Monday, February 23, 2009

No Easy Answers

That's the problem with the wrecked economy we're dealing with. That, and the anger. This isn't something that happened to us. This is something that we--certain very identifiable members of our society--did to us.

Some of us were greedy and reckless and stupid. And now the rest of us, those who watched their pennies and spent and saved wisely and prudently and who LIVED WITHIN OUR MEANS, have to bail out the idiots.

So, yes, it's easy and tempting to rail against these people and to be angry about everything and think that the new administration is killing us to save them. But: What else do we do?

A couple good reads:

Sullivan's post: "I understand the systemic dangers of letting a wave of foreclosures trigger another wave of collapsing demand. But I also know that I never took out risky loans, diligently paid back three separate mortgages, saved for my retirement, and now pay more than half my income to the government ... to give to those who gave in to greed, wishful thinking and recklessness."

Brooks' op-ed: "It makes sense for the government to intervene ... It makes sense for government to try to restore some communal order. And the sad reality is that in these circumstances government has to spend money on precisely those sectors that have been swinging most wildly — housing, finance, etc. It has to help stabilize people who have been idiots."

Let's be clear: No one likes this. At least, no one on the giving end of this equation likes this. But let's also be honest: There's no other way out. Kick the idiots out into the streets and avert your eyes as you pass? Any other option? No. Like it or not, we're all in this together, us and the idiots. Let's hope for (and push for) some accountability in all this. But let's stop fighting about it and get it moving. We'll get over it if we address it.

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