Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stop The Bleeding

"It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities." ~ Josiah Charles Stamp

When I was about twenty years old, after saving up what I considered enough money to strike out on my own, I told my parents I was at last leaving home. My mother told me I could leave as long as I understood I couldn't come back. She didn't mean I could never come back to visit. She only meant that I couldn't move back in. My departure was to be permanent.

And so it was. Except for one evening under an extreme circumstance I never moved back home.

I found a small one-bedroom apartment that rented for $115.00 a month (not including utilities, which turned out to be an expense to being on my own I hadn't previously considered), and moved in.

As was predictable, soon after, I was pleading with my parents to help me out of a financial predicament. I promised, "Just this once", and "I will pay you back", and "Just till I get back on my feet". The usual pleas from a prodigal son who's bit off more than he can chew.

All this because of my irresponsibility and ignorance about how to manage my finances responsibly.

Before I learned personal responsibility.

And it wasn't the only time I desperately asked my parents for help. I returned to the well many more times in the next several years.

It's called a bail-out, and it illustrates perfectly the current situation here in America. We're in the same predicament, but on a much larger scale.

Large corporations have made poor financial decisions, and put themselves in difficult financial positions, and, like an irresponsible child, have come to beg for financial assistance from their daddy government.

This will not end with one bail-out. They will continue to return to the well every time their irresponsibility lands them in financial straits.

The only difference between this government bail-out and my personal situation, is we (as in all) Americans are footing the bill.

I am not an economist, but the way I see it, we have lit the fuse on a barrel of gunpowder which will eventually blow up and plunge America into a depression not seen since the great depression of the 1930's. Possibly worse.

These bail-outs are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

We've now bailed out Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. We've bailed out AIG, and others. And now, other corporations are running to the well carrying empty buckets. The latest are the "Big Three" auto makers. If the automakers get the twenty-five billion in aid they are clamoring for, they will be back for more, after they've squandered the money we give them.

And squander it they will, mark my words. See, free money encourages irresponsibility.

Look at AIG, for example. As soon as the government bailed them out, the corporate officers blew millions of dollars on extravagant vacations.

Once the keg has been tapped, the drinker returns again and again until the keg is dry.

As long as we continue to finance irresponsibility and encourage wastefulness, corporations will continue to take advantage of us, and while they get wealthier, the rest of us will continue to bear the burden.

I cry out for common sense and logic from our lawmakers but my pleas fall on deaf ears.

I can only hope others take up the cause and call on our legislators to stop the bleeding before we all bleed to death.


Anonymous said...

My biggest concern with the bailouts is that the gov't will just grab more and more power. Then things will get worse, and they'll use that as an excuse to grab more power, and so on.

Mark said...

Yes, Neil. That's another consequence of Government irresponsibility.

Timothy said...

Yes, all the corporations could use a good portion of "tough love."

Dan Trabue said...

I agree, Mark. It's probably a bad idea.

Does that worry you or make you want to change your mind, knowing that I agree with you?

Mark said...

Not at all, Dan, This is a subject that people of all political ideologies seem to agree on.

It seems the only people who don't understand why this is a bad idea are the ones that are pushing it. Kind of makes our legislators (and President) look like idiots, doesn't it?

Father Gregori said...

"In a republic, the importance of the central government, seen as an economic parasite and potential tyrant, is rightfully minimized. by contrast, our democracy today, like all humanistic democracies before it, is nothing more than mob rule - the rule of of the majority - where the federal government becomes a criminal, stealing from the productive and giving to the unproductive; where the government makes ungodly laws and politicians play god, relying ultimately on the force of violence." No Time For Slaves, R.E. McMaster, Jr.

"Democracy is a form of of government that cannot long survive, for as soon as the people learn that they have a voice in the fiscal policies of the government, they will move to vote for themselves all the money in the treasury, and bankrupt the nation." Karl Marx

Sadly, the United States stopped functioning as a Constitutional Republic back in 1913 and began to function as a democracy, even though our founding fathers warned against it. Now we are reaping our reward.

Joe said...

mark: This is potentially a never ending free-fall into government control of corporations. What the government pays for, the government controls...ref: "public" schools.

Father Gregori: I actually agree with you. We were supposed to be a Constitutional Republic, or as some have called it a Democratic Republic (a bit of a contradiction). Alas, we have strayed from the narrow way.

Krystal said...

"My biggest concern with the bailouts is that the gov't will just grab more and more power."

That's exactly why they're doing it. I believe that the bigger goal here is government ownership of...well...everything they can get their hands on.

Our nation WILL fail, and I believe I will see it happen. Lord help my children, and someday, grandchildren...