Wednesday, November 12, 2008

700 billion dollar bail-out - feeding the hungry would have been bettter use?

A website sent to me by another member of an internet list, suggested that only a small part of the 700 billion dollar bailout, if applied to world hunger, would go a long way to solve the hunger problem. When I saw the title, the premise seemed totally not feasible to me and so, I did not bother clicking the link, much to the chagrin of the person who sent it as he obviously believed it. He commented that the website had led him to believe that the goal of conquering "world hunger" was at least, in sight.

However, evidence suggests that this goal is NOT AT ALL in sight and for many reasons. As one scholar I was listening to this am - Fr Mitch Pacwa, SJ, commented, a lot of world hunger is caused by bad governments including the fact that a goodly part of the AID sent them, never gets there and/or gets stopped by bureaucracy etc. Right now according to the mass media (which we KNOW is NOT friendly to the Catholic church to put it mildly), 80 percent of the world's hungry are being FED BY the Catholic church. And as we know, if a proposed solution to the "financial crisis" had a hard time getting through Congress, we can be assured that a proposal of even a part of that money to feed the hungry would CERTAINLY die in committee! :) The bottom line of the article was not, I suspect to seriously propose a solution to "world hunger" but rather to point out what a bad move, the 700 billion dollar bail-out was.

While I agree the 700 billion buck "bail-out" was a bad move (knee jerk moves are seldom advantageous), I will point out that such measures had been previously tried and were highly successful (for example in my state) although on a smaller scale AND everyone was confused about it and thought perhaps it might help (I interviewed a few individuals with expertise in both accounting -finance and the stock market, in my efforts to try and understand it myself).

Bush proposed it to Congress because he figured if he didn't save the day quickly, the election was surely lost but the measure was supported almost in totality by Congressional Democrats and only blocked by Conservative Republicans in Congress (why it didn't pass the first time around) who turned out to be correct about it not being a good idea. However, enough of them cracked on the second time around and the bill passed, succeeding to only further lubricate the mortgage companies rather than making much of a difference in the financial mess.

McCain, many GOPs thought later, should have supported the Republicans opposing the bill instead of making a big dramatic thing of "stopping his campaign", standing up whatever talk show he was scheduled on while taking an interview with Katy Couric two blocks away from the talk show location, a faux pas which many talk show hosts of course, had a field day with, on a nightly basis for some time after.

But of course, hindsight is 20/20 as we all know. At the time, everyone was panicky and so typically American, wanted a quick fix which they should know by now, really doesn't exist... beefing up the mortgage companies is NOT going to get most Americans to start living within their means which was one of the sources of the 'problem' in the first place. One news person opined that the media might have actually spiked the downward trend in the market because people "hearing" we were facing a so called "depression" sold stock in record numbers which is of course, what causes, at least in part, a dive in the market.

Our stock market has been far from stable for years and in the Clinton era while there was inflation and recession at the same time, some of the same problems existed even though the media did NOT report much on it -they don't during a Democratic regime since as high as 90 percent of media personnel describe themselves as "middle of the road" liberals but some estimates opine that 70 percent of media personnel are actually, far left liberals. (REF: Bernie Goldberg: BIAS, NY 2002 and Ann Coulter: HOW TO TALK TO A LIBERAL, NY, ? both of whom, have actually researched the number of stories in the mass media on several subjects during Clinton's term and during Bush's term and compared. Goldberg, who worked as a news anchor for CBS for 22 years, describes himself as a "middle of the road" liberal Democrat while Coulter is, of course, a far right Conservative but both agree on this subject.)

And there was a higher rate of unemployment during the Clinton years also... a steady 7.5 percent (as high as it STILL has not gotten lately). Last I heard it was 6.5 percent.
It should be pointed out that the unemployment rate may not be accurate as it is figured from those collecting unemployment insurance and that runs out in 6 months and people fall off the rolls whether they have obtained jobs or not.

Back in Clinton days, I was one of the unemployed (which is why I researched it) and knew several in my field, i.e. software design, a type of work which was more and more, being "outsourced", who had been out of work for far longer than 6 months. In fact, one gent I knew had lost his job in 1992 and never found another - he was 58 and "attritioned" from an aerospace company - had worked his way up to some sort of system administrator without a degree so when he was "promoted to the street", his credentials did not serve him well. He did not have the programming skills to take a job as a software developer on contract so he became a "house husband" (and rather depressed) while his wife, a nurse - RN, took over the duty of bringing home the income. I actually knew several like that. And none of this was EVER reported by the media UNTIL Bush came to office and then, of course, we heard stories on a daily basis about how bad the economy was.

But it was a no brainer that a bad economy does not happen suddenly in the span of a day between the outgoing Democratic president and the incoming Republican president. Well, I guess the media thought folks would buy it and angry liberals bought it in spades.

As an FYI, I was sure one of the advantages of a liberal Democrat being elected to president would be a returning to peace, because Conservatives are supposed to be, more sensible than liberals and also patriotic enough (how old fashioned) to SUPPORT the president in solidarity now that the election is over. (Fr Mitch, affore mentioned, defined solidarity as recognizing our mutual "human-ness" and while not accepting what we may feel to be immoral ideas, supporting the president on a HUMAN level and helping whenever we can).

I was wrong though because many Conservatives are whining as loud and unreasonably as liberals were doing, after Bushie got into office.

There are times I think the number of THINK-ing folks regardless of what their IQ scores were in school, is fastly dwindling to a handful and somehow, the concept of large numbers of humans with power and purposeful activity and a significant amount of anger and frustration, who do not THINK is more scary than any one politician's policies OR the 700 billion bucks we flushed down the toilet, borrowed from God-knows-where-I-don't-even-want-to-speculate.

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