Who should get help?

Gold passed the $1,000 an ounce mark a few minutes ago, which is the economy’s version of a hurricane flag.

Today, apparently, is going to be another horrible day in the equity markets. Fear of bank nationalization is being blamed for pre-market jitters. And the rhetoric surrounding Wednesday’s unveiling of a housing assistance plan by President Obama is starting to sink in, and not just among the talk-radio crowd.

“The government is supporting bad behavior,” said CNBC’s Chicago Board of Exchange analyst Rick Santelli as he organized a “revolt” on the floor of the exchange on Thursday morning. “You can go down to -2% on a mortgage and they still can’t afford the house.”

It was such a display of economic petulance, that this morning, the Today Show brought Santelli in for a repeat.

A few people have moved past the “why should I help someone who bought too much house?” stage and are concentrating on some interesting questions. For example, if someone gets help with their mortgage, and the economy rebounds and home values go up again, does that person who got help give something back?

  • Sam

    Look, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to minimize the serious debate over the pros and cons of bailing homeowners out of bad mortgages. But is NBC really holding up as a populist hero a man steeped in the corrupt, craven Wall Street money culture? A man who, several months ago, was apoplectic (along with pretty much everyone else on CNBC) over the way the sky was gonna fall if we didn’t bail out his little corner of the universe?

    Yeah, I know, he’s in Chicago, not on Wall Street. Whatever. He’s on the trading floor, playing to the brokers and CEOs every morning on Squawk Box. This is a bank robber screaming about the indecency and bad manners of the guy who just cut in front of him in line at the teller window! Epic fail.

  • Joel

    Who should get help?

    Me and those who have made the same mistakes as me. (These mistakes appear to me to be injustices which is my justification)

    Who shouldn’t get help?

    People whose mistakes differed from mine and whose decisions I don’t understand because they were not mine.
    (Therefore they must have been exploitative)

    None of us can approach this impartially because it has and will effect us all according to our life experience. The free market can be painful, but attempting to subvert the market isn’t turning out to be the blissful experience we are aiming for.