they say when left and right both go to their utmost extremes they meet again on the other side, and i think it's true...
the latest US poverty figures show that 1 in 7 americans is living below the euphemistic and evermore ubiquitous "poverty line", which, if you need context, is right now arbitrarily set at an income of just over $10,000 per year for a single person, or $22,000 if you're trying to feed and house a family of four. (i don't know about you, but if i had to try to make both rent and food on $200 per week around here, i'd consider myself pretty impoverished, since, basically, around here, i'd already be homeless, which calls into question how many of those other 6-of-7 people are in similar shape, but lets not digress, shall we?).
in any case, a bleeding heart left-wing socialist would be up in arms about this, and ready to tear down society to right this wrong. when 1 in 7 people can't feed themselves and secure adequate shelter, that's a serious socio-economic problem that needs fixing, right?. ESPECIALLY if ever any significant portion of those 45 MILLION americans were to conclude that, as paddy chayefsky wrote it, they were mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, and might take any of these matters into their own idle hands and see what working in the devils workshop might pay as an alternative.
but i'm not a bleeding heart left-wing socialist--i'm one of those closet NRA types who believes in self-reliance to the extreme, and in ensuring that the government goes no further than the proverbial level playing field. i'm a fiscal right-wing capitalist who is up in arms about an entirely different thing, which, if you might give me a moment, you might see has more in common with the lefty sociopaths than is comfortable to consider.
take bank of america. i can speak a little bit about bank of america because i've seen both the inside (software is everywhere) and the outside of this classic american behemoth. (friends with BofA mortgages, i don't know how you survive it). if ever there was a bank that a dyed in the wool, staunch and resolute right wing capitalist had to INSIST be allowed to fail, this bank is it. so what does our (supposedly) republican prior presidential administration insist we do? they insist we bail them out to the tune of 138 BILLION dollars, and, (and i have absolutely no explanation for this next bit), their democrat successors fall all over themselves to agree and keep signing the checks.
138 BILLION. if you don't think democrats and republicans agree on anything, you aren't paying attention. 138 BILLION. right now congress is debating whether or not we can afford $50 billion to fix our entire national infrastructure, but one single bank ate up almost THREE TIMES that amount in one stroke of a pen, and if you're reading business week or willing in the least to take what i have to tell you at face value, that $138 billion was already lost and gone the second it was handed over. this is a FAILED bank that only keeps operating because you and i paid dearly for it. (almost $500 out of the pocket of every single american man woman and child). and it still will likely fail without more help. insane. that's more than half a months wages for folks who aren't even below the poverty line. and i don't know about you, but i actually could use another $500 right about now.
and all this bailout bullshit for what?
i'll tell you what.
there are more empty condos here in downtown lowell than is pleasant to consider, and none of them are selling (i've looked at a TON that have been on the market for over 6 months, and the prices have been dropping like crazy, and they're still not selling) because, among other things, none of them are priced where your average $200 a week american can afford one. and another reason they're still not selling is that banks like b of a won't sell the ones they now own due to foreclosure (lest their balance sheets have to actually show what they're worth), which, if you think about it, represents the ruination of at least one american life already, so the market stagnates, nobody sells, and nobody can afford to buy even if they wanted to.
and what would have happened had b of a been allowed to fail? well, first of all, you and i would still have our $500. second of all, all that overpriced real estate would have been fire sold at auction for prices that would have imploded to the point where $200 a week americans could have afforded them.
so now we are back to where the nut job socialists and i can agree.
we're being sold a crock of shit by our government, at the behest of criminal bankers, (fraud is a crime--i looked it up, and if you don't believe b of a's books are a fraud, then you're not paying attention), that we can't afford to let these banks fail.
want to know the truth?
the reason we can't afford our homes is that these banks haven't failed.
the sooner they're culled from the herd by resurrecting an actual capitalist, rather than socialist (dubya and the big o, meaning obama, not oprah, are both socialists and their bank bailouts prove it) fiscal policy, the faster all sorts of people won't be living below the poverty line, and, (here's the part i like best), those of us who work and pay our bills on time will find our standard of living goes way up because we're not being taxed to death to pay for being screwed.
but this, of course, is just one man's opinion.