I've been chewing on this for days and its bugging the hell out of me. Why are we bailing out companies that made poor business decisions (and possibly a few illegal/unethical ones). That seems to go against the basic tenets of capitalism.

Lets say I open a restaurant. Now I staff it with the rudest waitstaff I can find, only open for an hour a day twice a week, only server rancid horsemeat burgers, and charge 15 bucks a plate for them. My business will most likely fail. Why? Because I'm supplying something that people dont want for one reason or another. Who's going to bail me out for my poor business model? No one. Why? Because thats how capitalism works.

So help me understand why we are basically interfering with how our economic system works by bailing out a bunch of institutions that made poor decisions?* And what does this mean for our economic system in the future? Seems to me we're setting a dangerous precedent. Plus if we do bail these companies out, why are we putting so few conditions around how they spend the money?

Another analogy. If my brother comes to me and says 'Gimme 10K man, or they're gonna break my legs'. My first thoughts would be: What did you get yourself into and how are you spending your money. Next thoughts would be: If I save your ass, I get to take some level of control of your financial situation because you obviously suck at it and I want to see my money again. If I give you that cash with no conditions, you'll just come back in a month talking about how if you dont come up with 20k they're taking a kidney.

Frankly, with the direction we're heading towards, if we bail these fuckers out, we're all going to be down a kidney in short order.

*I'm looking for answers from an economic perspective. For the left wing armflappers that want to rant about how poopy pants George Bush is saving his butt buddies asses, go hang out on DU. You can all sit around feeling smug about how smart you are about politics 'n stuff.