…it’s that capitalism cannot coexist with a corrupt political system.
By Jack E. Lohman
Clearly, politicians should not have taken the first step… taking cash bribes and agreeing to deregulation of banks in return.* That was a major catalyst in driving our economy into oblivion. Even conservatives can’t be happy with that.
If we are lucky, politicians will realize that we are out of blood and change their ways, but it’s not happening yet. Reliable reports are that $50M to $150M of the recent AIG bailout has been targeted to CEO and executive bonuses, all while politicians posture in front of the cameras.
Indeed 80% of CEOs are decent folks, but the remaining 20% need heavy regulating. As are 80% of Americans hard working, with 20% needing tough love, and 80% of home buyers well meaning but 20% acting irresponsibly. The 80-20 rule is at work, though it’s the reverse for politicians.
A “regulated” free market would have served us better than “whatever you can get away with.”
Billionaire (and liberal) Herbert Sandler said it best: “I am deeply opposed to wealthy people who exploit the poor, powerful people who prey on the weak, and government representatives who betray the trust of the people they supposedly represent.”
Thoughtful conservatives would likely agree.
Political corruption fueled the deregulation of the housing and credit markets, allowing sub-prime mortgages and variable rate loans to suck in the gullible with the able help of greedy mortgage lenders. Then the bubble burst, all while the fat cats got rich and passed even more cash to America’s board of directors: Congress.
Disgraceful is the word for our political system, and though it resulted in a large political turnover nationally, Wisconsin re-elected 100% of our representatives. Go figure.
So now that the federal government has a financial stake in banks, a law must be immediately passed to prohibit politicians from accepting campaign funds from all of these quasi-government entities, and from all private entities receiving loans or bailouts from the government. No-brainer? Yeah, but look at who we’re dealing with.
And so the banks are not lending money. Then our $700 billion should instead be used to establish a taxpayer-owned lending agency, then let the private banks catch up. And use part of it for universal health care, which would bail out 100% of our corporations to the tune of $6000 per employee per year.
Any GM bailout should consist of a chapter 11, then the taxpayers buying 80% of their stock, reorganizing, eliminating golden parachutes and firing the CEO, and then reselling our taxpayer stock to private investors at a profit. How’s that for tough love?
You’d think we’ve hit bottom, but we haven’t. Paulson is getting a free ride, and we’ve still got politicians taking money and rewarding their contributors. That will continue until we pass public funding of campaigns, a daunting task as long as they benefit from the corruption.
Can you imagine the firefighters in California being paid to not put out the wildfires? We have essentially that with our politicians taking money from industry.
No society can survive a corrupt political system for long, and for America it’s just a matter of time before it takes us down. Other countries have been corrupt longer and have already failed. The current recession should be our wake-up call.