FIGHTING WORDS (“RAW CAPITALISM IS DEAD” EDITION)

William Greider:”The step-by-step rescues that the Federal Reserve and Treasury have executed to date have failed utterly to reverse the flight of investors and banks worldwide from lending or buying in doubtful times. There is no obvious reason to assume this bailout proposal will change their minds, though it will certainly feel good to the financial houses that get to dump their bad paper on the government.”

Dean Baker: “Financial institutions should be forced to endure the bulk of the losses with taxpayer funds only used where absolutely necessary to sustain the orderly operation of the financial system. The bailout must be designed to minimize the opportunity for gaming. The bailout should be designed to minimize moral hazard.”

Robert Reich: “Wall Street agrees to give bankruptcy judges the authority to modify the terms of primary mortgages, so homeowners have a fighting chance to keep their homes. Why should distressed homeowners lose their homes when Wall Streeters receive taxpayer money that helps them keep their fancy ones?”

James Kvaal: “Congress should also follow rapidly pass expansions of unemployment benefits and investments in clean-energy jobs. The immediate consensus behind passage of Paulson’s plan shows that, when it comes to addressing our country’s most urgent problems, money is no object. Congressional leaders did not blink at the 12- or even 13-digit outlay. We should remember that when it comes to other priorities, such as universal health care.”

Christopher Hayes: “But more than that, advocating a “strong dollar” under these circumstances is some old-school, hard money nuttiness. After donning a variety of ideological suits these last few days, McCain seems to have found his inner Andrew Mellon.”

FIGHTING WORDS

Nathan Newman: “Many conservative analysts try to explain the weakness of labor unions and social democracy in the U.S. through a whole range of culturalist explanations about the U.S. working class. Racism is often cited but as Blackmon’s book makes clear, one incredibly key but almost completely unmentioned factor is the southern gulag that destroyed free labor in a whole region of the country–with the full cooperation of northern capitalists who recognized the economic and political usefulness of a non-union region of the country to undermine labor in the rest of the nation.”

Dean Baker: “They are prepared to use the heavy hand of the government to ensure that small meat packers do not win out over bigger more politically powerful meat packers. It is clear that the Bush administration is not prepared to tell the big meat packers that ‘you are on your own.'”

Ann Friedman: “Their decisions are seen by the antichoice Republican base as affirmation that Palin shares their values. But the underlying message that each woman had a choice is a validation of pro-choice values.”