MFG 2.0

If Manufacturers Were Banks...

Right now, in America, we're seeing billions of taxpayer dollars flowing into various parts of the banking sector in order to insulate these "institutions" from the consequences of their crazy behavior.

Imagine what would happen if, say, Big Auto -- another sector in trouble due to some chronically terrible decision-making -- was being treated with the same largesse as the banking sector?

We'd be seeing billions of taxpayer dollars flowing into a sector that is vital for national competitiveness, and at least, at the end of the day, those manufacturers would still be churning out tangible goods instead of the smoke and mirrors con game perpetrated by the banking "industry." (Didn't we fall for this same trick back under Reagan?)

These banks should fail, and by most accounts, many will. (Anyone else wonder why the FDIC isn't posting that list of 90 banks it keeps talking about?)

Once regulation requiring responsible business behavior was removed, bad business decisions were being made at banks for years on end, up and down the line, with lavish pay packages and bonuses and lifestyles fully funded, and yet here we are in full meltdown mode. And where are those high-rolling risk-takers now? And where did all that money go?

In the space of 6 short months, we went from this:

Bloomberg News tells us that the top securities firms are handing out nearly $38 billion in seasonal bonuses, the highest total ever.

To this:

Any losses on mortgages they own or guarantee — which could be staggering — would be paid by taxpayers.

Classic example of the privatization of profits and socialization of risk -- the U.S. taxpayer gets left holding the bag. Again.

And while we're talking about messed-up cash flows, don't even get me started on this story:

It is a politician's dream: Handing out cold, hard cash to people on the street as they plead for help. Iraq's prime minister has been doing just that in recent weeks, doling out Iraqi dinars as an aide trails behind, keeping a tally.

The handouts by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and a handful of other top officials are authorized -- as long as each goes no higher than about $8,000, and the same people don't get them twice.

We get $600, they get $8,000? One thing I can tell you is you won't catch Bush walking around in person on the street of any city in the world -- no matter how much money he had on hand.

Seriously, anger and resentment are at an all-time high in this country, and for good reason. In the past week alone, two more people I know (including a relative) lost jobs in the manufacturing industry, another is losing her house (I've stopped counting how many people I know have suffered this fate), and people that I know and love dearly are going bankrupt from hospital bills.

Everything is so backwards in this country right now, it's hard to write a coherent blog post. I am suffering from one hell of a case of outrage fatigue -- wonder if that's covered under my health benefits?

TAGS: Innovation
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