Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer

A great post by a Harvard economist lecturer stated much more effectively what I tried to write yesterday.

If you are interested in reading more about the bailout, this link is a must read.

Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer

House rejects bailout, Treasury ignores House

What a day.

The Yahoo headline reads House ignores Bush, rejects $700B bailout bill.

Bloomberg reports Fed Pumps Further $630 Billion Into Financial System.

Combining those two headlines reads to me: "Treasury ignores Congress, Americans pay $630 billion rather than $700 billion."

Now I understand that the $630 billion in loans is money that the Treasury expects to receive back in time, but it will create an inflationary impact by releasing that much new currency into the economy. The American taxpayer will pay anyway; this time through our dollar having less buying power. And what happens if the banks cannot repay the loans that they are taking out? Are we checking to make sure that they are not taking out more money than they can repay?

I was talking to a VP of a bank chain here in the Midwest who was shopping at our store the other day. He shared that their bank has no exposure to the dangerous loans that became the trend of Wall Street banks and are taking them down. My thought is that we should let the banks who made bad decisions collapse because there are still wise banks out there who did not join in the shenanigans. If we need to bailout the economy, then create new banks that are unconnected with the corrupt banks. The only banks that are in trouble are the banks who gambled too much on the economy to always prosper.

Newt Gingrich addressed the problem that bailing out failing companies would create in a capitalistic system. He points this out as Danger One and Danger Two to the Paulson Plan. Danger One is "Crony Capitalism." This is using the government to help the rich investors who have the money to effectively lobby Congress to bail them out when their business fails. We would have capitalism on the front-end but socialism on the back. Danger Two is "Bureaucratic Capitalism." This is a result of us not trusting the system any longer because the system broke. In this situation, the government would tell capitalism what to do because capitalism is not regulating itself.

The irony is that capitalism wants to work here. These companies made bad decisions and capitalism is ready to crush them. We like to fight against nature. We build cities next to the ocean below sea level and hope that the levies do not break. Let us stop fighting against nature and allow capitalism run its course.

I remember when we were looking at houses in Lansing during the first part of this century. The mortgage broker kept trying to push us into adjustable rate mortgage that we would not be able to afford. He said that we would be making more when our payments would go up. He tried to use our optimism about the future to handcuff us to a mortgage we could not afford. We did not buy a house at that time. Now for the people who did not have the wisdom to say, "No, thank you," something should be done. But to bailout the banks and the executives who knew full well what they were risking, let us not waste our money on them. If banks need to be rescued for the economy to keep chugging along, then establish new banks with more responsible leadership. But please, stop allowing a treasury secretary who was in charge of one of the banks that is being rescued from designing the plan. His interest appears to be the banks rather than the American people.

I am not anti-socialist programs, but I am anti-socialism for the rich which this reeks of. Socialism, if necessary, should be used to help the poor, not the rich. I can't wait for a new President.

edited to add: Michael Moore and Newt Gingrich agree. Both political sides seem to be against this. It might be harsh to say, but it appears that only the politicians without convictions are in support of the bailout.

An Eli Quote

"You know what's funny dad? Chewie's a boy and he has a purse."

Leaning Obama after the debate

Well, I just finished watching the debate. Or I should say that I finished watching the foreign policy segment of the debate. I made it home from work just in time to catch the beginning of the debate, but the remotes had been hidden by one of the children. Forty minutes in, the remotes were found and I could turn the channel. I love systems that depend on remotes. This take on the debate focuses on forty minutes in till the end.

John McCain refused to look at Obama. This bothered me. It did not seem civil or statesman like. Obama would talk to McCain, but McCain would not look at him. This is representative of their approach on talking with "rogue" nations. There is this tendency in our culture for people to not talk to those they disagree with. McCain seemed to exemplify this tonight. Obama overcame this cultural tendency and wants to overcome it on an international level. This whole idea that we should only meet with nations after they meet preconditions is ridiculous. What would be the purpose of negotiating if the party you want to change had to already change before you were willing to negotiate? Negotiation is what brings about change, not silence. The sad state that we find our nation and world in is a direct result of the policies of a President who refused to negotiate with those he disagreed with.

