Dear Wall Street: An open letter from Main Street
Dear Wall Street, You've had some tough times in the last couple of weeks. Welcome to reality. Here on Main Street, we've been having tough times for a while. Gas prices, health insurance, a war to fight -- there's been plenty to worry about here...
Dear Wall Street,
You've had some tough times in the last couple of weeks. Welcome to reality. Here on Main Street, we've been having tough times for a while. Gas prices, health insurance, a war to fight -- there's been plenty to worry about here.
In the last week, the financial system melted down, and a verified temper tantrum was thrown by Wall Street traders after the government said no, we won't kiss your boo-boo and make it all better.
In the midst of your despair, you stomped your feet and threatened, "Hey, give us a trillion dollars or we'll crash this stock market!"
Message from Main Street: "knock yourself out."
Wall Street first threw up a proposal for the tax payer to bail them out: "Make us kings -- take hundreds of billions you don't have, wash away all our troubles, and we'll abstain from making things hard for you."
What Wall Street failed to realize was the tax payer, the average citizen, already had things hard.
Sadly, the Joe Six Pack that Wall Street always thought it could count on was so run down by the system that it was no longer a stakeholder in Mr. Wall Street's game.
"We'll crush your pension," Mr. Wall Street threatened.
"What pension?" Mr. Tax Payer responded. "My company took that away years ago."
"We'll destroy the value of your stock portfolio," Mr. Wall Street threatened again.
"What portfolio?" Mr. Tax Payer asked again. "I had to cash it out to pay my heating bill and put my daughter through college."
"I'll take the Dow down to 4,000," Mr. Wall Street responded, growing ever desperate. "I'll ruin your future."
[Shrug] said Mr. Tax Payer. "You own all the stocks, not me," he said. "Take it to zero. Go ahead."
Mr. Wall Street was perplexed.
"You'll never get credit again," Mr. Wall Street warned.
"But you send me three credit card offers every day, today included," Mr. Main Street retorted. "And I'll tear them up today, just like every day."
Fear gripped Mr. Wall Street.
"But if I can't make fees of your retirement savings, and I can't take use 20 times leverage to buy mortgages, and I can't bully you into paying for my losses, how am I to make a 30 percent return?" Mr. Wall Street begged.
"Welcome to the America you created," Mr. Main Street responded.
Then Mr. Main Street, Mr. Joe Six Pack, Mr. Tax Payer, once thought to be a simpleton by his/her Wall Street counterparts, went about conducting business with people he/she trusted, made respectable profits, eeked out a nice living, put some great kids through college, and lived an overall happy life. He played by the rules, and for the first time in a long time in America, that meant something.
And Mr. Wall Street, obsessed with stealing from "Grandma Millie," finally learned a lesson.
And Mr. Main Street reminded Mr. Wall Street, which through companies like Enron had fleeced Mr. Main Street for years, what Mr. Enron had suggested to Mr. American years ago: "You should just bring back [expletive deleted] horses and carriages, [expletive deleted] lamps, [expletive deleted] kerosene lamps."
Things are just fine on Main Street, thank you. We won't be requiring any of your "help," nor will we be giving any.