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Ear to the Ground

Socialism for the Super-Rich

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Posted on Sep 16, 2008
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listphile.com

Here we go again: The Federal Reserve is bailing out another tanking financial institution—the insurance behemoth American International Group—by sinking $85 billion into AIG in return for a stake in the company. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a Wall Street investigation following this latest startling agreement between big government and big business.


The New York Times:

Still, the move will likely start an intense political debate during the presidential election campaign over who is to blame for the financial crisis that prompted the rescue.

Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Mr. [Henry] Paulson and Mr. [Ben] Bernanke had not requested any new legislative authority for the bailout at Tuesday night’s meeting. “The secretary and the chairman of the Fed, two Bush appointees, came down here and said, ‘We’re from the government, we’re here to help them,’ ” Mr. Frank said. “I mean this is one more affirmation that the lack of regulation has caused serious problems. That the private market screwed itself up and they need the government to come help them unscrew it.”

The decision was a remarkable turnabout by the Bush administration and Mr. Paulson, who had flatly refused over the weekend to risk taxpayer money to prevent the collapse of Lehman Brothers or the distressed sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. Earlier this year, the government bailed out another investment bank, Bear Stearns, by engineering a sale to JPMorgan Chase that left taxpayers on the hook for up to $29 billion of bad investments by Bear Stearns. The government hoped at the time that this unusual step would both calm markets and lead to a recovery by the financial system. But critics warned at the time that it would only encourage others to seek bailouts, and the eventual costs to the government would be staggering.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, September 18, 2008 at 3:02 am Link to this comment

I think the most damning thing about this latest economic meltdown debacle, is that, unlike the dot come bubble burst, which had a bunch of new tech newbies going crazy over stock speculations… never mind what is a p/e ratio; no, this latest assault was engineered by the so-called experts, the big boys, as it were. And now the investment banks absorb one another if lucky, or disappear if not. And the insurance giant AIG has a tin cup in its hand.
What kind of confidence can there be, when the experts have created the disaster?

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By Xntrk, September 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Those Commies in the old USSR used to hand out 10 years in Siberia to murderers and rapists. The bankers who stole and pillaged got the firing squad… The rational was that killing a couple of people was bad, impoverishing thousands was unforgivable!

And people wonder why I am a Fidelista, Chavez supporter, and advocate of real Unions, and Workers Rights.

A Venezuelan Socialist said in a recent interview that a Capitalist ‘chip’ is installed in our kids brains before they even start pre-school: AND, we do the installing.

How many times do you see parents shoveling stuff at their kids rather then attention???

I’ll believe in Real Change when we see a few heads on pikes surrounding the White House. I can even nominate a few of those heads for amputation if you’d like…

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By BCC Meteorites, September 17, 2008 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

I’ve been saying it for about three years now to some very well educated college graduates. Ever since we discovered scientific misconduct orchestrated by NASA and their republican plants. We examined the economic system, judicial system, educational and political systems in minute detail and discovered lo and behold all four are a complete scam, to the last nut and bolt. Who would have thought?

http://www.bccmeteorites.com/misconduct-planetary.html

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By troublesum, September 17, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

This is the greatest theft of public money in the history of the world and the people whose money it is have nothing to say about it.  It goes against the very principles upon which the country was founded: CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Atavus I’d much rather die trying!

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

reoublesum—I would support that…

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By troublesum, September 17, 2008 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

It’s time for people to get pissed off!!!  The kind of pissed off that goes way beyond voting.

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By troublesum, September 17, 2008 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

Why is Obama supporting socialism for the rich?  A hundred billion here, a hundred billion there for this bank and that corporation but we can’t have decent health care insurence in this country because we can’t afford it.  We can’t afford anything for ordinary people but the sky’s the limit when the rich are in need of the government to fix their toys.

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By troublesum, September 17, 2008 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

The men who run these corporations vote republican and donate millions to the republican party.  They don’t want a government which spends money on health care for children but they want the government to be there when they need a bailout to the tune of a hundred billion or so.  Let the republican party bail them out.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Reality check is right. You may not even KNOW if your pension is invested in AIG. If uou have plenty of money to live on otherwise—good for yu. Screw everyone else, right? Thats a good little capitalist. With al the money spent on war, the ridiculous Medicare Rx bill (and Medicare Advantage—for the corporations),tax giveaways, and tax cuts, I cant believe that it its this that has really excited the populace. You’re just able to put numbers on it more easily.

