What is to be done?

Tennis Lilly asked me:

ok Jamie…you’re the money guy…i didn’t want the bailout but they have to do something…don’t they?

I am not an adherent of the “market is always right and will self-organize itself into a better place” philosophy.  Bailouts can be necessary.  Maybe this time.  Certainly the credit squeeze seems well on its way to becoming a serious credit crunch.  The rate at which the banks will lend to each other (the LIBOR) has reached some scary heights, and banks seem to have seriously reduced lending to each other and have fled to treasury bills/bonds.   Doug Henwood, Paul Krugman and some other people I believe are knowledgeable about economics and finance think a bailout is needed to keep the banks working and not cause the economy to tank.

That said, as I pointed out this plan provides little benefit when this crisis is over, will be run by Bush and his cronies, likely won’t solve the problem and will leave our government $700+ billion dollars further in debt.

However, there are other
alternatives including:

For me, the solution looks something like:

  • Swedish style takeover of troubled banks,
  • ending foreclosures while loans get reworked so people can pay them,
  • investing more money in fixing needed infrastructure,
  • putting money into energy conservation and alternative energy for the poor and middle class
  • and expanding health care for all.

However, such an approach flies too much in the face of Republican free market dogma to pass.  You would think that some of these Republican congress people would remember the Savings and Loan crisis and how the federal government had to take over failing savings and loans during Reagan and Bush the Elder’s terms.  Apparently not.

Twitter or Jaiku or something else?

A year ago, I signed up for Jaiku and Twitter.  I was really enamored of Jaiku.  Nice look.  Merged all your feeds in one place and had a nice group feature that allowed group members to post to the common group area.  I was really looking forward to the later feature since I think it would be a great way to get multiple Green-Rainbow Party micro bloggers together in one virtual place.

A former co-worker of mine asked me which I prefered.  I told her Jaiku for the reasons I mentioned above – no doubts.

Since then, truth be told, I really don't use Jaiku any longer, but instead rely on Twitter.  The google acquisition of Jaiku seemed to halt them in their tracks, as it seems to have with blogger.  I was really looking forward to being able to control who could be in a group, but Jaiku doesn't seem to have added that feature.  Being able to limit membership of a group is really key for an organization, especially with recent issues the GRP has had with abusive ex-members, not to mention the yahoos who might post to it to get their message out to our supporters.  I don't want to create group-think, but being able to keep the messages civil is key.

Plus, Twitter's integration with Facebook is great.  I just update in Twitter and it just appears in Facebook and Plaxo.  The Jaiku facebook app only seems to say that there is something new, not what it is.

I had thought of using Jaiku to aggregate all of my RSS feeds into one place, but I am less inclined to do that since, I doubt anyone is interested in viewing my del.icio.us/flickr/youtube/etc. feeds in one go, and since I really have no need to create a Feed-o-Jamie of my postings on different blogs.

If Jaiku updates their software and Facebook plugin, I'll take a fresh look at it, but for now I will be twittering.