Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bail Out

Posted by Mandy at 2:03 PM
It is amazing to me how just when I think the economy cannot get any worse, it does.

With huge businesses being bought out by other businesses and mortgage companies going up in smoke, I think I have come up with the perfect solution to the current economic crisis. Actually, Clayton told me he heard the solution on the news this morning... so I am just relaying what I thought to be a great idea.

The failed "bailout" proposal was going to solve the Wall Street problem by handing over $750 BILLION to the companies that have gone under to get them back on their feet. (generally...)

Am I the only one that thinks the real problem is constantly being ignored? The REAL problem is not the big companies. The REAL problem is not Wall Street. The REAL problem, my friends, is Main Street.

Everyday people like you and me stand around grumbling and complaining about the economy - pointing our fingers at Democrats or Republicans and placing the blame on everyone that we deem more financially secure than we are. Let's get real, folks. The economy is in our hands. If the stock market plummets.. it is our fault. Not Wall Streets.

This problem has been snowballing for many, many years. It starts with your average Joe seeking out the American Dream. A transvestite comedian named Eddie Izzard (he's British) defines the American Dream in one of his comedy sketches as, "Making all of the money in the world and then sticking it in your ears."

We Americans have slowly created the disaster that is in front of us today. We've purchased houses that we knew we could not afford. Why? Well, because we're Americans and it's our RIGHT to own a home! It's even more of a RIGHT to own THE home we want.. the one of our dreams!! So what if we have credit card debt up to our eye balls, student loans we cannot pay back, late fees each month from bills we currently cannot pay... we deserve it daggummit! (I'm definitely in the credit card debt situation... working our tails off to try to right that major wrong!)

So, once the war in Iraq happened and the oil companies began making RECORD profits by jacking up gas prices like no one has ever seen... those of us already in a bind became in quite the pickle. We could no longer shuffle bills.. we just simply could not pay them. Mortgage companies lost more and more money each year.. causing the big catastrophe we saw this week.

So, you see, WE are responsible for the current crisis. Seeing as how we are responsible, I think it's only fair that the Federal Government bail US out. They are willing to throw ungodly amounts of money to corporate America... but what about us little folks that actually make the world go round?

If the $750 billion was rationed out evenly amongst the American people, instead of thrown into big business, I heard an estimate that we would all get a nice sum of around $450,000. Hmm.. do you think THAT would stimulate the economy? Do you think that would turn Wall Street AND Main Street around? I sure do!

That will never happen.. only in my dreams, but it makes me a little nauseous to know that the money is apparently there to throw around.. but the folks that need it most will simply never see it. They won't offer it to us to pay for our gas for the next two years, or to pay our insurance costs and health care costs for the next one year, or to offer to pay off our mortgages so that we can free up money each month and hopefully help ourselves get out of other debts we have. Oh no... that would not make sense! Instead, we should give it to the people that are really hurting! You know, the ones that live on Wall Street.

**disclaimer: I am not a financial expert or whiz kid. I'm sure I have no idea what I am talking about and feel free to let me know how wrong I am.


Anonymous said...

No, the real problem is overpopulation. If the majority of people would stop breeding, we wouldn't have half of the problems we have now.

Rosjuane on Tuesday, 30 September, 2008 said...

I don't know or understand half this crap either, but that sounds good to me.

Shelley on Tuesday, 30 September, 2008 said...

I am loving your disclaimer at the end :)

Ginger on Tuesday, 30 September, 2008 said...

I know I could turn right around and pump my $450,000 back into the economy real fast. Oh, the things that I could buy! It would be my pleasure to do my patriotic duty and spend my stimulus once again. Sounds like a wonderful idea to me. Please bail me out, Washington!

Mandy on Tuesday, 30 September, 2008 said...

Anon. Okay.. I'm dying laughing. Obviously you realize your opinion is insane or you would have included your name.

How on earth could the number of children a person has have anything to do with this mess? The matter still boils down to individual responsibility. Sure, if you have ONE child when you could not afford to live before.. that is probably responsible. We have three children and pay all of our bills on time and have all we need. I know many with more children than we have that do the same. I also know SEVERAL people with no children that have filed for bankruptcy or have lost their homes due to foreclosure. The number of children one chooses to have has NOTHING to do with this. Making wise, or unwise, decisions is what it is all about.

Shelley, I'm glad you liked my disclaimer. I figured I should be upfront about my stupidity before someone started bashing me for it. ;)

Me on Wednesday, 01 October, 2008 said...

