Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Free Market, My Aunt Fanny (Mae): 

capitalism: n - an economic belief system embraced deeply by conservatives, until such point as they are about to lose their shirts in the free market
There comes a time in any economy when it's time for the people who support it to just say "Enough!" We should have learned our lesson back during the S&L Crisis (when John McCain was one of the "Keating Five") -- when a company runs itself into the ground, tough shit. That's capitalism. That's the free market. No bailouts, no handouts, nothing. File bankruptcy, sell your assets, don't let the doorknob hit your corporate officers in the ass on the way out.

If that company ran itself into the ground defrauding its customers, sticking them with inherently worthless financial products or encouraging them to mortage themselves far beyond their means, then the executives and officers of that company should be tried and imprisoned, and all their benefits forfeited. Period.

We can't let the hypocrisy stand, either. The same people who decry any kind of welfare or entitlement program ("Oh dear. That woman is getting a few hundred bucks a month from us because she can't support herself!") are the ones most bullish on this bailout -- which is nothing but welfare. Oh dear. Those companies are getting a few hundred billion because they couldn't run a business.

They're set to get a trillion of our dollars, if Paulson has his way. The only way Paulson should go is out of town on a rail. This attempted bailout is nothing but theft on a grand scale.

But, hey, if the government has a stray trillion to throw around, I have a better idea. Give it to the people. Let them stimulate the economy with it. No, we won't give it to just anyone. Adults only (so the kids might still learn how to earn), and we eliminate the wealthiest, or those who are in prison. Divide that trillion among the rest, each one gets $ 4,260.75. That's better than those pissy little $ 300 checks W offered us, right? Hell, just give it as a tax credit -- "We apply this much to the amount you owe. If you paid more, you get a refund." A lot of people don't even owe that much in taxes, so there would be some savings on their refunds. As for all those companies that would go out of business without it? All of their mortgages are written off, and the property passed into the possession of the homeowners, free and clear. Think of that for a moment. All those people, suddenly homeowners with no house payments, and a big overlap with people paying no income taxes for the year, or getting much bigger checks back then they expected. Think what that would do for the economy.

Or, if we had a stray trillion dollars lying around, hey, let's be foolish. Let's use it to improve education, fix our crumbling infrastructure. Let's use some of it as tax credits for companies that bring manufacturing jobs back to America -- and offset that by heavily penalizing companies that outsource. Then we might even end up with well-educated and inventive people who make things -- and make enough money to afford them. And make things so well that other countries want them. We might even fix the dollar and the economy. Eventually.

But we sure as hell aren't going to do it by paying off a bunch of whiny-baby million- and billionaires who might suddenly learn to have to survive the way the rest of us do -- by actually working, rather than just sitting on our fat asses and living off the interest earned on the money of others.

Nope, sorry. No corporate welfare. They mismanaged things badly, and the deregulation clowns in government let them, and every last one of them deserves to suffer the full consequences of those actions now.


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