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SEC vs Goldman: A look back at my Bootlegger and Baptist prediction

Now that “Historic Financial Regulations” are about to be signed into law, wouldn’t you know it, the SEC and Goldman have settled on that pesky investigation in to Abacus. Some people might think it just mere coincidence, not me. I see it as all part the plan. First take a look at what I said back in April.

Bootleggers: Goldman Sachs

  • What do they care about image anyway right?
  • Unlimited Bailouts at the discretion of the POTUS, whom they already bought.
  • More than likely, the SEC charges will not amount to any fine, or if there is a fine, it will be minuscule compared to what they made over the last year, thanks to Fed money.

Baptists: Obama and the Democrats

  • They get to appear tough on Wall Street.
  • They want to pass the Dodd bill, which wouldn’t have stopped the crash from happening if it would have been passed 5 years ago.
  • They get to appeal to the emotions of their base, Democrats would think Obama sold them out, maybe stop some of the hemorrhaging of support.
  • They will try to campaign on the Dodd bill instead of Healthcare, because of Obamacares horrible approval numbers.
  • They get to use this to write lots of new regulations to help their buddies. This isn’t capitalism, it’s Mercantilism.
  • Bailouts

    First things first, what about bailouts? Well the new bill gives the FDIC new powers to break up big financial institutions if they are deemed a systemic risk. Does it actually do that? Not really.

    The FDIC will take over big troubled financial firms. It will then do whatever it must to both stabilize the financial system and maximize the value of failed firms’ assets, so to minimize the costs of the resolution process. In order to achieve financial stability, the FDIC will have to cover many of the big firm’s obligations. After all, that’s kind of the whole point. Consequently, these counterparties, customers, creditors, etc. will prefer to do business with companies that fall under the resolution authority’s umbrella. That should provide these big regulated firms a competitive advantage over smaller ones.

    So what really happens is that the resolution process instead of bankrupcy is going to be a politically run operation. I don’t think anyone will argue that regulators are already politicized. Liberals complained about it during the Bush years, and conservatives complain about it now. So being already politicized, which creditor do you think will get priority during the resolution process? Remember how the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies went? That’s right the more politically connected groups will get first cut at any money coming from the FDIC.

    This is nothing more than a lobbyist wet dream come true. That just gravy though, does it really end to Big to Fail? Again not really. By giving these big firms even more competitive advantage over smaller firms, by giving them monopoly power, thanks to the Federal Government barring entry of smaller firms, they only get bigger. As they get bigger and make more and more money, they give more and more money to various politicians that govern the financial regulatory boards. If the FDIC regulators start to think that a certain firm, (*cough Goldman Sacs*) is getting too big, a call from powerful Senator will curb their fears, not doubt about it. We’ve seen this play out with Fannie and Freddie already. How long before we have Rep. Bawwny Frank up berating people for questioning Goldman’s balance sheet, like in 2003?

    “These two entities—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

    So when it comes to ending Too Big to Fail, this bill falls short, especially considering it doesn’t even attempt to do anything about Fannie and Freddie!

    My April prediction: 1

    Goldman: 1

    Taxpayers: 0

    SEC Fine

    That’s got to be the biggest joke of them all. $550 million? Are you kidding me? Goldman earned $13.39 billion in profits in 2009. So taking the $550 million and dividing it by the $13,390 million it made last year alone and you get a laughable 4.1% Oh it gets even better, from the same Post story, Goldman gave out $16.7 billion in compensation, most of that was bonuses. So now the fine amounts to 3.3% of its bonus packages. HA HA HA nice try.

    My April prediction: 2

    Goldman: 2

    Taxpayers: 0

    Baptists: Democrats

    They pretty got almost everything I had predicted. They passed their bill, thanks to demagoging the same firms that this bill protects. And just like the Health Care Bill, we don’t know how it’s going to work!

    The bill, completed early Friday and expected to come up for a final vote this week, is basically a 2,000-page missive to federal agencies, instructing regulators to address subjects ranging from derivatives trading to document retention. But it is notably short on specifics, giving regulators significant power to determine its impact — and giving partisans on both sides a second chance to influence the outcome.

