Monday, September 29, 2008

This Bailout Edition of Frank is Brought to You by Wall Street & the Fine Folks in The Bush Administration!

Quite frankly I'm not upset in the least about what happened at the stock market yesterday. I'm not even too upset about the whole bailout issue. In fact I found myself somewhat giddy with the news that our economy is going to hell in a hand basket. Why? Because, from a spiritual perspective, this collective financial crash means we now have the opportunity to change things. The real question is this: will we as taxpayers & citizens stand up for real economic serenity in our lives or will we continue the tradition of sitting in the warm yet stinky poo that is our market economy?

This whole scene is very much like an addict coming to terms with their bottom. Some drunks crash their cars. Some heroin addicts jump off bridges. Some compulsive eaters get sick. Some kleptomaniacs finally get caught. So here we are, our government & its FDIC insured mega-corporations finally crashing, jumping off, getting sick & getting caught with its disease of more, more, more.

Now I'm not happy about having to pay for other peoples frighteningly egregious behavior, but can't each of us take a moment to think about how we have forced others to do for us what we should have done for ourselves? In consistent and little ways we "forget" to pick up our messes in stores, on the street or even at home where our spouse has to do it. We are at times lazy & think "why rinse out this fucking soda can anyway?" It happens and it's annoying & hurtful to those who have to do our dirty work. It is in a word *unfair*.

I'm especially annoyed because despite the House of Representatives taking our side & voting no on the latest proposed bailout, we are going to have to pay it one way or another. The bailout will either have some structure or it will be handled like Fannie Mae & AIG, aimlessly & kinda random.

You know what I'm most annoyed about? I never took a home loan out or ever ever ever had a credit card. And the only reason I have school loans is because everyone says in order to have a modicum of success, you must go to college. This doesn't mean I have never taken what wasn't mine. I sure have. But I have tried to stay away from putting my home & lifestyle in the hands of banks who only want to make money off our collective American fantasies of extreme consumerism as a past time. Our need to look & feel like we're "keeping up with the Joneses" was most of the time something I didn't care too much about, because I knew my "stuff" would not really belong to me, but ultimately belong to the bank until paid off. Doesn't this mean I should be exempt from this whole bailout mess? Apparently not.

So I'm going to suck it up, as the kids say (do they actually say that?) and get myself geared up for less money to take home in 2009 due to a bailout. I'm also going to keep putting money in my 401k, keep putting money in my Roth IRA and try to save money by growing vegetables in the back yard. Hey maybe I'll even raise chickens & start a neighborhood fresh egg collective. I'm also going to make more crafts to sell and utilize items that may have gone in the garbage can, like old towels. Most important I'm going to keep the faith & believe all this will blow over, get better someday and maybe even make us stronger, happier & less materialistic.

Here's a great article by Naomi Klein, arguing for community action.
A great article also calls for better solutions here.



Grumpy Granny said...

I SO appreciate this post. It echoes almost EXACTLY what I have been thinking for a while. I few months ago (before this bailout thing even showed its face), I cashed out my IRAS and paid off ALL my outstanding debt with the execption of our house. Tho I am actually making less money than I was 2 years ago, I am working full time from home and have very few credit worries. I pay my bills as they come. When I need something, I pay cash, but honestly, I have reached a place in my life where I really don't NEED much. Having that weight of debt off my back gave me back about 20 years of my life. The idea of "keeping up with the Joneses" is what got us in this position. Yes, there are evil executives, etc., but it's the people who thought they could buy a $250,000 house when they didn't make more than $30K a year who really fell for the scam.

Thank you for saying it so eloquently!!


Fran Sky said...

Thanks for the feedback! I always appreciate your comments & reading this little blog.

And yeah we have to indeed hold everyone accountable... including ourselves.