Hold your nose and vote: why experts are arguing for the $700 billion bailout

My wife's finally on board, but for a while, she kept asking me, "Why are we bailing out these failed banks and businesses?"

And I've heard the same thing, from friends and family, or just by watching the news, when a reporter will stick a mike in front of some random person on the street, who replies "Why should we do this?" Or better yet: "They got into this mess. Let them get out."

And it's not just the random people on the street who are against the bailout. CNN commentator Lou Dobbs, for instance, is adamantly opposed to it, and plenty of politicians are against it, as we learned when the House of Representatives narrowly defeated the bailout package.

Look, I'm not an economist, but I lean towards thinking we should listen to economists, just like we tend to listen to the other experts out there. If my plumber gives me advice about a faulty sump pump, I tend to do what he says, just as I do if my family doctor prescribes a medicine because my immune system has stumbled into some fun malady like bronchitis.

So if you're wondering what some of the arguments are for supporting the bailout, here's what I hope is a helpful round- up of reasons why bailing out Wall Street will help Main Street.