Friday, 6 March 2009

The Government should Fix it!

The dreaded GFC, when it’s not making me scared, is cause for a bit of amusement.

The banks want the government to bail them out. Now, given that banks have been the villains of the piece, I find that amusing. GREED GREED GREED, GRAB GRAB GRAB, OH WHOOPS, HELP HELP HELP!

So they want to be bailed out, but they’re not too keen to pass on interest rate cuts to borrowers – seems to me they haven’t changed a bit. Unchastened by the economic downturn, it looks as if they’re just finding new sneaky ways to line their own pockets.

And all those car manufacturers… The government should bail them out too. And every other organisation that’s in trouble because a few fat cats got nervous and pulled the plug on their investments and the media jumped on it and started screaming doom and gloom and - well, here we are...

Every time the government throws money at these people, the stock market, rather than raising itself on a wobbly elbow and mopping its fevered brow with relief, falls even further.

Seems like the rich are desperate to recoup or minimise their losses, courtesy of the government, and then jumping ship anyway. Not that I know anything about economics. But that's what it looks like from here.

The other day I heard a news story that made me giggle. The government is getting pretty slack. (Maybe it’s exhausted after chucking bazillions of bucks around in an attempt to stimulate the economy?) The latest thing I read was that apparently the government isn’t doing enough to protect people from shark attacks. See, people will insist on going out into shark-infested waters...

Sheesh, government. Shame on you….. what the heck are you doing?

OK, I have this ingrown toenail that I think the government should be doing more to fix. And my guttering leaks – why aren’t they doing anything about that? I think I’ll start writing letters.

Speaking of letters - a letter from my superannuation fund the other day was not particularly amusing – my benefit has shrunk (grown negatively?) quite dramatically in the last quarter.

I’m sure it’s just part of a big fat economic cycle, and one of these days, a few organisations with balls will shakily try out “confidence” and the media will hold them up as shining examples and the confidence will snowball in the same way that “unconfidence” has been snowballing, fuelled by the media for months now.

The problem I have with all of this bail-out stuff is that, stripped of an obscene amount of wealth, there is an expectation by a lot of the wealthiest (and greediest) institutions and industries on the planet that ‘the government’ is going to charge in like the White Knight and Make Things Better. Small business wants government help as well. So do ordinary middle-class people. As for ‘the poor’ – and I've been one of them for years, except now I'm one of the 'working poor' - they miss out most of the time anyway, and governments don’t usually bother bailing them out, even in good times – so the writing’s well and truly on the wall for them/us.

I would be a bit nervous about expecting the government to fix everything. I would be worried that by expecting – even begging - the government to do this for everybody we are inviting even more of a nanny-state upon ourselves, where the government looks after our every need and protects us from sharks, criminals, speeding motorcycles, dangerous playground equipment - and ultimately ourselves.

No, you cannot have a holiday this year – it only encourages reckless behaviour and excessive drinking.

No, you may not go out after dark – don’t you know that’s when most crimes are committed? Stay home and stay safe.

No, you can’t swim in our oceans – don’t you know there are sharks out there?

Be careful what you wish for.

1 comment:

lemmiwinks said...

There was a great piece on Dateline last week where they interviewed a US economist who made the very good point that "too big to fail" is crap. They should be allowed to fail, after all they screwed up and there's plenty of little banks etc who didn't screw up who would become big banks if they were given the chance they deserve.