Ryan Slabaugh: Through riches and poor, we do…
September 25, 2008
This is getting complicated, but it shouldn’t be. The U.S. government’s attempt to bail out nearly a trillion dollars worth of bad debt, predictably, is turning into a mud-muck of decision making.
The speeches are grand, but the goals are hidden by metaphors about burning houses, crashing meteors, impending communist takeovers, and, most originally, the truth ” “There are rumors that Morgan Stanley is looking for a partner,” said one.
In merrier times, we’d be objecting loudly against this type of large “merger,” but for now, a sugar-mama is exactly what we all need ” not for companionship, but just to keep lights on. The Onion, that satirical newspaper, jumped on the idea with this headline: “McCain’s Economic Plan For Nation: ‘Everyone Marry A Beer Heiress.'”
This week, I sat paying bills ” ulcer doctors should credit our economy for an uptick in their demand ” thinking about my own bailout options. I wondered, if I could let my debt build up to a few hundred billion, would someone come in and help?
Anything short of a gazillion, though, and I’m on my own. These are not happy times. While the political bickering is just starting, the average American has sat frozen in disbelief at their 401k plan for months, open-jawed and torn between action and inaction, like a lady watching her wedding ring drop and circle the drain.
Yet, if we could only get the government and large financial institutions to adopt the same values and ethics of the average American, we could solve this problem in the long-term. Simply put, this means making more than we spend, and making sure we get a return on any investments.
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The large institutions lost track of this, even as international investors and leaders sent out warnings months ago. Their messages were ignored, which then led to the biggest collections call in the history of mankind:
“Hi, is Fannie Mae there?”
“Um, may I ask who is calling?”
“The world markets.”
“Actually, she just stepped out. Can I take a message?”
“Well, is Freddie Mac in?”
… And so on. And just before Fannie and Freddie’s door got knocked down, their rich Uncle Sam stepped in with a clutch loan. Then, Fanny’s brother needed a loan, and her cousin, and her aunt, and her aunt’s barber and … you get the idea.
The government, through a series of emergency loans, now owns everything, but is broke. I get the feeling that we’re all on a Monopoly board, and only one player is getting a turn.
The communist-fearing plutocrats are also objecting as well. One angry critic, a venture capitalist, took out a costly full-page advertisement in The New York Times on Tuesday accusing President George W. Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of being “new communists.”
The ad ” in the form of a cartoon ” shows an Iwo-Jima-like trio planting a hammer and sickle communist flag. A plaque overhead proclaims, “The New Communist.”
“They are raising the new flag,” said Bill Perkins, the Houston-based venture capitalist who paid for the ad, to Reuters. “We’ve become a socialist-communist country in the form of trickle-down communism.”
Yet, before we restart the John Birch society, we should think about what this really means. We’re collecting our resources to pay off loans because private enterprise got greedy and couldn’t do it themselves.
Perhaps Perkins, if he is such the wise businessman, could step forward and offer $1 trillion to solve this issue. Or perhaps we’d feel better knowing our investments are being managed by us, the taxpayers, and not by billionaires with eyes on early retirement.
Or, perhaps, if all else fails, we should all get down on one knee, and propose. China, want to go on a date?
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