Should We Bail Out the Auto Industry?
Yet another too-big-to-fail corporate behemoth is begging for a handout. If a scruffy-looking person stands on a street corner with a “Will Work For Food” sign, lots of people think “why doesn’t that F$#%! &^%#!%#$ get a job?!?!”
But a lot of those same hardnosed free-enterprisers are moved to tears when a multi-millionaire goes “Waaaahhhhh!!!! I’m falling behind on my yacht payments and I might not be able to keep my weekend getaway in the Swiss Alps! Help meeee!!!!”
Is anybody else getting tired of this shit?
I don’t have much knowledge of economics or the far-reaching unintended consequences of certain government actions (then again, our “leaders” don’t either). What terrible things would happen if a banking conglomerate or a Detroit automaker went under? Tens of thousands of jobs (maybe a lot more) would be lost, right?
And yet this is happening anyway, even with the $700 billion the robber barons have already extorted from us. Maybe if we just hand over a few hundred more billion, everything will be all right. And if not, we’ll just keep handing another 12-figure check to every industry titan who holds out his tin cup. Eventually we’ll get our economy back. Right???
Maybe I’m just one of those well-intentioned-but-fuzzy-headed idealists, but it seems to me that for a tiny fraction of the money we’ve already given to Wall Street — and soon Detroit, the airline industry, the insurance industry — we could bail out the people who really need it.
What if we provided job training to employees who’ve been downsized, instead of lavishing billions on the CEOs whose greed and ineptitude caused these employees to lose their jobs in the first place. We could help strapped homeowners with their mortgage payments instead of showering money on the predatory lenders who got them into this jam.
Oh that’s right, it’s socialism if taxpayer money goes to a person who actually needs it.
We’ve spent 28 years (since Reagan’s inauguration in 1981) listening to one bullshit theory after another. Supply Side economics. The Laffer Curve. Trickledown…….Time’s up!
How about TrickleUp instead? Maybe it’s just a theory that won’t pan out, but there’s only one way to find out. For 28 years — with these past eight years being the Worst Ever — our government has taken a completely schizoid approach to helping the needy. If an individual gets laid off or goes bankrupt, it’s “Tough shit. Get a grip. Deal.” If a corporate Brontosaurus is about to collapse under its own weight, it’s “oooohhhh, nee nee the baby, here’s a big glob of money for you, now dry your eyes, there there.”
How’s this been working out for us?
There are millions of Americans who might actually go out and spend money and buy things (i.e. help the economy) if they weren’t forced to choose between the mortgage payment, food and medical expenses. TrickleUp, anyone?
Or we can keep on throwing bushels of tax money at irresponsible CEOs, so they can stash it in an offshore bank account and then beg for more.
Which approach is better?
cross-posted at Bring It On!