Tuesday, September 30, 2008


My title for today would roughly translate into "ambivalence at other people's sorrow."

So the bailout failed. I would love to deliver a long diatribe about whether it was a good thing that it failed or about how the world is now going to careen out of control, killing us all. Unfortunately, I don't think that I have a good enough grasp on what is really going on to have that passionate of an opinion either way. But for whatever reason, it made me really happy to learn that the bailout had failed.

On the one hand, I am kind of scared about the possibility of a recession. It would be rather unfortunate if people lost their jobs, got evicted from their houses, or were unable to, say, take out massive student loans to get superfluous Master's degrees in Neurobiology and Physiology. For all the damage that big business sometimes does to hurt the environment, screw over customers, and enslave the third world, it also makes electricity, chocolate, and Harry Potter books, all things that I'm rather fond of. Maybe I've just read too much Ayn Rand (a little goes a long way, I'm learning), but a functioning world economy still sounds like a good idea to me.

The rest of me, however, wants a lot of people to suffer for this whole sub-prime collapse. People have been recklessly chasing the idea of owning a home--chief among suburbanite concerns--to such an absurd degree that they borrowed more than they should have, spent more than they had (take out that second mortgage to pay for those much needed cruises and extravagant weddings!), and gambled on the fact that the economy would always pay for their irresponsibility. The lenders were equally the blame, convincing poor, stupid people that they should borrow more than they could ever repay, just so long as the closing costs get paid upfront.

When the dust settles I think we (or any of us who do or will pay taxes in the future) are going to have to pay for the irresponsibility that so many of us indulged in. The idea of handing Henry Paulson, someone who has apparently done a wretched job keeping our economy from tanking, $700 billion dollars to give it another go just doesn't really sound all that appealing. I'm rather glad that they're going back to the drawing board to come up with something better.

I can't really resist taking a pot shot here, so feel free to stop reading now if you don't want to indulge in the vile sentiments that inevitably come from horrible people like myself. 

When the world starts to fall apart like this we are supposed to be able to look to a leader to console us, explain the problem, and take positive steps towards fixing whatever is broken. Unfortunately for all of us, however, we don't really have a leader in America anymore. George W. Bush has done such an abysmal job, shown himself so unbelievably incompetent, and has practiced such mind-bogglingly irresponsible and obvious nepotism and corruption for his tenure in the White House, even his own party wants nothing to do with him. When he most wanted to step in and do something to help prevent the world from falling apart, he realized that he'd so badly botched his previous chances that nobody is listening to him anymore. The Republicans won't listen to him, Americans don't trust him when he tells us that the world needs this plan, and people like me smile contentedly when his best efforts now fall on deaf ears (even when it's possibly to my own detriment). Maybe Mr. Bush finally got a little bit of what was coming to him. Maybe we all did.

1 comment:

Petra said...

You are a blog maniac. I love it. I also love the German title and wish I spoke enough German to coin my own words.