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Tag Archives: government

The Cuba Deal: Coexisting And Profiting With Tyrants

I am very much for free trade and the exchange of goods and services between states. It helps to ensure peace between peoples and often brings higher quality and lower cost products to market, thereby raising the quality of life for the average person. But it’s hard to see what advantage opening things up with Cuba gives us right now. We certainly shouldn’t be legitimizing the regime. At the very least we should have waited until Castro died.

Also why are we saving Cuba’s lunch? Venezuela is dying thanks to the bottom falling out of oil prices. Venezuela finances much of the Cuban economy. Now would be a time where we should be dictating very strident terms to the island nation. Cuba is running out of money. And we are about to give these guys, and they are communists, a new infusion? It doesn’t make much sense to me.

Don’t get me wrong, though I am for free trade I am not for intervening in the affairs of other nations, which we did quite a lot in Cuba. But this regime should be hung out to dry, not rewarded.

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Reason: Elizabeth Warren Is Right: The Cromnibus Aids Crony Capitalism

This is the 3rd and probably last time we’ll give a shout out to Senator Warren, who as we always have to note is wrong on many many things. But on the embedded “pre-bailout” in the Cromnibus bill she is absolutely right. We should not be on the hook for big bank derivatives which go south. And we are talking about trillions in derivatives. (For those who are unclear as to what derivatives are here is a good explanation.)

In a recent post we highlighted a piece by Charles Hugh Smith where he asserted that. “The 35% drop in the price of oil is the first domino.” He warned that the world was floating on a sea of fossil fuel derivatives that were about to go bad.

Funny that the pre-bailout bit got put into the Cromnibus at the last second. It reminds me of when the banks got the bankruptcy laws more to their liking right before the Great Recession started. Let’s hope the pre-bailout isn’t a direct countermeasure to immediate developments in the world economy. That would be bad news.

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Washpo: What would happen if Congress split into four parties? This. (Plus some really cool maps)

Kudos to Phillip Bump at the Washington Post for this one.

We at ACC often talk about the fracturing going on within the 2 main parties. The Tea Party for instance is a de facto party within the GOP which the author takes into account. He also identifies an increasingly active fault line within the Democratic Party. (We think he’s wrong on who falls on which side of this line to some degree however.)

A thought experiment to be sure, but one which isn’t that “out there.” Very interesting.

(From The Washington Post)

If we assign members of Congress to political parties based on the spending votes, we end up with four parties. The Liberals bucked the Democratic president to oppose the spending package. The Democratsvoted for it. The Republicans followed Boehner and McConnell’s lead. TheConservatives didn’t. It gives us maps of the House and Senate that look like this, with the actual party composition underneath. (Note that this is only based on 1) people who voted on the spending package and 2) are returning to the 114th Congress.)

Click here for the article.

What Elizabeth Warren Missed in Her Big Bank Tirade

This is one of the frustrating things about people who I believe legitimately care about reining in crony capitalism on what is called the “Left” in this country. They seem always to want more of the thing which enables crony capitalism – government.

Crony capitalism can not happen without government. Government is the lever which cronies use to expand their power and wealth.

My friends on the “Left” fret about “corporations taking things over” if government is reduced. As if government is some kind of counterweight to corporate power. It is not. For the most part government is a tool of special interest power (and about equally the reverse). It’s a partnership.

The key is to decentralize. Diffuse the power in Washington (and other capitals) and move it as much as humanly possible back to real live humans.

We don’t really need much government at all.

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