WIESNER COLUMN:Help the good guys instead of the bad guys

Here’s a novel thought: Why not distribute bailout funds to banks that are doing well, instead of banks that got the economy into this mess? Why not reward competence and common sense, instead of rewarding incompetence and greed? Instead of continuing to issue parachutes to sick elephants, why not distribute bailout funds to the good banks that have remained profitable, have their books in order, and didn’t get caught up in making bad loans? The CEOs, management and employees of good banks have shown they know how to properly run a fiscal institution. Surely, money provided to those banks could be loaned to qualified businesses, buyers of homes and credit card users. Wouldn’t putting that money in circulation help average Americans, many of who are suffering through no fault of their own? Wouldn’t that stimulate the economy? And isn’t helping deserving Americans and jumpstarting the economy two of the main purposes of the bailout funds in the first place? Where does bailout money provided to bad banks go? It’s simply hoarded to cover their debts. Another thought: Wouldn’t we need a smaller amount of bailout funds if we were helping the good institutions, instead of propping up the sickly ones? Citizens who get themselves in financial trouble have to sell their assets to pay off their debts. Banks should be held to the same standard, no matter how big they are. The phrase “Too big to fail” is economic extortion. Why reward the people whose incompetence and greed got us into this mess in the first place? Under the medical triage system, mass casualties are separated into three categories: The dead, those too far gone to save, and those who can be saved. The limited time of doctors and limited medical resources are thus focused on those with the best chance of survival. Maybe we need a similar system to channel bailout funds to those financial institutions with the best chance of survival, and those which have demonstrated that they help their fellow man, and not just themselves. Let’s help those who deserve help.

Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel