My heart bleeds for those poor billionaires and bureaucrats who have caused our current financial crisis.
You may find this surprising, but it’s very simple. Like modern day Peter Pans, they must not have had mothers; they are the Lost Boys of Wall Street and Washington.
See, no one ever taught them those basic values that you and I had the benefit of learning: responsibility, sharing and honesty.
How else to explain where we are now? Banks failing, stocks crashing, housing values plummeting, unemployment rising and markets teetering on the verge of collapse — all because of the avarice and arrogance, selfishness and irresponsibility of a powerful few.
If you think this doesn’t affect you, think again.
Student loans are harder to get — and 87 percent of Temple students rely on some sort of financial assistance to attend school. Joblessness is at a seven-year high.
And what little credit you may be able to get is going to cost a whole lot more, which for many will lead to a cycle of indenture as people work just to make minimum payments.
Regardless of how distasteful and unfair it is for American taxpayers to shoulder the burden of the morally immature and reckless, the bailout package, albeit with modifications, has passed.
After decades of crying that they were big boys and no one could tell them what to do, the financiers and their congressional lackeys say they need discipline, rules and a multi-billion dollar allowance.
They promise they’ll do better this time.
Plus, their own personal Tinker Bell, credit markets, was born of a belief in the goodness of greed rather than the reality of liquid assets, and now that the tower has fallen and the public and the world have lost confidence, Tinker Bell is dying.
C’mon everyone, say it with me: I believe in fairies!
Didn’t work? Well, maybe that’s because Tinker Bell’s gone international and there’s more at stake than previously imagined.
Temple political science professor Mark Cohen stressed the interconnectedness of the economy—not just domestically, but globally, as one reason for the bailout.
“We have a different economy now than we did 70 years ago. It’s no longer an isolated situation; it’s a global economy,” Cohen said.
If America collapses, we’re likely taking the world with us.
But you know this story has a happy ending, right?
In our version, Tinker Bell is saved by nearly a trillion taxpayer dollars. And the Peter Pans remain free to flit about, unscathed by the dangerous situation they put everyone else in, with plenty of free time to wrestle with important things like finding their shadows.
“There’s no honor among these thieves. These people do whatever they want,” Cohen said.
It’s time to give the Lost Boys some tough love.
Use your vote and your voice this November to demand regulation, oversight and a return on your investment. Put the politicians on restriction. Let them know that you brought them into this world and you can take them out.
Paula Sen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.