Monday, 5 January 2009

Nearly a trillion dollars, and where is it going?

First of all, a happy new year to all my readers. This is In Perspective's first post of 2009; too bad we aren't starting the year on a better note.

The $700bn bailout is just one big mess, benefiting the institutions that brought the financial system into this crisis mode in the first place. We need government spending to stimulate the faltering economy, but this is the wrong way to go about it. There is little to no oversight where billions of taxpayer dollars are going. This is a disgrace, plain and simple. Worse yet, while there were articles about the initial GAO report (albeit pushed to the back of the news section, incredibly enough), the media has once against failed to challenge the Bush administration to make sure these flaws in the bailout are fixed in time; the White House has dodged the spotlight, and thus the pressure. Congress also deserves its great share of blame, handing out the money without figuring out an endgame first. The financial institutions who received this generous (worth somewhere in between the nominal GDPs of Turkey and the Netherlands), practically no-strings-attached handout remain silent on where the money's even going.

I'm legitimately angry because it's my generation that will be paying for the effects of all this insane government spending. The interest on the trillions of dollars of loans taken out from Japan, China, Britain, and other countries adds up year by year, we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into this deficit of trillions.

I'm hoping the upcoming Obama administration will bring enhanced oversight of Wall Street and beyond — such a shadowy area of the American economy. While I think this rushed bail-out was the wrong way to go about things, government-sponsored programs helped pull America out of its last major economic funk: the Great Depression of the '30s. However, despite what one might read in the news rags these days, that was an economic crisis many times more severe than the current recession. Amidst all this financial downturn, one hopes people will learn the lesson of reaching for gold that just isn't there; perhaps our system free-wheeling free-marketism that was born in the 1980s will begin to be scaled back, but people can only learn so much...

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