rachel maddow on the banking industry rip-off

What would it hurt for Obama to come out and suggest that we stop this bailout where it stands, right now, before any further funds are allocated, take a deep breath, and look everything over thoughtfully in the light of day? Would the world spiral into chaos?

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  1. Brackache
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Oh man. I’m always the first guy to comment on the bailout ones.

    I’ll keep it short.

    Whenever lawmakers say, “well, we can’t just do nothing!,”

    respond with a resounding, “YES, WE CAN!”

  2. Emma
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Doing nothing would’ve been best.
    The banks/failing companies etc. who should’ve, would’ve fixed themselves or gone out of business. The “strong” would survive and everyone would be better off in the end without owing all of that money to whoever we borrowed it from.

  3. Posted November 12, 2008 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    “The “strong” would survive and everyone would be better off in the end without owing all of that money to whoever we borrowed it from.”

    Our loans just get sold to another lender, which could be worse for you. Just because the bank goes away doesn’t mean your debt goes with it. You just get bills from another return address.

    Plus, as a person trying to get a loan right now, if no one has any money to lend, no one can get a loan. Trust me, it sucks.

  4. Curt Waugh
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Yeah, see I’m trying my hardest to remember which political party voted overwhelmingly FOR the bailout. Hmmmmm… I wish my memory was better. Uh, I’m pretty sure it was one of the two parties that did so well in the recent presidential election…

    And while we’re on that topic. Thank you (whoever you are) for giving Paulson the legal chops to hide from the general population just what, exactly, he’s doing with my money. That’s so cool. I love secrets.

  5. Rush Limbaugh
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Has anyone ever heard of Rachel Maddow?

  6. Brackache
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Bush twicked them. Wif twickewy.

    I have to admit, I feel a little bit sorry for people who haven’t yet figured out the Democrats are going to decieve and betray them just like the Republicans decieved and betrayed their constituents. You’ll make excuses for them for a while, but eventually you’re going to have to eat some hard cheese.

  7. Posted November 12, 2008 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Exactly what party wouldn’t do trick the people?

  8. Robert
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I expect the Democrats to do the same crappy job they did in the 90s, and I’ll be satisfied with that. I will just be glad to step back from the brink. Why would the government of a country be any better than it’s people?

    I know a bunch of folks are going to be whining about what a disappointment Obama will have turned out to be, and it’s because they are clueless when it comes to what those levels of leadership and politics entail. For some reason, most folks can’t imagine that things change dramatically as you rise up through the ranks as Obama has.

    I think the reason the ancient greeks felt it was so necessary for every ‘citizen’ to serve in public office was so that they would have some remotely accurate understanding of what politics entails. It’s dramatically different than our little day-to-day lives. No, you can’t just wake up one day and decide you’re going to do a bunch of things differently.

    It’s clear that most people’s ideas about politics are absurdly nieve. It’s as nieve as those idiot chickenhawks’ ideas about warfare and combat.

  9. Emma
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I have refinanced one house in the past year. My husband has refinanced another. We both have had unsolicited increases in our credit card lines (by about $5k each) mine within the last 6 months or so, my husbands within the last 30 days. I have decent credit. His score is higher but his debt to income ratio is much worse. I just don’t see this drying up of credit. Maybe I am an isolated example but that has not been my experience.
    When I said that everyone would be better off in the end without owing all of that money to whoever we borrowed it from I did not mean personal debt. I owe what I owe and make my payments and did not borrow beyond my means. I meant the “bailout” money.
    It was borrowed from other countries.

  10. kjc
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I can’t imagine anything more naive than telling people that politics as usual is its own wisdom that they don’t properly fathom. And progressives who “whine” about disappointment will be working to push Obama towards less disappointing policies. Thank god. Not just sitting around telling everyone to relax and take whatever comes. That kind of blind faith that we can let the system suck and suck and there’ll be no fallout is just bullshit. We don’t have the luxury of repeating the Clinton years.

  11. Curt Waugh
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    You know, the ultimate answer isn’t to join the government to DO SOMETHING. (“Hey, there’s a problem. The government will fix it!”) What total horseshit. The government is doing way more than it should — and way more than is legal, by the way. Not all answers come from there.

