One of the things that's been bugging me about all of this ZOMG BAILOUT NOW MUST FIX DON'T STOP AND THINK PASS THE BILL PASS THE BILL ZOMG is that it appears that the congressmen are not only trying to "fix" a problem that they caused, but that they're doing it without giving serious consideration to what caused the problem in the first place. Further, rather than addressing the root causes (Fed policy, for instance) they're just throwing more bad government policy at the problem so we can "move on" and never speak of this again.
So. Since nobody writing or reading this weblog actually gets to vote on the bill anyway, why don't WE take a few minutes and explore some of the policies that might have caused the present crisis. Let's start with these:
Given that government's artificial manipulation of markets got us into this mess, do we really want to "solve" the problem through more massive artificial manipulation of markets (and what is buying bad debt at a higher rate than its value, if not artificial market manipulation?) Or, to put it more briefly, do we want to respond to a failure of Keynesian policy with more Keynesian policy? Or might it be wiser (and more principled) to let those who participated in bad decision making suffer the consequences of their actions? Will banks, businesses, and investors be more likely to make the same mistakes again if taxpayers are forced to bail them out, or if they experience the pain of business and investment failure?
I don't ask these questions as if the answers are easy. But I do marvel that conservatives (in particular) who claim to mistrust the ability of government to effectively resolve even the smallest of economic woes, somehow think that ramming through a quickly-thrown-together piece of legislation that relies entirely on massive government intervention in the economy is absolutely necessary.
UPDATE - More voices questioning the wisdom of the bailout:
Bailout marks Karl Marx's comeback (via Drudge)