I’m good and mad. No, scratch that. I’m absolutely furious, and you should be too. We, as a people, have lost $900 billion to reckless people and a government that doesn’t want to hold them responsible. If you haven’t heard this, I have two things to say to you: one, I hate you, and two, no, I’m not kidding. This year, the Federal Reserve, America’s national bank, has agreed to buy up to $700 billion in distressed mortgages, and has pledged another $200 billion in loans and bailout to several other companies, including an $85 billion bailout (handout) to American Insurance Group (AIG).
And guess who gets to pay that bill? That’s right – you and me and everyone we know (who lives in the United States and pays taxes, anyway). Hear me out, here: this is, at its very core, unAmerican. Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, and especially Libertarian, we are all capitalists, and in a capitalist system, the assumption of risk in an investment is understood. This sets a dangerous and unacceptable precedent that essentially says to businessmen of a higher stature, “You will not be held accountable for your actions the same way your investors will be.”
Consider: a corporation is considered a person in the eyes of the law. Imagine that you have just opened a store that sells, I don’t know, pillows. Because people, for whatever reason, don’t want pillows, your store is about to go bankrupt, and everything you had invested in it will go down the drain. You will probably have to file personal bankruptcy, effectively eliminating your chances at getting a loan to buy even a bike in the future. Will the government bail you out? I think not. But the government will bail out major corporations that made idiotic decisions, or just couldn’t cut it? Yes! What does this say to you about a country that claims equality for all people in the eyes of the law?
I beg you to send letters to your congressmen, hundreds of them. I have one written up myself that you can use if you’d like. E-mail them, call their offices, go to rallies (Students for Change, do you hear me? Yes, you: do something useful!). Do something! Defend the American ideal before it’s completely gone!
Eric Chase Senior Liberal studies