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The beastly, the brash, the big word, globalization.

26 Mar

globalizationI was hoping that this recession would do away with all the free market talk, get rid of the Chicago boys rhetoric once and for all and help build a globalized economy that protects the little guy.  While it hasn’t done all that, it has taken the stigma from “regulation” and spread it around to some other words like…Wall Street and securitization.  In hopes of permanent regulation we need to think big.  Damon Silvers, associate general counsel for the AFL-CIO, is looking to change the world market, not just the US.  What he says is sound thinking, we are more connected than ever and might as well fix all the holes at once.  Let’s see how the G8 countries feel about all this.  More importantly now though, how do American taxpayers feel about this.  As reported on AFL-CIO Now Blog, if they don’t feel taken…then they aren’t paying attention.

Silvers, associate general counsel for the AFL-CIO, says taxpayers are being asked to givie away too much to hedge funds and private equity in President Obama’s financial rescue package. The plan for public-private partnerships announced by the Treasury Department on Monday gives taxpayers 95 percent of the risk with only 50 percent of the benefits in buying the toxic assets.

Those are not the kind of odds I’m looking to play (or pay).

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Radicals and centrists on the same bail-out page.

24 Mar

fail-cats-we-shall-decideOnce this is all over – we will be able to point to greed and deregulation as the root of all financial evil.  However, until then we have to think rationally — all of us.

Although I maintain a strong liberal stance, I do keep a mish-mash of political friends.  Kind of like Meghan McCain ;).  Strangely enough, my radical friends, not my conservative friends, bother me the most lately as their anarchistic and libertarian views tend to ignore rationale.

A contentious view held my my politically extreme friends is that we should let the banks fail — get rid of them.  Strangely enough, many centrists seem to think the same lately.  At least about AIG.  Which is just as vital as the huge banks.  Politico reports,

By a ratio of more than 3-to-1, Americans say it would be better for the U.S. economy to let insurance giant American International Group go out of business, and almost eight in 10 say no more money should be given to the struggling firm, according to Rasmussen Reports.

In surveys released over the weekend, 59 percent of those asked said it would be better for the American economy to let AIG go under than to provide federal subsidies to keep it afloat. Eighteen percent said it would be better to provide subsidies, and 24 percent were not sure, the polling company reported.

Unfortunately, this is not rational.  We can’t let AIG fail.  MSNBC Senior Producer, John Schoen, tells us why.

Why not let those banks fail, too? The problem is that the world’s banks are interconnected in a kind of global river of money that we all rely on to keep the economy moving. If too many banks fail, that river starts to dry up. With the economy in a steep decline, we need money flowing through the system faster — not slower.

That isn’t all of it though.  Some of  AIG’s clients just happen to be 20 of our states!

More than $12 billion in federal bailout funds paid to AIG went to more than 20 states that invested money with the company.

So as easy as it might sound to ‘punish’ all those finance guys, let them go jobless, it just doesn’t make sense.  It isn’t rational and we can’t start over until we close this chapter and get our world right again.

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Other annoying radical things to say…

The 2 most common annoying positions I hear from my radical friends are that all politicians are bad people and that voting is stupid.

*Do I think it is insane that we only have 2 main parties — yes!  But I have to work within the modern day power framework to get something accomplished and don’t reject all politicians as crooks.

*Do I think my vote really counts?  Well, yes and no.  I vote because I know I should and it keeps me involved and civic minded, but statistically do I think it counts – no.  (Economists don’t usually vote.)  Do I think we all should vote?  Yes.