While you watched the circus consuming Washington regarding the needless bonuses going to AIG employees, you were provided with a cornucopia of finger-pointing and ducking. The question to be asked is who is really responsible, and you may be as much as anyone else.
As capitalists, each person has a responsibility in today’s world to protect against the incursion of governmental intervention breaking down the walls between our successful private industry and the limited government this country has always maintained and desires.
The unseemly scenario of auto executives groveling at the feet of feckless members of Congress should sicken anyone who cares about freedom and the capitalist system. Executives, who for years made poor decisions by providing unsustainable benefits to themselves and employees, were the proximate cause of having to put themselves in the hands of totally unqualified elected “Solons” that have long-term interests significantly contrary to their own. They provided health care benefits devoid of personal responsibility, then tried to foist the cost upon the American people -- helping to cascade us toward a nationalized health care system. These are irresponsible capitalists acting badly. They and their predecessors deserve to be in capitalist hell for eternity.
Concurrent to this, our investment gurus have played into the hands of the misguided idealists who believe government-centralized decisions improve the lives of the masses. Certainly this process started with a poorly written law called the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Even though Congress stated that it was a result of private industry acting badly by redlining certain areas and individuals, as almost always happens, Congress created a monster with long-term debilitating consequences.
That was not good enough for the government wonks -- they wanted more. In 1999 they expanded the mission of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by encouraging them to accept even riskier loans from unqualified buyers.