Monday, September 29, 2008

again on the bailout

The talking heads have been yakking all afternoon about the failure of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the bailout and about how the Republicans failed to follow their glorious leader or even the Lone Ranger of the Presidential Campaign, John McBush. Perhaps the most surprising comment came from a Republican supporter who actually seemed angry that we were blaming free market capitalism when, he claimed, it had never been tried, that there still had been too much government interference in the markets. Dumb as a box of bricks. Free market capitalism, like Libertarianism and other far right economic schemes, are just pie in the sky. I would like Libertarianism, except we had a little example of that back in Medieval days where the strongest ruled. Now, it's the economic strongest who are ruling us. Someone once said that business destroys itself by its excesses under Republican governments and only gets well again when the Democrats are in control with regulations that keep business from eating its own tail. I think that is not only well said, but correct. Those who support such plans don't seem to take into consideration human nature. A little power, be it financial or political, leads to a desire for more. In the markets it creates greed and that, in turn, destroys any trace of free markets. We see that happening with the death or purchase of industries other than banks until just a few are left in a kind of business oligarchy.

For those who are so against a bailout of any kind, and I have all kinds of concerns about giving this Administration so much unfettered ability to wheel and deal in the financial markets, we have to remember that it will not be the fat cats who have made the decisions that led to the economic crash who will feel the pain. Most of the working people that I have come in contact with in Montana have employer sponsored retirement plans that they invest in the market in several ways including buying stock or buying mutual funds that in turn invest in stocks. Each of them has lost a bit of the $1 trillion that the markets reportedly lost today. Not a pretty picture for those who may retire in the next 10 years, says Suze Orman. Paulson, I admit, scares me. I expect he's pretty ruthless when he wants something. After all, he was CEO of Goldman-Sachs, one bank that seems to not only be surviving but growing in this financial meltdown. Yet something has to be done if the stores down on Broadway and on Grand Ave and other Billings shopping areas are going to be able to continue. They may be in great financial shape, yet it has been the rule for farmers and business to borrow operating capital that is later paid off when goods and products are sold. If credit locks up, they may have to lock their doors. It is a conundrum.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Click Here