    As I said before, this is a lobbyist wet dream. Thank you Dodd, Frank and Obama!

    Now the only question is will this pay off. Will the Democrats be able to use this for November? They are claiming victory over the Goldman settlement, using it to push this financial regulatory bill. Will it pay off? Kim Strassel says, maybe not.

    That’s because, like stimulus and health care, Democrats turned the financial regulation bill into a monstrosity. What started as a promise to streamline and modernize the financial system turned into 2,300 pages of new agencies and new powers for the very authorities that fomented the financial crisis. The bill is laden with uncertainty and brimming with costly regulations on small businesses. Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank made it easy for Republicans to pronounce their bill more Obama Big Government—a “Main Street takeover”—and to justify their votes against it.

    Those votes were made easier by the knowledge that, like stimulus and health care, this is legislation that has overpromised. The bill does nothing to address the root causes of the crisis. Yet Mr. Obama recently assured the nation that it not only fixes the system’s problems, but was “good for businesses, it’s good for the entire economy.”

    So tell me what you think, how did I do back in April? I think my predictions were spot on. Although I should have added in the Bootlegger part, that the end result, the Financial Regulation Bill, gives Goldman an even bigger slice of the pie by making the new regulations so hard and so costly that only the Too Big to Fail firms are the ones that are able to comply. So score another on to Goldman.

    That $550 million will go down as the cheapest multi-billion dollar investment ever.

    Democrats: 3 for 4, not bad.

    Update: From Charles Rowley on the Federal Reserves role.

    The Federal Reserve will become the primary regulator for large complex financial firms of all kinds, as it adds the responsibility for maintaining financial stability to its existing responsibilities for promoting price stability and maximum sustainable employment. To make sure that the Federal Reserve is completely politicized, the new legislation will  require it to obtain the prior agreement of the Department of the Treasury before using its extraordinary authority to lend to almost anyone and to force any large company, bank or non-bank, to boost its capital and its liquidity in accordance with transient Fed impulses.

    As further evidence of its receding independence from the Executive Branch, the Fed will be assigned an additional vice-chairman,  responsible for supervision, and to be chosen by the White House, no doubt as the enforcer of its comprehensive financial and industrial policies.

    Almost without a whimper from Wall Street, and with an embarrassing silence from the media, the United States economy is being propelled irreversibly away from laissez-faire capitalism, to the crony capitalism of  national socialism.

    Market Failure vs Government Failure

    June 9, 2010 4 comments

    I’ve been going back and forth with Prof. Hutchinson at Dissenting Justice on the Progressive blogging thread I wrote about earlier. It’s nice to have a civil discussion on a liberal blog again.

    It got on the subject of market failures and Prof. Hutchinson makes some good points. I think that he, being a liberal, plays down the anti-capitalistic views on the Left. Then talks about how Government intervention rests on “market principles.”

    As far as the rest of your post, I am somehwere in the middle on these things like regulation. Many liberal economists are as well. I would not say that everyone on the Left (or even most persons on the Left) favor government over markets. That just is simply untrue — at least when you think of liberal economists (i.e., people who know something about economics).

    I strongly believe in the concept of a market failure. Sometimes, correcting a market failure requires government intervention, but usually, this intervention rests on market principles. So, for example, the polluter does not internalize the costs to society of pollution. The market intervention should force the company to take these costs into consideration. This is a simplistic example, but it shows collaboration between market and private among the Left.

    I think his view is indicitive of the Left. Yet, he makes no mention of Government failure, which is also indicitive of the Left. Why do liberals only talk about Government failure when the other team is in charge? (Bush and Katrina, Iraq, Global Warming, etc ad nauseum)

    Here’s my response.

    I see your point. I just think it’s indicative of more than just his double standard.

    I agree markets do fail. But how they fail and to what extent is largely subjective. We probably will agree on the margin but not on average, on what constitutes a market failure. For example, you may or may not think the financial crisis was a market failure, while I see it as a government/regulation failure. I think a lot of the cause of it was due to past government actions, institutional moral hazard (ie Too Big to Fail, Russ Roberts has a good essay on it)

    I think the big place we might differ is on solutions to market failures. I think the predominant though among the Left is that Government needs to step in. I disagree, due to Public Choice concerns. I see government action as being the worse of any possible solutions in a lot, but not all cases.

