Saturday, October 04, 2008

Big boulders and bigger boulders

Just when I'm looking up expecting to be skooshed at any moment (no, I'm not exaggerating) by the boulder of personal debt and uncertain income, I can look a little farther and see an even bigger boulder teetering on its own precipice.

I'm not alone in the latter instance. Almost all of us are about to get hit, and hit big.

And we can thank our own government for that one.

See, there's this little matter of what's called a "$700 billion" government bailout of finance and investment firms that have, for years, skirted the law and rewarded their management with incomprehensible sums of money for making bad investments and giving loams that simply cannot be paid off.

With George Bush as their principal cheerleader, these reckless jerks have informed us that the United States will face a major meltdown if the government -- that means us, since it's our money -- unless we simply fork over the big bucks. And no, despite what some misguided Congressional fools say about so-called accountability, there is no "oversight." It's a handout, pure and simple.

The "crisis" appears to have been manufactured in the first place. Companies go out of business all the time. Unless they are run by politicians' big campaign contributors, that is. Wall Street knows well how to manipulate the stock market. It dived on cue as if to underscore Bush's cries of "Wolf! Wolf!"

Two little problems here. One, we don't have that kind of money. The bailout is coming from borrowed and invented money. It will eventually have to be paid for.

Problem #2? It's not just a paltry $700 billion. Mixed in with other bailouts and "loan guarantees" already made, it goes into the trillions. I've seen one reasonable estimate that puts the hit on every U.S. houshold at over $12,000 for just the most recent giveaways.

And other entities -- makers of loans, even some states (such as California) -- have indicated that the money already committed isn't enough; they need some too.

I try not to worry about this stuff. My own worries already overwhelm me.

But this one affects me, too. Tight credit will impact my business badly, as it will all legitimate businesses. My business is already deep in the hole, anyway.

Being at the bottom of the food chain, each of the bigger fish will line up to take their piece from me. Each has a stake in the government giveaway, directly or indirectly, so they will survive.

Don't think for a moment that it won't/can't happen to you.

With the deck stacked so neatly against me, I'm at the end of my tether as it is. I don't know how to fix my life.

Now, if a miracle happens and I do get through the immediate crises (something I don't, at the moment, believe is possible), I have to also help ensure that a large bunch of predatory zillionaires don't have to miss their continuing multiple-millions in "compensation." That's in addition to the usual handouts to government drones and people who have gamed the system, in addition to the relatively small number of people who have genuinely run out of luck (like me) but who have a claim to various kinds of help.

I'm about to give up. Not only do I not know how I can carry the burdens, current and future, but I am bewildered at the changes to society and government that make it somehow necessary to destroy my life to support people who have never, ever done anything for me.

This is, of course, a nonpartisan -- or bipartisan -- mess. I think I know who the culprits are, but they have been joined by so many others in this foolish activity that it no longer matters.

They, of course, don't give a damn what I think.

I'm too small to be missed when I've gone under. I guess there's some consolation in that, even if I can't see it.


benb said...

Of course, you aren't alone in this. The only people that may not have to worry about this mess are those that are already rich and can fend for themselves in such a crisis - and can stand that kind of crisis for a long period of time. I have no reserves and am also "on the brink". Currently looking for a second job and also wondering why the bleep we are giving this kind of money to corporations for the same reasons you described in your posting here. I have teetered to the side of letting it find it's own way out - many experts believe at the very least we are in for an extended recession regardless of what the government does - some believe we are headed towards a depression. As you, I am attempting to look out for numero uno - though in my case that also includes my son. Keeping my house and not losing it the way everyone else is is of the most extreme importance to me. I could walk away from this place, get a 2 bedroom apartment and "dwell" there like so many others are doing - but I am fighting not to have to do that. I'm afraid, though, in the end, if this s*** gets much worse - well I'll just try to stay positive and hope my worst fears aren't going to happen. They are, after all, my WORST fears in giving this current financial chaos the worst possible effect it can have - which would be a depression only paralleled to that of which my mother and father went through when they were kids. Or even worse. We're all staying "tuned" to see what's going to happen.
My offer to you that I gave you some time ago, if it ever becomes necessary and my ability to keep it - stands.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more, Scribbs. If the only ones in trouble were Wall Street/bankers/AIG/Fannie/Freddie, I'd say let 'em squirm. Sue 'em all for racketeering, and take everything they have, personally & every other way possible.

But it's gone way past that. I can't borrow money to build a spec house. That means I can't hire plumbers, electricians, roofers, on and on. WE'RE the big losers here, although I did NOTHING to cause any of this.

That's why I say RE-ELECT NO ONE. They're ALL crooks, both parties, top to bottom. They chose to look the other way, chose to put their buddies (who eerily resembled the "see/hear/speak-no-evil monkeys) in their cushy "regulators" positions, and as any kindergardener could have seen coming, because of them we sit here today with our pockets inside out.

Yep, us taxpayers were just given supporting rolls in the world's biggest porn movie...we just got screwed!


MrScribbler said...

Ben -- Thanks. Hope I don't need to accept, but it's all day-to-day here....

S -- When I said it doesn't matter who started the mess, that doesn't mean I don't want them found, tried, and if found guilty sent to the cooler. Economic crimes of this magnitude, when they put millions of innocent people at risk, border on treason in my book.

emd said...

Not border on treason, Scribbs. It IS treason, plain and simple.