Frightening financial times have people grabbing for anything to secure themselves. With job loss, inflation, foreclosures and bankruptcy taking a toll on our country, people welcome any solution that may shore up the system.

This has prompted my 7-year-old nephew, Timmy, to ask some questions, and the government is here to answer.

Timmy: Mr. Government, my mommy works at a bank but she says they might close. Is mommy going to lose her job?

Mr. Government: No, Timmy. We here at the government will not allow the financial system to collapse. We will infuse the banks with cash, helping to steady them during this turbulent time.

Timmy: For free, Mr. Government?

Mr. Government: No, no, no, Timmy… the government will now own a portion of that bank and any other bank that we bail out. As the banks become profitable again, we will get our… ahem… your money back and put it right back into the public coffers so we can provide better services to you.

Timmy: Whoa… that sounds great! When will mommy start making more money?

Mr. Government:  Very soon. Experts predict that the steps implemented will take effect within the next year and the system will turn around by 2010.

Timmy: That's awesome, Mr. Government!

Mr. Government: Isn't it?

Timmy: Well, daddy works for a car company and he thinks he's gonna lose his job too. Are you going to help him, Mr. Government?

Mr. Government: Well, Timmy, there are, on the table currently, multiple options. One of which, being debated in Congress as we speak, is a bailout for the Big 3 automakers. The government would once again get a large sum of money from taxpayers and give it to the auto industry.

Timmy: I don't understand. How is that going to work?

Mr. Government: Well, we would appoint a Car Czar. Do you know what a czar is, Timmy? Czar, taken from the Roman term for emperor, or Caesar, is an all-controlling entity which cannot be questioned, denied or stopped. We thought this would be a good title for a person getting their hands into private industry.

Timmy: Will the saar make money too, Mr. Government?

Mr. Government: Not exactly, Timmy. We do not expect to get money back from the auto industry. We are only talking about $15 billion here. Unlike the banks, which took upwards of $700 billion, the auto industry loans will merely strengthen the country by securing jobs for millions of Americans.

Political cartoon - Uncle Sam tries to dump water out of rowboatTimmy: Ooohhh, I see. So the money invested in the car makers will ensure the cycle of money continues to circulate from industry to the public and back again?

Mr. Government: That's right, Timmy. You've just discovered Economics 101. You are very bright.

Timmy: So where does the government fit into Economics 101?

Mr. Government:  Well, nowhere. The hand of the government was forced…

Timmy: …by the inability of capitalism to operate naturally? Forcing some companies out because they could not remain competitive in this Western Capitalistic philosophy?

Mr. Government: How old did you say you were?

Timmy: Seven. Look, if capitalism is a free market where competition allows the system to thrive by having some companies succeed and some die, what good is it for government to throw money at a naturally-occurring phenomenon, forcing their way into private industry allowing oversight of all private matters within that industry?

Mr. Government: Well, the collapse of theses systems would be bad for you, Timmy. Life as you know it would end. You would become homeless, poor and hungry. Would you like that, Timmy? You need this. The government is here to help you.

Timmy: What happens if the government gets hooked on all the money it starts to make from the banks and the auto industry and, what other industries did you say?

Mr. Government: We have our eye on a few…

Timmy: Right, like I said, what if the government becomes addicted to the money it is making from all of these industries it now has a stake in because along the way the government started to spend the money it was making from the industries, temporarily of course, but now, years down the line, cannot afford to give up the profits derived from those industries and then decides that not only will it maintain an ownership of these industries, but, in fact, it will increase the percent that they own?

Mr. Government: I have a Code 3 here…

Timmy: Mr. Government… Is all of our capitalism shifting to a State-run… Hey, who are you guys? How did you get in here? What is that needle for?! Hey… Hey!! *Arggghhhhh* …. *ughhhh*….*zzzzzz*

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