    I think another place we differ is on your assertion that “intervention rests on market principles.” I take the Hayekian view that markets are a very dynamic and random phenomena. We can’t predict what 1000 people are going to do tomorrow, yet the market is explicitly dependent on what those 1000 people do. The incentives for each actor might be exactly the same, but each of those 1000 might do totally different things, that might be perceived by an outside observer to be totally random or worse, go against “market principles.” (I’m assuming that when you say market principles your talking about rational choice theory)
    When your say that Government intervention rests on market principles, I see that as an oxymoron. The Market is decentralized, and by imposing top down centralized rules, your not going to get the results you want. I liken it to a mad scientists working in a lab, saying that evolution isn’t working fast enough, so he is going to help it along. How does he know which path evolution was going to take? Same with intervention resting on market principles. How does the central planner know what the market was going to do?

    While you say the government will force the company to internalize externalizes, I say buy doing that your distorting what the market was going to do. How do we know the market wasn’t going to bankrupt that company from the get go?

    Think about the BP spill. If it wasn’t for Government rules and regs that restrict entry into the drilling business, who’s to say Transocean, Halliburton, or BP wouldn’t go bankrupt over their actions? Or what about Goldman Sachs. Government intervention, bailouts, kept Goldman in business. The market would have bankrupted all those Wall Street firms that had a part in crisis, but it was government interaction that keeps them in business now, against market principles.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop. I think it’s enough to say we will probably never agree, but I don’t see that as a bad thing.

    Oh one last thing. Re: “I would not say that everyone on the Left (or even most persons on the Left) favor government over markets.”

    That’s your opinion and I respect that, but we don’t have any hard data on that. At least I couldn’t find a poll that explicitly asks “Do you favor Government over Markets?” The best we can do for data is use a proxy. The Public option is a good proxy, I think. We can probably bicker on the percentages of Liberals that want a public option, depending on the pollster, but I think we can both agree that it the majority. Right?
    Also there is this old Rasmussen poll (Which liberals usually don’t like, I don’t know your take on Rasmussen) that says 30% of Democrats prefer socialism to capitalism (39%). Either way Capitalism aka markets are in the minority.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/april_2009/just_53_say_capitalism_better_than_socialism

    We’ll see what the response will be. It’s nice to be able to have a good conversation and not be called any ad hominems. Kudos to Prof. Hutchinson, I wish liberals were more like him.

    Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State

    April 25, 2010 1 comment

    I wonder how many people, liberals in general, like idea behind those words, especially now that we have  a Democratic POTUS?

    Everything in the State

    TARP, The Stimulus Package, GM, Obamacare….slowly but surely this Administration and the Bush administration have been growing. As the Government leviathan grows, it devours powers and responsibilities that were once in the private sector. We don’t let politically connected companies go bankrupt anymore, we infuse them with State money. Like a virus, once a company takes State money, it is forever beholden to the will of the State.

    Nothing outside the State

    As Government grows, those politically well connected companies like Goldman, Citigroup, and GM don’t have to worry about ever going out of business. They always have the State to bail them out. Other companies aren’t so lucky. If your a foreign company, you will be subject to new tariffs. If you don’t produce what is politically correct, you will be taxed out of existence or the State will put up so many barriers, that you will never be able to grow. Ask the thousands of restaurants that have to worry about new menu costs, if they have over 20 locations, thanks to the Health Care bill. Think of the SEC not allowing any other outside ratings agencies, leaving the politically chosen to take tons of money without even giving out an actual substantial rating.

    Nothing against the State

    Two words: Tea Party

    Think about those words every time you hear a partisan, pundit, intellectual, or politician talk about the Tea Party being a bunch of racist or worse, trying to overthrow the Government. They want everyone to think that any resistance to Obama and his agenda is due to hate, racism or even sedition. Sedition is a serious charge. Sedition is one step below treason, the only crime punishable by death under the Constitution.

