I saw the head of the Treasury Department on TV last night saying that even though Congress approved $700 billion in bailout money for some of the nation’s biggest lending institutions, things had changed since then, and they may have to appropriate the money a bit differently than originally proposed. He was more than a little unclear as to just where the money was going.
Now everybody who has had a financial downturn has their hand out. The automobile makers want a big bail-out. I’ve even heard companies like Starbucks and Sears want some government money, not to mention American Express of all people.
We’d better be careful. For one thing, the only way the government has to generate money is out of the pockets of its citizens, and we’re a nation of somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 million people; do the math.
Secondly, the free enterprise system of capitalism that has made us the envy of the world has served us well; before taking on the government as a partner, we’d better think long and hard about what we’re asking for.
Years ago, I was seated next to a very wise man when we landed in what was then communist Nicaragua. I asked why the people would choose communism or socialism over democracy and capitalism. He said, “When you’re hungry, you don’t care about philosophy, you go with whoever promises you a free meal.”
I believe the last truly free meal was the seven loaves and two fishes.
Think about it. I’m Jim Cameron, let us hear from you.