    Robert and dude, your retaliatory attacks on Brachache make no sense. You keep saying “Why don’t you run? What have you done?” I don’t know about the rest of you, but like most people, I personally don’t participate in government. I don’t really believe it’s the solution to much of anything. The U.S. runs on business (and small business, at that), not government. The solutions are the myriad thing that we all do, every day. I want LESS government, not more.

    Please stop this nonsense that those who don’t actively participate in government are somehow unworthy to raise their voice here. What happened to your minds that you automatically think that the government should solve all our problems? Who taught you this swill? Yes, we are upset. But I don’t want to change John Dingle’s mind; I want to change YOURS. Get it?

    The “bailout” (read: theft) IS getting worse. Dingle DID enable the horrible practices of the auto industry. Our government DOES violate the Constitution. Why is it wrong to point this out to the general public? And point it out to the people who have seemingly supported the political party that has lead the efforts in these areas? Seems like the right place to start. If I believe that the theft was wrong and if I believe that you supported it, I want to talk to YOU.

    And Robert, you of all people – The Great Opinionator of All Things – should maybe back off a little on somebody else airing what appear to be reasonable opinions of ridiculous government actions. The answer to one bad action is not always some other bad action. FIRST DO NOT HARM, eh? You end up sounding like some shrill right wing radio talk show host rather than a concerned citizen. Or was that what you were trying to do? ‘Cause man, you nailed it.

  12. Posted November 12, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I really want Brackache to run for office!!

    Brackache 2010!!

  13. Posted November 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    The U.S. runs on business (and small business, at that), not government.

    The U.S. runs on BIG business, which the government would be wise to put a lid on as they bleed us dry.

    Small business just scrapes by and waits to be quashed by Wal-Mart.

  14. Brackache
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Curt!

  15. Curt Waugh
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Sorry dude, but the fact is that job growth is fueled by small business. Sure, the big boys might have the government in their pocket, but they don’t make the new jobs.

    That said, wouldn’t it be nice if the government followed its own rules and didn’t put itself in their pocket? You know, these guys wouldn’t give all their money to government if there was no return in it. Take the hint; shrink the gub’ment.

  16. Posted November 13, 2008 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Do they? It appears however that small business has a really bad track record of producing jobs that pay well and give benefits.

    I am no fan of big business, but I’m also not a fan of small business that fails to provide any support for it’s workers besides a minimum wage paycheck.

    I don’t call that job growth. I call that taking advantage of a desperate population and find it to be no different than Wal-Mart’s shitty tactics and barely surpassing an unemployment check.

    I’m no expert, that’s just the way it appears. Perhaps you can point me to some convincing data.

  17. Curt Waugh
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I found these in three minutes:

    “Small businesses provided all the net job growth in California over a 12-year period…”

    “Small Business Driving Job Growth”

    “Small firms, those with 1 to 499 employees, create about 64 percent of new jobs.”

    “Small business continues to be the engine powering US job growth.”

  18. Posted November 13, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    But what are those “jobs”? I think that if a business can’t offer it’s employees a decent health plan, they don’t have any right having employees at all.

    Small business can be just as shitty as big business. I suspect that many small businesses are taking advantage of a desperate population and offering shitty jobs at shitty wages with shitty benefits.

    I’ve never had a good working experience at a small business. Also, I would hardly define a business with 499 employees as “small”.

  19. Brackache
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I think that if a business can’t offer it’s employees a decent health plan, they don’t have any right having employees at all.

    You need enough profit to give your employees a decent health plan, plus enough employees to get a group rate. You obviously can’t meet the second condition if you don’t have the right to have employees at all, and generally you can’t expand your business enough to get enough profit without having employees, which are expensive.

    Labor costs are usually a business’ greatest expenditure. So, a small business takes it’s pre-paycheck profits (after bills and such), spends most of it on its employees’ wages, and then, depending on how much is left over and if it can get a group rate for a health plan, decides whether it can offer its employees a health plan or not. Many just plain can’t.

    If they then lose the right to have employees at all, they will never be ble to expand to the point where they can be profittable enough to offer a health plan, and you have just put a mom and pop operation out of business.

  20. Posted November 13, 2008 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. They have no right to be in business since everyone else ends up having to pick up the tab when their employees get sick. If they can’t due their duty as citizens, then they’d be better off working alone, for everyone’s sake.

    Sorry, I have no faith in small business. Or any business… hmmm…

  21. Brackache
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Ah. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  22. kez
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    i’ll still be buying my roasted pumpkin seeds from Amazon my friends.