    It’s pure BS, of course. Most Tea Partiers don’t want to over throw the Government. They want to change the Government’s priorities. They want the Government to cut back on spending and focus on a more sound fiscal policy. They don’t want endless bailouts. They want the Government out of their personal lives. All they want is the Government to go back to the principles of the Constitution. Which is why Liberals want to destroy the Tea Party.

    The Constitution doesn’t allow for the kind of Government, the Left wants. The Constitution only allows for limited government. The kind of government that can’t force people to buy certain products, the kind of government that doesn’t pick the economic winners and losers.

    The next time you hear one of the Intelligentsia talk about the virtus of government, think of Mussolini’s motto. I think you’d be surprised to see how popular his notions are with the modern American Left.

    Categories: Academia, Groupthink, Socialism

    Ravitch on Education

    April 12, 2010 3 comments

    Another excellent podcast over at Econtalk.This week is Diane Ravitch of NYU, talking about education.

    This is what I was going to write on the comment section but decided not too. Instead I’ll put my comment here.:

    I have to thank Russ for this episode. After reading the description, I thought I’d oppose everything Ravitch would say, surprisingly I found myself in agreement with a lot of what she said about the problem.

    Vouchers:
    I did love hearing her talk about how bad choice and vouchers are, saying that they aren’t the “panacea.” Like any one thing is going to drastically improve our school.
    After 50 years or since Reagan, 30 years, or start with Chubb and Moe and say 20 years of education for vouchers–we have 30,000 children with vouchers–somehow the odds don’t seem like it’s with vouchers as a solution.

    Didn’t she say that vouchers didn’t even start until 1998? How is that 50, 30 or even 20 years of experience? She complains about the lack of data, then goes on to say that the data shows they aren’t the cure all….well no duh!

    I wouldn’t expect anything better from a ivy league educated bureaucrat.(She did sound really proud to tell Russ about her degree from Columbia!) I’m coming to the conclusion that the so-called “Experts” don’t know jack. (I know such a startling revelation, indeed.)

    The experts, especially in education reform, almost always favor a top-down reform model. They have the “fatal conceit” that they and they alone, know how to “fix” the system. Ravitch, fits this model perfectly. She never answers Russ, when he asks about getting Government out of schools. She criticizes other top-down solutions, but never comes to the conclusion that maybe it’s the Top-Down approach that is the failure.

    There are hundreds if not thousands of Federal, State and Local mandates on the schools and not one iota of progress. You think more mandates are the answer? Ever heard of Sisyphus?

    Probably not, because the central allocation of power that Government provides appeals to “experts.” Experts have no incentive to advocate for a system that didn’t need their expert advice. Why would they? They want a system that requires their “expert” advice.

    All we are doing is trying to come up with more centrally planned, government mandates solutions (Pushing up the Boulder in the morning) to problems that were created by previous centrally planned, government mandated solutions (It falling back down at night, ready to be pushed back up the hill the next day.)

    Of course Thomas Sowell talks all about this in Intellectuals and Society. When are we going to see him on EconTalk again?

    So instead of that comment, which I though was too condescending, I posted this one.

    I have to thank Russ for this episode. After reading the description, I thought I’d oppose everything Ravitch would say, surprisingly I found myself in agreement with a lot of what she said about the problems. But a few thoughts:

    There is no Panacea! The problem with the educational system is complex, she even mentions a few of them. It’s pop culture, parents, inept teachers, incompetent school districts and school boards, bad tests, it’s socioeconomics, it’s language, etc. Does she think that any one thing is going to change all that?

    She dismisses vouchers as an option because they haven’t worked for over 50 years, then explains that vouchers did even start until 1998 after lengthy court battles all the while complaining about a lack of good data. Even though she says that a voucher program has never been fully implemented. Do they teach logic at Columbia? I’m wondering if that Columbia degree she flaunted at Russ is worth the paper it’s printed on?

    I don’t mean to sound overly harsh, but do you expect a central planner, which is what she is (Assistant Sec of Educ as well as her work on National Standard and in Poland), to understand that the problem is with the central planning of education?

