Politics & Pop culture

perspectives on current issues in politics, pop culture etc.

Bailouts galore

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I read Harry Paulson’s op-ed in the Times this morning, “Fighting the Financial Crisis, One Challenge at a Time” and upon finishing it, I felt compelled to comment on the issue. I of course, don’t have all the details, and am trying to make a concerted effort to understand the details of the bailout. More posts will probably follow this, in trying to deconstruct this disaster and also try to rally some support for trying to reach out to our elected officials.

Here are my comments on Harry Paulson’s article:

I have several concerns about this slough of bailouts. Namely, taxpayers’ money is being siphoned off into unknown territory, without any formal monitoring and evaluation in place.

Naomi Klein wrote a very interesting article about the details of the bailout, including that $10.7 billion dollars of Morgan Stanley’s bailout money is going towards paying bonuses. Is this really how taxpayer money should be used?

In Britian a similar bailout plan was engineered by Gordon Brown. However, Mr.Brown made sure that the government had ownership and oversight about how the funds were being used, none of which are allowed to go to paying bonuses off for a bunch of financiers, while taxpayers struggle to put food on the table and pay their mortgages.

With a bailout of the auto industry looming and more and more American families struggling, I am in awe that the federal government hasn’t come to the aid of taxpapyers by providing them relief from foreclosures etc. The NY Times just two days ago wrote a story about how more Americans are filing for bankruptcy. However, the difference between them and giant corporations and banks is that, they can’t ask the government for assistance.

No financial companies, corporations or others should be paying out bonuses. If the Treasury is going to manage this effort responsibly there needs to be detailed regulations around how the money is spent. While I don’t like advocating for government ownership of private companies, this is an unprecedented situation that should move existing board members aside to make way for government oversight.

Finally, if we are to lend the auto industry a hand, then, we should use it as an opportunity to move them towards alternative fuel technologies. Everything from the factory production to the cars themselves should shine of American green-ingenuity. If we don’t put this stipulation in, then we will be bailing out the very companies that lobbied hard to maintain the status quo by staying in bed with the oil and gas companies. This isn’t sustainable and it certainly isn’t responsible.

As an American I don’t want to pay for someone else’s mistakes.


Written by Veena

November 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm

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