Bail us out

October 22, 2008

Satire booming, though

Filed under: real victims of the financial crisis — Tags: , , , , — stanleymilgram @ 8:43 am

So we’re in a recession but some comedians are having a field day. Like Mark Steel here and here.

the issue of compensation when it comes to characters like Fred Goodwin, who’ve been removed from their posts at the bank. The debate about how much these people should pay us for robbing the place dry would keep the country engrossed for years.

And:

I’m not sure what makes it official that the recession’s started, but one way of measuring the start is when the government first insists there ARE lots of vacancies, but the unemployed need to be more flexible, and better at applying for jobs, as Gordon Brown stated this week.(…)

but never a truer word spoken than in jest (or whatever the quote is):

perhaps anyone who finds themselves unemployed, or homeless or otherwise broke as a result of this recession, should march to the House of Commons and announce “I demand to be nationalised. Bail me out for a million and I can carry on, because if I go under, who knows WHAT I might bring down with me.”

October 14, 2008

Same situation in the US

Filed under: bank bailout — Tags: , , , , , , — stanleymilgram @ 11:49 pm

Historian Howard Zinn has a piece in US liberal mag The Nation on this idea: Spend the Bailout on the middle class (if you think that’s an awful title, remember that when an American says “middle class” they mean “working class,”).

A simple and powerful alternative would be to take that huge sum of money, $700 billion, and give it directly to the people who need it. Let the government declare a moratorium on foreclosures and help homeowners pay off their mortgages. Create a federal jobs program to guarantee work to people who want and need jobs.

Government jobs programmes? Not so sure, for me it conjures up images of Victorian workhouses. The thing about foreclosures works though. If the banks are choking on “toxic debt,” then paying off mortgages seems to be the Heimlich manoeuvre people need. By contrast, putting more money in the hands of bankers must be the equivalent of blowing air down the throat of our choking victim.

Might work a while, but how long from choke to croak?

I also like this paragraph, which shows how long this kind of corporate dole scrounging has been going on for.

In his 1931 Harper’s essay “The Myth of Rugged American Individualism,” historian Charles Beard carefully cataloged fifteen instances of the government intervening in the economy for the benefit of big business. Beard wrote, “For forty years or more there has not been a President, Republican or Democrat, who has not talked against government interference and then supported measures adding more interference to the huge collection already accumulated.”

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