(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Cross-posted from Daily Kos
One of my co-workers was very happy Bear Stearns got bailed out. She is nearing retirement and cares ferociously about her pension. She is not a wingnut nor a Republican. She will care more about what happens to her pension than whether or not a bill gives the Secretary of the Treasury power to rival that of Louie the XVI, or whichever Louie had a whole lot of power (I’m a blogger, damn it, not a French historian!).
Me? Well I’m a blogger, as referenced above, and a member of the Democratic base. My passion for the issues I care about is as strong as my co-worker’s passion for her hard earned pension. I’m not going to judge her badly, we just feel passionately about different things.
By using Hank Paulson and his crew’s “plan” (and I use the term ironically) as the starting point for any fix of our economy, the Democratic base has, once again, lost. Period. See, I’m used to that, it ain’t the first time.
Fact is, we don’t know how much time is necessary to look at what has happened in our economy before some dread cascade of economic devastation hits our country. We do know that the incompetents in power are happy to let everyone go to hell before they’ll do the right thing.
The right thing is, of course, completely scrapping Paulson’s plan and starting from scratch.
That isn’t going to happen. The Bushies only know how to communicate in threats and act in such a fashion that because they possess so much stolen power, they can limit the choices of lawmakers to respond.
So before we can solve any economic problem at all, we have to deal with the politics, and we are beginning to see how politics can obscure, rather than solve, problems. The economic problem will not change, it is real and solid, but the political manipulations are very fluid and rarely confront the reality of what has happened.
In NLinStPaul’s essay, Level with us, she says:
I’ve been reading alot today trying to understand the proposed bailout. And I have to admit that I still don’t know what to think about it all.
I don’t really give a shit if these individual companies fail or even if the stock market fails. But if we’re talking about a global economic collapse, that’s not something I think we can risk.
What I can say with confidence is that, once again, this country has waited until the peak of crisis to take action. We seem to not have the capacity to evaluate risk and take preventative action…no matter what the issue.
She goes on to quote Bill Moyer’s interview with Kevin Phillips, wherein he speaks of seven “sharks” in the economic tank, which bears repeating, even though I don’t want to rip off any more of this great essay.
NL asks the question of whether anyone will level with the American people about what is actually going on. The consensus in the comments is that will not happen. So we are going to have to navigate this maze by ourselves — not a new task for a blogger.
I’ve been reading about folks trying to “remember” (though most of us are too young) the Depression and posting old timey “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” songs. That only interests me insofar as seeing what a deep fear this present situation is causing throughout our country.
There’s a lot of folks who will be too worried about losing their jobs or their homes to care about politics.
And because the American public has not been leveled with as to what the crisis is, how long do we have to fix it, to make a decision, it will be very easy politically to exploit this situation.
It has already been exploited in that Paulson’s plan is even being considered at all, no matter with how many amendments and changes. It is also being exploited by the passions of all the politicians in D.C., whichever party, passions no less real than mine for the issues that concern the Democratic base and my co-workers passion for saving her pension.
And Americans like my co-worker will act on poor and inflammatory information.
In a sane world Paulson would immediately resign and so would Bush and Cheney. In times like this competence and confidence are essential as so much of the market fluctuations are irrational and very dependent on the mood of the people.
We know this is not a sane world as long as stupid crooks who have stolen power are still making big decisions.
So that is what we are up against, in my opinion. That is the starting point.
I have confidence in our side, I do. We members of the Democratic base don’t give up easily. I just like to know what and who I’m dealing with, is all.