Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Schoolhouse Rock civics refresher course

Last hour on CNN, anchor Rick Sanchez was trying to explain tonight's congressional gyrations with a video pen, drawing arrows to and from the House and Senate, over the Capitol building, like a football commentator diagramming a play.

It was ridiculous. He would have been better off just taking three minutes to show the Schoolhouse Rock classic, "I'm Just a Bill."

I have been watching and listening to a lot of media this week as I recovered from my illness. I think it was Peggy Noonan who said that the problem with the bailout package as it has been communicated so far is that our leaders are scaring us without educating us about what is going on. I rarely agree with her but I did on this one.

I have to admit that the more I details I learn about the bailout, the more confused I become about what I think is the best way forward. I don't want to bail out the derivatives created from bad debt but I might buy up actual loans and renegotiate the mortgages.

Washington D. C. is suffering a true karmic payback this week. Not only should they have seen this crisis coming from a long way down the road, but since when have we ever seen the government do back-flips like this to act quickly to get things done? They sure haven't done that for regular people as they lost jobs. They haven't gotten paid family leave passed like every other developed nation. They can't even pass Equal Pay legislation to outlaw wage discrimination. Even immediate crisis management like Hurricane Katrina was completely botched. But Wall Street--that really captures their attention. So now is any wonder that regular citizens don't feel motivated to bail out a financial system that seems irrelevant to their lives?

I understand that financial intervention is probably necessary, but it is a crying shame to think about what a $700 billion investment could have done for families, education, infrastructure, the, so many pressing needs that affect all of us. To real Moms and Dads balancing family budgets, it boggles the mind. We have every right to be angry at the slow-motion financial catastrophe that suddenly explodes into an urgent, rushed response.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah so true, but when you install decades of "leadership" who "govern" on the basis of "no government," who or where or what is the government that is supposed to foresee and forestall the crisis. The long-dead principle of "the public good" has risen to haunt the deregulators who only served self-interest and private gain.

And yes, the sins of the fathers are always visited upon the children.

12:53 AM  

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