On the AIG thing…

While I have been contemplating all the horrible decisions in my life that led up to this hangover, I have been kind of perusing some of the mess that is the world economy right now. Brad made a really good point I kind of want to expand upon here.

The problem here isn’t that AIG received a gigantic bailout and they spent it on hookers and gold toilets. The problem is, WE LET THEM. We did. We gave a gigantic blank check to the kind of businessmen who would gladly step over a screaming child to chase a dollar and we’re acting all surprised that they decided to pat themselves on the back with a fat wad of our tax money?

What, Congress? Did you not think they were greedy? Did you go “Well, assuredly these men whose poor risk management is bankrupting a generation while at the same time stuffing their assholes with diamonds and gold are the sort of honest, upstanding men who are going to understand the implied responsibility that our tax money comes with.” ? Was that what you were thinking? Because me, being the sort of pragmatist I am, would have gone ahead and had a fucking lawyer look over the contract you signed and made sure there was no way for them to squirrelfuck every dime of that money off into their own pockets. I mean, you’re in DC. There’s a couple law school guys there, right? Just go ask them to peek at it, see if there’s a back door through which, say, $363 BILLION DOLLARS can be coerced. Because apparently, there is.

And that brings me right around to the front of this fucking travesty. Regulation.

Brad: i mean this is sort of like… one of the tenets behind capitalism is it not
Brad: we try to make sure the game is fair
Brad: and then everyone goes at it hard as possible

The point of my argument is that we failed at making sure the game was fair. We deregulated banking, and insurance, and just a tiny bit of every element of the financial world, and the entire world has shit on it’s own porch because of it. We’ve got bankrupt cities in Norway and more shipping containers than we can possibly store being left on boats we can’t afford to sail. We have enough unsold cars to GIVE one to every family on the continent. We have half-finished gated communities so far from anything resembling a real town that they’re only good for coyote waypoints, and even THAT industry isn’t doing well now that construction jobs have dried up.

We all fucked up here. We forgot the Golden Rule, and that is “THEY ARE ALL OUT TO RAPE YOU”. We drank the Kool Aid, we thought that CEOs were our buddies and we listened to the talking heads on the teevee reflect our own stupid belief that somehow we had figured out a machine to make money without having to work for it. We forgot that money doesn’t come from nowhere, we didn’t even do the simple math, so the complicated math escaped us completely. Every step we take from here on out, if we’re not cautious and calculating, we will pay for in dollars and dreams.

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