Bailout Blow-up

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flyntCNN is reporting that Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, and Joe Francis, CEO of Girls Gone Wild, will approach Congress for a $5 billion bailout of the adult entertainment industry.  I wish I could say that I was making this up.  The two claim that sales in the porn industry have suffered due to the economic crisis.

“People are too depressed to be sexually active,” says Flynt.

OK, so let’s recap.  In October, Congress approved a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry.  In return we saw several firms, such as AIG, squander away millions on lavish retreats and executive bonuses.  Congress seemed to have learned *some* lessons and applied more terms on the automaker bailout that totaled $17.4 billion.  Limits on executive pay, ban on corporate jets, as well as the requirement to reduce debt by two-thirds and restore profitability (most likely at the cost of the workers, themselves), are part of the automaker bailout plan.

Stephen Gandel, from Time magazine, says, “In the past 16 weeks, the government has pledged, loaned or invested some $10 trillion to fix ailing banks, jump-start financial markets and keep automakers from bankruptcy.”

Rumors are that the airline industry isn’t far behind.  Why wouldn’t the adult entertainment industry come running with hands out? 

Are these bailout programs actually solving anything?  They are probably buying us more time, but there has been no change to the system.  No change to the leadership.  No indictments.  And, now the American people are asking for their bailout through stimulus packages and tax cuts.

And I agree – give the money to the American people rather than to the businesses.  The economy is cyclical – businesses start-up, businesses close.  The American people will invest in the businesses that they feel are valuable.  Once you take that fundamental piece of a capitalist society out of the control of the people, aren’t you diminishing the value of the American brand?  And, not just products that are made in America, but you’re hurting America itself.  We seem to be turning ourselves into a commodity – marketing on price rather than value.  And, any business person worth their weight will tell you that is an almost impossible position to recover from.

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