The other morning I watched a popular, national, morning news show. They were discussing the idea of the federal government coming to the rescue of the failing mortgage industry. They even interviewed some politicians. The one big question that kept popping up was: why should the tax payers foot the bill?
The answer to this question is pretty easy. Many taxpayers, not all of course, are just as much part of the cause of this mess as everyone else involved. Sure, the regulators should have gotten in there and said no. Sure, the mortgage bankers could have said, "Hey, maybe we shouldn't make all these risky loans." Finally, though, it was those who followed the American Dream who said, "Sure, I'll sign this contract without really knowing what I'm doing. After all, I need a big house to surround the giant screen television I bought with credit. It's not like the economy ever goes through cyclic downturns."
That's right; you heard me. The citizens of this country have been doing stupid things with credit for decades now. It had to come around to beat them eventually. The problem is that we are a nation without officially recognized classes, so when it beats them it beats everybody else.
Not everyone did the risky mortgage thing. Not everyone maxed out credit card after credit card. Not everyone lived in an area where or worked in an industry where layoffs were likely. That's just tough. As a nation we will all have to pay the bill for the fix. If you think that's not fair, you'll really hate the solutions that lead to absolute fairness. I'll give you hint, you may have to do your own time in the work camps.
So yes, the taxpayer is going to have to pay the bill. The important thing to remember is that all of this means the stability of the banking industry is a national concern. The full implications are realized when high-level bank managers from the failed banks are put against a wall for treason. I believe that's something we can all get behind.
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