Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't be fooled again

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been drinking the administration's Kool-Aid.

"We sent a message to Wall Street -- the party is over," Pelosi said after an "improved" $700 billion bipartisan bailout agreement was hammered out between House and Senate leaders on Sunday, CNN reported.

Well, no. The message being sent to Wall Street is that no matter how badly you fuck up, the government will always be there for you. All you have to do is to fail big -- the bigger the better, in fact. And have powerful friends.

But if you're a working stiff, forget it. The full force of the government will come down on you like a ton of bricks if you can't pay your taxes, or default on your mortgage, or fall behind on your credit cards because you get sick. The government passed a battery of laws in the last 10 years that made it tougher for those behind the eight ball. They tightened the bankruptcy laws and gave lenders, especially credit card companies, unprecedented power to unilaterally change the terms of your loan.

And don't kid yourself, the splurge won't work.

At no time since the Great Depression has there been such an unequal distribution of wealth. The top 1 percent take 80 percent of the wealth. And while those on the bottom have increased productivity by 20 percent, wages have remained stagnant or lost ground to inflation.

No wonder the average American is outraged and calls to Congress against the bailout have been running 200-1. How, in hell, could Congress then hammer out a deal to pass it in the face of such opposition? Because, once again, the administration has used fear to manipulate the political process. But the bailout won't work. It's a stunt, really, designed to instill confidence and to shield the rich from their own folly.

Allan Sloan, senior editor at large at Fortune Magazine, has this to say:

"The proposed bailout of the world's financial system isn't really about money, folks. It's about psychology. In fact, you can think of it as the most expensive piece of psychotherapy in the history of the world."