John McCain continued to hammer Obama with misrepresentations of Obama's positions. His view on Georgia and his view on the surge are two examples. At one point McCain said that Obama thought the surge was unsuccessful. At another he claimed that Obama thought the surge was successful. It is tough to be consistent when you are lying. I understand that the Republican base out there really likes to hammer Obama over these misrepresentations because they believe the misrepresentations are real, but I thought McCain acted disingenuous throughout the whole debate. I thought Obama handled it well by not letting any of the misrepresentations stand.

On their positions concerning foreign policy, I agree with Obama whenever they disagreed.

I chuckled at McCain's mistake in calling Iran an "existential threat" to Iran rather than an "exponential threat." It is irrelevant but it provided good humor.

I think Obama took a lead in my undecided vote that will be hard to surmount tonight. I felt that he was honest and that McCain was dishonest. That is something that goes beyond the issues. The straight talk express did not talk so straight. Maybe I was tainted by McCain's recent lie to David Letterman. If you don't know the story, McCain told Letterman that he couldn't be on his show the other night when he was scheduled to because he had to get back to Washington. Letterman then showed McCain on internal CBS cameras, which Letterman has access to, getting made up for an interview with Katie Couric. McCain was not getting back to Washington like he claimed but was in the CBS studios preparing to talk to Couric. I do not want another dishonest President.

The main question is what other undecided voters thought. I figure the base of both parties liked the candidates tonight.

Carrying Our Cross In a World of Selfishness

I posted another new article over at Chi Rho.

Carrying Our Cross in a World of Selfishness

I Can't

I wish I could play the piano
and have the keys dance under me,
create a beautiful song
or a memorable melody.

I wish I could paint a painting
of all the splendor that I see.
A brush stroke here, another there
And soon you would see what I can see.

But I can't.
That's just not who I am.

I wish I could write a poem
that would give a glimpse of me,
that would make us all be better
and strive to be what we can be.

But I can't.

The Church Made Simple

Well, I am a writing fiend today trying to iron things out in my mind. I think another one will also be on its way.

The Church Made Simple

Amazon Prime Free Trial

I am being a salesman in this post, but I am not selling anything that I do not currently pay for. I love Amazon prime. I order so many books from Amazon for my studies in history that I find it very beneficial to get them faster and not have to pay more each time. The thing I find most useful is that I no longer have to reach the $25 minimum order for free shipping. I can order an $8 item and it arrives in two days.

For the purpose of full disclosure, Amazon is paying me $12 for everyone who signs up using this link. So I would like you to sign up for purely selfish reasons although I do find the program useful.

Amazon Prime members enjoy the following benefits:

1. Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of Items
2. Overnight Shipping upgrades for only $3.99 per item
3. Shipping with no minimum order size
4. Ability to share benefits with up to 4 household members
5. 1 Month Free Trial

So why not try it out. You'll get free two-day shipping for a month and give me $12.00. Life is good.

I also think the free trial will automatically renew, so be careful with that if you are just trying it out.

A New Post at Chi Rho on Fellowship

I am still undecided on a lot of things and have not written as well on my school break as I wish I would. I am working through a few things today in my head, and it helps me to write those thoughts out. The first of these is an examination of fellowship. Do we really experience Christian fellowship?

My Thoughts On Sarah Palin, McCain, and Obama

If you were to force me to vote prior to McCain and Obama chose their running mates, I would have told you that I was voting for Obama despite his view on abortion because of his views on everything else (you know those views that the Republicans say he does not have). After choosing their running mates, my mind has changed. If I were to vote today, I would push the button for John McCain. Maybe they will convince to dislike each of them by the end of this campaign season, but I currently find comfort in that either of these guys will be good Presidents. I would have voted for either of them above Gore, Kerry, or Bush. Although each party is trying to demonize the other and they do disagree on some very serious issues, they are both proponents for change and we need that badly. We need Washington to operate differently.

