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The Bailout Is A Tough Sale

Even MSNBC is not amused: First fear, then loathing, toward Wall Street

As Americans digest a dizzying series of events that has left Wall Street shaken to its core, the mood on Main Street is shifting from fear to loathing. They are angry that government regulators did not do enough to prevent this — and protect them — in the first place. They are upset the government is proposing billions of dollars in bailouts for Wall Street, even as many regular Americans are struggling to hang onto their homes and pay their bills.

They also are livid that massive financial firms in which they trusted took wild risks and made incredibly bad decisions, in turn impacting their personal finances. Some wonder why, in the face of such a massive financial crisis, so few of these executives have stepped up to apologize for, or even try to explain, their actions.

Mostly, they think it’s despicable that many of these top executives could walk away with millions of dollars in their bank accounts, even as some average Americans see their retirement plans thrown into chaos.

A large segment of the US population still believes in living by the rules. They believe that when you make a mistake you are supposed to repent and ask for forgiveness. Southern Baptists have a gift for repenting and asking for forgiveness, which is why so many end up in politics.  Trying to bailout people and companies who are perceived as arrogant by the average citizen isn’t going to work. The old-fashioned Protestant work ethic tells people that there has to be shame associated with being bailed out, and they don’t see any.