The Pillars of Civilization Shaken

A terrible crisis has been averted, at least for now.

You’ve probably heard about this so-called ‘Credit-Crunch’ that the United States is going through, but I will summarize very briefly. In the simplest terms, financial institutions and consumers in the US lent and borrowed so poorly, so stupidly, that the the system was in danger of grinding to a halt, with people and businesses only able to lend or borrow with great difficulty.

Obviously, that would be a terrible situation. Home prices in some markets would fall down to the point where middle-class families could afford them. People would have to live within their means, and might even begin to dig out from under a crushing burden of debt. Companies would have to manage their resources sensibly.

Spending, in short, would no longer exceed earnings. Taking out a home equity loan to go on vacation and buy a big screen HD TV would no longer be the order of the day.

Of course, some people would (and may yet) lose a lot of the stuff they bought that they couldn’t pay for, which would make them very upset.

Obviously this would never do. The financial institutions called up their friends in Washington and the government sprang into action with a rapidity hardly ever seen from our ponderous bureaucracy. A Bill was quickly thrown together, promising that the US Taxpayers (that’s you) would give the financial institutions hundreds of billions of dollars, no strings attached. But that Bill wasn’t bad enough, so they went back and put in a bunch of other crap, to make sure everyone got a little bit of the pie the taxpayers were so generously serving up. That passed, of course.

To paraphrase BusinessWeek, Wall Street and the US financial firms in general want the government to stay out of their business; they want no regulation or government oversight at all. But when they get in trouble, they want the government — meaning the taxpayers — to bail them out. This is exactly like a young adult who does not want his parents to have any say in how he (or she) conducts his life, but who wants them to pay his bills for him when they get to be too much. We wouldn’t put up with that from our kids, but we’ll send billions to people we don’t even know, just because they say they’d like to have it, thank you very much.

And, of course, because they threaten us with Financial Armageddon if we don’t give it to them. Government, remember, is all about fear.

Remember; saving is Un-American and will be punished. If you’re not over your head in debt, the government hates you and will take your money in order to help people who are over their head in debt. If you’re not willing to go into debt yourself, the government will do it for you.

Isn’t it nice of your Congressmen to do that for you? The Wall Street executives, running their companies into the ground and then bailing out with hundred-million dollar bonuses, appreciate your patriotic generosity.

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