It's cute to see Mitt take credit for the auto industry bailout
. Maybe next he can tell us how he built the Saturn V rockets that got us to the moon.
But his pronouncement leaves him at odds with Republicans who, for ideological reasons, defend helping Wall Street while decrying the very notion of helping America remain in the car business. According to the GOP, every other industry can die on the vine -- but Manhattan's millionaire hustlers must
continue to have an endless supply of coke and hookers. What Lindsey Graham says here
is very revelatory...
“Ford made it without any money,” Graham said. “My problem with the government — I was all for stabilizing banks because we all need banks. I’m not going to stabilize every industry through government dollars because it could effect a region electorally or unemployment numbers. The banking system would have brought the whole economy. When they started applying these funds to the car companies they lost me. Because we’ve got car companies in South Carolina got no federal dollars and they’re doing fine. They received no federal funding and they’re doing very good.”
In fact, we don't "all need banks." At least not those
banks, in those hands.
In other countries, the miscreant bankers were routed and the banks temporarily placed under public control. In Iceland, for example, the Landsbanki and the Glitner banks were nationalized; Ireland took over the Bank of Ireland and Irish Allied Banks; major banks were nationalized in the U.K. and Germany. And guess what? The sky did not turn red; the dread specter of communism did not descend over Europe. Everyone understood that nationalization was temporary. Everyone understood that bankers are not gods -- often, they are children who need spanking.
Here in America, the no-strings-attached (or few-strings-attached) Wall Street bailout rewarded bankers who had transformed our economic system into a criminal casino. A small library of good books documents what happened. If you have time to read only one of those books, I'd recommend Matt Taibbi's Griftopia
. If books ain't your thing, go for the fine four-part PBS Frontline series "Money, Power and Wallstreet."
We could have pursued a "Buy 'em and try 'em" policy. We could have bought those banks outright and made cases against the crooks who ran them. We could have let judges and juries decide the fates of those fraudster bankers who treated their clients like marks.
Other countries are coming to understand that we have nothing to offer but valueless financial flim-flam and empty libertarian axioms. They know that our anarchic financial ideology caused the continuing crisis. And they are ready to have done with us.
We don't need a financial "industry" which has devolved into unregulated
gambling. Wall Street is Vegas with a lot more money and far fewer
rules.Vegas did not make this country great. Detroit did -- along with a
lot of towns just like Detroit.
By their actions, the banks demonstrated that they were unfit to live.
There are those who would say the same about GM, which has been beset by mismanagement for ages. But the bailouts terms for the auto industry were harsher than were the terms applied to the Wall Streeters. And in the final analysis, the auto bailout worked. That victory forces conservatives into the unenviable position of having to argue against success.
We really do
Not only do we need manufacturing, we need the government to help create a large manufacturing base. Sorry, Randroids, but that's how things get done
. Look up the histories of most of the great Asian concerns: If Toyota had not received heavy backing from the post-war Japanese government, that firm would still make nothing but looms.
By the way:
If Graham wants to crow about South Carolina's ability to get by without federal dollars, then where was he during the Bush years? His state was fueled by pork, pork, pork
My home state of California routinely sent more tax money to the federal government than we received in goods and services. In South Carolina, the money flow went in the reverse direction. South Carolina is what I like to call a leech state.
Turns out Graham still loves him some pork
. He wants to enlarge the Port of Charleston, and he wants to do the job with your tax dollars.
Hey, why not just ask Mitt Romney to dig it? He can do the job single-handed.