Too Much Too Late

Single Glove
Image by Chris Harley via Flickr
Normally, I don't like to post about politics, or religion.  There is simply too much potential for things to get carried away.  We all have our beliefs and opinions, and there is no right or wrong, simply different perspectives and perceptions.  Having said that, I have to vent just a little bit about all of our current financial predicament, and the reaction of those in  our government. 

Over a year ago, I had been saying we were in a recession.  I posted one time on my Yahoo blog, about how aggravated I was about the administrations reaction to the financial situation then.  The President kept insisting there was no recession, just a little bit of a slow economy.  It really made me mad that he could stand there with a straight face and tell everybody that nothing was wrong. 

Being that I work in the construction industry, I knew  since before the middle of last year, that things were going poorly.  New home construction faded off, then seemed to darn near disappear.   Then by the start of this year things were really struggling around here.  We started seeing more and more foreclosures, and job layoffs.

The administration pushed though the tax credit or stimulus check.  I thought then that it was no cure, just a short lived antiseptic cream being spread over an open bleeding wound.  Now I know that many people liked an needed that stimulus check, but did it really help the economy.  I am just a simple high school educated working stiff, but even I could see all it did was place a little ballast in a small boat foolishly heading  into a hurricane, instead of steering it away.  I felt then and still do that the money would have been more effectively used to create government funded construction and technology building programs, that would have ( in my view ) created jobs and confidence.

Now when things have gone to the point of serious disaster, the government is jumping in and rushing to the aid of large corporations who have made serious mistakes.  I can guarantee that many more will be stepping up and asking for bail out now that the precedence has been set.  What about the little guy, who has made mistakes also? Are they ( we ) going to bail them out too, I bet not.  I doubt anything will be done for those will lose their jobs, and their homes because of the economy.  How exactly are we going to pay for this, and the unemployed who will inevitably become a larger portion of our population.

Are the bail outs the right thing to do? I don't know, I wish I did.  If the administration had not been so focused on trying to calm fears of a recession and really looking at the whole picture. I am sure something could have been done on a much smaller scale long before this.  Certainly something more proactive, instead of reactive.

Perhaps the problem is that we have too many people running our government, that don't have to worry about paying their mortgage, or where their next meal is going  to come from.  Maybe we need more people who are normal everyday working people, to be elected to our government office's.  I know it will probably never happen, because you have to have or raise a lot of money to get elected.

Now I'll get off my soap box, play the cards I'm dealt, and  move on to face what will come.  Thanks for letting me vent, right or wrong, this is simply my opinion.

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maggie's mind said...

Such truly scary times. I read and watch and really try to understand, but at the end of the day, I don't really quite get how we got here without stopping it before this point somehow. How could it be allowed to get this bad? And I can't fathom $700 billion for a bail out if it comes to that. I get that something needs to be done to save our economy from collapse, but I don't know what the answer is, either, and that one is rugged. I do know that the assholes responsible will not feel the pinch in their daily lives the way that the real people will, and so many of us are already skating pretty close to the edge already. I hope we've learned something, I hope we find a way out of this that doesn't hurt the average people too badly, and I hope those responsible face some consequence instead of going on living charmed lives while destroying others - sadly, I don't expect that my hopes will be reality. I hope I'm wrong about that.

Anyway, long winded comment just to say that I agree.

Lilly's Life said...

I just cannot imagine $1.9 trillion (war) and $700 billion (bail outs) being used from tax payers money and it not having a huge impact. I guess you have to trust the powers that be but I guess that is also hard considering the dilemma. It will also have a big impact on the world economy and is at the forefront of world news. I am saying a prayer.
And I totally agree with you that more 'real' people need to get elected. We have a millionaire politician who runs our country and the leader of the opposing political party is also a millionaire. Of course they do not know what it's like not to be able to pay your mortgage or put food on the table. This was a really good post Eric.

Vixen said...

I have pretty much the same opinion as you. I also said we were in a recession over a year ago. I recognized it from the one I suffered through in the 80s. I don't understand why more wasn't done, as you say, proactively. The stimulus checks in my family (three households) we were used to pay past due bills, so the economy was not stimulated really. I have great fear that this bailout is going to cost the middle class in the long run. Also, bailing out multi-million dollar companies, but not the average person who needs bailing out seems wrong.

Eric S. said...

@ Maggie, you do indeed have high hopes, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming. Every great once in awhile they do come true. Unfortunately, I think there will always be those out there standing on the rest of us to better their own position.

I too hope we learn from this, but most of all I hope they learn from this. I am starting to realize that with out us, the small people, they, the rich self centered assholes,lose a hell of a lot more. Hopefully it will open their eyes and make them see that it is not so good to be greedy.

@ Lilly, Thank you, yes I know it is going to affect everybody in the world. Some day we all will realize that the smallest dent in one country's economy has a ripple effect felt world wide. We all need to stop being so selfish and realize that if we help each other out, we help ourselves.

Yes we need to figure some way to get the working class into office. I think it would have a tempering effect, and perhaps open some eyes.

@ Vixen, I can't understand why they could not see it as easily as we could. Is it because they are so distanced from the every day, due to their status and wealth. I think the majority of the population used their stimulus checks the same way. Yes I have no doubt we all will be paying the price for this bail out, but it will be the middle and lower income class that feel the pain.

tashabud said...

Hi Eric,
I'm glad you felt better after you expressed your frustrations. It's always better to let it all out than keeping it in.

