Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Joe Scarborough - Postnosticator Extraordinaire

Okay. Pretend for a second that I don't know anything about economics. Kind of like Jim Cramer. Forget for a moment that the only time my investments have made money have been totally by accident or by just dumping some dough in a 5 year CD because I was too lazy and/or stupid to figure out how to transfer the IRA to an investment fund. Lucky me.
Here's what I think happened. The Bush Administration decided to maintain their faith in free market principles and let Lehman Bros. fail as a trial balloon to see what would happen. This was the first domino in a cascading series of potential bank failures accompanied by panic selling, abandonment of commercial credit and the inability of AIG to cover the losses. Members of both parties looked at each other, said "Oh shit!", and stuck a big pile of money between the last domino falling and the rest of them. (Something spooked everyone bad because I've never seen Congress act that fast - even after 9/11). Did it work? I think so but I really have no idea. Maybe some of those MIT'ers who developed these mortgage derivatives could put their brains on a better model of economic probabilities. It's done with the weather. Are the markets more chaotic than the weather? Probably, but the idea that nobody really knows what's going on makes me really uneasy.
So Joe (God, I miss Imus) Scarborough, concern troll that he is, with a pathological need to reaffirm his 90's era Newt Gingrich Contract with America conservative cred, jabbers on this morning about the small cabal of Republicans who were "right" to stand in the way of the bailout plan. All because of the pittance in bailout money going to bonuses. Right about what, Joe? The bailout, the stimulus, what? It pisses me off, too, but so what? If it keeps me from digging turnips in the frozen fields of Pennsylvania for sustenance, I'm all for it. What's the alternative - 1929 GOP solutions for a 21st century economy? And don't give me that revisionist crap about the New Deal prolonging the Depression. It may not have ended until the war started but it sure put a lot of people to work. And who funded the war, anyway? Hint, it wasn't small businesses. This post-hoc ethereal pristine theory of economic development ignores the real social forces of vast numbers of unemployed tugging this country back and forth between socialism and fascism. FDR saved the American Way of Life. Greatest President, evah!

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