I think, capitalism is a total ponzy scheme. I wouldnt care (in fact, I would love it) if we nationalized everything that is consiedered a necessity, in a “modern” life.(That should probably work, until someone decides that they are the only ones who can runt he country and they cancel all elections)

The Dems capitulated on this almost as much sa the gOP. Obama took more money from FM & FM than anyone except Chris Dodd. Biden wrote the bankruptcy bill, that allows credit card companies to take your house if yu have to file bankruptcy—even for medical bills. Wall St. is crawling all over BOTH parties, and all we get is some vague reference to “going aftr the greed”. Capitalism IS greed, folks! In capitalism, only money matters. Money becomes “speech” (its not) Corporations become “people” (theyre not) There is NO reason for lobbyists to exist.(it is NOT “in the constitutin”).

If you like capitalism, look—these corp. were just “pursuing happiness”.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, September 17, 2008 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

jake3988,

You stated:

“We should have prevented this from happening and now we need to prevent it from happening.  But criticizing it is wrong unless you want to personally go to every person who would lose their life savings and personally tell them that you don’t care.  That’s sad.”

On the other hand the people who say, “I work hard and pay for my medical insurance, and I do not want to pay for some slacker’s insurance, let them go to work and pay for their own insurance.”  So people lose their life savings paying medical bills.  How many time have we heard this. could they be the same people?  Yes, both are very sad.

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By Disgusted ex american, September 17, 2008 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For anyone that is sitting here and watching this abomination take place with even half a clue, this is for you:

The very same fascists that rigged the game to separate us from our money are the same fascists rigging the games “save” separating us from our money.  IF you want to speak the loudest, put every spare dollar into gold, get it out of the country, quit paying any taxes to them and pick up a rock and throw it at your governments buildings.

Nothing short will get there attention

Disgusted

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By jake3988, September 17, 2008 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Allowing every one of these investment banks to go backrupt would do nothing but completely melt away well over 50% of all the investments of working americans.

Yes, it’s going to cost the government an arm and a leg (mostly by getting a loan from China), but it’s necessary.

We should have prevented this from happening and now we need to prevent it from happening.  But critisizing it is wrong unless you want to personally go to every person who would lose their life savings and personally tell them that you don’t care.  That’s sad.

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By Ed, September 17, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I could care less if Wall Street goes belly-up. I don’t invest in “junk” and never will ( especially after witnessing the greed and stupidity that surrounds me). My investments are real world; a hedge against the coming anarchy and fascism that is the eventual fate of the United States.

For you people that have lost your retirement, I suggest working the apple and potato harvest. It doesn’t pay a lot but it’s good honest work and good exercise.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, September 17, 2008 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

yes! its “good old boy”, White elite, self-protectionism - they who have NEVER advocated protecting anyone other than themselves.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, September 17, 2008 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Fahrenheit 451,

Socialism of the masses bad, socialism of the wealthy good.  Mental make up of ignorance, sponsored by years of propaganda by the corporate interests using the media.


Social Security has been helpful to people for many years, opportunists not being able to get their hands on the money in social security is bad for their special interests.  Fahrenheit, you are right we are so lucky they left SS alone. Looking at SS, it is the only thing working well for now.

Lies, half truths and spin have inducted the masses into voting against their own best interests. Those best interests are always blurred by the spinsters.

Lies become truths again and again,  maybe it will not work this time?

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 17, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Don’t you fucking get it?  The fundamentals are fucked!  Kapoot!  Finished!  Gone!  Don’t exist!  The experiment is over!  You Lose!!

