Friday, September 19, 2008

Hidden Fees of the Bank Bailout

The Federal government recently bailed out AIG, the world’s largest insurance company, for 85 billion dollars in loans. Two days later, the Department of the Treasury is talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in “rescue” money for various financial institutions. These numbers are hauntingly familiar, because they’re roughly comparable to what we’ve spent on the War in Iraq. They’re also more expensive by a factor of at least ten than items like, fully funding special education (a thirty year old promise) at the Federal level, providing medical insurance for every child in America, giving every college student in America free tuition. Oddly we consider health care and education social “luxuries” that some claim we simply can’t afford, yet as best I can tell the various decisions that led to the current financial system and the War were also purely optional. Fwiw 100 billion dollars a year now would more than fix the projected Social Security Shortfall. If you remember, the big Republican and McCain approved idea a few years back was to let people “invest” their own social security accounts in the stock market….mmmmm….

As someone with a wife and kids, I’ve been thinking about two very different types of terror that parents face. There’s getting blown up, gassed, or highjacked, the form of terror that makes the news. The second form of terror tends to be on my mind a lot more. I’m one of those people who constantly worries that I won’t be able to take care of my family in some form. They won’t have a decent place to live, medical care, or even be able to properly. There’s a part of me that feels like I’m supposed to be able to do something about that level of terror and yet as bank after bank announces some dire crisis it feels more and more like something I have little to no control over. Anyway, this second terror scares me much more.

I’ve mentioned that my friend Hagrid regularly sends me articles and e-mails about buying gold and silver, jokes about buying guns, and storing fresh water in the garage. I’m still resisting the impulse to go there, but have to admit that Hagrid was the one sending me e-mail links about all the impending bank failures starting at least several months ago.

John McCain was born in 1936 in Panama so he may actually remember this. There was a very close relationship between the world wide depression of the 1930’s and World War 2. The short version is that German economic collapse helped bring Hitler to power. If John McCain wants to tell America that our economy is fundamentally strong, that we are “whiners”, that Sarah Palin is someone who has even a clue about how to negotiate the necessary economic steps should he get shot by some angry husband of a female lobbysit, he’s a far more dangerous terrorist than anyone named Bin Laden.

Another small point, apparently Sarah Palin has been telling America that John McCain is the guy who has proven that he can lead us to victory in war. I know it’s just the sort of thing you say on the stump, but the guy survived being a POW which is a heroic feat but it has nothing to do with proving the ability to win a war. I’m not sure what her measure for “winning a war” is, but which one is she applying to Vietnam? I suppose if the fall of Saigon was one of the signs of victory there, then we are well on our way to “winning” in Iraq.



At 9/19/2008 11:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chance. I've deleted my blog. Just wanted to say thanks for reading and commenting.

At 9/20/2008 09:37:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

best of luck. I enjoyed following your blog because it felt so honest and personal and you came across as so likeable. Please let me know if you start a new one.

At 9/23/2008 05:34:00 PM, Blogger Gifted Typist said...

So frightening as you say.

We have another Hilterian up here who is on the brink of scoring a majority election win on 14 Oct. He keeps telling us that the "fundamentals" are strong. Over and over again, like a mantra, telling 'em what they want to hear.

Once in, he will rip this place apart like you've seen in the past 8 years.

It's too bad that Canadians have not learned the lessons that you are dealing with now.

I may have passed this link to you before, if you wish to read some entertaining and astute analysis of the situation at hand.

At 9/25/2008 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

many thanks for the link. One of the great things I've learned from blogging is that political insanity is not unique to America. My various Canadian friends here and Charles Lambert (Englishman in Italy) have given me windows into the fact the the US has no monopoly on political silliness/foolishness.

At 9/25/2008 10:10:00 PM, Blogger AHP said...

I also heard that the money for the bailouts could have redone the whole country's infrastructure. It is interesting how the Republicans don't mention privatizing Social Security anymore. I hope Obama brings that up in one of the debates. Republicans have been telling people what they want to hear while screwing the common people over. Some of them accuse anybody who is being realistically negative of being unpatriotic. I think their gig may be over soon. I certainly hope so.

At 9/30/2008 08:57:00 AM, Blogger BeckEye said...


Oh, I have no idea what you're saying.

At 10/03/2008 10:22:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I have no idea what I'm saying either.


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