I've always thought that Economics was actually a "Voodoo" Science. Having studied and taught both Adam Smith and Karl Marx the best I can say about them is that Marx's criticisms of our hyper capitalist system seem extraordinarily prescient given our hyper-consumption society. No matter what you might think of his "solution" to capitalism. Anyway...a subject for a different time.
This is the best response yet to the proposed bailout of Wall Street...I copped this via Hollywood Elsewhere but that's not the original source (I couldn't find it-sorry). For anyone who has looked closely at the credit card industry, this letter is sadly, painfully, funny.
"Dear Wall Street,
"I'm speaking on behalf of a group called The Taxpayers of the United States. Now that we've rejected the first bailout plan, I'm sure that in the spirit of tough, free market capitalism and spirited negotiations, you'll consider our second offer. Here are some terms that we trust you'll find reasonable:
"(1) We are willing to loan you money at a very low, introductory rate of 8.9%. If you are even one nanosecond late on your payment, your rate will go from 8.9% to 32.9% -- instantly. You will have no right to appeal this. The interest rate increase will be retroactive. And none of this 'but I mailed it out Friday' stuff. We must get it, and the check must clear, for your payment to count. Reminder: transactions that occur after 2pm are not credited until the next business day, so be sure to make your payments before then.
"(2) If you are late on any of your other payments to your other creditors, your rate will also be spiked to 32.9%. I know it has nothing to do with us, but if you are late paying someone else, then obviously you are a bigger credit risk to us.
"(3) We will send you onerous terms and conditions in 6 point font. Of course, those terms can change on a whim, at any time, so we'll be sending you hourly updates to the contract, which we expect you to read and keep up with. Sorry -- we will be the only ones that can amend the contract; you cannot.
"(4) You will have a predetermined credit line, and if you go over it by even $1, your interest rate will spike to 54.9%. Sorry, it's in the contract on page 109,209,392.
"(5) The bankruptcy laws have now changed. If you get into a bind, I'm afraid you won't find much sympathy. No more silly excuses will be accepted. We are going to have the titles to all of your buildings and physical assets put in our name, so when the inevitable time comes and you trip up, we'll simply take everything from you. There will be no court hearing.
"(6) We'll be conducting a background check, driving records check, drug test, and disease risk check of all of the top executives of your firm. After all, you're a riskier loan if you have any of those afflictions, aren't you? Well, if we find anything wrong, your interest rate will skyrocket, and without notice.
"(7) If your business is located in a bad neighborhood, a poor city, a hurricane zone or terrorist targeted city, as defined by us, we can raise your interest rates at any time, to any rate we choose.
"For the last quarter century or so, you've imposed these terms, or some variation of them, upon us when loaning us money or insuring us, arguing every single time that it's 'necessary' and that these sorts of changes 'will result in more profitable companies that will pass the savings along to consumers.' Well, now that we're in the role of lender, and you're in the role of borrower, we're sure that you'll find these same terms fair.
"Wall Street, prove the cynics wrong and accept our new plan. Prove to everyone that you're not the hypocrites that everyone thinks you are.
"Wallace Mangold, Attorney-at-Law, representing the Taxpayers of the U.S.A."