Thursday, September 25, 2008

Views on the Bailout: Part 3

Thanks to Matt for starting up a quality series of posts related to the bailout. I found an editorial I wanted to post yesterday or the day before about the bailout, socialism, and hypocrisy but it took me a day to get it up here, so I'll add it as part 3 in this ongoing series. Thomas F. Schaller writes for the Baltimore Sun (and and in a rather scathing and brilliant bit of rhetoric (cause that's all we liberals really care about these days anyway) he give us the following:
To social conservatives, Darwinism is merely an unproven "theory" about how our species evolved. But "social Darwinism" is an ineluctable fact: The smart and hardworking prosper, while the stupid and lazy fail.

Yet notice how those same chest-thumping capitalists of talk radio and at the corporate-funded think tanks often fall silent in the face of fixed markets, no-bid contracts, bailouts and subsidies for the very corporations that demand less government oversight when things are going well, then turn to Washington when things go horribly wrong.

The hypocrisies abound.
Now, pointing out the hypocrisies involved here doesn't necessarily have any bearing on the question of whether or not bailing-out is an economic necessity, I suppose. Still, I think it does have a direct bearing on some of the particulars at stake this week as the congress weighs and negotiates what a bill may look like.

These issues bear into the picture on questions around executive pay and the need for oversight. This sort of governmental largess in terms of spending cannot be made without the possibility for oversight, to do so would be somewhere way beyond reckless. Again, Shaller puts it well when he says:
Those of us who work hard and pay our taxes are getting screwed. Our Christmas bonus this year? The privilege of covering the tab for greedy executives in the deregulated insurance and mortgage industries who scoff at safety nets for you but demand a safety trapeze for themselves.
Since it's looking more and more inevitable that we'll all be screwed by this to some degree, ie: the taxpayers will be footing something in the way of a bailout, let's at least have someone watching the ways in which this screwing is taking place to make sure it doesn't become slimy and despicable on top of how ridiculous (if perhaps necessary) it already is.

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