The day greed won and we lost
So the Americans have agreed a $700,000,000,000 package (or £394,000,000,000) - count those zeroes and where the bloody hell do they think they can find that sort of money, yet New Orleans is still a city in need of a large figure but a large figure with fewer zeroes.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, and the 263-171 vote shows I'm not the only one with concerns. We have to weigh up the whole capitalist scheme that represents America, and how if this rescue package was not agreed, it would be possible that the country's economy would totally flatline. A part of me thinks this is no bad thing, for rampant greed is only good if there is something to take. However the money dried up and the greed kept on going, hence why Wall Street is failing.
Unfortunately the fall-out would have a global arena, and it is those furthest away from the source of the problem (namely the poor, the low-income families, the bored shift-workers and day-to-day nurses, school teachers, car wash mechanics, truck drivers...) who are likely to be the hardest hit by a financial collapse - I bet they will be hardest hit by the sudden hike in taxes to pay for this.
For America is a greedy capitalist country where The Mighty Buck (mighty? have you people seen the exchange rates?) is All That And Then Some. Now had it been me, I'd have had a rider in the rescue bill to say that if the government took over a financial institution, then it's executives, directors, board, all the high up men would be fired. No golden handshake. If they want a golden anything, a golden shower is about all they deserve for screwing up so badly as to collectively risk sinking not only their institutions, but also their country. But I bet these greedy little jackasses will carry on, happy that their neck has been saved.
You can guess I've got zero sympathy for the £100K/year bankers who were recently made redundant in the UK. You wanna talk to coal miners in the Thatcher era? You wanna talk to anybody struggling to bring in around £12k/year. You wanna talk to me, basically made jobless overnight due to Filipinos? Don't get me wrong, all the Filipino girls were friendly, intelligent, good workers - but when dozens and dozens arrive en masse, ain't no work going around. And, besides, you would rather hope that a financially-savvy person raking in £100k/year would have invested it well, wouldn't you?
Oh, and while we are on the topic... Doesn't our oil predominantly come from eastways? Like Russia or somewhere? If this is the case, why are we even involved in the American petrodollar and their volatile arrangement with the Arabs? If the price of crude goes up in Saudi and it costs a cent more per gallon (whoo...) in Texas, why does this make our prices rise? Surely the refineries around the Gulf of Mexico make petrol for the American market. So if they are minimally-staffed because of hurricane threats, it would make sense if prices fluctuated in America because of this. So why does this have an effect on this side of the Atlantic?
Are we more dependent on American oil than we are being led to believe, or it is all a bit of a wheeze?
Remember this the next time NASA can't get a few million to bounce a bird off some lump of rock orbiting Jupiter.
Remember this the next time some black kids in an inner city school can't get textbooks.
Remember this the next time medical immunisation is not available to all equally.
Remember this the next time you watch Bowling For Columbine (or any Moore docufilm) and you see some of the less affluent (one might say "forgotten") parts of America.
Remember well that greed has won. Greed has sucked an obscene figure out of the air and made it a reality. And who's going to pay? Everybody. Remember that.
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© 2008 Rick Murray
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