Bailout? No thanks. But here’s where you can help
This is going to sound strange coming from someone five months into unemployment, whose entire professional career has been in an industry on the verge of imploding and who's looking for work in a market glutted by people will to accept $50 for "10 well-researched articles."
But we don't need a bailout.
Dad's found a new job, with benefits, that comes close enough to my old pay that we can make it now that we're not paying day-care costs that have been climbing at twice the rate of inflation. We didn't drink the cut-rate loan Kool-Aid, so we're not going to lose a house. We have little debt beyond a car payment, so we can manage.
It's a little tighter than it used to be, but we didn't need to go to Starbucks as often as we did anyway.
We would like you to bail out the guys, though. They didn't make this mess. They'll have to pay for it for years to come, but let's make it as fair for them as possible.
Quit writing big checks to banks that are going to horde the money so they can come out fat and sassy on the other end.
“With that capital in hand, not only do we feel comfortable that we can ride out the recession, but we also feel that we’ll be in a position to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves once this recession is sorted out,” Boston Private Wealth Management President Walter M. Pressey said at a conference last month.
Taking advantage. Yes, that's been the problem for a long time now.
Drug companies that take advantage by claiming they can't produce generics without going broke but suddenly, when faced with competition, can rush one to the market.
Companies that squeezed the middle class with stagnant wages while corporate profits climbed.
So-called political leaders who held up help for an entire industry because they weren't able to bring workers to their knees.
It's time for all that to end, for America to be restored to the dream it can and should be. For the guys to have the same chances I did. A chance at an affordable education, the opportunity to earn a livable wage.
The tools all are there. We need to start using them again for the benefit of all people, not just the well-connected who want to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities when the recession ends.
Our new president understands that.
"We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth," President Barack Obama told America in his inaugural address. "Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."
We are ready to dust ourselves off - we already are, in fact. We are willing to work.
"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given," President Obama continued. "It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom."
We can do that. We have to, for the sake of the guys and their friends. They're too young to know what a monumental task their parents face, but they're counting on us just the same."
"Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations," President Obama said.
The "great gift of freedom" for the guys is all the bailout we need.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.