Perhaps its time to pull the bandaid

When I was a kid, I never ever wanted to remove a band aid.  It hurt.  It would tear the hair follicles from their roots and hurt.  My father after watching me for half an hour gently working the ends of the adhesive would call me over an in one fell swoop pull the band-aid off.  I would cry.  He would tell me I would get over it and soon forget about the 2 second pain I felt.  He was right of course but I am grateful for the modern day adhesives they use on bandaids which are so much easier to remove. 

As most of Americans, I am concerned about the current economic crisis.  I am watching and observing as Wall Street continues to fall after Jack and Jill down the hill.   I am witnessing the government trying to transfuse life blood back into failing banking and insurance companies and the bleeding does not stop with these band aids. 

I laughed sardonically when the person screamed about the error of giving financial help to home owners who are in danger of foreclosing with the argument that they made their mistakes so why should I enable them with my taxpayer dollar.   Yet, that is exactly what we are doing with the failed banks, failed insurance companies, and auto industries.   They made major mistakes.  They wanted and got de-regulation that removed the safe guards on their industry which in turn resulted in this collapse.   And they cried that they needed taxpayer money to cover their financial foolery.

Comedian Jon Stewart has suggested that home-owners should receive the bail out money with the caveat that it be used to pay off their bad defaulted mortgages, which in turn would go to the banks that are failing, which in turn would mean that AIG and other insurance companies would no longer be responsible to pay out payments that they do not have to pay, which in turn might encourage banks to begin lending again.   What does he know, he is just a comic.  Many a profound statement has come from the jester.  His suggestion does make simple sense and perhaps that is why it is so argued against because common sense is something we cannot have in America. 

NPR recently aired a commentary that stated that never in the history of economic theory has a theory been so severely tested and found to be false.  They were talking about Reaganomics, the infamous trickle down theory.   Reagan proposed and all of America jumped for joy, that if tax incentives were given to the wealthiest of Americans and to industries along with deregulations then the money saved would then create new jobs, and income would trickle down to the poorest of Americans.  When this was proposed 1% of Americans had 9% of the wealth.  Today, 1% of Americans have 22% of the wealth.  The theory failed to trickle down and the result is the current economic crisis. 

I hear the argument for a Free Market on many issues–mostly from conservatives but the piece of the Free Market that is not being allowed to happen are the consequences when major mistakes are made.   Perhaps we need to allow this theory of Free Market to also be fully tested and allow the companies that have allowed their greed and gluttony to rule their wallets to feel the full weight of the consequences.  Let the de-regulated industries fall. 

Let’s take the pain it will produce and with the spirit of American ingenuity rebuild a better system.  Let’s learn from these mistakes and stop trying to prop up these zombie banks with our Life’s blood that is gushing out faster than we can tranfuse it.  It isn’t working and the suffering it is engendering is worse than if it was over and done with so the true healing can begin. 

If we allow these mismanaged industries to fail, yes, it will cause pain but we at least will know what we have to work with that is working.  We at least would be able to focus our energy on creating industries that could create jobs for a new America.   We could be putting our energy towards the needs of the people impacted by the failures caused by the CEO’s and boards of these industries; universal health care, new vocational education programs, extended unemployment benefits, food resources, infrastracture rebuilding.  Perhaps create an America that lives up to its ideals of liberty and justice for all.  We might even turn away from our hyper-individualistic greed and build a nation that sees the common good as supreme.  

The lesson that I see in all of this is that we learned that extreme Communism does not work hence the fall of the Soviet Union and its puppet states in Europe.   Extreme Capitalism also does not work hence the current collapse we are attempting to forestall here in America and in Europe.   Now perhaps there is another form economic system that has not yet been developed, but if these are the only polarities then what is in the middle?  Socialism?  We already know it too has problems.   There has to be a better way and perhaps pulling the band-aid is the start towards that way.  Blessings,

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 2:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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