Who Wants a Bailout?

 Posted by on 24 September 2008 at 12:32 am  Finance, Politics
Sep 242008

As you have no doubt heard, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently presented a plan to Congress that seeks to buy as much as $700,000,000,000 in “troubled assets” from prominent financial institutions. But why should these firms be the only ones to get massive amounts of milk from the taxpayer teat? I don’t know about you, but I’ve purchased plenty of assets of dubious future value in my day… why shouldn’t the government help me out too?! If you’re like me, I’m sure you’re wondering why the government isn’t doing more to help alienate you from the negative consequences of your poor decisions. After all, isn’t that what the government’s there for? Granted, they do a lot for us in that regard… but if they’re bailing out Wall Street, why not bail out Main Street — or MY Street?

I recently ran across a website (hat tip to BoingBoing) asking just this question: BuyMyShitPile.com. From their site’s description:

With our economy in crisis, the US Government is scrambling to rescue our banks by purchasing their “distressed assets”, i.e., assets that no one else wants to buy from them. We figured that instead of protesting this plan, we’d give regular Americans the same opportunity to sell their bad assets to the government. We need your help and you need the Government’s help! Use the form below to submit bad assets you’d like the government to take off your hands. And remember, when estimating the value of your 1997 limited edition Hanson single CD “MMMbop”, it’s not what you can sell these items for that matters, it’s what you think they are worth. The fact that you think they are worth more than anyone will buy them for is what makes them bad assets.

So head on over and list whatever crap you’d like for whatever amount you think it’s worth. If enough of us band together, maybe we can reap the rewards of the welfare state too!

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