It is madness, I tell you”¦ pure madness! They stand in the streets with their palms facing the sky, just waiting for a free handout. There is a certain smell about them that can only be described as dirty. They spend their days inside large boxes where they sit and cast judgment on the rest of the world. These modern bums are of the idea that we somehow owe them for their mistakes.
The modern bum doesn’t sleep in the street or eat garbage. He lives in a gated community. His bed is of the highest quality and is wrapped in 1,000 thread count sheets. He dines on caviar, Kobe beef, Cristal and ice cream sundaes covered in gold leaf. Perhaps the biggest difference is that when the modern bum needs money, he puts on his best suit, boards his private jet and heads to Congress for a little something we call a bailout.
Bailout: it’s a word that sends shivers down my spine. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for helping those in need. I want some stability in the economy too (especially since my ass is still unemployed), but at what cost? Before throwing out all this money (currently $700 billion and growing), shouldn’t we think about where it’s going?
It started with the banks. While the housing market was going nuts, the banking industry decided it was a good idea to give
loans to people with no income or ability to pay them back. Upon realizing that this may have been a bad decision (i.e. after the housing market collapsed), the banks decided they had better sell those loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In a massive “WTF?” moment, Fannie and Freddie agreed, sealing their fates along with their more private brethren. Unable to squeeze blood from the withering turnip that is the American public, the whole thing went belly-up. Captain America to the rescue!
The CEOs headed to D.C. pleading ignorance. They had no idea how this happened, but they were sure $700 billion would fix everything. Congress, always wary of actual work, thought it best to hand over the debit card and pin number (1234) so these bastions of financial success could take another swing. Taking a cue from the very banks they aimed to help, Congress figured the best way to alleviate the problem was to not ask questions or have any strings attached to the funds. They handed over the cash, patted the banks on the head and sent them out to play (corporate retreats, anyone?).
Like most children, the auto industry couldn’t just sit idly by while Fannie and Freddie got to play with their gold-plated Wii; no, they wanted a piece of the action too. So, off they went to D.C. to throw a hissy fit of their own; unfortunately, by the time they arrived, Congress had wizened up (slightly). The auto companies were told, “You can have your allowance but your planes are on timeout.” Lips quivered, eyes filled with tears, fists clenched and pants were peed; but, in the end, the babies caved (and by caved I mean they got everything they wanted with little to no actual sacrifice).
So, what am I so upset about? The country has been saved and everything will be better soon, right? If your answer to the last question is yes, then allow me to welcome you to my column. The banks have already shown that they have no idea what they are doing. Businesses are in the shitter, yet they are arguing over executive bonuses. Most of the banks can’t even say what they have done with the bailout money so far. From what I can tell, they all went and bought up smaller, more fucked up banks (good plan). If one thing will turn this economy around, it’s small failing banks. As for the auto industry, I wouldn’t be surprised if the money is used to build more plants in Mexico and India to handle the (soon to be) uncontrollable demand for the 2010 Buick LeSabre. Get a brain, morons.