Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stop the bail-out - Let them wake up!

Magsaysay award winner P Sainath writes that "The New York Times notes ruefully in a lead editorial: “Just weeks after the Treasury Department gave nine of the nation’s top banks $125 billion in taxpayer dollars to save them from unprecedented calamity, bank executives are salting money away in billionaire bonus pools to reward themselves for their performance.” Other bailout bandits have held meetings at resorts costing hundreds of thousands of dollars." Read The Jurassic Auto and Idea Park

Auto giants, related sectors, and other oversized Inc. have, over decades, "destroyed both existing and potential public transport. The ‘American Dream’ so far as the automobile went was an imposed nightmare. In Detroit itself, you can see the skeletons of a once alive transport system. All across the country, for decades from the 1920s, they bought up public transport systems and shut them down. Trains were shifted from electric to diesel engines. Sometimes, they were simply done away with and replaced by buses and then cars. Together with Big Oil, Big Auto converted electric transit systems to fuel-based bus systems. In one estimate: In 1935, electric train engines outnumbered diesel train engines 7 to 1. "By 1970, diesel train engines outnumbered electric ones 100 to 1. And GM made 60 per cent of the diesel locomotives." The electric rail system in and around Los Angeles was almost erased."

But it appears that not enough people are asking questions - 99% of the media empathise with the elite and the 'have-all-want-more'. Gelatine-back-boned legislators outnumber the sane few, not only in the land of patented dreams, but also elsewhere.

If Big Auto wants Government doles citing the millions of jobs, let them remodel their assembly lines to make buses and locomotives - public transport will revive, jobs will be safe.

As to possible brand names for the buses and coaches, here are a few suggestions - SORRY / BAILOUT / Autumn2008 / WE-WOKE-UP.

Labels: , ,

11 Comments:

Blogger Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Swarna :)

Very interesting and informative post!

It is true that some greedy executives are minting money at the cost of the Government exchequer and oblivious of the seriousness of the situation.

During Bhopal Gas tragedy, the Government officials were getting the signature\thumb impression of poor illiterate victims for Rs. 2000 and paying them only Rs.100.
Any foreign aid that is given to India, a large portion goes to line the pocket of the officials and only a small amout is distributed to the victims. In Kerala the Government was taking loans from the World Bank for funding drinking water projects and paying the salary of Government employees and supporting the the sick PSU's.

The main concern of the American Government is the untold misery and suffering of millions of workers who will lose their jobs. They have families to support, childern to educate, loan commitments etc. Many willl be reduced to begging and some may even commit suicide. This is what happened in Kerala when Gwalior Rayons company shut down for a long time.

At a critical time like this it is not important that a few avaricious individuals make money. Quite likely they will be caught and punished later.

Have a good day :)

22 November, 2008  
Blogger Webradio said...

Great text...
I'm agree with this...

See You later !

22 November, 2008  
Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

I have always wondered why USA did not capitalise on its scenic beauty and lay a transcontinetal railway line for enveryone to enjoy it.

23 November, 2008  
Anonymous Manu said...

Americans squandered their resources by going into illegal wars twice, building gas guzzlers which a relative friend of mine while I was working in America in 1970s proudly showed to us to boast how he made it America. Until the Arabs raised the crude oil price, gas was priced so low that
it looked like a crime to burn the precious earth resources like they did.

Today, the Citi Group is bailed out with Fed money, similarly a chain of banks. The so called bright MBAs,many of Indian extraction sold mortgages worth tens of thousands dollars as loans to people who were dirt poor, so much about their MBA education in Harward, Wharton.. My old mother would have asked a few more questions before money was dished out. All of them wanted to earn fast bucks. They have lost their jobs now. The Wall Street is one huge Casino. Those Indians who praised Pandit the CEO of Citi Group would see him today begging money from the oil sheikhs. So much about his cleverness!

Public transport in America? You must be joking. Transcontinental railways? That is communist talking to them. They say it is communism to have national healthcare. Even those who have Insurance are afraid to be ill. Hence you see the plethora of tablets at drug stores for buying on the counter. Going to a doctor is expensive. I have seen many getting into bad debt after the Insurance companies did not pay the bills.

The best way forward is to get their car factories working producing good cars ( they forgot the technology) and for years they should look inwards. Otherwise they will have millions more unemployed.

The outsourcing bonanza for India will be soon over.

24 November, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

JP
We can hope things Change for the better.
Webradio - Thanks
Raji - No one is hearing, it seems
Manu -
Redesigning - won't they ask for more capital!?
Whatever the 'ism', is it too much to hope for 'sarvE janAH sukhino bhavantu'?

25 November, 2008  
Blogger Happy Kitten said...

While what you write is true about America, isn’t the same story being repeated in India too?

Our government is busy meeting only the major industrialists and making policies in tune with their profits. I agree they do provide jobs to many but they are not the only ones who are supporting the country.

26 November, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Yes, Happy Kitten, I am all for promotion of public transport, in India also, and any nexus between Govt & Corporates (in good times and bad) should focus on the larger good. It is sick to see Corporates calling the shots and Govt dancing to those tunes - in any country.
You and I should be able to empathise with Sunita Narain's thoughts in A complicated bus ride

26 November, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Oops- I missed the link. A complicated bus ride

26 November, 2008  
Blogger Kat said...

That "ism" broke up and everyone said this "ism" is the best and now this "ism" is in trouble.

Probably a new economic order is required where things are dealt at true values.

28 November, 2008  
Blogger Kat said...

And thanks for that fantastic "recipe" to revive things. Nearly missed that..!!

28 November, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Kat, Glad you believe in 'better late than never' :)
Thanks!

28 November, 2008  

Post a Comment

i appreciate that you have some thoughts to share, and are taking the effort to do so.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home