Thursday, September 25, 2008

I still think it's a wonderful life

I can't watch any part of "It's a Wonderful Life" without crying, and that clip is no exception. It is simply one of the most perfect movies, ever.
I thought of that scene while watching CNN and hearing all the breaking news when it comes to the current economic situation. I'm no economist, and I don't understand all the nuances of the problem, but I don't think the situation is similar to what happened during the Depression. However, if I recall correctly, FDIC came out of the Depression, as part of the federal government insuring the funds that are deposited in banks. In that way, this is somewhat similar, because the government is going to have to step in to ensure that people's funds and savings and investments are protected, and that their ability to borrow is not severely diminished. That is important so that companies and corporations can continue to drive the economy and add jobs. If it's next to impossible to get a business loan, you can forget about any expansion or recovery any time soon. That's the way I understand it, but again, I'm no Econ guru!
Apparently there have been protests going on today, people saying that they don't want this bailout, not with their tax dollars. I think we're past that point now...that there must be a bailout--or more correctly, a loan--or else we ain't seen nothin' yet. (There may be alternatives, which is being discussed right now.) I don't like it, either, and frankly, I'm pissed off that it has gotten to this point. Ken and I try to be good stewards of our finances, and it's dismaying and irritating to see these companies play fast and loose with these funds. Heads will eventually roll, and the FBI is already investigating. I'm also pissed off that the next President is going to be hamstrung when it comes to doing most of the things that need to be done: addressing our infrastructure, creating new energy technologies, improving our education and health insurance know the drill. This huge debt is going to mean that none of that can be addressed in the coming years. That makes me angry. I think this proves once and for all that deregulation doesn't work all that well. I'm all for a free market, but there must be guidelines in place so that excessive greed does not continue to get us into messes like this. The greed isn't going to go away--human nature and all that--so we need to ensure that we are keeping an eye on the people who are bankrolling our endeavors.
To borrow a phrase from my pal Wes, it is what it is. We're stuck with this, like it or not, and each and every one of us is part of the bailout. Like it or not. Someone wondered if I "get it" that the economy is about to tank. Yes, I do get it. But I think it will recover. And yes, I think the debates are more important than ever. Time's a-wasting, and we're getting closer and closer to choosing the person who is going to get us through this mess in the coming years...and it WILL be a matter of years. This is not a quick fix. We must choose wisely, and there are millions of voters who are still undecided. George Bailey says in the bank scene, "We can get through this all right...but we've got to stick together...we've got to have faith in each other." Timely words.



slapinions said...

I think the economy will recover too; this is not a doomsday scenario. I disagree on principle with the idea of the bailout. AIC yes, it was so huge it's loss would endanger everything, but the rest . . . well it reeks and doesn't sit well with me. But I am a pragmatist and believe it's probably necesssary.

[I do think that if we left it truly 'hands off' and these people knew 100% they'd be accountable to their shareholders for their screwups, they'd be far less inclined to gamble with their company's future. Hence it would regulate itself to an extent. But I might be an idealist on this point]



wwfbison said...

My cousin is a financial analyst at one of the few remaining investment firms on solid ground (due to their strict policies I would rather not mention names, forgive me on being vague).  She and I had a long conversation today about the bail out and what it means to the economy blah blah blah.  While in theory I understand why it needs to happen ~ the practical part of me wants to say to those who overextended themselves tuff it out yourself and don't expect me or my fellow *responsible* taxpayers who knew what we could & could not afford to bail your sorry butts out now.  I am irritated with the whole concept of a bailout - I have never been "bailed out" of anything in my life.  If my business were to fail due to ridiculous business practices and greed the govt wouldn't be stepping in to make it all better.  I am curious how long the prudence is going to last.  So once again loans will be made available and I am sure for a short time lenders will follow the guidelines but it won't be long until we fall back in to the same patterns, in my mind it is inevitable...people are doomed to repeat mistakes over & over if they are fully accountable.  I used to be a mortgage broker & sold to FM & FM...I at least understand the mortgage end very well.  While it may be needed I am not happy about it.

buckoclown said...

The compromise that is coming out today sounds reasonable.  Limit tax payer exposure, give some relief to mortgage holders "Main Street", and not commit the entire $700B at once.  We shall see...

preciousone25 said...

I REALLY LOVE that movie.... it's one of my very favorites.  And a Christmas Eve tradition for me (only ME, everyone else is SICK of it.... LOL!!).


lisawesmalayna said...

"I wish I had a million dollars" "Hot dog!"  I love this movie! I have even watched when it is not Christmas. Jimmy Stewart is my favorite male actor, I also love Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. I can't forget Harvey it is so funny! Back to the film mentioned, I think if everybody was like Goerge Bailey our country woudn't need help right now! I too weep at most of that film, it is the best flop ever made! I love the part after the bridge "My lips bleeding Burt!" "Merry Christmas Bedford falls" "Merry Christmas!" The end of the film is priceless, I love the joy and togetherness. Thank you for your entry and for showing this film!

Bless you both,


queeniemart said...

there are millions on welfare who refuse to work who are NOT a part of the bail out. They will continue to not work and get free free free and not contribute to paying taxes to help fix this mess. XO

valphish said...

Well said, Beth.  I agree.  BEST movie ever made!  Love, Val xox

lurkynat said...

yeah I'm with Val
an absolutely great movie!