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Tag Archives: Congress

Boo hoo, Boeing cries over potential loss of taxpayer underwritten bank, Threatens to move many operations overseas?

OK, so you lose Ex-Im and the sweetheart deal which goes with it. So you decide to take your ball and go play – wherever – outside of the United States. Fine.

But it seems reasonable then, going forward, not to award Boeing any lucrative military projects. That’s only fair. Go live off the Swedish taxpayers. They like socialism.

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Ralph Nader: Take the rhetorical fight to members of Congress, Ask them hard questions, Go to town halls during summer recess

Ralph Nader is one our favorites here at ACC. We disagree with him on a myriad of issues. He likes government quite a lot. We, well are more skeptical of the state. Saying that though, there is no doubt that Mr. Nader is an enemy of crony capitalism and one of the good guys running around Washington. (There are a few.)

Below is a declaration. A call to town halls. A call to take the rhetorical fight directly to our elected officials during their summer recess. If our representatives are going to ignore us in DC they will have a much harder time ignoring us at community meetings and grandstanding events. Turn on your iPhones. Record responses to hard questions. See what happens.

They do work for us.

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Health Care Premium Hikes and Crony Capitalism

Obamacare is a giant jack. And no, single payer is not the solution. That is the last thing we need. Single payer is an excuse for all sorts of other cronyism. Not to mention that socializing healthcare in the 21st Century is just a backward idea. We should be opening up healthcare not centralizing it.

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Federal Reserve says Congress better not try to reform the bank – or else.

As we’ve said before, the Fed is independent. It is NOT sovereign.

But the Fed thinks that it is above Congress, and the law in many regards. That any effort to shine light into the dark halls of the Eccles Building is too much to ask. That even a little bit of sun would undermine the system.

Consider that for a moment. If that were true, which it’s not, but if it were, I ask whether we should be concerned that Federal Reserve system is so fragile.

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How is the USA like Greece? Both are crony states

Government is inherently crony. That is its nature. It has an inherent tendency toward corruption. Crony entropy. Like water flowing downhill.

In Greece we see a relatively poor crony state languishing on the rocks while the Germans pick at its liver. And we pity the place. Yes, they’ve gotten themselves into this mess, but Brussels (and Berlin) are being stupid about things.

Not because they won’t give Greece another bailout. They are dying to give Greece more money truth be told. (The banks want to be paid on their Greek subprime portfolio.) But because they won’t just cut the Greeks loose with any dignity.

But hey, Greece does have nice beaches, got to keep access to those.

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Obama (and GOP congressional leadership) -backed trade bill fails in the House

It’s not over (the House could move to reconsider the bill on Tuesday) but this was a real win and it happened largely because of a bizarre libertarian/conservative/liberal coalition we (and others) had identified as emerging a couple of weeks ago around the TPP.

Though this vote is only on a piece of the Trans-Pacific trade pact, basically a bone thrown to liberals which allocated money for the retraining of displaced workers, it is an important vote because it means that fast track authority will almost certainly not be granted by Congress. If Dems aren’t going to vote for fast track authority with such money for training, they are very very unlikely to vote for fast track authority without such funds.

And if there is no fast-track authority given, it is unlikely that after debate and amendments the TPP will make it through Congress.

A strange moment in American politics.

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CNBC: When it can be illegal to withdraw your own money

Capital controls are already a reality in some places on the western periphery. There is talk among some economists about abolishing cash. How long until the Federal Reserve notes in your account are there permanently or semi-permanently? You already can’t take out more that $10,000 without your bank alerting the Feds.

The question I have is, is it your money or not? (I know the answer, but I still ask the question.)

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Is the TPP like Obamacare, “Executive Amnesty,” and “Net neutrality”? The public can’t see. Only large vested interests.

A broad, sweeping, global treaty which will/may fundamentally shift how trade is done in the world and in the USA is still secret and thanks to Senate Republicans is halfway to getting “fast track” status. That is the treaty will be voted on for final approval by Congress with a simple “yes” or “no” vote, without debate or amendments. That doesn’t seem right to me.

Now I am all for free trade. I think goods and services should flow without friction across borders. I say make it easier for this to happen. This creates opportunity and better goods at better prices for nearly everyone.

An example.

When I was a kid I used to get Sears brand sneakers with my mom. (Fashion was not a priority for my parents when it came to the kids.) Every 6 months or so I’d get a new pair. The cost was $35-$40.

Fast forward to now. At Target kid sneakers of much higher quality than my Sears kicks can be purchased at about the same price or even lower. And this isn’t even in inflation adjusted terms. Adjusting for inflation, these higher quality sneakers are probably HALF the price of my old sneakers, or even less.

This is an example of free trade raising the quality of life generally.

The same can be said for t-shirts, technology, any number of things. Our lives are for the most part much better because of relatively free trade.

Of course there are losers in this equation. The people who used to make my Sears brand sneakers no longer have a job making Sears brand sneakers. That’s true. But generally life is better in America for all those Chinese made goods which are made for us at lower cost and with higher quality (often) than products made in the States.

But it concerns me that the Trans Pacific Partnership, a supposedly “free trade” agreement, is being handled with such secrecy. This giant agreement has been negotiated and is being voted on (at least fast track authority) by the Congress, without any public review at all. Is this how we do business in the USA now? Are our leaders so afraid that the people will rise up in opposition that government must now be done in the shadows?

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