As this nation’s economy teeters on the brink of another Great Depression, politicians and talking heads fill the airwaves with self-serving blather. Meanwhile, the Bush administration prepares to bail out (at astronomical taxpayer expense) the financial industry, which has incidentally been his largest source of campaign contributions. The aristocrats on Wall Street have been raking in billions of dollars in the course of the last few years on the basis of crooked deals and dubious logic. Multimillion-dollar annual bonuses have been commonplace for these fair-haired sons of privilege. Last year my annual bonus was a canvas duffel bag.
In the weeks and months to come, the phrase “too big to fail” will be on the lips of experts and opinionators—the implication being that you and I who work plenty hard to support ourselves and our families will be subsidizing the jet setters with their mansions and their country clubs because if they fall, they’ll take us with them. Sounds like trickle-down economics in reverse, doesn’t it? Once again Washington is talking of dominoes knocking down everything, and what could possibly be worse than a bunch of falling dominoes?
You know what? I’d take a few lean years just to be able to watch the high and mighty come tumbling down. Nothing is going to fundamentally change if we save these guys. Ten years from now, it’ll still be the same tycoons in the top 1 percent of 1 percent running this country with their lackeys in Washington.
We teach our children about something called natural consequences: the idea that if they make a bad decision, they have to live with the results (and pay for them). I’ve got a full-time job pounding nails, a 30-year mortgage and hardly a dime to spare. And I am not interested in seeing that dime used to fix the mess created by the poor decision making of a bunch of fools, rogues and naives.
— Matt Rawlings