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By PaulMagillSmith, September 17, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

talk about the mythical ‘government bail out’ which is just double-speak for taxpayer bailout. Do you think the ‘government’ can just print up money to bail out these private companies? Ooops! I forgot, that’s what they do, especially since the FED stopped publishing the M1 numbers in 2005 under this administration. That statistic needs to be publically available once again.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, September 17, 2008 at 6:22 am Link to this comment

Speaking of reality, this most recent economic disaster was the culmination of the decades long bipartisan effort to obliterate the Glass-Steagall Act, which was accomplished in 1999, when President Clinton signed into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which ended the prohibition of banks from owning other financial companies.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wallstreet/weill/demise.html

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/98914/

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 17, 2008 at 1:26 am Link to this comment

Gee, just think, if McCain/Bush privatized our S.S. (like a 401K) where would we be now?  On the street?

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By x, September 16, 2008 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I remember a battle at the Washington State Democratic Party Convention in the late 80s about disinvesting State Pension Funds from South Africa. Some of the loudest protesters were retired teachers who didn’t want to invest in less profitable plans…

Seems some Liberals and Progressives are like many segregation protesters. These are great ideas, but not in my town or in my living room! Think of the arguments over busing a few black kids across town. I always thought they should bus the white kids who really needed to learn about poverty and racism - not the victims!

I always figured my little IRA was found money anyway. It was fully funded thru the union contract, as a way to force the companies to continue paying for retirement in a fully funded plan that ERISA closed. [ERISA is a government program that caps pensions in return for Federal Pension Insurance - Another plan to protect the Key Lays, and cheat the Steel Workers and Aero Mechanics]

Good thing it is outside my daily budget. Vanguard has frozen withdrawals to “protect the long term investors” I read that to mean they are protecting the people with real investments, not those of us on fixed incomes.

I did inherit a very small annuity from my father-in-law, and then my husband. It was an AIG annuity, and I have contacted the Calif State Insurance Department two different times to get any action concerning the manipulation on this account. I have been considering a class action suit for twice inherited annuities as the Company took mine off the books and refused to send statements. Said they don’t keep track of those accounts.

My Mother taught me these large corporations are thieves and rotters who steal from widows and orphans. I’ve never seen anything that would make me disagree.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 16, 2008 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They placed gold stars on your grade school papers. But they won’t even put gold stars on your gravestone.

What is your life about?
What they tell you it is about?

National Strike Week.
Make it happen.
Make it yours.

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By Chapeau, September 16, 2008 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reality Check:: Right you are.

Which makes the crime all the more heinous.  Nothing has been done since Enron to reign in the unrestrained raping of America.

Deregulation has brought us here.  The GOP has brought us here.

I’ll bet dollars to donuts that every manager at Bear Sterns, Merryl Lynch, and AIG got handsome bonus’ and made tons of money—while sticking it to folks like RealityCheck, and me.

It’s not only time to clean up this mess but also to kick the GOP out of power completely and let the Democrats once again clean up their mess.  Anyone remember Hoover?

Enough is Enough.

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By R in ColorDO, September 16, 2008 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With this kind of taxpayer money going in, I suggest we slash all top tier salaries in half, immediately…and raise all the lower and minimum wage workers that do the real work day to day by half. We will see a better run company and still save a bundle.

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By P. T., September 16, 2008 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Under capitalism, when it comes to the very rich, profits are privatized and losses are socialized.

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By purplewolf, September 16, 2008 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

And wasn’t it the Republicans who baulked at helping out the “little people” who are being foreclosed out of their homes as socialism? But, much like welfare for the poor versus corporate welfare, the big corps always win out. The rich keep getting richer and the rest of us are screwed.

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By Steve, September 16, 2008 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It must be nice not having to worry about the quality of your investments, knowing you’ve got a force of taxpaying Americans you can just take the money from to cover the losses if they don’t pan out. Where do I sign up for that deal? Does it bother anyone else to know that the money coming out of your paycheck is going to cover someone elses poor decision? Disgusting

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, September 16, 2008 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

Now if the government could just nationalize the oil industry, then maybe we could get some relief from gas prices.

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By Realitycheck, September 16, 2008 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

I am a single retired WV schoolteacher with what in this day and age amounts to a poor income of pension and Social Security.  Most of my savings/nest egg resides in a TSA with AIG-AG for which I need to wait on a couple years for maturity.  I have been worried and frantic for a couple days and am reassured for the moment with the Federal loan.  Don’t just assume everyone affected is some mansion dwelling Wall Street manipulator.

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