BAILOUT 2: MORE ON THE "CREDIT" INSULT
After writing the post below, I thought about what Kashkari said some more. He said that helping people directly wasn't feasible, but that taking taxpayer money to help banks directly was helpful for strengthening the system.
So basically what that comes down to is this bewildering, insulting, ludicrous situation:
We give the banks money to loan to us.
Does that make any sense at all? Why are we being forced to go along with this? That's how we should think of the bailout--we are giving free money to banks so they can loan money to us at interest. They get free money, we get debt.
And as Kashkari helpfully points out, we're being forced to do that to help sustain "the system," with the idea that what is good for the system is good for the people. Nothing could be further from the truth--again, we're GIVING banks money that they are supposed to then LOAN to us.
That's the equivalent of me saying to my friend, "Hey man, I'm hungry." So my friend says "If you'll give me an apple, I'll sell it to you." So I give him an apple which he then sells to me for a dollar. Then he says, "In a month, I'll need you to repay me an apple."
So now my friend has a dollar of my money plus he expects me to give him another apple as repayment for the apple I gave to him to sell to me because I was hungry.
I ask him why he thinks I should go along with his little scam. He says "Well, it's all for the good of the system. And hey, you got some benefit out of it--you got an apple when you were hungry. It's only fair that I should be justly compensated at a fair price for facilitating your receipt of sustenance. You see, the system works for the good of us all."
I protest, "But now I'm out a dollar and two apples while you have a dollar and will have an apple in a month. In fact, I've given you everything you now have. By what rights do you charge me for this?" And he says, "The system, the system must prevail! Questioning our free market system is not going to help you--but giving me free money sure will help one of us, i.e., me."
"The System" Uber Alles
And that's the situation we're in with this bailout--we give banks money to lend to us, and then they expect the amount of the loan plus interest yet we're not supposed to notice that the banks wouldn't even have the money to "lend" us if we hadn't given it to them.
But you see, it's for the good of "the system." And saving "the system" is what's important--saving the fortunes and homes of the people is secondary or tertiary if it ranks at all. Kashkari wants "the system" to be sustained because the system is what keeps him and his kind in silk undies and three homes.