Yesterday on his blog, Michael Moore abandoned his socialist principals in favor of conservatism. He may have been a little snippy about it. He may have done it only because he hates (haaaaates!) wealthy people. But he did it.
Instead of advocating a government bailout, which is the default position for all good socialists, he says that market forces should prevail.
I would like to propose my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, are predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: There... is... no... free... lunch.
Being the simple, modest fellow that he is, he calls the plan "Mike's Rescue Plan." His point number one seems to forget that Democrats hold the lion's share of blame for the mess we are in.
1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE.
Point number two is a solid conservative point...
2. THE RICH MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT.
...Except for the details. He wants a major increase in capitol gains tax—back to the levels seen in the 1950's—to raise revenue by $500 Billion. Despite strong evidence that lowering the capitol gains tax raises revenue, and raising the tax lowers revenue.
Point number three is a little shaky, conservatively speaking. Maybe his heart isn't really in this whole conservative thing. Most of his recommendations in point three replay the policies that got us into this in the first place.
3. BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME.
Point four is hard line conservative. Maybe I was too quick with that "heart not in it" comment.
4. IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GETS ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU.Sorry, that's how it's done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back -- with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk -- and necessary for the good of the country -- then you can get a loan, but we will own you. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.
5. ALL REGULATIONS MUST BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD.
On the other hand, maybe his heart isn't in it.
But, wait. Here's a fine example of laissez faire economic policy in point six:
6. IF IT'S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT'S TOO BIG TO EXIST.
Oh... he doesn't mean that we should allow failure, but rather that we should somehow prevent the creation of large companies.
Point number seven is just stupid.
7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY.
In point eight he's "forgotten" that Obama was a me-too on expanding the FDIC's coverage limit.McCain made the recommendation.
8. STRENGTHEN THE FDIC AND MAKE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE'S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES.Obama was correct yesterday to propose expanding FDIC protection of people's savings in their banks to $250,000.
Point nine is really good advice.
9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off the TV! We are not in the Second Great Depression. The sky is not falling. Pundits and politicians are lying to us so fast and furious it's hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I, yesterday, wrote to you and repeated what I heard on the news, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that's true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the '80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn't go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into the Jacuzzi.
Okay, heres the Michael Moore we are used to seeing:
10. CREATE A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE'S BANK."
All in all, I'd have to say that Mr Moore is a little... conflicted.