30 September, 2008

The Bailout of the Rich by the Poor

One thing that's most noticeable in the present financial debacle facing the US, is the absence of the American Vice President: Dick Cheney. He, Paul Wofowitz, Condoleeza Rice and a very few others - had the ears of the President. They were his inner circle of very close aides, advisers and confidants. Many say, it's Dick Cheney who has actually been running America. And now, what a mess! It is incredible watching American politicians, normally very sure footed people - running around like blind folded chickens. Henry Paulson, US Treasury Secretary, has been so fidgety and nervous that he is turning into a buffoon; while Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, simply stares into space, numbed.

To correct this 'worst financial crisis since the Great Depression': the 300 million plus of Americans will have to pay approximately $2,295 each, to make up for the 700 billion dollars bailout. Normal, simple, struggling Americans will be paying for this; and at the same time, there is no assurance that after the bailout, America's economy will return to normal; some say, it may even get worse. Many people in America, if not most, are looking ahead at more problems and struggles. Except those with 'golden parachutes'.

As for us other normal, simple, struggling people in other parts of the World -
what is happening in America, will certainly affect many of us; it will certainly affect me. With the price of oil dropping, Yemen has been losing several millions of dollars in the last few days; that will weigh in, on the government's expenditure here - meaning less money will be spent. Other repercussions from the American crisis are yet to come. If America crushes down economically, the effects of that will hit almost every one on this Planet. Hard. It doesn't matter that most Americans know very little on what is on the almost 1,000 pages of NAFTA; and they, just like most of us in other parts of the World - have very little time for the tens of thousands of WTO documents. A few reckless, corrupt, selfish, greedy people have simply hijacked the freedoms and liberty of free trade, and brought America to its knees; and the rest of the World will have to face up to the tremors and after shock waves.

What is amazing, is that: for some years now - the US economy has been on very shaky ground; but American officials, including the so called experts - never tried to sort things out. As for the American media, they have been wasting a huge amount of time on such trivialities like Client No. 9, 'lipstick pitbull' and such. Incredible.

Certainly there are some who are using this crisis to profit financially; they wait when stock prices fall, they buy and then sell after - at a big profit; and there are those who have the cash to buy as many houses as possible now - at much cheaper rates - and wait for a few years, sell, and make fortunes. And certainly, most of the perpetrators of this meltdown - will smoothly glide through, and live in comfort.

It's hard to imagine or comprehend, that the World's economic and military superpower can come to this. If the US can make such a serious blunder economically, which does not only threaten America but many parts of the World - how can we be sure that a few people there in the US, wouldn't create a similar staggering blunder militarily? Mistakes, not like the invasion of Iraq -which is a very big blunder from America and has been costly, financially, to America and even more costlier, in blood, to Iraqis - but, America, through the whims and recklessness of a very few people, could bring the World to its knees - militarily. Too.

Photo: TIME