The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Deadman's picture

    Public skeptical of bailout? But of course ...

    We've been told for so long that everything is OK with the economy. Nothing to see here, they've said. McCain calls the economy fundamentally strong; his economic adviser calls the American people a bunch of whiners; Greenspan says we are nearing the bottom of the housing meltdown; Barney Frank dismisses the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as overstated.

    One day, I'll have to compile a hit list of all the pollyannish statements that have been uttered by our most exalted political leaders and economic experts.The lack of recognition of our numerous budding problems - by people of all ideological stripes - has been astounding.

    And yet from this same cast of characters, now all we hear about are warnings of 'economic catastrophe'. They talk of a 'long and painful recession' and raise the specter of The Great Depression.

    Part of the reason for the 180-degree shift in tone and language is due to the public's negative attitude toward the proposed bailout plan, which seems to have surprised many leaders.

    But is a skeptical public really that surprising? People go without health care, this government looks the other way. They lose their home or job, we look the other way. Regular Americans constantly work harder for less and precious little is done to help ease their burdens.

    Yet as soon a bunch of a rich bankers find themselves in trouble - trouble that was mostly self-inflicted - the government comes running to their aid with hundreds of billions of dollars. Of course the public is skeptical. They have every right to wonder if this is just another example of the concerns of the wealthy and connected coming before those of the average constituent.

    I understand the public's skepticism, but unfortunately the situation is dire and needs to be addressed. The free market is a very powerful and efficient beast, but it isn't perfect. Imbalances can arise. Behavior and sentiment can move to extremes. And rich bankers left to their own devices can bring an economy to its knees.


    Good post. I cross-posted it at TPM.

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