Anyone who owns a television, radio, or computer now knows that the taxpayers of the United States are about to become the de-facto owners of one of the world’s largest insurance companies, AIG. The US is also currently subsidizing the airline, oil, agriculture, banking, and finance industries. Media talking heads and politicians are claiming this is the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Back then, FDR bailed out the country by thinking from the bottom up. Now, our leaders are approaching the problem from the top down. Which is just the kind of thinking that got us in this mess to begin with, starting with Comrade Reagan’s deregulation of the Savings and Loan industry back in the 1980’s. A direct line can be drawn from there to the socialism the US is employing today to save our staggering economy.
Roosevelt’s New Deal dealt with the Great Depression by offering relief and creating jobs for out of work Americans–the regular people, in other words. Money was given to states and local municipalities to distribute in the form of aid to those same people. The government also became involved in planning with industrial, agriculture, financial, and transportation sectors of the economy. What basically became a managed economy survived and prospered. Roosevelt’s plan worked, as history shows.
But now we are going to take a different approach. We (as in the American government, spending our tax dollars) are going to pop 700 billion to save the financial industries. We’ve loaned AIG , a company now under investigation by the FBI, 85 billion. Even with a change in leadership at Freddie Mac or AIG, it’s “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’ It’s a curious approach–and seemingly un-American, as capitalism should operate as a meritocracy. If you do well, you profit. If you lose, you’re out.
But that all changed in 1980’s when Comrade HW Bush engineered a bailout of a deregulated Savings and Loan Industry. According to the GAO, that bailout cost half a trillion dollars, of which more than 130 billion was taxpayer funded. It also provided today’s generation of CEO”s with a blueprint: “If you run a deregulated industry, your mission is to haul as much money out of it as you can. If you cut some corners or take some chances and the wheels come off, so be it. Your Uncle Sam will make it all better. The worst that can happen is you get sent to your mansion for a five month time out.”
A favorite of Republican economists and Presidents, deregulation is at the root of our economic herpes (Let’s face it; our “issues” might be eased, but they’ll always be subject to outbreaks). Unfortunately, a deregged industry always collapses under the greed of those running it. Look no further Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, AIG, and the old Savings and Loans.
Of course, there are exceptions. Deregulation of energy speculation has made gazillions for the oil companies and their lackeys. And that sector just keeps chugging along. It also allows you and me the privilege of paying $4.00 a gallon for gas.
There’s no doubt that the Republicans are capitalists at heart. Give them credit: Their ethos of deregulation and bailout has raised America to new heights. The United States will soon become the greatest Socialist country on the face of the earth.