Friday, September 26, 2008

The Coming Disaster

or Why You Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Bailout.

I was listening to an old recording of Frederich Pohl and Isaac Asimov, and Pohl said something that I think applies to this discussion. He said (paraphrasing) that the world of the future, as seen by us today, will be a disaster. The transformation to the disaster will be slow and the changes will be accommodated, such that those living in the future will not see it as a disaster. Their main concern was overpopulation but I think this is true of any gradual change.

I will plead ignorance to the financial problems whose solutions are way over my pay grade (pun intended). I have a sharp pain in the place where I keep my fiscal conservatism right now. On one had, the pols are saying that a bailout is required to stop a crash leading to a long recession. On the other hand, bu-bye free market controls if bad decisions by the market can be fixed by Mommy (gov) and a can of Bactine (bailout).

All I know is that Warren Buffett, the one capitalist with enough street cred for me to believe right now, says the bailout is needed. So I guess I'll take some pain meds and wait and hope. The whole situation really pisses me off, though. I hate having solutions forced down my throat because the options are worse, especially when the problem could have been avoided.

Maybe what we need, once all the pieces are put back together, is a more heavily regulated financial environment, with ALL the regulation geared at making the playing field even and transparent. The reason I have been against regulation in the past is that they become tools for the pols in power, pushing the ideology of the time, with regulations fluctuating with the political winds. That kind of regulation is all drag.

Regulation should be like the referee in a basketball game (well, the non-corrupt referee, if they still exist).

I first posted this on the Brights Forums.

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