Monday, March 23, 2009
Somebody to Blame
Remember this kid's game? They seem to have upgraded it from my days. No more dangerous pins. But if you watched the Sunday talk shows you will probably have noticed it has become an adult game.
The object of the game (especially if you are a Republican) is to find a Democrat to blame the whole economic mess on. This began under GW's watch and because of his deregulation and the first TARP funds were asked for by him, voted on my the Republicans that held both houses at the time, and doled out by Paulson with no strings.
All that said, it matters only whose fault it is to the extent we don't do whatever stupid thing they did again.
I was about to turn off my stream videos of economic panels when someone finally said something that made a great deal of sense: "Too big to fail. Ergo to big to be managed."
We got in this mess because GW said AIG was too big to fail. Too big to go the Chapter 11 bankruptcy route which would have negated all those contracts for huge bonuses. And why did AIG and the other mega banks like Citibank and Bank of America get too big to fail? Because the Republicans, wanting free trade, deregulated the industry and allowed them to gobble up lessor banks untill they became slugs unable to move and adjust quickly. Sort of financial Jabba the Huts from StarWars.
This is not capitalism or even free trade this is blackmail by legal mobs of CEO's. When three CEO's can meet on a corporate jet and decide on how they are going to rape customers we are talking financial mafia. Why else with deregulation would all credit card fees and rates and excesses be the same across the board?
And the banking industry is just where it has currently shown up. Here you really notice it in gasoline prices! No individual station can charge a lessor amount or their supply of gasoline gets cut off. Or how about electrical utilities. I live on a coop but we have to buy our electricity form Plains Electric. They and every other electricity producer doubled and tripled their rates in the middle of winter. Remember Enron? They even did rolling blackouts to convince buyers of their power they had to pay more and more and more.
Then there are current food prices. They raised prices because of gas prices in 2008. Well, gas is half that price now. Corn and other grains which were going into ethonal are way cheaper now, but have we seen a cut in prices? No! They retool and redesign packages to sell us less at more but simply lower prices or stop excess packaging? No!
The mob mentality developing around AIG bonuses is not going away because they are merely the tip of the iceberg. The American consumer has been treated like the Donkey's Ass for so long we can no longer sit down comfortably. This shit has got to stop.
PS: The blame game isn't working. You can spindoctor this all you want. We don't care who did it. Fix it.