    All those Fads she derides in the beginning…all solutions proposed by so-called “experts” like herself. All the product of a central planning body, all thinking that they and they alone know how to “fix” the problem. Should we expect any better outcomes from No Child, another product of central planning?

    They all should read Hayek’s The Fatal Conceit. They all need to read Mises on the failures of central planning. No one person can possibly know enough to “fix” what is wrong with out schools. The problem is far too complex. We need the experts to be honest with everyone and start saying the three hardest words in the English language, “I don’t know.”

    If people would start to realize that the experts with their fancy degrees from Ivy League schools, didn’t know jack. They might stop relying on other people to fix their problems and start coming up with their own solutions, that would be real market type innovations, not the pseudo-market oriented solutions that even more central planners are coming up with, which (I think it’s Russ) right points out.

    I don’t know which one is the more condescending of the two.

    Needless to say, I liked the podcast, but definitely don’t think that more Government Mandates are going to fix anything in education. I’m a big fan of vouchers but realize that Government are not going to fully implement any system that, if it works, would mean the abolition of Government run schools system. Governments and School Boards aren’t going to ruin the nice monopoly they enjoy, they are going to impede anything that takes away their power.

    Look at homeschooling and the constant attacks from the Left, School boards and Teachers Unions. They know that homeschooling represents a threat to their power. They could care less that home school kids do better in college than public school kids. They only want to keep their monopoly control on kids.

    Here’s a good article from Reason, on school reform.

    Categories: Elitist, Schools, Socialism

    O Brave New World

    April 11, 2010 1 comment

    Ecocide.

    Probably a word you never heard before in your life, but no doubt you understand what it means.

    Ecocide is the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.

    According to the Guardian;

    A campaign to declare the mass destruction of ecosystems an international crime against peace – alongside genocide and crimes against humanity – is being launched in the UK.

    The proposal for the United Nations to accept “ecocide” as a fifth “crime against peace”, which could be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC), is the brainchild of British lawyer-turned-campaigner Polly Higgins

    The idea is simple enough. Prosecute any crime against the Earth. The question arises what constitutes a crime? Obviously they want to prosecute oil, mining and extraction companies. What about a cow farting that is contributing to Global Warming? Would the farmer be liable for crimes against the Earth or will they just put down the cow? I could see PETA getting their panties in a real tussle over that.

    Of course they also want to prosecute “climate deniers.”

    Supporters of a new ecocide law also believe it could be used to prosecute “climate deniers” who distort science and facts to discourage voters and politicians from taking action to tackle global warming and climate change.

    Of course they are under the assumption that they are right and everyone else that doesn’t believe them are wrong. Those crazy climate skeptics are making it too difficult to pass all these laws, why not just throw them in jail!. What a great idea! /sarc

    Whether or not you believe in AGW is beyond the point, this ecocide law is about silencing dissent. It’s about criminalizing free speech. Everyone should oppose these kinds of legislation.

    Some highlights from the website:

    • ecocide will stop damaging and destructive activity. Where voluntary corporate governance, market trading and offset mechanisms have have failed, ecocide will create specific legally binding responsibilities.

    What about the failure of Government mandated governance as in the EU and California. Google “California Cap and Trade Failure” and “EU Cap and Trade Failure” to get a sampling of how those measures have actually increased carbon output. Is the ICC going to prosecute other Governments? Of course not, only small private citizens that don’t enjoy blanket immunity. This law is about keeping people in line, nothing more.

    • ecocide is not a crime of intent. The intention is rarely to render damage on a given territory, more often it is an outcome of another primary (economic or war) activity.

    Go ask any lawyer how much easier it would be to prosecute anyone for anything if they didn’t have to prove intent.

    • ecocide is a crime of consequence e.g where an energy company procures its energy by extracting fossil fuel, as opposed to creation from renewable energy, that would result in ecocide.

    So any company or person that chooses to go with the more affordable fossil fuel, natural gas route is guilty of ecocide. You and I are guilty right now, since the electricity running out computers, most likely is coming from non-renewable sources. Go flog yourself if you feel bad…leave me out of it.

    File this under enviro-nutters and craziness.

