I’m not a numbers person – and I’m not a money person.  It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  But I know there is something not right with what’s going on with the bailout, in whatever form they are talking about.  These companies screwed up through risky business and questionable practices.  And now they are going to get an out, and still get paid more than I do.  I heard that one of the top execs at Washington Mutual had just started with a $6 million signing bonus, and it was in his contract that he would get $8 million if he was fired without due cause.  So he stands to get $14 million for 18 days of work – there’s just something wrong with that.  How is anyone’s work really worth that much? 

That’s a LOT of money.  I talked about the Wall Street mess last week in my sermon*, and just posed the question:  What if the government gave all of that money to charity instead – through programs like Habitat for Humanity that help people get back on their feet.  What if they brought back the state psychiatric facilities?  That would get many homeless people in safe environments – for them and for the public.  What if?  I’m not saying that it would solve any problems, but it’s interesting to consider.  How different would that look?

And then I get this e-mail forward from my dad on another option for the money.  I didn’t check the numbers or the math or the facts, so just take it for the theory that it is – again, something interesting to consider:

I’m  against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of  AIG.  
Instead, I’m in  favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America  in a We Deserve It  Dividend.  To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide  U.S. Citizens 18+.  Our population is  about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So  200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and  up..  
So divide 200  million adults 18+  into $85 billon that equals  $425,000.00.  My plan is to give  $425,000 to every person 18+ as a  
We  Deserve It Dividend.  Of course, it would  NOT be tax  free. So let’s assume a  tax rate of 30%.  Every individual 18+  has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.  That sends  $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.  
But it means that  every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife  has $595,000.00.
What  would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your  family?
Pay  off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
Repay  college loans – what a great boost to new  grads

Put  away money for college – it’ll be there

Save  in a bank – create money to loan to  entrepreneurs.

Buy  a new car – create jobs
Invest  in the market – capital drives growth

Pay  for your parent’s medical insurance – health care  improves

Enable  Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else
Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting  back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed  Forces.
  If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 (“vote buy”) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.  As  for AIG – liquidate it. Sell  off its parts. Let American General go back to being American General. Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

But as much as these large companies have screwed up, so have regular ol’ Americans.  I hadn’t thought of it this way until Suzie Orman was on Oprah and said that we all share the blame.  Americans took out mortgages they couldn’t afford.  They bought houses and cars they couldn’t afford.  They bought houses with no money down.  They have an average of $9,000 in credit card debt.  People were trying to live outside of their means, and the banks and lending companies took advantage of that.  And now everyone is suffering, even those of us who make a conscious effort to leave simply, who pay all their bills, and who try to be smart, not greedy when it comes to money.

But what could WE do with that money – the “we deserve it dividend”?  Pay off our house, pay for medical school, buy a minivan, start a college fund for Piglet, give money to the church and charities, and still have some left over.  I don’t think we really deserve it like the author of this e-mail says, because even though we work hard, we haven’t earned it.  But man, it sure would be nice to really be debt free.  Imagine the possibilities – the good we could do.


*My love would get mad if I didn’t give him credit for this idea – he is the one that came up with the “what if” – there I said it.


2 Responses

  1. It is a nice theory, but the government doesn’t have the money for the $85 billion. They are printing the money and going into debt. So, we all would walk away with that amount of money (most would be squandered) and owe more than that with interest to pay back the government debt. So far, almost $2 trillion in debt. So, the money isn’t really there. But, it is sure nice to wish upon the small percentage of people that properly earn it and would use it appropriately. Too bad, that percentage of people is too small.

  2. true that…how could I have left that important detail out…i wonder what will really happen…

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