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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

P.R. for the Common Man

So...how about that Bailout? Eh? Yeah, it sucks doesn't it. Before I go off on one of my patented rants, I must admit...I don't know anything about economics. But you know what...most of the people out there don't know anything about them either! In fact, I would go as far as saying that economics are so complex that even the experts don't understand them fully. When it comes to economics, we're all just fleshbags at the mercy of invisible variables of the market that wreck living Hell on out paychecks. Sure, we have models and charts and formulas that can tell us where we anticipate to be, and we can use all of the econ texts and theories we can get our hands on. We can even sit in front of the TV and listen to Jim Kramer give himself an aortic hemorrhage over where the Dow is today, and we'll still only get a portion of it all right. Economics are like the weather...as long as you have some sort of vaguely correct sounding theory on what's going to happen, and have some sort of "evidence" to prove it, you're still employed.

Which leads us to the Bailout, which once again has become an extremely partisan issue. I fear when this goes to the Senate for a vote, because if the House vote was brutal then I can only imagine what the Senate would be like if it was defeated there. Not to mention, the Republicans are the ones who sank the bill the most. Here's the total vote counts, thanks to the official results recorded on http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll674.xml:

Democratic: 140 ayes, 95 noes

Republican: 65 ayes, 133 noes, 1 not voting

TOTALS: 205 ayes, 228 noes

Every step of the way the Republicans have stood in the way of this bailout, and all proceedings surrounding it. Everything from voting it down, to throwing hissy fits during the talks, to even pulling a PR stunt where McCain wanted to "suspend" his campaign to take care of the nation's "sound" economy, it's all been one big show. The Republicans are becoming less and less likable, and more and more the laughing stock of the political community. Even their latest strategy, blaming Nancy Pelosi's speech, which blamed the President for the sagging economy, is cheap. So what?! She slammed your guy, everyone's been slamming your guy since day one. Man the fuck up and vote for the people, not against someone you have a grudge with. Besides, last time I checked (which was during the Republican National Convention) most of you wouldn't have wanted to have been seen with the man, due to the backdoor strategy that was being circulated: "If you still want to have a political career in the next 10 years, don't stand next to the retard." We've all come to expect as much from your party in the lines of hypocrisy, but could you be a little less transparent about it, we'd still like to give you a small benefit of the doubt. It would be nice to have a bipartisan agreement on the matter, and have everyone get along, but the fact is we're in an Election Year, and the last thing anyone wants to do is stand too close to the opposition.

However, in spite of the lack of a bailout, the Market opened up today, and is still above the levels it closed at yesterday. Why? Well, since I'm apparently as qualified to know the future as the economists, I'd venture a guess that the traders on the market floor are making a correction of their own. I would attribute this to those involved in the market trying to save themselves because, frankly, there isn't a big chance that the Government is going to be saving them anytime soon. Which poses the question, "Why did the bailout fail?" Besides the politics of the matter, there's another issue at the heart of this whole mess...the bailout seems like it's rewarding negative behavior. Think about it...these people were high on the hog not too long ago, they had more money that God, and then the Housing Crisis lead to the Credit Crisis, which lead to consumer discomfort that lead to less spending and less economic growth. The more people think, "We're going through some hard times", the less they're going to buy into consumer markets (outside of necessary expenses) and the less chance of the economy getting fixed by normal means. Stop me if you think this doesn't make sense, but wouldn't the popular notion that bailouts benefiting the common person (instead of the corporations) make more economic sense?

It's simple: create a bailout package that lifts some of the pressure off of those of us who've made less than smart investment decisions. Relieve some of the pressure from the nation, and let them know it's safe to spend again. Once they're back in the stores, out in the streets, picking up $6 dollar lattes, the Economy should be able to boost up somewhat. Then, AND ONLY THEN, should you even think of trying to help out the corporations, because by then you'll be able to afford it more. Oh, and don't shift the bill to the taxpayers...if you want to stay in office, you best pay for this harebrained scheme of yours with your own bankroll. You're politicians, goddamnit, you can afford it! (And even if you can't, should you be really expecting us, the American people, to afford it?) I want every legislator, every member of Government, every Party Stooge to think, "Can I afford this?", when they go into a vote like this. Then, think to yourself, "Can they afford this?", which 8 times out of 10 will be "No". (Those other 2 times the answer will be, "Are you out of your fucking mind?! You think I can afford shit like this?!") In the end, it's not going to be easy to crunch numbers or complicated formulas that save us, it'll be pure, rational thought backed by cold, hard facts and a consensus by the majority to do something that'll benefit us all. Whoever said it was right, this shouldn't be done fast...it should be done right.

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