October 1, 2008
For over a week now we have been bombarded with just how bad things are going to be for us “regular folks” if the bailout bill is not passed. We have been told we won’t be able to borrow money for a new car, new house, new television, collage, etc., etc., etc. Then we are warned how our retirement money (401k’s, investments, other accounts, etc.) will suddenly “disappear” if we don’t go for it. We are also told how horrible things are going to be for car dealerships, small business owners, new home builders, etc., etc., etc. And guess what? It’s working. The polls prove it. Why? Because every television outlet and news paper is doing nothing but airing these “Armageddon” stories. And, we mustn’t forget how this bailout is for “main street”, not “Wall Street”.
Let’s get the definitions straight right away; fixing banking problems that are hurting the average citizen (main street) with government and taxpayer money intervention is an investment or rescue plan; buying up the trash that Wall Street doesn’t want with $700 billion so they won’t go out of business is a bailout.
There are dozens of respectable economic experts who have been interviewed and/or written papers over the past two weeks, and the vast majority of them are telling us this bailout bill is the wrong thing to do. But they get little notice once they’ve had their say. Many point out how the market has been propped up over the past 20 years or so, and every time the cost of the “prop up” gets higher and higher. They go on to tell us that it has to end someplace; and if it doesn’t end now, the next one is going to be more disastrous by a big multiplier. Nourie Roubini is arguably the best economist this country has seen in decades. And if Roubini says this is a bad idea, it’s a bad idea. He has no vested interest one way or the other, except as a taxpayer. But, he points out that if we think we need to do something, it shouldn’t be what we’re doing. Even Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby of the Banking Committee says it won’t work and it’s a waste of taxpayer money. Shelby points out that 200 of the best economist say this is a bad idea. So why is no one listening to these experts? There are many reasons, but it’s mainly because we don’t won’t to give up the “good life” and start paying for our over indulgences.
George W. Bush, John McCain, and Barrack Obama are hyping these scare tactics with unrelenting speeches with overwhelming emphases. That alone should be enough for anyone to dismiss the need for this bailout. But we have become so politicized we will believe just about anything our favorite political party and their stoolies tell us. So I don’t look for any help from our leaders in saying this bailout is a bad thing. Oh, by the way; just because someone is a leader doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing.
Why is the news media making the scare tactics their top priority in reporting? Because they rely heavily on the big boys. That’s who pays their bills. Without them, the news media is out of business. I find it very interesting that the only people calling for the bailout are either politicians, big business and/or their spokespersons, investment firms, or those who are making a ton of money with their investments in the market. In other words, only those who stand to gain the most from the bailout. A CNBC reporter had the gall a few days ago to say “we haven’t spoken to hardly anyone who doesn’t think we need this bill”. Well, I guess not! About the only people you interview are those mentioned above! How about interviewing those of us who are going to pay for this bailout. We’ll remind you the only thing we are going to get out of this is a high interest loan from our own money to buy something we probably don’t need, and a 200 plus year debt.
Now that they have us “scared to death” not to go along with this bill, guess what isn’t really changing? How the fat cats will get their money. Sure, there’s a clause that says they can’t get these big salaries, big compensations, and golden parachutes. But there are many ways for corporations to get around these clauses and still participate in the hog trough the taxpayers are filling. Those who have had a chance to really study this bill say more than 60% will end up in the fat cats pocket. So instead of reading what’s in the bill, you need to see what’s not in the bill. Added to that, today all kinds of goodies were tacked on. A wooden arrow manufacture is getting a huge tax break in this bill. That’s right; arrow, as in bow & arrow. And there is even a mental patient insurance bill lumped into this thing. All this goes to prove just one thing; our elected officials are capable of only one thing, and that is moving money from one place to another. They really aren’t capable of thinking of what’s good for the country and what’s bad for the country.
Although I & many others have written our Senators and Representative telling them they will never get our vote again if they vote for this bill, I have no doubt the bill will pass. Just about every one of the 435 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate have had the opportunity now to add their personal pork and/or goodies for their favored “charity”, which added another $150 billion to the bill. So the bill will pass. And we taxpayers will be stuck with an additional $2 trillion worth of debt by the time this thing is over. Isn’t a free market great?
Lest we forget how successful scare tactics work, we should remember the old USSR, Hitler’s Germany, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Pappa and Baby Doc’s Haiti, and many more I could name. Scare tactic rarely fail to work. But eventually a huge price has to be paid for it, but usually not by the instigators of those scare tactics.
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky