What if those pulling the strings of the economy are as bad with finances as I am?

Every time I have listened to, watched, or read news over the past few weeks, I have been inundated with stories about the economy. Freddy and Frannie. AIG. WaMu. The Dow. Re-hashing of the Savings and Loan bailout. Wall street is up, it’s down, everything is ok, everything is doomed and the world economy is about to come crashing down around us.  So many different stories, so many excuses, so much hemming and hawing from all sorts of ‘experts.’

I myself am about as far as you can get from an expert on the economy. I can’t manage my own finances, let alone keep on top of the global economy. I am one of those people that uses credit cards way too much and figures out how much money I have by checking my balance online. Even in the days when most people balanced their checkbooks in hard copy format, I never did.

As a kid, I thought checks were magical papers that you wrote on to use like money. I didn’t make the connection between those little papers and a bank account (sometimes I still don’t). Neither my parents or my teachers taught me anything about money, economics, finances. Why would they? I was a girl after all. I would grow up and have a man by my side to do all that. (Ugh!)

So, now, years later, I am suffering from an upbringing where I learned nothing about finances (and was simultaneously raised on the consumerist ethic where life equaled shopping and spending money).  As such, I am not conversant in all the hefty economic jargon being thrown around. I do, however, know enough to realize that what is currently going down is akin to daylight robbery. It’s Robin Hood in reverse – the rich cats (government and corporation heads) are robbing money from the poor (U.S. taxpayers) to try and sort out a fiasco caused by duplicitous, money grabbing schemes.

As per usual, they are whipping up fear and panic while ignoring questions of accountability. I am no Suze Orman, but I don’t trust these guys (yes, they are literally men) to decide the financial fate of our nation. If they are up to their usual tricks, their ‘fix’ will merely mean more deeply filling their own overstuffed pockets. Their game and its dodgy rules are elucidated by Representative Marcy Kaptur in her address to the House “the latest reality game: WallStreet Bail out.”

And, as Michael Moore makes patently clear, these gameplayers are attempting an economic coup. Referring to this economic fiasco as “the Corporate Crime of the Century,” Moore notes that “Wall Street and its propaganda arm (the networks and media it owns)” stayed silent on all of the following regarding the bailout:

“1. The bailout bill had NO enforcement provisions for the so-called oversight group that was going to monitor Wall Street’s spending of the $700 billion;

2. It had NO penalties, fines or imprisonment for any executive who might steal any of the people’s money;

3. It did NOTHING to force banks and lenders to rewrite people’s mortgages to avoid foreclosures — this bill would not have stopped ONE foreclosure!;

4. It had NO teeth anywhere in the entire piece of legislation, using words like “suggested” when referring to the government being paid back for the bailout;

5. Over 200 economists wrote to Congress and said this bill might actually WORSEN the “financial crisis” and cause even MORE of a meltdown.” (read the entire piece here)

Writing about this crime of the century on Monday, Moore explained the true mission of the bailout:

“This bailout’s mission is to protect the obscene amount of wealth that has been accumulated in the last eight years. It’s to protect the top shareholders who own and control corporate America. It’s to make sure their yachts and mansions and “way of life” go uninterrupted while the rest of America suffers and struggles to pay the bills. Let the rich suffer for once. Let them pay for the bailout. We are spending 400 million dollars a day on the war in Iraq. Let them end the war immediately and save us all another half-trillion dollars!”

So, I don’t agree with the metaphor that the roof is on fire (sorry CulturePress, but I disagree with you on this one). More like the gameplayers want to convince us that the roof is on fire and we just may be burned alive any second so that we will agree to anything… Well, if they’re the ones selling the water, I don’t want it. I guarantee its laced with poison. I may not be that great with finances, but I can spot a corporate crime when I see one.

So far, the most rational response I have heard to address the financial situation comes from Green party candidate Cynthia McKinney. Her 14 point plan can be read in their entirety here.

3 thoughts on “What if those pulling the strings of the economy are as bad with finances as I am?”

  1. I’m late in getting to my computer today!! It took me a good half-hour to catch up on the e-mails, the comments, and reading your post about the bailout. I more than respect your opinion, and you’ve stated some excellent points.

    I also tend to agree with Michael Moore, as well as the Green party (I’m actually registered Green myself, although I rarely vote Green, to be honest). I agree with much of Michael Moore’s analysis of the bailout plan’s deficiencies, particularly his points one and two above. I did see the first bailout as being severely flawed. I read about half of the actual 100+page bailout plan, before my eyes crossed. I consider myself very good with money (being the the daughter of a career economist and entrepreneur helped, I guess!), not that I would call myself a financial expert. But I guess we’d have to agree to disagree🙂 as I see that the roof is indeed on fire.

    If the credit markets freeze, no one will get credit, including businesses most of which need loans to stay in business (even most of Rupert Murdoch’s media enterprise needs these loans–which is why one of his publications went under this week). People won’t be able to get refinancing, or any financing for a car, home, etc. This will also collapse many 401Ks out there, so it will destroy the a lot of retirement accounts. I was initially opposed to the bailout, but now, it really does seem necessary to save the economy. I just wish the bailout plan was written better. I still think we need a whole new plan. Version one had too many faults, especially as you’ve noted so well in your post.

  2. CulturePress,
    Well, I am late getting back to your comment…
    Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful reply.
    Along with you, I hope whatever plan they come up with will actually make positive changes to our economy for all people, not just for CEO’s and the wealthy. However, I don’t have much faith in MSG (mainstream government) to create such a plan. They are, in a sense, all paid for by bribes via big money through campaign donations and other backdoor deals where money crosses palms. Thus, will they really bit off the hand that feeds them, even in a revised plan? Yes, they may throw some crumbs to the masses (or main street), but that is not where their bread is buttered. (Ok, so I am thinking in cliches — tired and perhaps experiencing brain collapse after trying to listen to that veep debate. Did Sarah Palin actually wink at me? Ugh…)

  3. You were so right when you said, “I don’t have much faith in MSG (mainstream government) to create such a plan.” They threw in plenty of pork, side bonuses in the package, before the bill passed, because they KNEW it would pass.

    I had faith in the Feds to fix this mess, and once again, I am disappointed in our leaders. Surprise, surprise…………!

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