There's a really great podcast about this that, I think, explains it all very well. It's either free or 99 cents on iTunes.

The show is This American Life and I think the episode is called "A Giant Pool of Money". It was really interesting and worth hour of time (granted I spend lots of time sitting on the subway so it's easy to pay attention to this sort of thing.).

As you said, people are not always rational and responsible with their money, so just giving everyone $450K might just encourage them to buy more toys that require monetary upkeep as opposed to paying off debts.

Michael on Wednesday, 01 October, 2008 said...

The problem lies in the fact that people would return the money to an economy which is "worth" less than the money printed. That would be like giving a drug addict free drugs using your logic of "we got ourselves into this"

The governement did a similar program after the depression. That program actually birthed fannie mae and freddie mac. Our government turned profit on the deal eventually.

What got us into this mess was de-regulation of our financial responsibilities. Look up the community re-investment act 1977 - interesting stuff........

Carrie on Wednesday, 01 October, 2008 said...

I'm not talking about individual families; families deal with what they have. I'm talking about large-scale overpopulation causing large-scale problems. Shortage of money, shortage of jobs, shortage of fuel, shortage of water, shortage of ALL resources result from overpopulation. This is not a disputable fact. Take a look at the problems in Africa: extreme poverty, war, genocide, and disease. These are a direct result of TOO MANY PEOPLE. With fewer people, there would be more jobs and more resources that would last longer. Instead of our government insisting that we just go out and shop, maybe we should focus on consuming less and creating fewer consumers.

Mandy on Wednesday, 01 October, 2008 said...

Michael - you are definitely right. (this is why I do not run the country. lol) But hey.. in my own dream land I can imagine having a really fun time with $450 grand. ;)

Carrie - Now that actually does make sense. Very well stated, and I do agree. The question that comes next though is, what do we do about it? Do we all become like China and mandate how many children each couple may have? Do we sterilize people once they have "too many children"? The problem is.. there's no real solution to the problem that seems just and right to me.

Actually, "overpopulation" is something I was talking to a friend about recently. We were saying how, though it's a horrible thought, perhaps the Earth takes care of itself by means of these catastrophic disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. I mean.. that's really awful to think of.. but is it too far-fetched to think that our environment knows when enough is enough and does its best to rectify the situation? (of course, this is a more 'science' based observation.. not religious. take it for what it's worth.)

We were talking about it in reference to how people, in general, are wasteful and are using up the Earth's natural resources like there is a never-ending supply of them. It was a more "green toned" conversation - not one dealing with the economy.

Carrie on Wednesday, 01 October, 2008 said...

I think that's a interesting theory. I think mother nature does figure out how to protect itself. Did you see that movie "The Happening"? It was kind of an extreme and Hollywood version of the theory, but still thought provoking. But yeah, how do you enforce something like population control? Is China an example we want to follow? Hopefully we can find new resources to use before we run out of what we have.

Me on Thursday, 02 October, 2008 said...

It's actually known fact that once people have better health population growth declines. If more children survive, women have fewer.

We can't just tell people in developing countries to have fewer children. A myriad of factors are at work--you have more children because you know some will die (mainly due to easily prevented/curable causes like diarrhea), you do not have access to birth control, and on.

Once a population has enough food and is healthy enough to survive childhood and work to make a better life for themselves, that's what they tend to do. And that ends up being better for the world as well. It's obviously more complicated than I care to get into here, but there are tons of people around the world working towards these goals.

In the US, the birthrate has been steadily declining for around 20 years. 14 births per 1000 people is a fairly low number. Are Americans wasteful, glutenous consumers? Yes. Are we at or near overpopulation? Not even close.

Many people are at fault for the current financial woes. People who offered loans to people who had no way of paying for them, and the people who took the loans knowing well that they had no way of paying for them are just the tip of the iceberg.

Sun-Kissed Savages on Thursday, 02 October, 2008 said...

I believe we are meant to have families and raise them as well as we possibly can, with God's help. As you said, Mandy, there is no fair and just answer to overpopulation. China is doing crazy and inhumane things to its people. That is not a solution, it's a country's attempt to play God.

As far as the economy goes, I agree: too many people wanting too much that they cannot afford. If people would only buy what they actually have the money for, we would not be in this mess. Credit cards, finance accounts, upfront loans, no-money-down, and all the gibberish has wiped out delayed gratification...getting the fruits of our labor in due time.
People now think they "deserve" it all. Just watch the commercials for a day and you can see what mindset they cater to.

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