Bailout (for some) Economics

(UPDATE: As of 12/19/08, the Bush Administration has approved a bailout for the auto industry, after an earlier bailout proposal was blocked by the Senate)

I’ve been slow with the posts lately, so I’ll try to play catch-up by giving some end of year thoughts on the economy.

In the words of Young Jeezy: “It’s a recession, everbody broke!”

Devastating numbers of people and families are losing their homes and jobs, and the outlook for the foreseeable future is not bright. I don’t want to sensationalize the situation more than the media already has, but I think we’re going to start seeing some really sad, ugly things happening to more and more people; things like having to choose between paying for food or paying for health care, and ultimately just scrapping the idea of receiving any medical attention at all. That lack of health care means people are going to die, and the Wall Street financial types and the politicians they’re in bed with are going to have a lot more blood on their hands.

The fact that the government is willing to give the Wall Street finance industry a $700 billion bailout with tax payer money but, as of yet, isn’t willing to give the US auto industry a $15 billion bailout I think is a blatant slap in the face to organized labor. The presence of labor unions in the auto industry is still strong, and if you listened to all the subtle and not so subtle anti-union rhetoric coming from the politicians amidst the auto industry bailout debate, it’s pretty clear that big business (who hates organized labor for a variety of reasons summarized here) owns the government and they want to seize on any opportunity they can to deal labor unions a crushing blow. And with that, more working families will continue to suffer. Disgusting.

Looking around at all this madness has made me an even stronger proponent of community-based economics. Folks like Michael Shuman have an idea of how we can strengthen our local economies to prevent some of the stuff that we are seeing now, and I think we owe it to ourselves to try to get educated about our own personal finances and our communities’ collective financial health.


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