I Wrote This Song in 2008. It Came True.
Yes, I’ll warn you up front: this is another breakdown of the political failures which led us to our current state of chaotic insanity and hand-wringing. But this analysis is a bit different, and discusses an aspect I haven’t read about anywhere else, a poignant aspect which illustrates how tragically sad it is that our current state of affairs could have been avoided a long, long time ago.
All that we face now comes down to a missed opportunity, one key factor that set in motion the systemic breakdown of both the Democratic AND Republican party, an equal opportunity blunder if you will. It happened shortly after Barack Obama was elected as our president in 2008, when our new president faced his first real test. The result was a single, poor policy decision which devastated America more effectively than an atomic bomb, and the fallout radiation gave rise to the genetic mutation which grew into the monster of disenfranchisement and fear we face today.
No, the monster is not Trump, although many believe he fits the bill. The monster is the collective consciousness of fear and paranoia which gave rise to Trump, the figurehead.
But it didn’t have to be this way.
When the housing bubble burst in 2008, President Obama was faced with a painful mess to clean up in the financial markets, and the banking sector in particular. The two options Obama had were:
- Let the banks fail, which carried a strong possibility of roiling the world’s, and in particular, America’s markets, depressing manufacturing, and a high likelihood of putting us in a major recession. This decision, while certainly deserved by these same banks, and their corresponding hedge funds, left a very uncertain future.
- Bail out the banks, which would likely result in the same overall scenario, but to a much lesser extreme.
It was truly a lesser of two evils situation. But a third option existed, and I’m amazed, as a non-politician (and certainly as no expert on the matter), that no one in his cabinet considered this:
3. Use the trillions of dollars spent to bail out the financial institutions by paying off the mortgages of those homeowners who were duped, finagled, lied to, or just plain targeted for discrimination by those very same financial institutions.
Why do this?
- It protects the homeowners who were swindled, allowing them to keep their property, thus easing their financial burden, which in turn would have actually stimulated the economy by providing a tremendous boost in disposable income.
- The money would still be paid to the same banks that made these junk loans, while denying them the ability to “have their cake and eat it, too”, which would have made foreclosures impossible while insuring that they would be taught a very costly lesson. The banks would still be bailed out, but painfully hobbled enough that they’d be forced with some tough measures to ensure their survival in the long term.
- The housing market crash would be avoided, or at least ameliorated greatly. Consequently, the construction sector would have faced little, if any effect.
- The employment numbers would have remained stable.
- Our homeless population, and subsequent strain on state resources, would be substantially lower than our present day numbers. Those resources could be utilized in the programs they were intended for.
- Medicaid and Medicare costs wouldn’t have skyrocketed, because people would still have decent jobs.
- We wouldn’t have had the worst financial fallout since the Great Depression.
- We wouldn’t have a disenfranchised middle-class, because they would have viewed their government as supportive, and their lives and families as the valued resource it should be.
- And finally, we certainly wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today with the depraved, deeply disturbed, narcissistic, pathological liar we now have as our President-Elect.
Now I admit, perhaps I’m just naive, and missing certain aspects and information that would make this alternative proposal unfeasible or unreasonable. What are your thoughts?