Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout, etc.

Read this this morning. Some interesting tidbits in there.

Among them:

For the first time, the federal government will limit the compensation of some top corporate executives to $500,000 annually -- directly in the case of big banks that participate heavily in the new program and through limits on tax deductions for everyone else. There will be tough restrictions on golden parachutes and clawback provisions for bonuses based on profits that later disappear.

Of course, commie that I am, I think $500,000 is still way too much.

Finally, the legislation contains several mechanisms for the government to recoup all of its money, and perhaps even turn a profit, by collecting insurance premiums, demanding stock from participating banks and, should all else fail, slapping a new tax on the financial services industry beginning in 2014.

Somehow, I don't believe that.

I wish I had studied economics more. I wish I had a better suggestion, but let's face it: our economy is dependent on too many huge corporations that do nothing in essence but shuffle money around. We don't make things anymore, we've got ridiculous trade deficits, we in essence have nothing to offer but bombs and threats.

For all of McCain's tough talk on Russia and China, the fact remains that we can't be threatening large countries that own huge chunks of our national debt with much of anything. We can't bulldoze them into compliance--we can't even get Iraq and Afghanistan to do what we want.

I think this is the end of US global dominance no matter how we slice it--and that in itself doesn't bother me. The question is, can we just gently accept that, start to compromise and deal with other countries on a level, or are we going to freak out like spoiled children, provoke or start more wars, and end up collapsing in a bloody heap?

Somehow, I think the answer hinges on this election.

Scary shit, eh?