Thursday, April 23, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Republicans and their rallies are no exception to this rule. Their one size fits all platform of social+fiscal conservatism attracts people who like to expand the government in the name of national security while refusing to do anything about the incompetence in everything else the government does, so long as social issues like drugs and gay marriage are sufficiently fought against. That kind of mob mentality has turned off many
So when a bunch of my fellow Americans, regardless of political affiliation, decided to rally together in the name of a single cause, over-taxation, I definitely took notice. So have many in the media.
Today, the reasonable, and totally non-partisan "economist" Paul Krugman had this to say about Tea Parties:
One way to get a good sense of the current state of the G.O.P., and also to see how little has really changed, is to look at the “tea parties” that have been held in a number of places already, and will be held across the country on Wednesday. These parties — antitaxation demonstrations that are supposed to evoke the memory of the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution — have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so.The G.O.P. has as much to do with overtaxation as the Democrats. Krugman conveniently forgets that the poor showing for Republicans the last two elections has a lot to do with their embarrassing abandonment of small government principles under George W. Bush. A lot of Democrats justify their increase of government spending because Republicans were no better under Bush.
Republicans typically act like Democrats when they have power and Libertarians when they're out of power. But acting like our Founding Fathers in protest of an out of control tax and spend, spend, spend regime? Now that's something new. And that's why I plan on attending my local tea party.
Critics of the Tea Parties think that if anyone protests big government or tax increases, then it must just be the work of bitter Republicans in response to the election. But how come they've never taken to the streets before? Why is it not obvious that certain policies of this administration AND the last one are so unpopular and go against everything this country was founded on?
If you believe government is out of control, that they work for us, not the other way around, it's time to send them a message. Please vote on the poll to the left if you plan on attending a tea party. And please let us know about your tea party experiences in the comments section below.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
According to Benjamin Sarlin @ The Daily Beast Socialist Shocker:
Maybe Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are right—socialism is a real and dire threat to America. The latest Rasmussen poll shows a stunningly low 53 percent of Americans favor capitalism over the dreaded "s" word, with a full 20 percent preferring socialism and an additonal 27 percent unsure.
So, 20% committed and 27% on the fence constitutes a dire threat? Since when? Wouldn't it be intellectually honest to compare these stats to those when times are good? How about we ask some of the 27% how well versed they are in the track record of socialism vs. capitalism. Oh, wait, that wouldn't be a feelings based story.
This comment caught my attention, because I've probably read it 100 times on different sites since the start of this debacle:
"Government intervention in the economy is the source of these problems."
Can you please explain what you mean by this statement? Is there any evidence that the financial industry was under-regulated? Have you ever heard of the Glass-Steagall Act? Do you know what effect the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act had on speculation and investment? What, exactly, do you think brought us out of the Great Depression? If it wasn't the massive government spending of FDR's New Deal or the massive government spending of WWII, what was it?
Bailouts suck. So does chemotherapy.
So here's my response:
The Fed created artificially low interest rates, which combined with tax subsidized home loans, caused a housing bubble. Bailouts have hindered the recovery process by making banks hold off on selling assets for 10 cents on the dollar when Uncle Sam and Taxpayers will pay 30 cents on the dollar. Capitalism has as much to do with punishment as it does reward. The government is rewarding failure, and ensuring that these people are around to make the next bubble turn into a disaster.
The bi-partisan deregulation in the late 90s has exacerbated the problem, but it was not the cause of the problem. CDS need to be regulated, but they are not evil things all by themselves. No one complains about insurance when there's a hurricane, only the fraud and insolvency of institutions that don't make good on their promises.
The Great Depression affected much of the world. Coincidentally, much of the world also had to contend with the destruction of WWII. Our industry was one of a handful that remained undamaged. The U.S. was the only major industrial superpower remaining after WWII. That's how we got out of it.
Debt is useful to bootstrap your company, afford a house, or pay tuition. You know there is a surplus of income down the line that will eventually pay for it. How does the country know that? Our personal finance reality prevents us from taking on more debt than we can repay in our lifetimes. Our elected officials can just pass it to the next generation. But at some point, servicing the debt will take up too much of our resources. Then it's total economic collapse.
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.