Last night, George W Bush gave an address, trying to justify to the American public why their tax money should be given to Wall Street. Distilled to its essence, the speech went like this
Normally, my first instinct would be to trust the market to fix this. But that’s what got us into this recession in the first place. So, instead, we’re going to give communism a try.
At least the conservatives like calling this type of policy communism. It’s actually kleptocracy. The difference is small in recent history – in both cases, we have state run insurance companies, etc. AIG is our Gazprom.
The difference is that we’re pulling $700 billion (plus $300 billion in recent bailouts) out of the pockets of small business owners, to bail their large competition out. That isn’t collective ownership, it’s an upwards flowing money pit.
Crisis of Trust – On Main Street
After the same imminent death scare tactics were used to justify the war in Iraq (they have WMD and “the smoking gun as a mushroom cloud” turned into “Saddam was a very bad man”), many Americans are having a hard time believing that the only way to prevent a total collapse of the entire financial system, is to give Henry Paulson a no questions asked blank check for $700,000,000,000.00 with no oversight as to how it’s spent.
We all have a shared interest in the banking system continuing to work. The vast majority of us have no interest in whether any particular bank fails or not. In fact, according to the conservative, free market rhetoric, we have a Darwinian interest in market forces killing off the weak and inefficient. The current administration refuses to discuss other options, however, using the threat of immediate but not very specific destruction to justify this massive transfer of wealth.
We’re being asked to “just trust me” while Bush explained the recession as having been caused by America having too much money.