Response: TARP, Full Employment and Other Sticky Details

(TARP is an abbreviation for the Troubled Assets Relief Program which is the largest part of the United States’ so-called $700 billion bailout plan) … (full text).

Linked (on January 13, 2009) with John Case alias Jim and Carolyn Hougan – USA.

Published on political affairs pa, by John Case, Jan. 5, 2009.

In an otherwise excellent article debunking Bush as a phony socialist [as he is being dubbed on right-wing talk radio], Joel Wendland writes the following theses that I think deserve “a deeper look.”

“A socialist program for resolving the crisis in the banking industry would possibly have begun by using the TARP funds to gain public ownership and oversight of the banks. It would not have been a handout.

Further, the socialist approach would have originated with the interest of working families. If indeed the TARP project had been a socialist one, it would have been embedded in, controlled by, and enacted with working people’s interests at its center. The guiding principle would be the socialization of benefits and profit.”

A lot of virtue, perhaps, but much sin and confusion too, can be masked by the phrase “public ownership and oversight of the banks.” In fact the TARP funds have been used to indeed “gain public ownership” of decisive shares of some of the largest US financial corporations. And the right of oversight was indeed given to the US Treasury Department by Congress. But either through inclination, interest, or a simple lack of available human, organizational and technical resources, or a combination of all three, oversight has been far less effective than expected or hoped, or required. Improvements in credit markets have been very slow, and conditions in the real economy are rapidly deteriorating …

… I think the socialist guiding principles for minimum demands in this democratic struggle need to be more closely, immediately drawn, and made easily understandable in straightforward language: … (full long text).

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