"Main Street Turns Against Wall Street"

According to this article from CNN Money Times, an unintended consequence of the mortgage securities fiasco/Wall Street "meltdown" is a bitter backlash on the part of the American middle class. As negotiations for the ($700 billion) emergency bail-out plan have heated up, so have the sentiments of those who feel they had taken a lion's share of the blame until two weeks ago, and been left to drift.

Washington hath no fury like Middle America scorned - and there's reason to think it will only get uglier. The government's massive new financial commitments will severely tie the next President's hands in addressing middle-class concerns.

The $25K-$250K/yr. voter-bloc (depending on which candidate you ask, and in which district), who "took out mortgages they couldn't afford to pay" are now feeling a little hot to be asked to potentially forego their Social Security and health care in order to prop up the very entities who have been shrinking the middle class for at least the last 10 years.  It's irony on a base-level, but still...

As a card-carrying member of the endangered Social Class in Question, I can easily relate.  Adding insult to injury, however, is the very acute appreciation that we all have a vested interest in what's happening on Wall Streeet, and that we not only can, but will, go down with the ship.  I'm in no place to speak for the majority of enranged middle-class Americans, but I feel that most are also aware of the fact.  Despite this, I think there's also a certain satisfaction to this ambivalence: my mother used to call it "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face."

An unexpected proportion of the American electorate seem to be saying, "I'm aware of the stakes, but I've been tightening my belt for years, now, and if I have to tighten it a little further then I'm ready.  I'm not going to fund your opulence any more."

My own position is a little more nuanced, but torn nonetheless.  We could very well be teetering on the brink of a precipitous decline, and the worst of our financial woes may yet to have materialized.  All the same, we've been forced into a gambit that we don't approve of:  pay an unimaginable ransom to the very forces whose "Gotcha Capitalism" (thanks, Bob Sullivan) drove us here, who had the gaul to blame us, or face almost certain economic calamity

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