So the Dow hits 10,000--great! President Obama should get some credit. But I suspect that others could have done the same thing, by following the same formula. For example, if I had borrowed, printed, or otherwise conjured up more than $12 trillion, and pumped it mostly into the financial sector, I could have made something happen. What would happen? Most likely, Wall Street would start, uh, bubbling again, even as unemployment rose and the rest of the country languished.
Of course, as I sought to make my Wall Street medicine go down, smoothly, I would have to overlook a scandalously upward redistribution of income. Exhibit A in that upward wealth transfer: The nine biggest banks, receiving $175 billion in bailout money, nevertheless paid their employees $32 billion in bonuses last year. That’s our money, into their pockets. Neither a muckraker, nor a Marxist, could ever find a purer example of the government serving as a tool of the ruling class.
But if the bailouts have their critics, they also have their defenders. Most of the political-intellectual establishment, which may or may not like Obama, nonetheless accepts the Bob Rubin-ite argument that “financialization” is inevitable and desirable--what’s good for Wall Street is good for America.
Well, we’re testing that proposition now, aren’t we?
James P. Pinkerton is a Fox News contributor. Read his commentary on the health care debate at Serious Medicine Strategy.com.