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September 21, 2008

Glenn Greenwald on the $700 Billion Bank Bailout
FILED UNDER: "National Politics"
TAGS: corporate welfareGeorge W BushSalon.com
By Trevor

pigs_at_trough.jpg

Many have chimed in on the outrageous trillion-dollar bailout of corporate America this past week, but Glenn Greenwald's analysis is brilliant:

What is more intrinsically corrupt than allowing people to engage in high-reward/no-risk capitalism -- where they reap tens of millions of dollars and more every year while their reckless gambles are paying off only to then have the Government shift their losses to the citizenry at large once their schemes collapse? We've retroactively created a win-only system where the wealthiest corporations and their shareholders are free to gamble for as long as they win and then force others who have no upside to pay for their losses. Watching Wall St. erupt with an orgy of celebration on Friday after it became clear the Government (i.e., you) would pay for their disaster was literally nauseating, as the very people who wreaked this havoc are now being rewarded.

More amazingly, they're free to walk away without having to disgorge their gains; at worst, they're just "forced" to walk away without any further stake in the gamble. How can these bailouts not at least be categorically conditioned on the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains from those who are responsible? The mere fact that shareholders might lose their stake going forward doesn't resolve that concern; why should those who so fantastically profited from these schemes they couldn't support walk away with their gains? This is "redistribution of wealth" and "government takeover of industry" on the grandest scale imaginable -- the buzzphrases that have been thrown around for decades to represent all that is evil and bad in the world. That's all this is; it's not an "investment" by the Government in any real sense but just a magical transfer of losses away from those who are responsible for these losses to those who aren't.

I like to call it corporate welfare. These from the same fucking bastards who would sooner die than see a just and equitable welfare system be instituted -- you know, to help the POOR, rather than the ridiculously wealthy. It steams me the fuck up.

PERMALINK | Posted at 12:39 PM | Post a Comment (1)

1 Comment

The United States Government is capitalizing on a comprehensional failure of the human mind the inability to fully grasp the magnitude of large numbers. Upon hearing numbers beyond a few thousand our brains interpret it as, Wow, thats a big number! with no tangible image to relay exactly how big. So, lets start with a One Dollar Bill. We can understand $1.00, right?

According to the United States treasury, a One Dollar Bill has a thickness of 0.0043 inches. One thousand One Dollar Bills would be one thousand times thicker -- 4.3 inches.

One million is one thousand thousands, so the thickness of $1,000,000 is 4300 inches. Converting to feet and this becomes 358.3 feet, an American football field.

One billion -- $1,000,000,000 is one thousand times thicker still or 358,333.3 feet. This is 67.866 miles, the driving distance from New York City to Milford CT.

One Trillion is one thousand billions one trillion One Dollar Bills stacked one on top of another is 67,866 miles. This would circumnavigate the globe 2.73 times.

The proposed 700 Billion Dollar bailout alone would be a stack of One Dollar Bills stretching 47,506.2 miles, or 1.90 times around the globe.

A stack of One Dollar Bills totaling the current national debt cap of 10.6 trillion dollars would go around the equator 28.93 times. The proposed cap of 11.3 trillion dollars would go around 30.85 times.

Is creating a debt that is the equivalent of a stack of One Dollar Bills rounding planet 31 times a responsible act?

JP | September 22, 2008 12:20 AM


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