It is easy to indict the American people for conniving at fast and loose behavior on Wall Street, but there is a danger that blaming everyone means no one is to blame. According to the “blame everyone” line of reasoning, Americans became addicted to the easy credit from Wall Street, becoming so greedy in the process that they no longer questioned the source of their material well being. To a certain extent that is undeniably true, but what really bothers me is that the Carpetbaggers who have taken over the financial system have contributed to the destruction of the US economy. In their desire to turn profits at any cost they have enabled the evisceration of US manufacturing and encouraged its flight overseas. The financial experts who have done the greatest damage produce absolutely nothing and are only skilled at moving money around, for which they are rewarded with salaries and bonuses in the millions and even hundreds of millions of dollars, compensation that is unimaginable to anyone who actually has to work for a living. Most working and middle class Americans have not become rich in the past eight years but the number of billionaires has more than doubled while the gap between CEO and employee has widened dramatically, to levels never seen before in the US. Most Americans do not have or aspire to have McMansions and many are struggling to deal with normal living expenses that have of late been greatly inflated by surging energy costs. Still others have lost their jobs.
I have no time for or interest in talk radio and its “conservative” agenda, but I share the media’s extreme anger that once again something terrible has happened and no one is accountable. Blaming it on the American public, most of which did not take out subprime mortgages, is a cop-out because the politicians, regulators, and bankers are the ones who have most profited from “the system” they have created to benefit themselves and they should have known better. I hold them to a higher standard than a factory worker and wife with three kids trying to figure out a way to buy a house for the family. No politician, regulator, or banker will every be punished in any way for the grave damage to our financial system that they have connived at. Didn’t a guy named Alan Greenspan have a lot to do with this? Why isn’t he answering questions in front of Congress?
The bail-out essentially says that no one did anything wrong or even stupid, “Here’s a bushel of money to make the pain of your bad decisions go away.” Not a single homeowner losing his house will benefit from the largesse, nor any small business in trouble. The dudes making millions of dollars are the only ones who will profit and it presumably will be business as usual for Wall Street after the hundreds of billions from the taxpayer are handed over. This all started with the Savings and Loan scandal of 1981 – John McCain anyone? – which cost the taxpayer $160 billion. By my count, the taxpayer has already assumed over the past month more than half a trillion dollars in obligations for Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie and Freddy, and Wachovia. Many people working at the companies in question will lose their jobs, but the golden parachutes continue to float. When Washington Mutual was acquired by JP Morgan Chase earlier this month, its CEO of three weeks Alan Fishman was given a $13 million golden handshake. When will it all end? Maybe it’s best to take the pain now and let the whole system go under.