Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving: "Too Big To Fail"

Everyday I Think of Money - Stereophonics (mp3)
Bright Future in Sales - Fountains of Wayne (mp3)

Would someone please explain to me what the hell the phrase "too big to fail" actually means? Is "too big to fail" something akin to calling a huge ocean liner "unsinkable"? If so, then America seems to have sailed right into one hellacious iceberg.

If CitiGroup is "too big to fail," then why the hell is it failing? If Detroit's carmakers aren't "too big to fail," why does it feel like losing those companies would be pretty darn catastrophic? More importantly, why are we allowing companies to get so large that they can be declared "too big to fail"? Isn't this a problem we should chew on going forward?

To me, a mere serf who couldn't even manage his Columbia House membership, I honestly don't get it. To me, it seems like our government is picking -- somewhat arbitrarily -- which companies are really important, which ones are only kinda important, and which ones are "too big to fail." Am I s'posed to just trust them that they know what the hell they're doing? Like I trusted 'em that there were WMDs? (OK, so I didn't trust 'em then, either.)

I don't mean to sound like an ignorant conservative, but it really feels like our government is handing out welfare checks with NINE ZEROES on them to a bunch of idiots who just proved they can't manage their own affairs. Conservatives get upset that we hand out teensy tiny checks to poor mothers who are "too lazy" to find employment, but this one bailout could probably put our entire country's welfare roll into houses for a year or two.

If people get pissed off that our government creates an entitlement mentality in the hearts and minds of the extremely poor by giving them a teensy pittance of cash and food stamps, what are we telling corporations by handing them the equivalent of a bajillion welfare checks?

Hey, I've got a plan! Why not kill two birds with one stone? The government can buy up a whole bunch of houses (thus helping the housing market) at reduced cost and place homeless welfare recipients in them for a year. [Yes, this is mere random conjecture, but it's no more idiotic-seeming that trusting the greedy Wall Street bastards who captained these Titanics to make the right decisions going forward.]

Here's what I'm thankful for in this holiday season:
  1. That I'm too poor to be all that terribly affected by this collective stupidity... so far, anyway.
  2. That all I've lost so far is half of my retirement.
  3. That I never promised anyone a rose garden, or even much of a weed garden.
  4. That I can criticize and mock our elected leaders no matter which decisions they make, because either way we're probably screwed for a while as a nation.
  5. That even if Obama does a lot of stupid things, he'll seriously deliberate them first, try his hardest to ingest the opinions of the highly-educated experts around him, and sound intelligent about it when he explains it all to the American public. (And he'll probably say the phrase "Now look..." about a million times in four years.)
I raise a big ol' chunk of cranberry sauce and a big ol' glass o' chardonnay to you on this severely recessed Thanksgiving! Here's to being sincerely grateful that, no matter how crappy it is, it's all still pretty damn good.

The Stereophonics song is off their least-impressive album of all time, Just Enough Education to Perform. The Fountains of Wayne song is from Welcome Interstate Managers, their best album. Both can be purchased on iTunes and's mp3 site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, nice blog!
I love Thanksgiving day very much. I found a site with a lot of things about Thanksgiving. Maybe this will interest you: All about Thanskgiving Day!!! :)