Monday, September 22, 2008

All the king's horses and all the king's men

I love this piece from Time. The best bit:

Admit it, mes amis, the rugged individualism and cutthroat capitalism that made America the land of unlimited opportunity has been shrink-wrapped by a half dozen short sellers in Greenwich, Conn. and FedExed to Washington D.C. to be spoon-fed back to life by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. We're now no different from any of those Western European semi-socialist welfare states that we love to deride. Italy? Sure, it's had four governments since last Thursday, but none of them would have allowed this to go on; the Italians know how to rig an economy.

You just know the Frogs have only increased their disdain for us, if that is indeed possible. And why shouldn't they? The average American is working two and half jobs, gets two weeks off, and has all the employment security of a one-armed trapeze artist. The Bush Administration has preached the "ownership society" to America: own your house, own your retirement account; you don't need the government in your way. So Americans mortgaged themselves to the hilt to buy overpriced houses they can no longer afford and signed up for 401k programs that put money where, exactly? In the stock market! Where rich Republicans fleeced them.

Oh, New Zealand, why won't you love me back? I'll treat you well. Go on, give me a chance. Need me the way I need you!


pohanginapete said...

We have an election here in New Zealand in November and it seems likely we'll get a new government which, in its attitude towards private ownership and the merits of profit (oops, I mean its attitude towards "personal responsibility") , will strongly resemble the USA.

You're always welcome here, Emma.

Emma said...

Ah, thanks Pete. Now if only your immigration laws were so welcoming! (Actually as you know they are pretty decent... I just seem to slip through all the cracks somehow... very frustrating.)

Martha Craig said...

I love you too, if that counts for anything, and when I'm boss of the country you'll be in in a heartbeat.

Emma said...

Martha, I wouldn't be surprised if you were boss by next year. YAY! xo