What do Americans want? Anything: anything they can get for free and that is all of us. The Americans I sort of stay in touch with are most inclined to bitch and moan about welfare mothers and illegal immigrants dragging down the economy expecting something for nothing. And these folk are constantly, through email and conversation, projecting images of some ultra-dark woman and some brown man in a straw hat sitting on their asses, the former in row house in the city watching her kids dress up in designer jeans and FUBU jackets and the later, in an emergency room waiting to suck the country dry by running up the cost of health care. And, Hey, I bet my ‘buddies” are right; some of that stuff goes on.
Yet, consider the Americans who REALLY want something for nothing: the investment bankers who do all sorts of illegal operations knowing the taxpayers will HAVE to bail them out. But as soon as these financiers are in the clear, they start engaging in risky businesses again and pay themselves HUGE bucks as a reward for being criminal, thievery déjà vu all over again. So, as one really sharp dude said, these guys socialize debt and mistakes and privatize profits. Think about that: they depend on the socialized mechanics of taxes to dip them from the boiling oil of potentially massive bankruptcies, but as soon as they are out of the fryer, they put profits in their private pockets. And twice, in my memory,, the tax payer has bailed out their asses: S & L crisis and now the egregious complications of speculations in MBSs and CDSs. Cool racket, sponsored by your local and federal politicians, and I am guessing (and do not bet that it is a pure guess) that we have wasted more money on these guys and have provided them a level of living that a welfare mother or immigrant farm hand will never know.
Yet, within this scenario of corruption gone corrupter, there are more “hidden” expenses: the money American tax payers spent on all the bureaufatrats at the state and federal levels for NOT doing their jobs is enormous. There are 2 million and counting federal employees and about (one has much difficulty accounting for how many bureaurats are out there as one has in trying to get a count on illegal immigrants) another 10 million state employees; in that elephantine network, how many do you figure each day do not do a solid day’s work, say compared to the dude in the straw hat? How many sit on their fat asses all day doing nothing while making a damned good wage? If we are paying them to act on your behalf, and if they do not, what is the cost? All this is real bad, real, real bad, but we have to look at one more expense in this labyrinthine morass to get a full picture: in considering the total expense of current bailouts and assistance, we have NOT to forget all the money people lost because of illegal manipulations in the stock market and its collapse, all the money lost by massive unemployment, lost in pension funds, and lost by decreased value in real estate. I have NO clue what the total is (and I have not even tossed in the expense of keeping Senators and Congressfolk who got paid but did no job at all in oversight, oh WOW that’s not cheap).
Of course, we need to make sure there is not fraud in the social systems that are set up to help folks out during bad times; we need it terribly. And we do desperately need to get a handle on how many illegal immigrants there are and how much it costs us to have them here. What I am suggesting is that larger American thieves exist under no penalty, in fact, exist with the benefit of protection from law makers, and I am suggesting as a matter of fairness that we should have more foam at our lips over the excesses of the very wealthy than we have on our lips over the welfare recipients and illegal immigrants.