Saturday, October 04, 2008

Losses Si, Profits No

It hasn't gotten much press, as 25 billion seems like nothing nowadays, but Congress just passed a 25-billion dollar loan guarantee for the US auto industry. They're saying it's not a bailout, of course, but the ultimate benefits of this money will end up in private pockets--and Chrysler (which is not on its first "not-bailout"), may start outsourcing car production.

Unless you live in a cave, you know Congress rejected the 700-billion banking bailout as too costly, preferring to wait until it was improved upon (by tacking on yet further expenses for taxpayers).

For these prices, not to mention the cost of the disastrous and seemingly endless Iraq war, we doubtless could have provided health care for every American. And as far as I can see, we're still socializing losses and privatizing profits. For the enormous risk the taxpayers are taking, we ought to be on the receiving end of any eventual upside to this catastrophe. It appears, though, if the automakers and banks turn themselves around, it's back to profits for them and losses for us.

While it's possible our investment is saving us from worse consequences, it's simply idiotic to preclude American taxpayers from enjoying potential profits. If we are indeed socializing these industries, we ought to take part in any possible upside. Whether you're a die-hard capitalist or a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist (or anything in between), you have to see the way we're doing this is simply nuts.

In other news, UFT President Randi Weingarten (who is not a socialist), still thinks it's a good idea to privatize health care for over 90% of New York City employees. Perhaps she shares Maverick Johny's belief that health care ought be deregulated so that it can follow the example of the banking industry.

Some people never learn.
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