>I haven’t done a ranting-type blog entry in a while, so I think it’s about time. Over the past few weeks, I have watched in horror as our economy goes into the gutter. Record number of people losing their homes, banks failing, etc. I’ve also heard some shocking comments from people who blame the financial crisis on the poor and minorities, who drove the housing market down with their inability to pay their risky loans back. “These people shouldn’t be owning homes in the first place,” some people are saying.
But, I have a different take. I can not believe that people are jumping on the scapegoat bandwagon and blaming the financial crisis on people who want to fulfill their part of the American dream–just like everyone else. Sure, there may have been some who had not-so-perfect credit, but to completely blame their financial misgivings on the downfall of our economy is not only elitists, it also rings of the “blaming the other” attitude that’s so prevalent in this election season.
While I understand that there needs to be some major overhaul of the economy, I don’t think a $700 billion bailout is the answer. Why is our government so hell-bent on bailing out these companies that have continued to screw over the average American? Why is our government so hell-bent on protecting companies whose bottom line is to make money and not protect and promote the basic fiber of our society?
I can think of more useful ways this $700 billion can be used:
How about giving portions of the money back to taxpayers so they can pay off their debts, which would help the economy? Can you imagine how much of an impact relieving consumer debt would have on our economy?
How about giving portions of it to fund education? Our educational system is failing and we all know it. Our children in the public school system deserve a first-class education so they can “compete” (and I use that term loosely) with the world’s next generation of engineers, scientists and teachers.
How about investing portions of it into renewable energy research? Whatever happened to making America energy independent? Whatever happened to the idea that we were going to kick our addiction to foreign oil, the drug that’s the main driving force behind our policies in the Middle East?
How about investing in this country’s infrastructure. With a population of more than 300 million and growing, our country can not afford to keep pace with the current transportation system we have in place. The Eisenhower Interstate System needs a massive overhaul. The public transit system needs to be upgraded. Pedestrian friendly and green-space initiatives are the wave of the future and, yet, this country is still sitting on its hands.
How about committing some of the dollars to our public safety? Aren’t these men and women our first line of defense when it comes to crises?
What about investing in the environment? With global warming becoming more of a reality, America needs to start thinking about ways we can live efficiently and conservatively. We can not expect to sustain life as we know it with the way we live our lives.
I’m actually not too sad about this bailout plan not passing. I don’t think taxpayers should be responsible for bailing out corporations who thrive on greed and laissez–faire economic policies that are unrealistic and just don’t work.