Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's Up on Wall Street?

What is happening on Wall Street? Is there a plan to make the world safe for the rich men and women at Goldman Sachs? I listened to President Bush's speech last night and the best I can figure is that a $700 billion taxpayer funded bailout is needed so that Americans can continue to borrow money to buy cars, houses, and educations they can't afford. Am I missing something? By this morning, it appears that it might be best to simply go back to bed. Ben Bernanke says the economy is "barely limping along" and could "buckle." In New York, "tension is growing." The goal is to remove "toxic assets."Are we all novelists now? Is there anyone out there who could quantify this for me?

If America, as we know it, is over, should we emigrate? If so, where? As one wag around the house put it, "If we're going to be socialists we ought to go somewhere that does it well . . ."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to bail out the rich either, although the proposed bailout may be perfect for Wilmette! The problem with the poor decisions and excess borrowing of the few is that those toxic assets are making it very difficult for anyone else to borrow money. The money is there -- it is the will to lend that is missing. If lending cannot occur on routine matters, such as making payrolls, then the volume of normal everyday business that can be done will contract substantially. That is sometimes called a "recession".

So, much as I hate the fat cats, I believe the bailout is necessary and the difference between doing it and not doing it is between paying some now or paying a lot more later.

As to your concluding point, about America as we know it being over, I have two reactions:

First, American as you (or I) know it was never likely there. We tend to romanticize times past.

Second, as far as my biased view is concerned, the American I knew and loved ended around 1980, when patriotism, God, goodness, truth, honesty, and other "virtues" were appropriated for partisan advantage and emptied of any content. That world has been ashes for a very long time.

Sep 26, 2008, 4:26:00 PM  
Blogger Publia said...

I think that patriotism, God, goodness, truth, honesty, and other virtues still exist and that many millions of Americans believe in and quietly practice these virtues. The national dialogue, however, has taken a strident tone along with the cynical viewpoint that these virtues are window dressing for thieves.

I would also note that other than the mansions by the lake, and the nearby homes of the working wealthy, Wilmette is a comfortable but not a rich suburb. The fabulous incomes of the few skew all the statistics.

Sep 29, 2008, 12:43:00 PM  

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