Economists are widely panning Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s bailout package for lacking appropriate regulatory mechanisms to prevent another future crisis; for not providing homeowner relief; for richly rewarding corporate executives for their failure and for neglecting to provide meaningful oversight over how the aid is distributed.
This whole mess has given lie to the free market and called into question virtually the entire basis of late capitalist economic organization. The Feds are propping up stock prices, directing buyouts, nationalizing private industries and subsidizing crooks and swindlers who already made a killing off the mortgage bubble.
The Fed and Treasury are right to take steps to avert this disaster but the use of taxpayer money to exclusively prop up and reward the rich while the needs of everyone else are written off as too costly is both morally unacceptable and, to quote conservative economist Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago School of Business, “will undermine the fundamental workings of the capitalist system.”
While there is an urgency to put a bailout program in place, there are several important issues that Congress should address as part of the process. As economist Dean Baker has outlined on TPM, there are some very clear principles that could guide a bailout and a restructuring of the financial system.
A coalition of grassroots groups, including Credo Mobile, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice and MoveOn.org are planning to express their opposition to Paulson’s bailout plan and call for those clear principles this Thursday, September 25 in a rally and march at 4:00pm near Wall Street in lower Manhattan.
With the world famous financial district as the backdrop and the eyes of the national media watching, the organizers’ aim is to make visible the anger and concern of so many people at the prospects of this bailout and to do so as Congress appears set to pass legislation by the end of the week before adjourning for the fall campaign season.
If you can’t make it to this protest, you can still contact your elected reps and implore them to reject Paulson’s plunder and enact a plan that bails out Main Street as well as Wall Street and provides for investment in a new productive economy.
Bonus Video Clip:Watch this new TPM video to see who’s really to blame for the current economic crisis.