Opposition to the bail-out plan is huge: 77% believe “a government bail-out would benefit those responsible for the economic downturn in the first place”, and a Rasmussen poll finds 44% oppose it.

Among the reasons we could point the bad naming (“bail-out” has a negative, get-out-of-jail-for-free connotation), ignorance (not knowing the connections between the banking crisis and personal credit or economic recession), but ultimately it’s simply irrational anger (let them rot!).

Perspicacity has a good point about the irrationality of this opinion, and how it plays into the usual fairness x rationality measures in decision making. Humans tend to favor perceived fairness even if that means personal loss.

In other words, we prefer to pay a price and have a “take that, you greedy bastard” then to have a small advantage while seeing somebody else with an unfair amount of profit.

However, in this case specifically I doubt that people actually notice the pay-out involved. There is a disconnection between Main St. and Wall St., maybe as a result of years of irrational exuberance that didn’t fully spread out of some pockets. This disconnection leads people to think they are not directly affected by the credit crisis, or that avoiding the crisis would not bring any benefit to them. Interestingly, a similar concept is found behind Anti-Americanism.

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