The bailout is coming!

Citizens should do everything they can to stop the bailouts for Wall Street gluttons. Write your senators, write your congressmembers, shout it from the roof tops. Even though, by some miracle, the first version failed, we can expect to see another and probably more after that.

For years, since President Ronald Reagan, the financial elite in this country have striven for deregulation of the various markets—financial, energy, health care, whatever. Crucial to that argument is the idea that, without government interference, the markets will regulate themselves.

Prior to Reagan, those regulations worked to protect the financial interests of the average person in the United States of America—one of the most important responsibilities for our government ("insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare"). In some cases, it protected those Wall Street gluttons from themselves, by preventing them from engaging in too risky behavior—like junk loans—in their quest for loan-shark-level profits.

In many cases we, the American people, went along with our leaders, believing (since this is America) we might one day become one of those super-wealthy Masters of the Universe, and we wouldn’t want our fun to stop at the end of a short leash.

Well, this is it, you financial-market deregulation warriors. This is the real meaning of deregulation: When companies are allowed to engage in risky behavior, the market will regulate them. And that means death and disaster for some companies.

Let’s say this again: This is what these very same companies wanted—the market to regulate itself.

And aren’t you glad that that shell game of the privatization of Social Security is now exposed as the scam it was to enable the continuation of Wall Street’s corrupt behavior?

There are many other possible solutions to this financial crisis our country is in, but in Congress’ secretive and rushed efforts to bail out the giants, those ideas haven’t even reached the marketplace of ideas for the country to talk about. We’ll call bullshit on that, too—Congress and the Security and Exchange Commission saw this “crisis” coming months, if not two years, ago.

The fundamental issue causing the “credit” crisis is home foreclosures. If people care about their friends and neighbors, that’s where the fixing must begin. One possible solution recommends that a new chapter be written in the bankruptcy laws to allow individuals and banks to rewrite loans based on the “real” or current values of property.

How far do you think $700 billion could go to solving the real problem in this country? Instead, our government officials want to throw money into the bonfire, which will only buoy up—inflate—the values of those companies and their loans for a short time. And then, in a year or two, the real crisis will hit like a sledgehammer out of the dark.

This is scary shit. But regular people need to understand that the “market” will survive this crisis, even the collapse of megaliths. But if those loans and real estate prices are not allowed to reach their actual value, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

It’s sad enough that eight years of George W. Bush policies came to this, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. By tying up a third of our country’s budget for years, the hope that the next administration will be able to cure these major financial ills—at the same time as we solve the medical crisis and immigration crisis and education crisis and peace crisis—will dim and die.