There is some debate around here as to the world’s most crony company. There are many candidates but consistently in the top 5 or so is Goldman Sachs, Government Sachs.
Few companies have exploited the taxpayer and political connections to the extent Goldman has. Truly it is a company built fundamentally on cronyism.
In 2008 Goldman Sachs was leveraged more than 100 to 1 on its assets. (That is probably a conservative estimate.) When the economic tide turned it was fully exposed. It should have died the disgraced death it deserved. It should have been crushed under the wheel of the market.
Goldman however had a former CEO at Treasury, Hank Paulson, who bailed out his buddies with money taken from taxpayers.
By Ron Paul
The drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines. As this column is being written, a deal may have been reached providing Greece with yet another bailout if the Greek government adopts new “austerity” measures. The deal will allow all sides to brag about how they came together to save the Greek economy and the European Monetary Union. However, this deal is merely a Band-Aid, not a permanent fix to Greece’s problems. So another crisis is inevitable.
The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union.
Despite all the handwringing over how the phony sequestration cuts have weakened America’s defenses, the United States military budget remains larger than the combined budgets of the world’s next 15 highest spending militaries. Little, if any, of the military budget is spent defending the American people from foreign threats. Instead, the American government wastes billions of dollars on an imperial foreign policy that makes Americans less safe. America will never get its fiscal house in order until we change our foreign policy and stop wasting trillions on unnecessary and unconstitutional wars.
If you really want to understand why the crony capitalist system is so insidious as well as ubiquitous I highly recommend listening to this bit from the master Murray Rothbard. If you really want to get what is so messed up about government and the “privavte sector” partnering up, one must know at least a little bit of his work.
Warning though. Rothbard can rattle one’s whole understanding of politics and economics.
The change is happening actually. I feel a shift, on a broad scale. It has just started, but pay close attention. Statism is failing and people are beginning to remember (or learn) that real markets solve problems and allow people to create wealth.
The everyday person is becoming more aware that tossing one’s lot in with the Grubers of the world is just foolish.
It will take a revolution in economic thinking to turn the USA around, and I am more optimistic now than I have been in a long time that such a shift can happen. Indeed that it is happening.
Ron Paul calls out the Plunge Protection Team on CNBC. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it mentioned on financial television. Seriously anyway.
And boy is he right. There is an assumption that the Fed will never let stocks (and other assets) revert to real levels.
The thing is the Fed for all its power is still subject to the laws of thermodynamics, just like the rest of us. That is, even the mighty central bank will feel the sting of its hubris.
Of course so will the rest of the planet. Which let me tell you is a real bummer.
Ron Paul has long been ahead of the curve. He anticipated the 2008 financial crisis. His “Ron Paul Revolution” was the seed which grew into the robust and mainstream libertarian tendency within the GOP we see today. And he was right on Iraq—it was a mistake of colossal proportions.
But while Ron Paul was predicting a Fed created economic catastrophe and outlining why it was that invading Iraq was wrong and indeed anathema to what America was supposed to stand for, the GOP was fully engaged in disavowing the spirit of Ronald Reagan (spirit) and embracing a big government philosophy.
The Bush years were years of big government “conservatism.” The neocon coup.
Iraq in many ways is what broke the modern—William F. Buckley, Jack Kemp, Ronald Reagan—conservative movement. Bush blew it up just like so many bridges across the Tigris.
Please forgive the vulgarity of the above headline, but this story is just great.
It didn’t happen on the Floor, but in email form.
I will say that Senator Leyonhjelm is now probably the most famous Australian Senator in the world. He is for sure in the States.
We could have told you that 3 years ago. Oh wait, we did.
By Ron Paul
If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.
With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.
It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.
They still only pick candidates from the 2 “main” parties though. If that ever changes the country will change. Until then…
There is no reason why government workers, whose salaries are paid via the taxation of the citizenry, should on average make more than their private sector brethren. Government workers typically have jobs for life. That bubble of consistency is how government workers are supposed to be compensated. The rest of us can get fired at any time, but we get paid a little more for this uncertainty. At least that’s how it used to work.
Veroniqe de Rugy in the attached article observes that progressives, for the most part are not enemies of corporatism. In fact to a large degree they are enablers of corporatism. With the expansion of the state comes the expansion of corporate power. And “progressives” it seems are always for expanding the state. As noted in a recent post it is terribly frustrating that progressives don’t see what they are doing. If they do they have no business saying they stand for anything like “progress.”
With each new government endeavor, with each new effort at social engineering, there is a new source of revenue for somebody. Sometimes it’s the corporations. Sometimes it’s the unions, Sometimes it’s players within the government itself. Sometimes it’s interest groups of other sorts. The aggregation of taxpayer dollars is like carrion on the plain, the jackals will always come.
In many respects I consider modern American “progressives” to be similar to progressives of another place and era, think Italy pre-World War 2. I dare say that many of the scarf and tattoo sleeve set would have happily fallen in line behind that pioneer of crony capitalism, Mussolini.