Monday, September 29, 2008

It's all about the economy, stupid!

A classic line during the 1992 election campaign and I think that it applies to this year's election as well.  Times like these make me wish that I actually paid attention in my economics class (which I took as a senior in high school at the local community college - I mean, who knew that it would be useful later?!).  I wish that I could make sense of the situation and figure out who to believe.  Will we fall into a huge recession (more so than we have already) if we don't rescue the big corporations who got us into this whole mess?  Or will bailing them out just cost the taxpayers billions of dollars while the big corporations get off scott-free?  Who knows. Maybe it's a mix of everything.  Just from listening to things, I get the sense of taht something needs to happen.  I think ideally, it would be that there is a bailout - maybe not $700 billion - but attached to it are conditions whereby the mortgage and investment firms have to reform their practices so that this doesn't happen again.  It's silly.  I mean, you'd think we learn from previous financial market meltdowns, such as when savings and loans went the way of the dinosaurs, but alas, politics has a short memory when it comes to lessons and a long one when it comes to scandals. 

In the end, I think taxpayers get screwed.  They have to bail these companies out while trying to eek through their daily lives with rising gas and cost of living prices.  In the end, we could have done a lot more with $700 billion.  We could have worked towards insuring the 46 million plus uninsured Americans.  We could have improved our failing public schools.  We could work towards cleaning up our parks and waterways.  There is so much more we could have done - but alas, those are apparently not as important as bailing out the companies who counted their coffers while the average American tried to stretch theirs. 

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