Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Toadying to the Rich Caused Obama to Drop the Ball

Either the realities are more complex than I realize, or the people in charge of the government and big business are there because of nepotism and not merit. At the time that it was happening I railed against the idea of giving the banks money, no strings attached but hoping they would start lending again. Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars (well, new debt actually) given at 0% interest to the banks, the same banks that are charging most credit card holders near 30% interest. Or perhaps it is the American people who are the stupid ones to put up with this criminal behaviour.

I think the government should have skipped the middle man entirely. The government should have opened up loan offices, charging somewhere around 5% interest. People would flock to pay such low interest, and the big banks would have to lower their rates or lose business. Clearly none of these banks were in any serious danger of going out of business if they are all declaring record profits a year later. Those that do and will fail probably should fail.

So what we have is hundreds of billions of dollars lent to the banks at 0%, which they then refused to lend to people. My solution would have made the taxpayers 5%, opened up credit, and forced the big banks to also lower their rates (or lose business). It seems pretty simple to me, but of course the biggest difference in the two scenarios is WHO benefits. In the current system the big banks got free money to do what they wanted with, to be paid back at some point in the uncertain future, and the American people got deeper in debt as a nation (12 million is the current tally...imagine how much those interest payments are, and how they could be better spent on THE PEOPLE). In my scenario the American people make money and liquidity opens up.

Obama is part of the problem, because he is a much better talker than a doer. He compromises too much and too soon. He telegraphs how the opposition can manipulate his priorities until there is only a muddied mess. But a bigger problem than Obama is clearly the Senate. The very nature of the Senate is conservative in nature. It takes 60% to get legislation passed. That is a very conservative requirement. On top of that the nature of the Senate is disproportionate, so that smaller states have a greater say than their population would warrant. An analysis of the smaller states in the Union shows that they are, generally speaking, conservative in nature.

My conclusion is that progressives have no place in the United States. The system is designed to slow down all efforts at change to the point where the system in place is generations behind where the people are at. Personally, I'd scrap the system, but I am Canadian so it is not my place to do so.

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