  23. Curt Waugh
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    dude, if you have no faith in business, just in what DO you have faith? And no, I don’t mean the religious kind. I mean, if the world is going to continue and people are still going to have families and do some book learnin’ and have a little fun and whatnot, just what institutions are going to lead the effort? The government? Big business? Churches? The NRA? Or are you, instead, signaling an overall pessimism with everything? I’m trying to understand this statement:

    “Sorry, I have no faith in small business. Or any business… hmmm…”

  24. Posted November 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I am still reeling from all the talk of the plight of small business during the course of the election. Let’s start by defining “small business”. I define small business as a business with roughly 50 or less employees. Everything above that is “medium” or “big”.

    Having had conversations with small business owners during the election, all of them were not going to vote for Obama since they were worried that he would require all businesses to provide health care for their employees. My thought was, if you aren’t willing to provide health insurance for your employees, then what right to have to even employ people. I was at one guy’s shop and was looking at his 10 or so employees and thinking, if these guys get sick, me and every other taxpayer are going to have to cough up tax dollars to pay for these guys’ medical bills. Meanwhile, the boss is complaining about how the Democrats fund welfare mothers in Detroit.

    I’m thinking to myself: “Fuck you, fuck small business, fuck Joe the Plumber, fuck anybody who can’t get their shit together to provide at least basic health care for their employees.”

    GM, etc like to bitch about the high cost of health care, and they are right to. It really is too expensive. However, I have the feeling that all the Joe the Plumber guys wouldn’t provide health care to their employees even if it were affordable and the employees are too dime-a-dozen to do any sort of collective bargaining to get it.

    It’s a shame that is has to be that way, but that’s the way it is. Every small business I have ever worked for has been this way, I wait for the day when these idiots are required to care for their employees.

  25. Curt Waugh
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    “I wait for the day when these idiots are required to care for their employees.”

    See, there’s where you lose me. ALL businesses start out small (whatever your definition of that is). American small business is really behind the 8-ball because we don’t have nationalized healthcare (or single-payer or whatever you want to call it). Yet it still is one of the most unstoppable forces in the world economy. To call the people who pretty much created EVERYTHING we use today when we are type-type-typing away at this blog “idiots” is completely and totally unwarranted. You seem to think that their contributions to commerce and free enterprise are completely outweighed by the lack of one benefit. That’s quite a mighty line you’re drawing in the sand there.

    Small businesses also don’t send their executives on expensive junkets or buy enormous buildings or give their CEO’s billion-dollar bonuses. That doesn’t sound too shabby to me.

    People don’t join small businesses for the benefits. They join for the opportunity. These are risky ventures. Entrepreneurs, and the people who join them, understand this. It’s a wild, risky ride and everybody knows it. Who the heck made you join a start-up, anyway? Go work for GM. Oh yeah…

  26. Posted November 14, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I think you and I are talking about two very different kinds of small business. You are talking about things like late 90’s software startups that offered employees things like stock options and Friday afternoon massages. I am talking about people like your local plumber and print shop.

    Either way, if they don’t offer their employees health insurance from the get go, they are idiots. Businesses have to pay rent, buy equipment, etc. etc. but they believe that health insurance for employees is a luxury. Since when is that an acceptable corner to but?

    The thing that amazes me, is that these small business guys don’t want socialized medicine because we will end up like Canada. But, if American were to provide socialized medicine, it would free small business up to start new ventures AND have a protected and healthy workforce.

    People don’t join small businesses for the benefits. They join small business because they can’t get a job anywhere else. And owners of small businesses take advantage of that desperation and pay substandard wages and get away with not offering benefits that every other developed country requires, leaving us to pick up the tab. You want exploitation? Go to a small business.

    This isn’t to say that there are good small businesses out there that take care of their employees. Those appear to stick around for the long haul and create the successes that you speak of. I am talking about the bad eggs, here, not the good guys, Curt.

  27. Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    dude “I’m thinking to myself: “Fuck you, fuck small business, fuck Joe the Plumber, fuck anybody who can’t get their shit together to provide at least basic health care for their employees.””

    The huge cost of healthcare coverage is due in large part to the antiquated federal laws that govern the health insurance industry. If healthcare insurance was available to individuals in an open, competitive marketplace, the cost of health insurance would have long ago dropped in the same way term life insurance rates have dropped in recent years. Because of the way health insurance companies are compelled to operate, the highest premiums are paid by individuals and small companies, making coverage for employees of small businesses a budget-breaking burden.

