I consider myself an independent thinker. I remember telling the journalist from the Economist when he interviewed me many years ago:
"I believe in education for all - does that make me a Communist? I believe in social services for all - does that make me a Socialist? I believe the private sector is the engine of growth - does that make me a Capitalist? I think that makes me none of the above."
Having said that, is this really true what I am reading in the New York Times "Markets Can't Wait for Congress to Act":
"But it is also true that much of the opposition to the Paulson plan is purely ideological — there are Republicans who believe that the bailout plan is a step toward socialism. And it appears that they would rather see the economy go down the tubes than do something they find ideologically distasteful."
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/27/business/27nocera.html?pagewanted=1&8dpc (Disclaimer: I do not support Paulson's original 3 page plan - it is not a solution as I have said many times before, it is just ripe to cause a bigger problem)
Did I read that right "ideologically distasteful"?
Respectfully, peoples lives are at stake. People cannot afford the economy to go down the tubes because of "ideology". If ideology buys gas, heating oil for winter, and food, then ideology just became more valuable than all the commodities combined.
Just by way of background, I must admit that I am completely befuddled by the Republicans.
The Republican President and Administration propose a 3 page bill which is a blank check for $700B with unlimited, unquestioned, non-reviewable power. Other than doubts about whether it will work, no elected representative can make that law without being in dereliction of sworn duty. So that was just never going to be approved in that language.
But in the spirit of cooperation, and with acceptance of urgency, the Democrats and some Republicans work together - yes, constructively because I watched every second of the two days of hearings and they were surprisingly cooperative and constructive. Concessions were made.
The Republican President makes appearance after appearance on TV and on radio to convince the people. The Republican President and his VP summon the Presidential candidates and the leadership of Congress, all in front of the world trying to show urgency and unity
Then the House Republicans cause an internal revolution. Yes, the ruling party of the world's superpower has an internal revolt in the middle of a national and global financial and economic crisis on every cable news station broadcast all over the world on TV and the World Wide Web in real time.
The House Republicans say they have a new plan which traders (80% Republican it is reported) say cannot work. Paulson says it cannot work.
And here's the part beyond my comprehension - the House Republicans refuse to even come to the talks. The US financial sector and economy is in a crisis, and has been shocked by erratic actions of the Republican Government and then members of the Republican party refuse to talk. Am I missing something? "Representatives" represent people who have their savings and investments tied up in the markets. Markets do not like erratic behaviour. So these House Republicans have a responsibility to go and talk - and even object vociferously. But there is no excuse for not talking - its aggravating a fragile market.
So, after a financial shock which is aggravating a weak economy, the House Republicans cause a political shock which further aggravates the financial shock which further aggravates the weak economy.
And oh yes, remember that thing that the US said the rest of the world all had to have - and had to have their way - "or else" : globalization. Because of globalization, the WHOLE WORLD is reeling from these man made hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions all in one.
At some point we have got to get stability. My plan? I've already lined up a German tutor and looking for a Mandarin tutor. I'm just hoping that in the new financial world order, 2+2 is equal to 4.....because I kind of like that predictability.