Friday, August 1, 2008

Does Anyone Still Think This Isn't a Recession?

51,000 people lost their jobs in July alone. The jobless rate climbed to 5.7%. This was the seventh consecutive month of job constriction (loss of jobs).

I think it's pretty clear we're there. America's economy is in the shitter, folks. Stop waiting for someone important to say what we all know this is--a giant mess.

What staggers me isn't that we're in a Recession. These things happen and with GWB in power, it was bound to happen (cutting taxes for the rich doesn't do anything but leave the government with less money and less jobs and thus people who can't spend). What truly staggers me is talked about here: when the big businesses are in trouble (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or Bears Sterns), Washington jumps through hoops to make things happen. But when the average Jane on the street can't get a job to save her life, Washington ignores her plight.

I couldn't agree with this any more:

The bailouts are rewarding the very people and institutions whose reckless behavior caused this financial mess. Yet government demands nothing from them in return -- like new rules for prudent behavior and explicit obligations to serve the national interest. Washington ought to compel the financial players to rein in their appetite for profit in order to help save the country from a far worse fate: a depressed economy that cannot regain its normal energies. Instead, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the Democratic Congress and of course the Republicans meekly defer to the wise men of high finance, who no longer seem so all-knowing
So don't be surprised when these bailouts turn into more trouble than they were worth. I know I won't.

Instead of making more social safety nets for the average American, as Robert Reich has suggested, we're making safety platforms for the very businesses that caused this mess to begin with. And why are we doing that? Well because they paid for the campaigns of those in power.

Don't get me wrong--we need to bail out these companies to a certain extent to save ourselves. But if all we do is bailout the bad guys, we're left no better off and maybe even a little worse for wear.



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