    Isn’t that amazing? Increase competition through free markets and the result is better for the consumer. Pity that it will be years before we see that notion come back into vogue in Washington DC.

  28. Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Even when affordable plans are available, many small businesses won’t buy in. It has nothing to do with free markets or regulations. It’s just plain unwillingness of employers to take care of their workers.

    Plenty of businesses make it happen for their employees.

  29. Brackache
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I bet there’s a few folks here in small businesses that’d beg to differ with dude on more than a few points.

  30. Curt Waugh
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Yeah dude, I’m gonna let this one drop. You are personally very bitter about something and it seems to mold your opinions here. You have made very broad statements twice now about what “idiots” small business owners are, entirely ignoring both the facts and the very strong opinions of millions of people who are extremely fond of their experiences working for small businesses. They are the powerhouses of American economics and your disdain for them is sorely misplaced.

  31. Posted November 15, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Curt, you are right. My very negative personal experiences cloud my view of the bad eggs of small business. You are very right about this.

    My view is that a loose regulatory environment allows small business acts with impunity in matters of social responsibility and the this lack of regulation has effects not only in terms of bad BIG business, as we are seeing now.

    Basically, there are a lot of really bad small businesses out there that need to be shut down. I only hope that one day, all businesses will be required to offer all employees health care or that the government provides some sort of socialized system where small businesses will not have to.

    Remind you, I recognize that there are many responsible small business owners that step up to the plate every day for their employees. It’s the bad ones that I would like to see fail, along with the large Enrons of the world.

    I don’t think that you can demonize one (big) and sanctify the other (small), since they both have a percentage of bad and good eggs within their ranks.

    Sorry, I realize this is a spastic train of thought. Part of the great benefit of these email lists, is being able to parse out my thoughts publicly.

  32. Posted November 15, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    dude [Visitor] ยท “Even when affordable plans are available, many small businesses won’t buy in. It has nothing to do with free markets or regulations. It’s just plain unwillingness of employers to take care of their workers.”

    There are no affordable plans. I’ve worked for small companies my entire working life (the largest had 40 employees). Over and over again I watched owners try to “shop” for more affordable health coverage, and they always ended up back at BlueCrossBlueShield. Why? Not because it was the best or most affordable, but because BCBS is the only health insurance company that is required to take all comers.

    For other insurers, there was always someone in the office with a chronic health issue or some other red flag within our small group of employees that would trigger higher premiums or some other problem. The problem is that federal regulations require these insurers to treat each company’s group of employees as a separate group, not as part of their overall pool of customers. So, instead of calculating the risk of one 60+ accountant with diabetes among 5 million policyholders, these health insurance companies are required to make that risk calculation based upon one high risk individual among the group of that company’s 15 employees! No wonder health insurance premiums are far higher for small businesses….

    These antiquated regulations are a legacy of President Truman’s well-intentioned efforts to secure health coverage for “all” Americans. In the 1950’s and ’60’s, the typical American family consisted of a husband that worked for one of the Big 4 auto companies, GE, Dow, or some other major manufacturer for his entire 30 year career, a wife who stayed home, and their children. Things are a bit different now, but the regulatory framework hasn’t changed.

    We need real competition in the health insurance marketplace, so that individuals can afford to buy coverage, and so that we no longer have lapses in coverage when we change jobs.

  33. Brackache
    Posted November 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    The missus and I and my business have been doing this insurence dance ourselves quite a bit recently. desrep is correct about the one old coot ruining the rates for everyone else (with respect to the old coots).

    On a personal note: I am on the poor side of Sears, I have an exceedingly painful occasional medical problem that requires hospital care, and I do not want “free” socialized health insurence that the government forces someone else tp pay for. That’s just fucking evil. I’ve gotten private charity health insurence for a while, and that was nice, but now that I’m making more I’m glad I’m paying for better.

  34. Posted November 15, 2008 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    You should have the option. Most countries with socialized medicine that I’ve lived in allow you to.

  35. Brackache
    Posted November 16, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s not an option for the people that are forced to pay for it.

    The government has no money of its own.

    It pays for stuff my taxing people involuntarily, borrowing money from other countries that we or our kids/grandkids will eventually have to pay back, or printing up fiat currency which gradually makes our money worth less and decreases our purchasing power (an invisible tax, some call it).

