If you aren’t scared, you’re not paying attention.
Monday, a $700 billion deal to bail out Wall Street and attempt to solve the United States’ current financial crisis failed in a Congressional vote.
Its failure is widely attributed to widespread unpopularity with the bill, with members of Congress reportedly having received numerous calls from their constituents urging them to vote “No.”
The root cause of the unpopularity is likely the fact that congressional leaders and the president — despite numerous public addresses — did an extremely poor job explaining exactly what is happening to our economy and how this particular bill was supposed to solve the problem.
What people — and especially students — need to understand is this crisis is having a direct effect on their lives. As long as the mess continues, all lines of credit will dry up.
Although few students will have to worry about getting a good mortgage any time soon, many do have to worry about buying a new car, getting a credit card or, more importantly, getting a student loan.
The nature of the crisis is such that financial institutions are increasingly deciding they can’t afford to lend out money, especially to those with poor or nonexistent credit histories — a group which overwhelmingly includes college students. As this calamity continues, many who depend on private student loans to bridge the financial gaps will discover they can no longer afford college.
That’s not to say this particular bill was the solution.
The truth of the matter is it probably would have led to profits for several people who might have had a hand in crafting the whole situation. The vast increase in the deficit would probably cause some pain for the average American.
But the impact of doing nothing will likely lead to greater pain in the long run. When the choice is between two bad options, a person must choose the lesser of two evils.
There are those who may preach we should take our time and try to carefully craft a better solution. However, the longer this situation goes on, the more foreign investors will be reticent to invest in the U.S., the more jobs will be lost as companies find they cannot afford to purchase needed materials and the more banks will hesitate to loan money.
What the president and leaders of congress should do is directly address the average American to carefully and thoroughly explain why they should care about the fate of Wall Street and how the whole situation affects them.
It’s not enough to say we’re in an economic crisis — you need to show people what that means. They could even break out charts and graphs, if that’s what is needed.
MSU students should be hoping a solution is found quickly. It won’t be too long now before people will have to begin applying for loans for the next school year. Anyone depending on a loan will want the banks to have had as much time to recover from these times of trouble as possible to ensure the maximum amount of money is available.
This is definitely one problem that should be keeping you up at night.