Good morning, Netizens...
All the doctors of the world have gathered together and using the most-modern technology available have examined the patient, the world's economic health, drawing nearly the same conclusions. The patient is dreadfully sick, and it all began here, with the United States of America banking industry. It is a particularly ugly, dangerous cancer, and now it has spread throughout the entire world, affecting the world economy.
Today the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's David Horsey introduces us to a portion of the banking industry where the cancer began, and one hopes, ultimately ends. When banks were failing, when they first approached the federal government asking for bail outs, ostensibly too broke to continue business without additional revenue, the high-flying CEO's of these same banks were paying themselves huge bonuses and salaries despite the wretched fiscal conditions their banks were facing.
When our government magnanimously handed out what is essentially free money, over which there were few restrictions and no visible schema by which these “loans” would ever be paid back to the American taxpayers, they were hiring foreign workers while they laid off American employees.
While it is perhaps easy to paint these bankers, as David Horsey aptly has done in this cartoon, as uncaring, greedy and self-serving individuals, the ultimate question still remains—how do we cure the patient? The real backbone of the American economy has always and perhaps will always be the middle-class and small business owners of American society, who pay a disproportionate share of the taxes, provide the bulk of jobs to American wage-earners and give our economy long-term stability.
I submit that the first real test of President Barack Obama's first term of office, nay even his first 100 days, will be how and when he excises the cancer that is threatening the global economy and has reduced the net worth of our entire nation. Without pointing the finger of retribution or blame, he must heal the patient. Fail at that, the only persons who seem certain to survive the economic chaos are those who got rich while the rest of us watched our savings and investments dissipate, while Rome is burning Nero is playing.
I feel trepidations. Do you?