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Congress should ratify the Paulson plan as-is

Friday, September 26, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named houseOfCards.gifIt seems today is the day when everyone is putting their stake in the ground, so I thought since I have a blog, and a stake, I should put my two cents in too. Permalink to this paragraph

First, when people ask why should we the people bail out Wall Street when they caused the problem in the first place? Well, they did, but so did the rest of us. If you took out a second mortgage to pay living expenses or to buy luxury, you were living high on the real estate bubble, you caused the problem too, and we're bailing you out. Might as well start placing responsibility where it really belongs, and take some yourself.  Permalink to this paragraph

Second, I know these Republicans are dicks, and they lied about the pretense for war, and just yesterday they admitted to discussing torture in The White House (which is worse than what Bill Clinton did in the White House). There's no reason to trust them, but I've weighed all the evidence and decided, again, we don't have a choice but to believe them. It might all be a scam again, but it probably isn't. Permalink to this paragraph

Third, this isn't a moral thing -- if it were, we would let everyone fail so they can learn their lesson and pass down the lessons so it doesn't happen again. But right now it's a question of what's a good use of our money. And there seems to be no choice about that, if you trust Warren Buffet, and I don't see any reason not to. Permalink to this paragraph

NY Daily News: "Warren Buffett urged quick action and compared the current crisis to Pearl Harbor." Permalink to this paragraph

Now, is it really all that much money? I don't think so... Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named sam.gifIf you average the $700 billion over the population it's somewhere between $2K and $10K per (depending on whether you count people or households). So let's figure this one out. If there's a market crash on Monday, and if the credit crisis is real, you might lose your job, or your savings, or both. Most people are still in their houses, you might lose your house. You have kids who want to go to college, etc, etc. Are you willing to put down $10K to make sure that doesn't happen? You may come to a different conclusion, but I'd be willing to pay ten times that to make sure we don't have an economic collapse. Permalink to this paragraph

About all the michegas they want to tack on to the proposal -- come on get real! None of that is going to make a difference. It's all the same old shit, it'll go to the same industries that always get our handouts, we won't see any of it. Don't delay the whole thing and take a chance on a crash for something with zero upside. Permalink to this paragraph

That's how I see it. We'll find out, I suppose, who is right. Permalink to this paragraph

An aside: It's not surprising that we failed to remember the lessons of the Great Depression and gradually removed the regulations that were put in place after the financial collapse of 1929. What is amazing is that we also failed to learn the lessons of Vietnam, which happened to the generation in power when the decision was made to go to war in Iraq. I guess the economic regulations worked for a while. Maybe we should pass some new laws regulating war.  Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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