Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Corporate America: “Help! Rescue Me! OK, Thank You, Now Get Out of Here.”

During the late ‘60s and early ‘70s there was a popular joke about the overheard conversation of a radical/hippie couple:

“OK, I’m gonna pick up my welfare check, and then I’ll stop by the government housing office and see if I can get an increase in our rent subsidy. You’ll be picking up your unemployment check, and then you’re gonna see how they’re coming along with that government grant money you’re getting. And then at five o’clock we’ll meet at that big protest rally so we can demonstrate against this rotten Fascist government.”

A long time ago I had this old curmudgeonly coworker who used to rail against foreign aid. He’d hold out one hand, palm facing up, and say “They beg for a handout, like this. And then when we hand them the money, they thank us like this.” And he’d close up three fingers of his hand, leaving his middle finger extended.

(Yes I’m going somewhere with this.)

And now Big Business has jumped on the bandwagon. “Thank you for my trillion-dollar handout. Now get the fuck out of my face.”

This article says: “Not so long ago, business and policymakers alike were calling for Uncle Sam to step in and stop the bleeding.” Now that We The Taxpayers have saved them, how are the ungrateful bastards thanking us?

Take John A. Allison IV (please!), chairman of BB&T Bank: “They're making business decisions in a way that is political. Where does it stop? The people making the decisions don't have the knowledge of the industries, of the institutions, to make good business decisions.”

Riiight. These business decisions should be made by the same retarded fuckwits that got us into this shithole in the first place. DUUUHHH!!!

And now the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching their “Campaign for Free Enterprise.” They’re saying that “capitalism is at a crossroads,” and they’re rallying the Herbert Hoover wannabes to “defend and advance America's free enterprise values in the face of rapid government growth and attacks by anti-business activists … one of the most important and necessary initiatives in the Chamber's nearly 100-year history.” And they’re calling for “a transparent exit strategy to ensure the timely withdrawal of the federal government from these most extreme and unusual forms of intervention.”

“Capitalism is at a crossroads” — Uh, I would’ve thought the “crossroads” was last September when the shit hit the fan. Oh wait, that’s right, “the fundamentals of the economy were strong” back then. The trouble didn’t start until those damn government bureaucrats started meddling. OK, got it now.

And now, of all times, the rightwads are calling for an “exit strategy.” An “Exit Strategy?!?!?!?!?” Now?????? Where was this “Exit Strategy” when we needed one????

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Anonymous kate said...

I think this is the very reason the dimwits should have just been fired ! They screwed up, they should face the penalty.

June 15, 2009 at 6:36 AM  
Blogger bob said...

The banks and financial institutions that are desperately trying to give the government's money back as soon as they can piss me off. Once they return the cash they can go right back to scheming up clever little plans and products that are engineered to extract as much wealth as possible out of the pockets of Americans.

This whole housing bubble/burst was all about milking money from the middle class and generating enormous profits from fluff and debt. All I have heard for the last 2 years is how AWFUL it is that housing prices are falling, or how BAD it is that consumer spending is down, or how our economy relies so much on higher home values. Its a good thing in my opinion. Americans needed to have a few slaps back into reality. At the same time it gives the cost of living a chance to catch up to real wages.

Not if the banks or NAR have anything to do with it. You've probably seen the ads of some serious Realtor walking around who "Wants us to know that if you buy a home now, its a good investment" and so on. You've probably also seen new ads from banks who promise these crystal-clear transparent mortgage products where we won't be taken as fools- they promise- because as we all know, they screwed a lot of people before. But they're on their best behavior now and on YOUR side.

So what it boils down to is that there is a mad scramble right this very minute in the halls and offices of every major financial corporation with all energies being focused on laying the foundation of a new bubble where once again the money will flow magically from sources that don't rely on actual production or industry. We'll be right back to where we were just 3 years ago, with 2 hour Sunday morning infomercials about how to get rich quick.

So no- it is not at all surprising to me that corporations would want to return that money that saved their asses as soon as possible so they can startup the bubble blowing machine.

Rant off.

June 15, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Yeah when it was the banks it was a bail out. When it was the auto industry it was interferance. Their motto "save the banks and let everyting else fail".

June 15, 2009 at 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

Even Adam Smith, the poster child for the free market, warned against joint-stock corporations. He feared they could too easily become too large, powerful, unmanageable and dangerous.

Funny how that works out.

June 15, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

We should have just them all fail, and teach them all a little humility.

June 15, 2009 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kate: Exactly. Since they screwed up to royally, they shouldn't be anywhere near the driver's seat.

Bob: I agree, we needed this decline in housing prices and consumer spending. Our entire economy has been a house of cards and there was no way it was going to last forever. The last thing we need right now is a new bubble, a new house of cards.

Demeur: That's true, it's "welfare" or "interference" when somebody else is getting bailed out.

Thomas: I think today's robber barons have gone way beyond any specific philosophy or ideology. They cherry pick a few quotes from Adam Smith and other theorists so they can sound legitimate, but mostly it's about more wealth and more control for themselves.

June 15, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Humility, yes it would have done them good.

June 15, 2009 at 3:48 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

That was a really good rant, Tom. The turds will carry on about government taking over their businesses, ruining them, yada, yada, yada, from now until the next Bush-grade dim wit gets to play ruler in the White House.

Because, as any fool knows, having a Bush-grade dim wit in the White House is good for bidness.

Yeah, right.

June 16, 2009 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Carlos said...

Ah, so the pussies wanna cut and run, eh? Bastards!

June 16, 2009 at 2:50 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I've got an exit strategy. It's called the edge of the roof of a 50-story building.

June 16, 2009 at 6:05 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: No doubt, Big Business can't wait for the next "Bush-grade dimwit" to take over the White House. And the rest of us are dreading that prospect.

Carlos: They just want to have their trillion-dollar handout with no strings attached.

Randal: Works for me.

June 16, 2009 at 11:35 AM  

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