    Oh and Polly Higgins, the brainchild behind this piece of crap, is on the board for Desertec. They want to build huge solar panel arrays the Sahara, for transmission to the EU. No doubt making your competition illegal will do wonders for your profits. (Read Bootlegger/Baptists)

    The Left Hates a Debate

    March 30, 2010 2 comments

    There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs.

    I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.

    My experience is that people who call themselves “The Intellectuals” understand theories, but they do not understand things. I have long been convinced that, if these men could have gone into the South and taken up and become interested in some practical work which would have brought them in touch with people and things, the whole world would have looked very different to them. Bad as conditions might have seemed at first, when they saw that actual progress was being made, they would have taken a more hopeful view of the situation.

    Booker T. Washington, from My Larger Education, Being Chapters from My Experience (1911)

    Booker T. Washington has long been one of my favorite early twentieth century writers. I think that both the Left and Right can do well to read his works and learn from them. The Left might realize that many in their ranks are the “certain class of race-problem solvers,” that Washington talks about. The Right will have to come to grips with a lot of unpleasant facts about black life in the early 20th. One thing I want to focus on right now is Frank Rich’s column; The Rage is Not about Health Care.

    Writing for the NYTimes, an organization of “problem-solvers” who have probably never stepped foot in a slum or ghetto in their lives, basically coffee shoppe liberals, Rich knows exactly the thoughts that are going through every single Tea Party or small Government protester, it’s all about racism. He doesn’t even have the gumption to come out and say it directly either. He cowardly eludes to it with statements like; The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.” That’s right, if your against the Health Care Bill, it because your afriad of diversity, and we all know what times of people are against diversity right?

    Now if that isn’t bad enough, Rich links to MSNBC –Isn’t this the same MSNBC that has been accusing HCR protesters of being racist, bringing their guns to rallies, only to selectively edit out a black man at a rally with a gun?– to show all those examples of racism at Tea Party protests. Most of Rich’s link have been debunked, or have no evidence except by reporters who have an incentive to stir things up. Oh yeah Rich even links to the false story mentioned above!

    I’m sure there is racism left in this country. Maybe racism is the motivation for some of the protesters, but not ever single one of them, like the Left is trying to portray. But let’s not forget that there are racists on the Left as well; race hustlers like Sharpton that yell racism at everything, do you think he sees no difference between black and white. What about the certain group that can use the “N” word, while everyone else can’t…kinda smells like racism to me. Can a poor white kid qualify for a scholarship from the United Negro College Fund? What would the reaction be to a United White College Fund? But this is all beside the point.

    Why do the Left, like Rich, have to play the race card all the time? As John Smart (one of the few on the Left, that is open to debate) said in a recent post, “To these people the Tea Party has to be about race. If it’s not they lose control of both the narrative and the outcome.” It’s true, they have to make it about race, they don’t want the debate to be about the proper role of Government. It’s a debate they know they will lose.

    So the question still remains, why do people like Rich use the race card so profligately?

    The AGW debate gives me the answer. It’s because ad homimen works, or at least is used to. Logical fallacies work for the most part. The Left knows that most people don’t take any formal classes on logic; they should know, they are usually in charge of the school system. They know that the average Joe, doesn’t know what a red herring, appeal to emotion, appeal to authority are all fallacies, the use of them doesn’t prove anything. Really it’s both the Left and the Right that use them, but when it comes to using the race card, that’s all Left baby.

    The Left knows that no one likes to be called a racist. Racism, as it should be, is a taboo. By using the term racist, a person can easily neuter anyone’s argument. The accused now has to spend time and effort defending themselves against a warrant-less charge in stead of the topic of the debate. In the Tea Parties’ case, instead of actually having a discussion on the role of Government and should it be allowed to Mandate anything. Now the Tea Party has to spend valuable energy and more importantly time, remember the elections are in November, defending against baseless charges instead of rallying the people around the message of smaller Government.

    People, that otherwise support the message of smaller Government, are now put off from the Tea Party because they don’t want to be seen as a possible “racist” or “segregationist.” This might now stop those people from voting against the Left this election, since, thank the GODS, voting is still done in private. But it might stop a movement from turning into a rebellion.

