As you know, I don't have TV anymore. But when I go to physical therapy three times a week, it tends to be in the evenings when they switch over from commercial radio to tv news. What's funny is when you don't watch TV for a while, then you see an hour of news (actually two news programs that run back to back and you come in on the cusps of two halves) and wonder how they manage to stretch this crap into 24 hour news networks.
The bulk of the conversation was about the congressional rejection of Bush's bailout proposal. It seemed pretty clear that the newscasters were personally angry and were blaming the American people, and trying to scare us of what bed we'll have to lie in now that we've made it.
On World News Tonight they even had a crappy-looking cartoon (talk about budget cuts. See: An Animated Look at Credit Crunch) that illustrated one of the main reasons this crap happened in the first place in case you understand absolutely nothing about economics. And I'll be first to admit, my understanding is limited at best, but even I thought this cartoon was condescending. It breaks down like this: when the economy was doing well, a lot of banks were handing out loans like candy to any poor schlub who asked. As long as banks get loan payments (and more importantly, interest) they can make other loans & investments with your money and make a ton more money for themselves that you'll never see. But since a lot of bankers are greedy bastards, and a lot of poor schlubs don't really get loans & mortgages properly explained before agreeing to a pay-back plan they can't afford, a lot of these people defaulted on their loans. Which meant their houses were eventually foreclosed. Which meant the banks didn't get their payments & interest. So the banks lost money or at least, stopped making as much money and then stopped giving out so many loans (even to big companies) and stopped giving money to big investment firms. Since credit is a big part of our economy, loss of credit means a kick in the nuts. The economy grabs it's crotch and doubles over in pain and stays down for a while.
So it turns out that Barack Obama is right. It's not the corporations who need a bail out, it's the poor folks who lost their homes. Help them get back on track with repayment. Then the banks get their money to invest as they please! But no, the government likes to insist that Reaganomics works for people other than the rich and that wealth does indeed trickle down, even though the last 20 years that constantly proven otherwise. Wealth does NOT trickle down, but poverty snowballs. The economy gets a nut-shot and Wall Street take a pay cut. Middle-class people lose their houses, people like you and me eventually lose our jobs. The poorest people are affected last because we have no investments to begin with, so we don't have much to lose. We keep going on with life as usual, which is why Bush wasn't able to convince the average American that this bail out would help us. But the rich people are freaking out because they popped opened the champagne before the bill was even passed, which means they've already bought it.
Yeah, it sucks for the richest 1% of the nation to finally feel what regular people feel every damn day: financial insecurity. They'll get over it. But if it does indeed trickle down, we may not. So can we please, PLEASE for once help the poor first and build the economy from the ground up (as opposed to simply on the shoulders of the poor)?
(P.S.- In this vein, the Bush Economic Stimulus Plan was not a bad idea "in theory". In theory, give people money and they'll spend it. But in practice, I'm sure you noticed as I did, that the less money you make, the less you got back. So you really didn't gain anything anyway. Plus they were clearly counting on the theory that the poor would just piss the money away, while the middle & upper classes would save/invest it. Thus, the poor stay poor, the rich stay rich and the middle class can feel well-cared-for and everything stay exactly the same. Go, America!)
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