Who would benefit from a government bailout?

song chart memes

It’s funny ’cause it’s true.  I’ve been thinking about this $700,000,000,000 since it was announced.  Where did this come from?  Why do the people who caused the crisis in the first place get such a bailout?  And where was this $700,000,000,000 when Bono & Co. were working on Third World debt relief? Why should the U.S. economy (or the Canadian economy for that matter) be bailed out, but not Third World economies.

It bothers me that this money is available, but it is brought out for purely political reasons.  I know there’s probably more to this than I understand: I’m not a finance and investment guy.  But still:  $700,000,000,000 is a lot of money to pull out of your arse just like that.

I guess that’s the perk of being a billion dollar corporation.  You can bring thousands of people and businesses to financial ruin, but the government will bail you out.

I think I’m an idealist—or I should be.  I think that might be my sermon topic this week: should Christians be idealists?  Were Jesus’ commands and way of life simply options for us to accept or reject?

9 thoughts on “Who would benefit from a government bailout?

  1. beck

    I like that sermon topic and I’d like to know what you’d come up with. I’ve often wondered that, being by nature on the cynical side.

    (I’m with you on the bailout thing. Both in feeling it seems wrong and that I am pretty sure I don’t get all the implications.)

  2. Tal

    Not to be argumentative, but the money is actually supposed to go to purchasing the commodities (for lack of a better word, maybe properties?) from the banks that aren’t profitable and can’t – or won’t – be purchased by anyone else. That removes the deadweight and allows the banks (primarily) to resume business as usual, freeing up liquid credit and keeping the economy moving. It’s not actually giving money directly to the people who screwed up in the first place, and it’s not a golden parachute either.

    The whole thing was completely mis-marketed and appropriated for political purposes.

  3. Marc

    Tal: Please, argue away. That’s why I say I’m not a finance and investment guy. All I hear is “poor investment and lending choices” + “stock crash” + “govenment bailout” + “$700,000,000”. I haven’t heard or read about the rest of the details, so this is helpful.

    However, even if it is a “legitimate” bailout, I still wonder where this kind of money is when issues of third world debt and world hunger come up…

  4. Don Hendricks

    Marc,
    Loved the pics of your walk in the woods. I sort of preached a sermon like that last week using London Wainrights 1972 song as the illustration. “Theres a dead skunk in the middle of the road, sticken to high heaven.” It worked with my folks.

  5. Linea

    Preach it – and then, please let me see-or hear what you come up with. I will miss hearing you but I think you can do it.

  6. Ian H.

    Just a small note: the bailout is actually $700,000,000,000, not $700,000,000 – as a US senator once said “A billion here, a billion there, soon you’re talking about real money.”

  7. Phil L

    I’ve had similar questions/concerns. What has struck me about the bulk of the media coverage is the assumption that those lawmakers who voted down the first version of the package on Monday were just being stupid and obstinate. I haven’t seen much reporting on their reasons for voting “no”.

    It’s easy to blame the big corporations, and they certainly are partly to blame for taking too much risk. Ditto the government for inadequate regulation. However consumer greed and sense of entitlement (every minimum wage earner has a “right” to have a $250,000 house) also surely is partly to blame.

    I wonder how the optics of the term “Wall Street Bailout” versus “Main Street Rescue” affected the vote on Monday versus tomorrow’s vote.

  8. Marc

    Good point, Phil. We are a consumeristic society, no doubt—I want expensive and unnecessary item X, but I can’t afford it, so let’s buy it on credit. Maybe we’ll remortgage the house to get it.

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