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Bailout... Bailout... Rescue... Bailout
beer, meetmeme, Backyard
All of the bailout talk and changing who gets what made me start thinking... And we all know that is a dangerous thing.

US Auto manufacturers have long had big cars in mind. They have only grudgingly accepted slight fuel economy increases over the years. They have legislated time and again to get around any type of efficiency gains. They also fought to increase tariffs on non-American cars and succeeded. Only then to increase profits and match the new, higher import prices. They build good cars, if you want a big car. For a long time anything that is smaller and meets economy requirements has been crap.

The energy and financial sectors legislated for less and less regulation. They planned odious laws that made it more difficult for individuals to declare bankruptcy, while somehow still allowing people who owned multiple homes to keep them if they ran into financial trouble. They legislated to increase the maximum people were allowed to spend on housing. Then they act surprised when the mortgages were not paid.

These companies above have failed or are failing. Now they need taxpayer money in order to stay afloat. Yet they will all cry if minimum wage is increased or health care is made more affordable/mandatory for their employees.

The capitalism that the companies above have fought for, have legislated for, have thrust down the throats of their employees is failing. The weak, the bad business models, and the scammers have started to falter. And now the "hands off, de-regulation" crew wants what little remains of our money to fund their failed, anti-consumer, anti-people policies.

I say no. Let them die. Others say they must remain, since they employ so many people. Let them die. Let smaller, more nimble companies take their place.

I lean towards socialism. But socialism is for people, not companies. Take those displaced workers, and put them back to work for the good of the country.

  • Internal Peace Corps - instead of using the national guard to sandbag rivers and help people in disaster areas, send in the trained Peace Corps volunteers. Give them something akin to the GI Bill - 2-4 years in the Internal Peace Corps and get $XX dollars for college, or send them to a public university for free. Everyone should have access to higher education.
  • Continuing the above, I like the idea of public service. How about mandatory public service for two years after high-school. Military, Peace Corps, Internal Peace Corps. Help the country, get a free 2-4 years of college. Don't want to help the country, well I have other ideas for those people, but that is another story.
  • Put the accountants to work - we are going to need them in the IRS when we declare all religious institutions "For Profit" until they can prove they fit the requirements for a non-profit.
  • Put people to work doing the work that Faith-based initiatives are doing. Religions and proselytizers do not need our money. The people they were supposed to help need our help. And if they can prove they are a non-profit, then can continue doing good works. With their own money.
  • Beyond the Internal Peace Corps - The WPA, part II. Put those people to work doing good work for the country. Learn to build, learn to fill potholes. Maybe if those laid off from the failed auto manufacturers like heavy equipment, we should get some of those tunneling machines from Japan and start rebuilding a better national train system. Eventually people are going to be tired of the airlines (I know I am) and want a more available train system. Build trains, mass transit, subways.
  • The laid-off workers that like the great outdoors? I have a role for them as well. We need a return to classic farming, complete with crop rotation and mixed cattle and agriculture. The rise of seed monocultures is dangerous. We have engineered sterile plants. I think someday this may haunt us. I think if we change it now, we may do better. We need to rotate our crops. We need to give up on Ethanol, or at least not destroy our soil in order to get gasoline with worse fuel economy and that is a net loss over regular gasoline. Part of the crop rotation is old school pasture for a while, grains for a while.
  • Power - those displaced workers can get training and start building wind turbines and placing solar panels. We need to lower dependency on oil and get to self-sufficiency.

We need to change and that is hard to admit. But we need to learn from the past and then let go of it. That being said, nothing here is really new.

Oh, one last thing for now. The Pledge of Allegiance. Take religion out of the Pledge (undo McCarthy's damage). Then put the Pledge back in schools.