Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Greed--How's That Working out for Us?

$700 billion bailout. Estimates of over $2,000 for every man, woman and child. That's $8,000+ that my family is in for. How about yours? Who has been the most reckless here? You can't deregulate everything, encourage greed and spending and expansion to the point of entire areas of U.S. production being sent overseas for decades without it screwing up our economy at some point. Profit at any cost can no longer be the goal, can it?

One of Bush's first responses after 9/11 was to encourage everyone to go out and spend--we needed to behave normally or the terrorists would win. He didn't suggest we get involved in our communities, or try to understand the world better or to watch over each other. No. Go back to Starbucks, you suckers, and consume. Then, when the economy wasn't going so well, he instituted a stimulus package, so that we could spend even more. Because that would work, if we weren't such a bunch of whiners.

As Americans, we've been taught to believe that our role is to consume, that the American dream is to "make it", so that you can buy to your heart's content. Lending institutions made much bigger loans to people than it was remotely prudent and people took them, because if the bank thought they could handle it they could--they must know, right? The McMansion that they couldn't afford put them closer to the American ideal and they wanted it. Then, the bank could repackage and bundle and arrange the debt and sell it to the next tier in the pyramid scheme and make a load of cash--because if you're not expanding you're dying.

Greed. Pure and simple and awful and evil and one of the deadly sins.

How's that working out for all of us? Things looking up?

Do you see that Iraq War debt counter on the side there, on the front page? That shows $5,000 every second going to the war. Where are we getting that money? Where could that money go instead? Kind of silly to be critical of exaggerated notions of "tax and spend" liberals, now isn't it?! Kind of absurd to wonder how Obama 's gonna pay for plans that invest in US, and will give us a return in years to come, such as his Education policies, when Bush and his policies, and supporters of his policies have robbed all of us blind.

The other day at Park Day, before the bank failures, some of us parents were talking about where the Iraq War money could go instead. How about health insurance for everyone? How about a college education for everyone? Why can't we pay for that too? What would it mean, if everyone who could get good enough grades was allowed to go to college for free? How would that effect our economy, our society, our ability to solve problems? 'Cause we've got some big problems now, don't we? What if good health and an educated populace were our shared goals? Do I gain or lose if some poor kid in the projects somewhere is able to go to school and have his asthma treated? Does he become a productive member of society? Does he help to fix problems then?

What do we gain if there's a permanent underclass? What happens when the middle class falls lower and lower? Who gains? Follow the money. Bush. Cheney. McCain. Halliburton. Dieblod. Blackwater.

Greed. How's that working out for us?

3 comments:

Liz said...

Frankly, I'm ready to start burying money in mason jars out back.

Laura said...

My husband and I were just talking about this. Maybe we should put some savings in bonds...hey, wait a minute! That is not a guarantee at all at this point.

Let me know your technique for mason jar burial. Should I go below the frost line?

DoulaMomma said...

Yes - fireproof/theft proof safe, anyone?
Anyway, here's my take on blank checks:
http://doulamomma.blogspot.com/2008/09/just-trust-me.html

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