The pundits tell me that the Wall Street Bailout went down because of a public angry enough to pressure their representatives, in a ratio of about ten to one, to vote against it. FiveThiryEight.com says:
Among 38 incumbent congressmen in races rated as "toss-up" or "lean" by Swing State Project, just 8 voted for the bailout as opposed to 30 against: a batting average of .211.
By comparison, the vote among congressmen who don't have as much to worry about was essentially even: 197 for, 198 against.
The public sees this as a bailout for the greedy, corrupt, and wealthy folks who played the market game to their own advantage, leaving the rest of us holding the (empty) bag. And we, the public, are correct, but our understanding is incomplete.
The plan, they say, was not well-marketed. It should have been called something else. [Financial Usury Containment Kombat Unit?] Secretary Paulson, while a savvy financial fellow, just isn't up to public relations, and for some reason we no longer tend to believe our President.
But somehow we must be brought to understand that this plan is necessary for our own financial good. We need a good remedial course in basic economics.
Now, I have a few thoughts about this, as a non-economist (as you know, I think of it all as confetti.)