William Thien

Archive for October 2011

While we are all disappointed about what the banks and insurance companies did with the two massive bailouts received from both the previous and current administrations, we must not forget that it was the government that gave Wall Street our tax dollars in the first place, with few restrictions whatsoever about what was done with the money, and that it is the government that has since done little if anything about what almost everyone perceives as the massive, corrupt use of the money by the banks and insurance companies, such as the million dollar bonuses, for example.

So, if protesters are going to march on Wall Street, perhaps it is advisable to go a little further down the road to Congress and The Senate and remind our elected that if they are going to bail anyone out again, to think about the American public first this time. And do our elected want to help repay the bailouts by giving up their lavish benefits, by the way?

We must not forget that banks are businesses and businesses are in business for the sake of business and though it may seem unethical, it apparently it is not beyond banks or insurance companies to take a handout if there are no strings attached. Money is after all money.

“Bankers, bums, what’s the difference? They both have their hands out.” I overheard that in a conversation at a restaurant the other day. The difference is the amount of money. One has a wheelbarrow.

People are angry and finally starting to act in a coordinated manner.

Ultimately, though, change will only come through proper regulation of the aforementioned perpetrators, if not by some other, more direct means. Congress and The Senate are as much at fault as the banks and the insurance companies. If we don’t see to it that our elected address the matter more directly, more promptly, which they haven’t, we should expect the circumstances to happen again, perhaps in the not too distant future.

Copyright © William Thien 2011

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Recently a number of prominent conservatives stated their dissatisfaction with the Wall Street protesters.

Numerous arguments, many we have heard time and time again, have been bandied about with the most significant being, “The reason this country is so successful is that we have a free market economy.”

This would only really be true had our government not intervened with massive cash injections to save the banks and insurance companies, for example, which were “too big to fail,” something that I believe was actually a secret business plan to bilk the American public through the skillful maneuvering of our elected and public opinion, or fear, as I have mentioned in previous essays.

Not only is the mere fact that we bailed out so many banks and insurance companies with huge cash infusions a significant factor in the determination of whether or not this country still operates as a free market, the sheer, massive size of the bailouts is an indication that we do not operate any longer as a free market economy. A “Free Market Economy” is a misnomer. Any time you have government intervention, particularly the type which bolsters the economic affairs of a company, such notions disappear immediately. It’s that simple.

If this country truly was a free market economy, we would have let the banks fail and the insurance companies divest themselves. Instead, acting as lookouts our leadership facilitated a smash and grab of the American purse while the public waited at the red light for new opportunities that don’t seem to be coming and for new jobs that haven’t materialized. Gone were America’s savings and the country now has accrued massive, seemingly insurmountable debt.

Six months after the bailouts bankers were throwing around million dollar bonuses. It is insult added to catastrophic injury and in my opinion the protesters are well within their rights to march all they want. They are right, plain and simple. I’m surprised marching is all they are doing.

Profit is a good thing. But what has happened in The US during the last several years is something else entirely. It is clear the government isn’t going to do anything about it. So I welcome the protests.

Somehow many conservatives seem to have missed the point and that is unfortunate for other conservatives because it makes many perceive conservatism as some sort of organized elitist form of thievery and it leaves a bad taste when the word “Conservative” is uttered by those not so greedy. Greed and Conservatism are not synonymous. But listening to this latest plea from many prominent conservatives would make you think otherwise.They give conservatism a bad name, which may be their objective altogether.

We will never know if the country truly was at the brink. Yes, some banks failed prior to the bailouts, but many banks failed following the bailouts. Banks, like all other businesses, fail even during good economic times. And since many national banks are headquartered on Wall Street there is no better place to get their attention and that of our elected, who seem to be going to lunch with the bankers on a daily basis, if you know what I mean.

One thing is for sure, if you hear the phrase “too big to fail” again, get out of the way. I don’t think the American public is going to buy that one anymore. Let’s hope not.

Copyright © William Thien 2011

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