The first round of attacks on Palin helped boost her in my mind. Oh, the experience card - how I am so sick of it. Experience is codeword for corruption in my book. What were the Democrats thinking in trying to portray her as having a lack of experience? Experience does not matter, especially if they want me to vote for Obama. Being able to accumulate the right information and make wise decisions off of that information is what matters. Everyone in this election seems capable of doing this. I actually like Palin's resume better than any of the candidates. If I was voting purely on resume, she would be my pick. She does not come from the elite eastern universities, she is not from a big city where corruption reigns, and she has not been tainted by Washington. A page from the Rove book of politics that will be with us for a while is to attack candidates on their strengths; I think that is what we have seen here in regards to the attacks on her based on her experience.

Then they started attacking her in what I perceived to be a fit of rage and jealousy at her newborn popularity, reminiscent of McCain's attacks on Obama for his "celebrity." The attack dogs should have just laid off a little bit. Everyone is fascinated with a new baby, then reality sinks in. The baby cries in the night and you have to start changing the diaper. The newness of Palin would have worn off without all of the attacks that might have cemented people in favor of her more than it helped persuade people to disapprove of her.

The Democrats are now arguing that a mother cannot make a good President. My, oh my. I guess the Democrats only like Feminists who act like men (and I am not saying that a woman like that would not be a capable leader). If a father can be President, so can a mother. With tongue in cheek, I say that the increased media attention on her children might prevent them from getting pregnant again. The media can be great watchdogs making sure they are not participating in any elicit activities. I really like Peggy Noonan's editorial on how people from the beltway ("Bubbleheads") do not understand evangelicals.

I do find the media bias against the Republicans tremendous. Where we are all of the fact checks on Obama and Biden after the Democratic convention as we have for Palin and McCain after the Republican convention?

Every story I wanted to reference in regards to Palin had counter-stories saying that the other story was not true. In this internet age, I do not know how we discover what is true and what is not. I really did not have the desire to dig that deep at this point. But I do like how she rejected the pork for the Bridge to Nowhere and used the money for better projects, gave birth to a baby with disabilities because of her convictions, and became popular in Alaska because of her fight against corruption in the oil commission.

After writing this piece, I think the overwhelming issues will win out and I will vote for Obama, although his dancing toward the middle on many of the issues makes him less and less appealing. I wonder if I am unusual for being undecided in that I am not a centrist. I also find voting against abortion to be a really stupid vote since we have supposedly had a pro-life President in the office twenty of the last twenty-eight years and nothing has really changed. It would actually be detrimental to the Republican party to have the issue off of the table.

You will notice that I have not mentioned Biden until this point in this post. He kind of makes Obama more of an establishment candidate, and I do not like the idea of two legislators from the Senate running the government. He was a detrimental pick for Obama. My perception is that he looks like a used-car salesman, and I do not really want a swindler as my VP. But that is just my perception.

In the end, I said that I would vote based upon who they chose for their running mates because it would show what they really believed. McCain came out strong. He chose an outsider from Washignton and a solid pro-lifer. I just don't know if I can vote against Obama's tax and health care plans. Especially the health care plan. It is time for America to move into the industrialized world in how we treat all of our citizens. I do not like how Obama is becoming more and more pro-war. If he sticks to the issues as he once held them, I will might find my way back to him. But if I vote on personality, McCain and Palin will have my vote.

Brian Carter Releases A Pauper's Prayer

The first from my generation at GLCC to release something for sale, Brian Carter released his album, A Pauper's Prayer, for digital download last week.

Brian, besides being a great guy and musician, toured with Mitch McVicker last fall.

The album was good, but I am sure I am bias. Someone that isn't bias should go over there and buy it. Let me know what you think.