The Mathematics of Greed

It’s sick math–and it’s probably even worse than how I depicted it in this cartoon. No matter how you crunch the numbers, there is no way anyone can justify the bank bailout as anything other than a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to greedy corporations.

11 thoughts on “The Mathematics of Greed

  1. I concur with the introductory comment and the spirit of the cartoon, this is an immoral transfer of funds (as is GM's federal takeover), but for those who don't realize this is satire, the proposals by the guy on the left are just as ludicrous and unfair.

  2. Incitatus,

    Giving out handouts to the jobless is nothing like giving money to poorly-run job-outsourcing corporations. At least the jobless and homeless with money in their pockets will stimulate their local economy the same way a large prison does in a small town (odd we don't outsource our inmates to China).

    I live in Los Angeles where now that times are tough, the state, the county, and city governments are cutting jobs and social programs. It is as though someone wants a bloody popular uprising now that we have a Marxist-Leninist president (I wish).

    Oh, and about GM can't build cars Americans want:
    Opel Tigra sports car gets 29 to 40 mpg (40 to 60 mpg 1.3 CDTI)
    compared to a
    Saturn Sky (warning, even the GM's American websites are bloated, irritating, and use up resources unnecessarily)

  3. Yep, it's been obvious for at least 30 years that both Democrats and Republicans have cleaved to the philosophy: "Giving money directly to the needy is a bad thing, because they can't be trusted with it. Meanwhile, giving money to corporations and the already-rich, (in the form of subsidies, along with all manner of other government protections, force and largess), is a good thing, because corporations and the already-rich can always and everywhere be trusted to make rational decisions." I'm not saying (and I suspect Ted isn't either) that indiscriminate dumping of cash on poor people would necessarily be a good thing — you could literally asphyxiate every single American below the poverty line, if you dumped that amount of cash on them in the form of $1 bills — I'm only saying that the astronomical sums involved in the bailout make it really clear where Washington's allegiances lie, no matter who's at the helm.

    What a pity Ayn Rand couldn't live to see her final triumph over her enemies: Charity is evil, and dog-eat-dog economic competition is the only succor a real man can look forward to in this world.

  4. Greg, I was going more with the literal reasoning of the guy in the cartoon, which would transform a pink slip into a winning lottery ticket. Now, it's brilliant satire precisely because of that: if that was the case, everybody could see the bailouts for the moral fraud they are.
    Opel cars are O.K., but you don't see GM selling them in the US, unlike Europe and Latin America. What was your point exactly?

    I don't really think you'd wish for a Marxist president, though…

  5. Spot on Ted. I could pay off every bill I have, including my brutal student loans if you just gave me my fair share of tarp as a tax paying adult. My wife would have money left over. The homeless guy outside my office window would have a place to sleep and could probably afford a better drug for his bipolar disorder than mad dog (and yes, preemptively, the homeless guy pays both state and federal taxes in that he spends his entire income on food, temporary shelter and alcohol all of which are taxed by the state and the feds). Oddly, the real reason this didn't happen is that my neighbor bob would be pissed of because I make 90k and he only makes 74k… not understanding how much of the pie the guys that make 100,000k are taking.

  6. Incitatus, "Opel cars are O.K., but you don't see GM selling them in the US…"

    Did you look at the car?!? Maybe I am missing some sort of an American gene. Driving 'Mercan is a duty to me, not a pleasure.

    That Opel has everything I want but can't get from GM in the states: it's cheap ($21,000 US for one in England), it has good mileage, and it looks good. I bet the 5-speed shifts like a sports car, unlike American cars that all feel like you are changing gears in a school bus.

    Best of all, GM does not have to steal the plans to make one, because Opel is GM!

  7. The Brazilian subsidiary of GM is probably its only lucrative branch. That's because the models it manufactures locally are based on Opel/Vauxhall models. Even though overpriced, because of government tax gluttony, they sell well.
    I have a friend who had a Tigra and absolutely loved it.

  8. I think the poor and the middle class in this country get exactly what they deserve.

    crappy healthcare, crappy cars, no mass transit, conservative policy makers, crappy schools.

    Just digging that grave deeper and deeper.

    As long as they are too afraid to lose their jobs, and too pleased with TV, they deserve every foot

  9. This is a great cartoon and similar to my thought on how some of the payouts should have been handled. When the first TARP funds weredispersed at the end of last year, I thought that, rather than giving money directly to banks, we should have given everyone who secured a mortgage in the past 10 years (when the dealings were lose)the equivalent of 4 to 6 monthly payments with a capped total payout. For people behind on their mortgage, the amount past due would be paid directly to the bank, the rest to the individual. IN axchange, the banks would agree not to foreclose for 4 to 6 months. The result: banks would get funding equivalent to the impact of their bad debts. People who got mortgages they could handle have money to invest and spend in the economy. The government and financial industry have 4 to 6 months to figure out a rational way to fix the problem rather than throwing money at corporations and hoping something gets fixed.

    Of course, this plan would only prop up the economy, but it seemed like a much more fair and rational way to help people and the banks based on actual needs. Why is it that we are so convinced that people working on Wall St. are smarter than the rest of the country?

  10. Actually, simply handing money to the unemployed is easily moral — and failure to do so immoral — if you rest the responsibility of maintaining a good economy upon the government, where it belongs. Then you conclude that the government committed an injustice against the jobless and thus should make restitution. This doesn't mean that the government doesn't also owe something to the currently employed.

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