I still wonder how we all got here in the first place. I don't agree with bailing out Wallstreet either, but when I heard the arguments that with this magnetude of this kind of disaster in our financial market, millions of people will lose their jobs. And these are the ordinary working people who'll be losing their jobs if those large companies are not going to be bailed out. Foreign investors will pull out all of their investments if they don't have any guarantees from the our government, driving our economy further down into the great depression. So, even though I'm not all for the government intervening, I think that this time it's very necessary. This is my take on the situation anyway. My husband tells me that we should let Wallstreet cure its own ills. However, I'm not ready to wait and see. I think that the longer the government waits to salvage Wallstreet, the more ordinary working people lose their jobs, directly or indirectly.

queenlint1 said...

I'm with you! But we obviously don't count as We The People. The Congress is going to do what they want to for themselves and their contributors.

My friend, Doreen sent me this. Just imagine if we applied this to the $700 trillion bail out!


I'm against the $85 BILLION bailout of AIG. Instead, I'm in favor of
giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a 'We Deserve It' dividend. To
make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bona fide U.S.
citizens, aged 18+.

Our population is about 301 million counting every man, woman and child.
So, 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up. Now, divide
200 million, 18+ adults into $85 billion - that equals $425,000.00 each!
Yes, my plan is to give that $425,000 to every adult as a 'We Deserve
It' dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So, let's assume a tax rate of
30%. Everyone would pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25.5 billion
right back to Uncle Sam! It also means that every adult 18+ has
$297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife would have $595,000.00!

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00?

* Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.
* Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads.
* Put away money for college - it'll really be there.
* Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
* Buy a new car - create jobs .
* Invest in the market - capital drives growth.
* Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves.
* Enable deadbeat parents to come clean - or else.

Remember this is for every adult U.S. citizen, 18 and older (including
the folks who lost their jobs at Lehmann Brothers and every other
company that is cutting back) and of course, for those serving in our
Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it! Instead of
trickling out a puny $1,000.00 'economic incentive'.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult
U.S. citizen!

As for AIG - liquidate it.

* Sell off its parts.
* Let American General go back to being American General.
* Sell off the real estate.
* Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it

We deserve the money and AIG doesn't. Sure it's a crazy idea, but can
you imagine the coast-to-coast block party?!

How do you spell Economic Boom? W-e D-e-s-e-r-v-e I-t
d-i-v-i-d-e-n-d! I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use
the $85 Billion 'We Deserve It' dividend more than do the 'geniuses' at
AIG or in Washington, D.C..

And remember, my plan only really costs $59.5 billion because $25.5
billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam. Good idea? I
think so.

Eric S. said...

@ Tasha, I know what you mean. I just wish they would have looked at the situation a little harder a couple years ago. All these big corporate giants going bust, but their CEO's are still raking in the big bucks.

@ QueenLint, I have seen that making it's way around. Pretty interesting, but would never be approved. I wonder how accurate the population numbers are.

Liara Covert said...

Imagine how long you could fundtion as an individual using credit cards to pay your debts. In all liklihood, no bank would repeatedly give you credit. Now, when a government has already spent its national pension fund and over exhausted its existing resources, why should "a bailout" of the air be permitted to pay a trillion dollar debt related to military and other expenses? Perhaps this is a sign we are moving away from a traditional economy over toward something different. The old system is not working. Time for BIG changes.

soulMerlin said...

Politicians have learnt from the first Iraq war. When Saddam Hussain and Iraq were losing badly, he simply announced that they were all approaching a glorious victory. Once he said it, he created a reality.

Hitler understood...the rule is not to get people to understand, but like religion, they must learn to 'believe' ~ "ours is not to question why, ours is just to do and die"

In so many words, Hitler says in 'Mein Kampf' that Britain won the first world war, because Germans 'understood' what they were fighting for, but Britains 'believed' in their victory.

It is all about creating realities.
Tell a schoolboy in a class that he is stupid enough times and he will believe it.

frightening and fascinating


Eric S. said...

@ Liara, I agree completely, it is time for some serious change. I wish I knew how, but I am following things closer and more often. life on credit is not good.

@ Henry, most definitely frightening and fascinating. I never considered the approach of "say it happened and its true" but after reading your comment, can see where they have tried just that.

I guess now its time for us to create some realities of our own, based on truth and knowledge, not misinformation and deceit.

Kel said...

Hmmm . . . yes, we're in a bit of a pickle aren't we? Primarily, I think, because of the dynamic that Henry sketched; we no longer trust in, nor "believe in" our own government. So the potential of that government being able to effectively generate change may be limited.

Many of us do not trust them to tell us the truth of ANY situation any more. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

And most do not believe the folk that make up our government will actually set aside their personal agendas to create genuinely responsible and effective repair programs.

I believe we are living that most curious of curses: "May you live in interesting times."

Eric S. said...

Kel, trust is definitely an issue. There is so much we are not told to "protect us", my ass. I am very concerned about all this, who will pay the price. We will. Now the European banks are failing also. Where will it end.

Kel said...

Yup, pretty interesting that congress didn't pass that bail out today. I had a "rightness" feeling about that, even though the stock market took a serious dump immediately on the news . . .

I suspect they'll eventually craft some sort of agreement on a bail out, but I'm glad they didn't move on a complete knee jerk.

Green Business Ideas said...

pretty interesting stuff

Eric S. said...

Kel, I know what you mean, it was some what refreshing. I just hope they come up with something to make a real difference.

@ Green Business Ideas, yes it is pretty interesting, yet a little scary at the same time.


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