters for 2 or 3 years now. The value of the dollar drops and so it takes more of them to buy anything. This was the Soviet Union's solution that brought down their empire... better buy your wheel barrels to carry the massive numbers of dollars it's going to take to buy a loaf of bread (don't say you'll use an ATM either, remember the banks are holding your money hostage...).
We are looking at a Great Depression, don't kid yourselves here... But I say let's do it. Let's roll up our sleeves as Americans and get this country back on track...
Let all those greedy bastards go down with the ships they blew holes in.
- We need a WPA or a TVA anyway in this country to rebuild the roads, bridges, New Orleans... Let's use the $700 billion for that.
- We need alternative energy. Let's put the money into that.
- We need a decent school system that will train our children to make the money we'll need to get out of this mess. Let's put our cash there.
- We need to put Americans back to work and forget about the gambling games of the wealthy (Chris Rock's definition of wealthy)
- We NEED that money to pay for the clean up of the mess these worms put our country in over the last 10 years.
They don't want that money to save the banks by the way! They want to be able to pay off their billions in Golden Parachutes and get out of dodge before the Feds come knocking to take them all to jail where they belong (I'm still not totally convinced Ken Lay is actually dead...).
And that brings me to another point that I touched on above... Privatization SUCKS!
I'm from Wisconsin, the testing ground for the evil Bradley and Heritage Foundations racist programs and raping of the taxpayers for personal gain all in the name of that four letter word "privatization".
I have watched the greedy people running the choice schools get put in prison for stealing funds from the kids/taxpayer's coffers. I've see how W2 (so called Welfare to Work) has increased the female prison population by 482% since it's inception by driving women into underground economies to survive and the devastation that has wreaked on the population in Wisconsin. We now pay 10 times as much (this is probably way understated) as welfare cost by putting women in prison, paying for foster care for their children and the destruction of the family because there is no mother in the home, and the consequences of raising a generation of children in Wisconsin with their parents in prison.
Privatization and deregulation gave us Enron and the energy crisis, the airline crisis, the telephone company crisis, the decline of the railroad system, the gas crisis (we sell drilling rights to private corporations for pennies on the dollar and get nothing back, the healthcare crisis (see the movie Sicko and Nixon chuckling about how much money they will make off our illnesses), the Prison Industrial crisis and I could even make a case for the Drug War being driven by private enterprise.
So what should we do... We should first and foremost, not privatize any other government services until further notice. We should reregulate all businesses, capping CEO salary's to a percentage of profit of the corporation that's reasonable after the company gets to a certain number of employees or maybe a certain percentage of all employee salaries with no one getting a higher salary than than the CEO.
The unchecked greed in this country in other words rivals the John Rockefeller and JP Morgan. The robber barons of the first financial disaster in American history. Only with government regulation, anti-monopoly laws, anti-trust laws and the like, and take over of previously private enterprises by governmental entities did the American economy not only get in check, but also begin to thrive.
I'm NOT advocating complete socialism. I do believe in the Capitalist market system, but without some reasonable and enforced controls on it, it's as corrupt as the people running it... and apparently American businesspeople are REALLY corrupt!
The Supreme Court has a role to play in this. Pro-corporation rulings that take away the rights of individuals (like the Exxon ruling) and the people of this country destroy perfectly good laws and allow this kind of thing to go unchecked... especially with a deadlocked Congress and a do-nothing POTUS to try to repair the damage you do regularly.
So a few other thoughts...
First, to all the people blaming the Dems. They've been in control all of 21 months. On top of that, they've had an enormously inept (I'm being nice) POTUS to deal with who was as corrupt and absence on this issue as Hoover was before the crash of '29.
Second, to all the people blaming the minorities and the poor. Are you kidding me? Seriously Neil Cavuto? Just use the "n" word and get it over with... Where's your sheet? I liked it better when I didn't know who you were...
Third, you really can't blame Congress for this ANYWAY. Congress's job is to write laws. Laws that have to be signed by a POTUS with a veto proof margin on anything anyone else wants to do. We actually have some anti-corruption laws in place that could have helped prevent this mess...
Which brings me to finally... the full and utter blame for this mess sits squarely on the shoulders of George W. Bush who will go down in history as the most disasterous robber barron president EVER. This is no exaggeration. This is so stunningly understated, there are no words to describe what this ignorant, petulant, unfocused and completely corrupt presidency has accomplished. No less that the complete destruction of a country I love. My country. Tis of thee. Sweet land of liberty. Of thee I sing... (in past tense).
I almost feel bad for both Obama and McCain. Either will inherit a mess that only true vision and passion for our country could resolve, if it even can be resolved. They will have no money left to fix it with, a world just stunned by the irresponsibility of America and tentative to step in and help fix it and a population with a large population educated to a level that is below some 3rd world countries.
The Bush Legacy will be a trail of totalitarian failures as vast as the great oceans on this planet.
That said, I'm with Obama. He doesn't have 30 years of baggage creating this mess. He's not knee deep in it. He at least understands the gravity of the situation. He does have a vision and I believe that Americans can, have, and will again accomplish amazing things if we have a visionary leader who can bring us out of our own funk and get us working again.
We are an amazing people. We deserve better than this. I believe Obama will start to repair the damage. I believe that if he is elected, the world will step up and hold out it's hand to help pick us up. I believe that if Obama is elected the people of America will again be inspired to do great things that make us the proud people we are or at least were... but can be again.
If we can get past the race baiting, class warfare and hatred of the Cavuto's, O'Reilly's, Limbaugh's, Dobbs', Warner's, Belling's and Sykes' of this world... if we can insist that our airwaves are no longer poluted by that spew... not by making it illegal, but by turning them off and refusing to listen to them anymore.
Maybe if we can reject the hatred, and listen to the message of real change, we can find a way to vote for Barack Obama in November and give hope a chance. Right now, I fear it's all we have left.