That's the United Communist States of America. This drop in the toilet $800B "rescue" plan will have no effect whatsoever on improving the economy. In the meantime, it is "bribe money" that taints anyone who accepts it.
Look at it this way. We have already nationalized all major banks (with more to come) an entire auto industry (Ford is next), the auto parts manufacturers have their hands out for $20B or so (they will then come under the thumb) mortgages (Fannie and Freddie,) student loans and the like. This nationalization will not end soon.
All this is in the name of "stabilizing the economy," yet "central planning is in full swing. If you as a company accepts this "bribe money," then you agree to have your local Soviet (oh I mean Washington) central planner attend your board meetings, set executive pay, even for those superlative executives like Jamie Dimon, and own major portions of your companies. Now I'm not saying that excessive executive pay is a good thing, but it is up to the shareholders to decide this and not the government. Shareholders have been like Bernie Madoff sheep to be sure, but it is their responsibility to be vigilant, (and incidentally, tragically, people are still killing themselves over the Madoff thing, the most recent calamity happened in the UK.)
We are all scared by this environment, but let's get serious, America has been through wars and much worse. A basic tenet associated with the current plan is a power grab by people who have never run a business before. If Detroit and Tokyo can't make desirable vehicles then let them rot. More nationalization is on the horizon and especially so if oil, as I predict hits $25 per barrel. Dubai, formerly a paradise is bankrupt, and the tankers keep rolling in.
We are now headed down the slippery slope past "European-styled" socialization to full-fledged government intervention into our lives. A respected friend and CEO says that he saw this in Italy 20 years ago and it took almost that long to get out of the trough. There are no more communists in Italy and maybe I have to move there soon.
Central planning is, has been and always will be a failure. It stifles innovation and makes people want to pull out their guns. But that's what we're getting these days from DC. They don't have nearly enough money to make a real difference except that they are exposing my 20-something year old children to debts that will probably never be repaid.
FDR wasn't a genius...the New Deal, according to many was a major fiasco; but WW-II got the factories operating again. Where can we look this time?
It's a terrible shame that maybe several hundred greedy people have thrust us into this condition. Folks are rightfully frightened; they won't buy cars, in fact, they won't buy anything and any check that you get from the government should be deposited directly into the safest place possible.
One ray of good news is that the government seems to agree with my maxim that "there is nothing worse than an empty house," so all these crappy mortgages, which were nothing more than highfalutin rental agreements are being treated as such, and there is an impending moratorium on foreclosures so that honest, hard-working people don't get thrown out as long as they pay a reasonable rent and maintain the properties.
I don't criticize the average mortgage broker because he/she was permitted to "sell $100 bills for $80," in that environment who the hell wouldn't go to town with that concept. But a system that allows the leadership (you name the institution) to have this persist, and which ignores the "long-tail" problem (basically, you get paid today, but bear no consequence for what happens beyond the artificial horizon) is fundamentally derelict.
We are nowhere near the end of this thing here, and I could give you so many calculations about how flushing $800B down the tubes (1) does nothing to improve the economy and (2) simply flushes $800B down the tubes, with serious adverse impacts on my young adults and others.
I am delighted that I am 53-years old. I used to wish that I was 23 but I no longer do...I hope that my shortened life-expectancy will put me out of my misery before the shit really hits the fan.
God this sucks.