Column: Bailout Prompts Uninformed, Silly Reactions From Students, Politicians Alike

This story was written by Yevgeniy Feldman, Cornell Daily Sun

You know what really grinds my gears? People. People who say, Do you hear me, local representative?! I will not re-elect you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

First off, saying, local representative instead of Kucinich or whomever is generally a good indication that you dont know who your local representative is. Second off, who votes for local representatives? Did you vote for your local representative last year? Do you know whether or not he voted for the bailout bill? Were there actually local elections last year? Did he hear your voice? If you did not have a representative, would you even know the difference? All valid questions.

There seems to be little outcry about the bailout here at Cornell. Perhaps because our mommies and daddies work on Wall Street --or used to work there and theyre not telling the family yet. But there are insane protests going on outside this campus. On the Internet, actually. The Internet, being the worlds most effective protest platform, is going nuts. People are outraged that the government is trying to save the economy. Just outraged. People on Digg, a social content sharing website, are busy spamming local representatives mailboxes and phones with detailed messages that read much like this:

Dear local representative,

I would like you to know that, although I did not vote for you in the past election, your conduct during this economic crisis has given me no reason to vote for you in the future. You do not have my vote, definitively. And I will tell all my friends on digg.com not to vote for the 6th regional democratic representative of Ohio.

To summarize: your vote on the bailout was despicable. I will hunt you down and vote you out. Eff the Fed! Eff Congress! Eff big $$$ America. RON PAUL 08! VIVA CH! DIGG ME UP BITCHES!

Good day to you sir. Good day to you.

For reasons of I-dont know-what-the-eff-is-going-to-happen, I dont want to explicitly debate the specifics of the bailout. What is clear is that the United States of America is willing to put the dollar on the line to save the economy. Depending on who you ask, that is either heroic in the sense of World War II or heroic in the sense of the war in Iraq.

What is just plain un-heroic is saying that the financial world is stupid. Over the last week I have heard some very ...educated thoughts. Some include:

1. Screw banks. What the hell do we need banks for? Loans? I can just buy stuff on Craigslist that I can afford.

2. This would have never happened if our money was still backed by gold.

3. We need to abolish the Fed.

The first two things I heard from students (the greatest economic crisis occurred when our money was backed by gold, btw, fyi).

The last one I heard from Ron Paul. It left me confused, because what I really heard was, We need to abolish an institution whose objective is to minimize inflation and unemployment.

This is what I hear every time Ron Paul says we need to abolish the Fed. He says, Austrian school of economics more often than Sarah Palin calls McCain a maverick. This is what I hear when I logon to digg.com and read hundreds of comments that say Dr. Paul is a genius. As if Dr. Paul is the only guy in the world with a degree in economics. Wait, he doesnt have a degree in economics. Hes actually a real doctor. He delivered babies. And now he wants to cure the economy by "abolishing the Fed" (an institution which is independent from politics, and whose sole purpose during normal times is to minimize unemployment and inflation).

Is the man a monster who wants to see Americans unemployed and prices skyrocketing? Or is he trying to say that the best way to help he economy is to do nothing at all, ever, even in ridiculous circumstances that have arisen because of market failures which could have been regulated against? But I mean, its all good, right? The market will just straighten itself out. Its not like the government can intervene to make sure the shitty times dont get even shittier. Screw that. Austrian school!

Lets apply Pauls doctrine to all American policy. The troops? Theyll just figure it out. If they dont want to be in Iraq, theyll probably leave. Or maybe the Iraqi insurgent market forces will kick them out. Then they can go wherever they feel like, because they know best. Thats the beauty of free markets. Social security? Let the people figure it out. If they dont want to pay into it, thats perfectly fine. Theyll learn their lesson when nobody gets benefits. When they say, we really fucking need these benefits cause our hips hurt, what they will really mean is, the market has spoken for us and we dont really need medical assistance. Seriously. Just ignore us. Austrian school!

Local representative, if you read this paper, you have not lost my vote. You never had it. Thanks for doing your duty by trying to save the economy-- whoever you are.