    There are also less tangible side effects of having the same government that runs VA hospitals provide for your health care, such as shittier health care.

    So there’s no such thing as free health care.

  36. Posted November 16, 2008 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Just as there’s no such thing as free schools for your kids. You always have the option of putting them into private schools, but your taxes are the price you pay for not having (completely) illiterate neighbors, which would cost you MORE money in the end.

    I don’t see what the problem is. The point in having a government sponsored health care system (which we already have, to an extent) is to make sure that everyone has access to services so that people can get problems fixed early so that you and I don’t have to foot the bill for EXTREMELY sick people later.

    Canada’s system is much maligned here for some reason, but their population is healthier than ours and, when broken down into income strata, more uniformly healthy than ours.

    Admittedly, there are a number of other reasons that Canada is healthier, but access to health care for all is a big one. Sure, they pay more tax, but a healthy society seems like money well spent.

  37. Posted November 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    My Canadian friends routinely cross the border for specialized medical care, surgery, etc. Hypothetically, a society ought to be “healthier” when those waiting for care that is rationed under socialized medicine die before receiving it. Just hypothetically speaking, of course.

  38. Posted November 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    But DR, most health patients do not require specialized care. Canada is still healthier and has a longer life expectancy, number 11 worldwide, than we do. We sit at a shocking number 38. Much of this has to be due to the availability of preventive medical services.

  39. Brackache
    Posted November 16, 2008 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    dude — so what?

    We don’t own each other like property and compare our citizens’ teeth to other countries’ citizens’ teeth like horses, then figure out some rediculous universal solution so we can keep up with the goddam Joneses.

    I don’t understand why some people group all Americans together and fuss over some problem or another like it’s your resposibility to solve. It’s not. Freedom, individuality, and independance are inherantly risky. Society can’t be adequately held accountable for every individual’s hard luck or choices based on wildly differing priorities. Even so, we’re not without brotherly love: people help each other out (like helping pay for hospital bills) without seeking or getting accolades all the time. I’ve seen it plenty. Even private citizens I worked with who I watched plow public roads early in the morning in Ann Arbor without anyone asking or giving them credit.

    If we’re #38, so what? I guess a lot of Americans would rather eat the twinkie than live to be 90 and pray for death every day when their friends are all dead and their grandkids don’t visit. That’s their choice.

    So what?

  40. Posted November 16, 2008 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    “\Freedom, individuality, and independance are inherantly risky.”

    Why can’t I have all these and a health plan? What is so mutually exclusive about that?

  41. Brackache
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    You can have a health plan. Buy one. Get on Washtenaw Health Plan if you can’t buy one yet, then adapt until you can buy one. Or visit charitable doctors. One doctor I knew growing up used to accept barter for payment from poor farmers. There are still doctors like that. Crass is wrong: nobody owes you a living. ‘Course they fucking don’t. Quit being a burden and take care of yourself, if you’re not crippled in some way.

  42. Posted November 17, 2008 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Did I ever say that I didn’t have insurance?

    Besides, the Washtenaw Plan is everything you hate.

  43. Brackache
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    So what’s the problem?!?

  44. Posted November 17, 2008 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Dude, the vast majority of Canadians live within an hour’s drive of the U.S. border. Why do you think they have such a long life expectancy? – because they have the best of what socialized medicine can offer over there, plus they always have the safety valve of coming to the U.S. when their system fails them in the really important (life/death) medical moments. Makes me all weepy and wanting to be one too….;.

  45. Posted November 18, 2008 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    DR, that does not explain why poor people in Canada do as well as rich people here. I seriously doubt that poor people in Canada are crossing the border for medical care.

    From your rhetoric, I think you forget there are poor people.

    It’s worth saying that wealthy people in both countries do just as well.

  46. Posted November 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Until the recent financial meltdown, the Canadian dollar was more or less on par in value with the US dollar, making the US a very attractive/affordable place for Canadians to visit. I have retired friends on a fixed income (poor folks to you) who do exactly that on a regular basis. I’m sure that there are more poor Canadians who manage to get across the Ambassador Bridge and to the Detroit Medical Center when they need to…. Maybe we should do a study?

  47. Robert
    Posted November 20, 2008 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, designated republican, maybe you should do a study. You seem to be pulling that idea that Canadians come to the US for medical attention straight out of your ass.

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