Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Privatized gains; socialized losses

In America, poor mothers with children are sometimes vilified as "welfare queens," while the executives of our largest financial firms emerge unscathed after nearly running the economy into the ground and forcing taxpayers to pick up the pieces. The punishment for these CEOs and other top management? Millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other compensation.

For all of the right's talk of free markets, the reality is that Uncle Sam is there to put the house in order and pay off the bills whenever the boys get drunk on the profits of some extremely precarious investments, putting the world economy at risk. Meanwhile, the GOP shows no mercy for many poor and working class citizens, such as families in colder climes who need to decide between paying soaring prices for home heating oil and buying food.

John McCain is blah-blahing about putting Wall Street's house in order, but the truth is that he and his political allies are part of the reason for the disorder. McCain's top economic adviser, former Sen. Phil Gramm, was the architect of legislation that deregulated the financial services industry in 1999, and the GOP nominee voted for those laws. Another top McCain adviser, Carly Fiorina, has been privy to the kind of compensation that the Republican ticket now claims as reprehensible.

Voting for McCain is keeping the foxes in charge of the henhouse even after they've been feasting on the occupants.


John R. said...

Undeserved welfare of any variety is reprehensible and a drain on the economy.
Only 8 Senators and 57 Representatives voted against GLBA and it was signed by Clinton, hardly a partisan endeavor.
When money is leant to people who can't afford to pay it back, they don't pay it back.
Convenient though to blame it on the GOP. Still won't get you into the Whitehouse.

Jimbo said...

What do you mean by undeserved? Are the homeless and hungry undeserving of assistance, whether it be from a civic group, a church club or a government agency? And if some adults are undeserving, are their children judged the same?

knitter said...

John R: have you ever volunteered in any capacity to help your fellow man? Would you participate in a National Service endeavor? It seems both parties are in favor of enacting some sort of service program. Curious minds would just like to know where you would stand to help others. Or, is everyone on their own in your view?

Eastie Girl said...

John R,
Are you alright?

Let me start off by saying, in your defense, it was Jimbo who drew the initial parallels between poor mothers and the industrial fatcats.

To Knitter - I happen to know for a fact that John R. was a cub scout.

That being said, you have to admit that it is absolutely outrageous that the government is so quick to bail out these bigwigs every time they drop the ball, whether it's via the blatant handouts like those given to the airline industry or Wall St., or by looking the other way while CEO's make a fortune by shipping U.S. jobs overseas, or underpay the working class of this country (legal citizens or otherwise).

What unsubstantial and meaningless statements on your behalf!

" Undeserved welfare of any variety is reprehensible and a drain on the economy."


"When money is leant to people who can't afford to pay it back, they don't pay it back."

Why not take it a step further and go down the path of informing us precisely who is undeserving? I'm sure you know precisely who these folks are.

Although there are admittedly abuses in the public welfare and social security systems, and they could definitely use some reform, I can't think of a more equitable way to help give the majority of needy folks and elderly who take advantage of these plans - a hand. I could never support my grandparents if need be - but I gladly contribute to social security. I can't afford to take in an unwed mother, but I gladly give to the welfare system. It's imperfect, but it works for many.

As for the government lending money - how about bailing out some of the Mom and Pop businesses and manufacturers that are driven out of business because of the exportation of manufacturing and jobs to "low cost regions" in Asia, India and the Central Americas? Hmm, based on the hardship they are facing, many of them wont be able to 'afford it' either.

How about taking a bite out of our huge deficits and unemployment rolls by levying steep taxes against U.S. manufacturers that want to engage in the exporation of jobs? I'm all for contributing to regions where we are conducting business in the sense that, if a manufacturer is making big bucks selling products in these low cost regiongs, then it's feasible to contribute to some degree to their economy by creating jobs and income opportunity. However, if said manufacturer is producing their products overseas to import products for sale in the U.S., they should be penalized via heavy tax levies. It should not be profitable for a U.S. business to destroy our economic food chain - which is precisely what is happening.

The recurring theme I keep hearing around the record lows on Wall St. continue to point to "lack of confidence in the U.S. Dollar". All of this stems from our faulty business practices and poor leadership. All of this is transparent to the world at large. What's also apparent is that our faulty leadership, who already have this country running in historically high deficit, has decided to bail out the faulty stock market with money it doesn't really have.

Yeah, I'd say that's a much more frugal way to invest instead of in the futures of the young families in the welfare system and true blue U.S. companies that are feeling the fallout from being forced to survive in a Global Marketplace.

John R. said...

Wow...miss a day, and you get toasted around here, huh?
Undeserved means just that, undeserved. There are plenty of people who need support and are deserving of it. But when drug addicts live in the Heritage Apartments because they are "disabled", I'd call them undeserving. I also believe that these corporations should be allowed to fail and let the chips fall where they may.
Knitter, whether I serve, have served or will serve is up to me. Whether my taxes go to provide golden parachutes to greedy, corporate honchos or to provide section 8 housing to drug dealers is not. That being said, we have an absolute duty and obligation to care for our fellow humans. As a citizen, I happily support feeding the hungry and housing the homeless with my tax dollars. As a human being, I eagerly support many charitable causes through time and money.
Eastie Girl,
While I appreciate your passion and your desire to affect positive change, your economics need to be sound.
Just to level set the conversation:
a) helping people in need is good - So, if you have no food or no place to live or you broke your leg, we as a society should help you to get back on your feet if possible.
b) giving excessive handouts to anyone is bad.
c) if a business fails because of greed, incompetence or competition, then they fail... do you go to Shaw's or Sava's to do your weekly shopping? Do you go to Beach Sales or to Best Buy? You (and the rest of us) are putting those places out of business or making them change their business models to survive.
d) Offshoring is good and bad but the result is that you can afford a better standard of living because it costs less for goods and services.
e) Illegal immigration and abuses of legal immigration (H1B - visas) are bad for you. Those folks come here and drive down the wages of the jobs they are taking. In the case of illegals in Eastie, they drive up the cost of housing and consume more than their share of social services. Next time you have to go to the clinic wear an ICE jacket, you'll get much faster service.
f) When you talk about the "government lending" or "bailing" anyone out, all you need to do is look in the mirror. You are funding these handouts, bailouts and loans.

It appears that your candidate, was one of the largest beneficiaries of the corrupt Fannie Mae. McCain has made mistakes as was the finding of the Keating 5 commission that you're so fond of recounting but Obama won't even make a stand. You'll get change with Obama but if you think it'll be for the better, you're sorely mistaken.

The point is that fraud and corruption should be dealt with whether its on Maverick Street or Wall Street; those responsible should be held accountable and to the extent possible, those aggrieved should be made whole through restitution. Seize the mansions on the Vineyard belonging to the corrupt CEO's and the Caddy's of the drug dealers on Border St. and use the proceeds to compensate their employees and their victims.