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Friday, March 14, 2008

Bear Eat Bear

As always, "capitalism" in America means endless welfare for the already rich misbehaving minority conjoined to ruthless "market discipline" for the vulnerable better-behaving majority.

Does anybody doubt at all who will be paying for the bailouts of outrageously irresponsible misbehaving greedy Bear Sterns and Carlyle and the rest? Why, it will be the very struggling majority neglected and derided by the pampered failing minority, of course. It will be you and me, the struggling, rule-following little guys who didn't laugh it up on the (environmentally catastrophic) golf course while creating their Ponzi schemes and Golden Parachute retirement packages (rewarding failure after failure after failure) and building mile-high towers of executive compensation while those on whom they depend for their salaries are outsourced, informalized, precarized, and surveilled.

It is the height of obscenity that these ruthless warriors for their superfluous supercilious caste decry as "Class Warfare" anybody who states the obvious, that these benefactors of State Socialism (called "Defense Spending") revile as "socialism" in a full froth of dot-eyed Cold War hysteria any suggestion that the United States provide healthcare or protection or legal recourse for its citizens or maintain the now failing infrastructure of roads, schools, energy plants, administrators on which they themselves ultimately disproportionately depend to maintain their own positions, that these ultimate Welfare Queens with their non-competitive contracts, subsidies, tax breaks, bailouts, loopholes, lobbyist armies, tight crony networks look down on those of us struggling to cope together in the wasteland of toxicity, meanness, and crap these worthless would be aristocrats have wrought.

Quite apart from the surreal injustice of bailing out these pampered scoundrels while ignoring the grave and unjust suffering of average citizens whose collective problem-solving intelligence and creative expressivity is, after all, the only real hope this nation or any other has for a future worth living in, the practical truth is that another crook bailout will not solve the problems looming on the horizon for all to see but simply delay and massively exacerbate the catastrophic reckoning when it comes.

Let Bear Sterns fail. Let the failures fail. Let our great "risk-takers" actually take some of those risks they brag about interminably for once. Let the titanic "innovators" of our vaunted Investor Class direct that epic intellect they crow about interminably to the task of unshitting their own beds for once.

Of course, I'm not holding my breath. Of course we'll bail them out again. Of course they'll be insulated from the consequences of their bad ideas and bad behavior. Of course the ones who pay will be vulnerable people with no connection at all to the wrongdoing. Hell, I doubt we could even convince their executives to relinquish their obscene unearned bonuses as a compensatory gesture in the face of a bailout.

10 comments:

jfehlinger said...

Dale wrote:

> Let Bear Sterns fail. Let the failures fail. . .
> Of course, I'm not holding my breath. Of course we'll bail
> them out again. Of course they'll be insulated from the
> consequences of their bad ideas and bad behavior.

Of course. And you know very well, of course, why.
George Lakoff explains it all in _Moral Politics: How Liberals and
Conservatives Think_.

"[O]ur great "risk-takers". . . the titanic "innovators" of our
vaunted Investor Class [with]. . . epic intellect[s]. . ."
are the Best People. They are the crowning glory of the Spirit
of Man. The rest of us are here to serve them -- with some
fava beans and a nice chianti. . . oops, wrong movie.

The Liberals, the looters, the "lice" and "cockroaches" --
"[t]hose born wrong, the miscarried, the broken --
they it is, the **weakest**, who are undermining the vitality
of the race, poisoning our trust in life, and putting
humanity in question. Every look of them is a sigh --
'Would I were something other! I am sick and tired of
what I am.' In this swamp-soil of self-contempt, every
poisonous weed flourishes, and all so small, so secret,
so dishonest, and so sweetly rotten. Here swarm the
worms of sensitiveness and resentment; here the air smells
odious with secrecy, with what is not to be acknowledged;
here is woven endlessly the net of the meanest of
conspiracies, the conspiracy of those who suffer against
those who succeed and are victorious; here the very
aspect of the victorious is hated -- as if health,
success, strength, pride, and the sense of power were
in themselves things vicious, for which one ought eventually
to make bitter expiation. Oh, how these people would
themselves like to inflict the expiation, how they thirst
to be the hangmen! And all the while their duplicity
never confesses their hatred to be hatred."

jfehlinger said...

In your series on "Great Themes of the Human Condition" --
we've had "Mortality". How about one entitled
"Ressentiment"?

;-> ;->

Eric said...

As The Onion put it:

"Giving money to institutions that failed at their only job, which was to have money, may not be the best strategy."

De Thezier said...

Dale Carrico said:

Of course they'll be insulated from the consequences of their bad ideas and bad behavior.

Moral hazard is the prospect that a party insulated from risk may behave differently from the way it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk. Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not bear the full consequences of its actions, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it otherwise would, leaving another party to bear some responsibility for the consequences of those actions.

jfehlinger said...

De Thezier wrote:

> "Moral hazard" is. . .

Yes. Of course, as Lakoff has pointed out, to conservatives,
moral hazard is only, er. hazardous when it's a question of giving
things (like health care) to the undeserving poor.

In the case of our financial geniuses, bailing them out
of their worst mistakes is simply a matter of nurturing
our best and brightest. They're too smart, dontcha know,
to react to our largesse, um, immorally.

jfehlinger said...

"Bear Eat Bear"

I geddit, I geddit! I'm no dummy!

"It's dog-eat-dog, ain't it flim-flam man?
Dog-eat-dog -- you can lie, cheat, skim, scam,
beat 'em any way you can.

Dog eat dog.

Holy hope in the hands of snake-bite evangelists
and racketeers. You could get to be a bigwig
financier!"

peco said...

I actually agree.

Dale Carrico said...

With what?

jfehlinger said...

> [If] an individual or institution does not bear the full
> consequences of its actions, [it] therefore has a tendency to
> act less carefully than it otherwise would. . .

Lady Bracknell, to Jack Worthing: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing,
may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

peco said...

With all of your post.