We used to make things that everyone wanted that made life better. Three HUGE things we did were to finish the Erie Canal (1825), railroads (second half of 19th century) and our road system (20th century) That gave us a 100 year lead on the rest of the world and were the greatest bullding projects in history. First and foremost we need to build highways again that move information, people, energy and goods more effectively and efficiently. With that done who knows what we can do. It will be wonderful for sure. This country is still so beautiful that everyone is inspired to do more than they might otherwise accomplish living anywhere else. But if the pipelines are not efficient, progress will slow down and the United States will sink.
Now our best minds manufacture "financial instruments" that dont do anyone any good. What a tragedy that our brightest citizens and guests living here gamble their lives away rather than build and manufacture things that really help people.
Worrying about AIG is madness. The well intentioned but green and easily intimidated leaders at the Fed and Treasury were bluffed by the experienced and consummate pros at Goldman and decided to put all Americans in debt an extra $135,000 per person to preserve the lifestyles of the Goldman partners in NYC, Southampton and Palm Beach. If Hank Maurice Greenberg had been in charge at AIG, he would have pushed back the Goldman demands and told them to wait for their insurance money and would not have caved in as the Treasury did. The crisis never would have happened. But it is too late now. Let's cut our losses, live with the certain inflation, and let AIG fail.
Who will pay for this?
The Chinese. We owe them 2.2 trillion that will lose a great deal of its purchasing power. They deserve it for thinking that the junk we bought from them at Walmart had any value in the first place. And yes, retired people in the US too will get clobbered by inflation. That is a horrible deal for them. Ok, so Congress will have to find a way to soften the blow for those stalwart workers of the 20th century.
Time to ask Congress to see that manufacturing things that help people is what we need most of all not worrying about an addicted hive of obsessed traders wasting their lives gambling with numbers on blinking screens that do nothing to help the people of the United States.
We need to go forward and focus on the future not try to repair something that is permanently broken and does us virtually no good whatsoever.