Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Ruler of Obama

No, it's not "Obama the Ruler."

And it's not "Obama is the Rule."

And not "The Rule of Obama."

Not in New York yesterday.

It was "The Ruler of Obama" that was out on display. Mainly, it was the ruler that the president kept smacking across the knuckles of those bad schoolboys on Wall Street, demanding that they keep the American people in mind as they recover from last year's economic crisis.

Fat chance.

And that's why hard-core conservatives (but certainly not all conservatives) were skeptical about the government's (Bush's as well as Obama's) intervention into the federal system with tax dollars.

Businesses look for capital wherever they can get it. They do not care about where they get it. They primarily serve the whims of their shareholders, not the American people. Subsequently, once they were going to get back on their feet, they were going to serve the whims of their shareholders, not the patriotic feelings flowing through their veins.

If there was any in the first place.

It's the same as when the crisis first hit. The funding provided to banks was supposed to freeze up the frozen lines of credit that small businesses were facing, forcing many of them to go out of business and spike the unemployment rate. Problem was, the banks were more concerned about their own interests - as businesses are in a free market economy, as we were reminded after the Merrill Lynch purchase and other take-overs by institutions, even as they continued to cut jobs.

Unless if the government was able to force every move of the banks upon receiving the money - that is, nationalizing the banks - there will be no way to force what President Obama talked about in New York: making the financial institutions in question "give back" to the American people that bailed them out with tax dollars.

Sadly, what we are learning is that when the government gets involved in such a large way, it's either a large step towards socialism or a gift to big corporations with little in place to hold them ethically accountable.

President Obama's ruler slapping the hands of Wall Street proves that, despite the reports that the recession seems to be over, the real recession (felt by the American people, not just American business investors) is ongoing. There is a clear divide that exists amongst us between Wall Street and Main Street, one that was repeatedly pinned to the Republicans during the 2008 campaign as a divide of their doing. However, with the supermajority in Washington for almost a year now (yes, it's been that long - it's already the middle of September), we have yet to see the spirit of cooperation emanating throughout the financial system despite its lifeline from the American people.

The president and others may hand-wring to try and "persuade" the corporations to "do the right thing", but maybe the Tea Party goers had it right: these steps towards socialism to aid "banks too important to fail" only allows for a failure to the American people and perhaps the American Way of Life by measuring its merits by the fruits of their actions, regardless of the rhetoric from the president.

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