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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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9-30-08 A thought on the federal bailout and on the greedy bastards on Wall Street and Main Street that made it necessary

Posted by Sean on September 30, 2008

Note to self: NEVER post while hungry ever again. Get a sandwich first.

What, Shanoah, you mean the $700,000,000,000 taxpayer-funded bailout package that would have wound up costing every man, woman, child and blastocyst in the country over $2,000 – before all other taxes?

Waitaminnit, didn’t this whole thing get rolling because our banks decided bundle mortgages into  securities, and didn’t Wall Street raise the demand for these securities so high that the banks decided to hand out mortgages to people who shouldn’t have gotten them in the first place so they could make even more securities to sell to Wall Street? And aren’t these the same people who are now surprised and tearing their clothes that their whole scheme is imploding like a house of cards on the San Andreas fault?

And the federal government wants me to bail them out?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, fuck hell no.

I mean, look at the numbers we’re talking about here: 700,000,000,000 dollars. That’s eleven zeroes. That’s so many zeroes that my mind vapor-locked when I was writing it; I wrote it down first as 700 million, and I actually had to look up how many zeroes are in a billion. That’s not a number you or I normally encounter. That’s the kind of number that cosmologists bandy about when they talk about the age of the universe or the number of gigatons of matter that a black hole must devour before it starts to get indigestion.

In other words, that number doesn’t belong on Earth. And yet a number like that has invaded Earth, boggling human minds like the fungi from Yuggoth, because of a bunch of greedy, rapacious, irresponsible, sociopathic, egomaniacal bastards on both Wall and Main Street.

If I’d pulled a stunt like the financial markets did and then I went to Wells Fargo begging for a lifeline, the only choice Wells Fargo would have to make would be whether to laugh in my face before or after kicking me to the curb. And they’d be right to do so, because I would have gotten into that predicament because of my own cupidity and stupidity.

People forget, though, that that logic cuts both ways. What’s good for the goose is good for the multitrillion-dollar gander.

People also forget that pain is an excellent teaching tool. If you do something that causes distress, said distress becomes an incentive against repeating that behavior, yes?

But has that happened? No. Time and time again, this bank has failed and that investment house has posted record losses because of a lack of insight, wisdom or intelligence within these institutions. And every time, the pain hasn’t happened. Instead, a bunch of rich assholes to go whining to Washington for a handout… you know, just a little something to get over this rough spot, man, and I swear to God tomorrow I’m tapering off.

Swear to God.

And like an addict, people got stuck in a death spiral of self-destructive behavior. Bad decisions were, by and large, encouraged with bailouts and loosened government oversight. And the decisions got bigger and bigger in scope and worse and worse until Wall Street started to stink like the Fulton Fish Market in August, and for much the same reason: heaps and heaps of rotten carcasses, piscine on the one hand, financial on the other.

This time, I say no. I say it’s time for the financial markets and the country and the world to get beaten like a red-headed stepson for a bit. We all have to learn that some kinds of behavior just don’t fly and are unacceptable, and that there are consequences to such behavior. Maybe a protracted bit of suffering will prevent us, or our children, from pulling this kind of shit in the future.

Is this schadenfreude? Yes. Who doesn’t like to see a bunch of sneering fat cats who have lived without consequence for their actions suddenly have to sweat a little?

And is this anger self-destructive? Again, yes. Remember, this world is built on money. If the people who own and control that money go down, they’re gonna drag the entire world down with them. Wishing for hurt on the financial markets puts myself and everyone that I love and care about in fate’s crosshairs.

But, damn it, enough is enough. You bastards might drag me into the abyss with you, but you’re not taking my wallet with you as you slide past me.

One Response to “9-30-08 A thought on the federal bailout and on the greedy bastards on Wall Street and Main Street that made it necessary”

  1. […] 9-30-08 A thought on the federal bailout and on the greedy bastards on Wall Street and Main Street t… […]

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