As I am sure you are well aware of by now, the government just bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with our tax dollars. Yep, you are now the proud part owner of $5.4 trillion in mortgages, some of which are sound and many of which are not. Over the last two years that this site has been around, the word socialism has been mentioned by commenters here like it is some kind of a biological agent – yet I don’t see many people screaming out loud about this socialistic bailout with your tax dollars. Just the other day, my post about our country needing health care reform got a lot of attention because of my “socialistic” leanings on the subject. However, in an incredibly large amount of situations, we are in fact a version of a socialistic society – everyone’s taxes provide for police, fire, EMT’s, roads, bridges, education, military, food stamps, subsidized housing, prisons, sewage, some hospitals, libraries, parks, and now $5.4 trillion in what used to be private loans. Where does the line get drawn in the sand?
I guess when it benefits the the housing market, the economy as a whole and any shareholders of the two giants who might gain something, socialism is a good thing. When it benefits children who need a hot lunch at school or a parent who needs help paying medical bills, it’s bad.
No wonder people are confused about how to feel.
I don’t know the solution, I really don’t – and have never claimed to. I am not a socialist or a capitalist; I am very much in the middle depending on the situation. But I do know that our society benefits greatly from the shared expense of all the things I listed above and many more I didn’t. I don’t want to pay for those people’s mortgages any more than the next guy – I didn’t screw up the system but yet now I have to burden the expense. We allowed the free market to create those loans and look where it got us – another $5 trillion in the hole.
So which is it? Are we a capitalistic society where everyone is on their own or are we a socialistic society? Or are we a socialistic society masquerading as capitalists? Or are we neither? All I know is that I am now the proud owner of my share of $5.4 trillion in mortgages, and for some reason, I am not feeling like a proud owner.