Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Troubled Assets My Ass!I feel a bit more sympathetic to the auto makers asking for $34 billion, than I did when the banking industry was asking for $ 700 billion. I guess it's my Midwest blue collar roots, I'd much rather save the jobs of auto workers in Michigan, than save the jobs of greedy lenders in New York. I don't have anything against New Yorkers, in fact I like them just about as much as Midwesterners, I just don't think we should be handing money over to bankers who, with all of their expensive education, should have been a little smarter about who they were lending to, and what types of risk they were getting into.
The auto makers on the other hand, are in serious trouble because the banks just pissed away everyone's life savings, and nobody can afford to take on a new car payment right now. Okay, I admit, I haven't bought an American car for a couple of decades, my last American car was a Pontiac something....it was a cute little red car, but when I let my partner drive it while I was away on business, she blew the clutch out, so I bought a Honda, and have been loving the Japanese for making such fine automobiles ever since. It's true that the Big 3 American car makers produce a lot of crappy cars, and the quality of these American products is inferior to nearly every foreign manufacturer. But this country doesn't make anything anymore. Oh well, we make weapons, a lot of them, and Big Macs, millions of them, but I'd feel a lot better if we made fewer weapons, and we'd all be a lot healthier if there weren't so many places to purchase a Big Mac.
We need to bail out the auto industry. Not only do we need to bail them out, we need to, as a country, build stuff that the rest of the world will want to buy. We will never survive as a consumer nation. The toxic banking products that we have sold to the rest of the world have resulted in massive losses of wealth, and we will never have the financial status in the world that we have enjoyed these last few decades. The age of America as an economic Superpower is gone, over, done. If we don't start producing things, our future is looking pretty dismal.
When Hank Paulsen was begging for the $700 billion, Americans were told that in exchange for the cash, we'd be getting something concrete, foreclosed real estate, that might regain it's value over time. We were supposed to be buying the houses that these highly educated Wall Street bankers had sold to people that couldn't afford them. Instead, we the taxpayers now are invested in Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, AIG, and Citigroup.
If you're feeling like you just got mugged by the
Bush Administration, hopefully for the last time, you're not alone. Many lawmakers, even Republicans are complaining about the $700 billion slush fund, that has only half of it remaining, and has not purchased even one foreclosed piece of real estate, and has no one in charge of who gets the money and why.
The taxpayers were supposed to get something concrete for the money. What we got instead was a bunch of worthless paper from over-educated Harvard grads.
I guess they were pretty smart after all.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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