Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Socializing Risk, Privitizing Profit

I've only got a few minutes before walking the dog and getting ready for work, so I'll make this quick.

This $600 billion bailout of AIG and the financial industry is just the natural outcome of the Republican Reverse Robin Hood economic policy. It's the same stuff that we saw starting way back in the late '80's with the S&L bailout, when John McCain was one of the Keating Five, the corrupt and/or foolish senators who aided Keating in ripping off the American public. Since Reagan came into office the Republicans have been screaming, "deregulate, deregulate, privatize, privatize, free market," blah, blah. But when deregulation chickens come home to roost, it's "help! Bail us out! Quick! Don't stop to think about it, just give us all your money!" It's remarkably similar to the economic policies of the Republican administrations of the 'teens and '20's that so effectively set up the Great Depression.

It's funny how providing universal health insurance, which benefits everyone except the ultra-rich, is socialism, but giving 600 billion taxpayer dollars to reward greed, incompetence, and reckless speculation is just 'the free market at work.' The Republicans talk a great line about individual responsibility and fiscal responsibility, but their economic policies reward exactly the opposite, and ultimately rob the poor and the middle class to reward the richest of the rich. We have individuals in this country who control more wealth than the entire net worth of some small countries.

I don't mind socializing risk, if profit is socialized, too. Whatever works.

This system is not working.

I really hope that our legislators don't get into a big hurry to fix this and pass a bill before the election. My advice to them is, take your time. We don't need a financial version of the invasion of Iraq or PATRIOT Act.

The sad thing is, President Clinton, the one Democrat we've had since Carter, pushed the same reverse Robin Hood economic policy as the GOP. I just hope President Obama shows better sense, and models himself after someone like FDR instead.

4 comments:

David Carrel said...

I do not understand economics at all, so I am not sure what kind of system would work, but you are right, we need to change something.
I think that all politicians need to tap into a word called Integrity. "Everything rises and falls on leadership." If we have leaders who are devoted to integrity, maybe it will influence other leaders in this country.
I don't know all the reasons for the whole destruction of the financial companies, but I did hear about them lying in the accounting books, which is an integrity issue.
Anyway, all I can do is work towards it myself and challenge others to do the same!

ajandmac said...

nice blog seda. im linking this one.

Seda said...

David,
Yes, integrity is good. However, when we turn the fox loose in the chicken house and depend on his integrity to keep him from eating the chickens, we shouldn't be surprised when we lose our chickens. That's why we have regulation.

The same thing happened before the Great Depression. The Republican administrations of Coolidge & Hoover deregulated (or prevented regulation) of the financial markets, and it blew up on Oct. 28, 1929. FDR set up a lot of regulations to prevent such abuse, speculation, and fraud during the depression, and things went pretty well, overall, until the American oil peak in the '70's and ensuing OPEC embargo, which led to Reagan and 28 years of deregulation, ending, judging by McCain's reaction, with this latest blowup.

In other words, yes, ask for integrity, but demand accountability, too. Or, as Reagan might say, Trust, but verify.

And for god's sake, if you're going to privatize profit, let them take their lumps. Don't ask the middle class to bail out the ultra rich any more. I'm getting really tired of it.

In sum, David, there actually is one thing you can do. Vote. And, given the economic policy of the last 30 years, vote Democratic, especially for Obama. There's no guarantee the Dems will fix it, but it's a sure bet the GOP will only keep making it worse.

Terri said...

Well said Seda. I think that on this issue partisanship may finally capsize - seems like for once even the conservatives are smelling the skunk in the house. For the first time in his political career McCain has uttered the word "regulation" - hmm - isn't that "waffling". I say it couldn't have happened at a better time, it clearly shows who the crooks are and they're hoping to steal another trillion before their frat brother heads back to the ranch. I would normally vote a third party - but this year I'm 100% Obama.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our
Beloved's.
~Hafiz