    The Left doesn’t not and can’t afford a rebellion against Big Government. That kind of rebellion will destroy the welfare state. The Left doesn’t want that to happen. If the Tea Party movement keeps growing, it will only naturally want to repeal, not only, the Mandate, but all forms of Government Welfare Statism. A movement like the one the Left fears, can amend the Constitution with wording to the effect of; The Congress shall pass no law that will un-uniformly distribute wealth from one citizen to another. (Mind you, I’m no lawyer so I don’t know what the proper legalesse would be.)

    The effect would be that Congress can’t give goodies to certain people at the expense of others. I think of it as a true representation and ultimate form of “Equal before the Law.” So if Congress gives Eagle Lake Farm Partnership a $43,158 Soy subsidy in 2005, they have to give everyone  the exact same subsidy. Imagine how quickly Farm welfare will dry up? Politicians will not be able to claim any extra benefits, or bring any money home to certain political pressure groups. Imagine the incentives against corruption those will be?

    But that isn’t a debate that the Left wants. They want bigger, more “benevolent” Government. We all know that benevolence and Government do not mix. The Left, still thinks it can. That’s should be debated as well. In today political climate it won’t be. To the Left, to be against Government is to want old people to die on the streets, to want children to starve, or to want the poor go bankrupt for having diabetes. Those are all fallacies and all appeals to emotion. The Left believe those to be valid arguments and as a result, we will never be able to have an open and honest debate.

    I think if Booker T. Washington were still alive, he probably rewrite his quote above to read, Some of these people do not want Anyone to lose their grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs.

    Cruising down the Road to Serfdom

    March 22, 2010 4 comments

    [Today]… socialism has come to mean chiefly the extensive redistribution of incomes through taxation and the institutions of the welfare state. In [this] kind of socialism the [totalitarian] effects I discuss in this book are brought about more slowly, indirectly, and imperfectly. I believe that the ultimate outcome tends to be very much the same…

    Friedrich A. von Hayek – Road to Serfdom, 1976 edition

    I don’t think March 21st 2010, will be they day remembered for the death of liberty in the United States. I know a lot of people are lamenting the passage of the Senate version of HCR in the House. There are still a few more procedural hurdles to go. I think it will ultimately end up on Obama’s desk, with huge pomp and fanfare by Liberals. Maybe Obama could auction off the numerous pen’s he will use to help pay off the debt?

    Then there will be lawsuits from Attorneys General in at least Virginia, Florida and South Carolina, challenging the Constitutionality of Obamacare and the Mandate. The Mandate is unprecedented and the true affront to liberty. I don’t think the Court will do anything to stop the Mandate. Ever since the New Deal, the Court has sided with ever increasing Government power over personal liberty. If you have any doubts, Kelo vs. New Haven should have dashed that.

    In the end, the only hope for the Republic is the people. The people have amassed in opposition to the ever increasing powers of Government in the Tea Parties. It’s no wonder that Progressives in the Media have tried to deride and discredit the Tea Party. They need to disparage the movement before as soon as possible. It hasn’t worked. The protests outside Washington will only get bigger than they were yesterday. They will only get louder. No amount of astro-turfing by the Liberals (Coffee party) or plants (the racial slurs supposedly reported being used against John Lewis) will detract from the growing Tea Party movement.

    In the end, I think Obamacare will have done a huge service to the country. Not by its intended consequences but through its unintended consequences. Unintentionally, Obama, Reid and Pelosi have woken up the populace to how the sausage is made in Washington. The people don’t like what they see. They see bribery, thuggery and shady deals going down in order to barely pass a bill along purely partisan lines. I expect we will see huge protests this April.This is good for our country. The more the populace gets involved with the sausage making, the better.

    This November, I hope enough of the populace goes out and votes out everyone of those yea votes, that we can do something truly unprecedented in our Nation’s history, repeal an entitlement and put make a u-turn on the Road to Serfdom. It remains to be seen, but Obama will definitely go down in history. Either as one of the greatest instigators of the Socialist State or as the cause of a Great Awakening. I’m hoping for the latter.