Sad but true. A government “shutdown” doesn’t mean anything. The national parks will be closed because they are high profile and people like them. They’ll probably rope off the World War 2 Memorial on the Mall too for the same reason. Other than that? The government doesn’t “shut down.” It never shuts down. It just keeps on spending money.
Somehow, for many people, the TEA Party has become some sort of social conservative thing. This is the dominant narrative repeated in much of the press and indeed some social conservatives have tried to run with this recharacterization.
But the TEA Party wasn’t and isn’t about social issues. It is about reducing the size of government. It is about bringing the political class in line. It is about We the People saying ENOUGH! And most importantly it is about being TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY. T-E-A.
There are people who honestly believe that markets are some sort of human construct, that supply and demand aren’t as simple as water flowing downhill. These people have done great damage to our economy and our society over the years. The Obamacare “co-opts” are just the latest example of this kind of magical policy thinking.
Markets are natural phenomena. Ebb and flow. But they can be inconvenient for some who would like to construct a new reality out of whole cloth. Kind of like how gravity is inconvenient for those who would like to be able to jump to the moon.
Now this would be interesting. The Speaker of the House does not need to be a member of Congress so it’s kosher.
Such a thing would amount to a mini-revolution of sorts of course. As such it’s a pretty long long shot. (To say the least.) I don’t see the Chamber of Commerce or other special interests getting on board the Paul for Speaker bandwagon anytime, well, ever. But that really is the point though isn’t it?
We have no opinion on who should be Speaker. That is for the House and its members to decide. However, political fireworks are always fun.
The economy is not so much a machine as an ecosystem. Actually a collection of ecosystems driven fundamentally by individual human action. (Even in places like the Soviet Union, where human action naturally undermined the efforts of macro-planners.) We buy into the machine metaphor at our peril.
These 2 guys do not like each other. Let’s hope that Cruz’s theory is wrong. If he’s right however it amounts to a complete betrayal from John Boehner.
By Ron Paul
This month marks the seventh anniversary of the bursting of the housing bubble and the subsequent economic meltdown. The mood in Congress following the meltdown resembled the panicked atmosphere that followed the September 11th attacks. As was the case after September 11th, Congress rushed to pass hastily written legislation that, instead of dealing with the real causes of the crisis, simply gave the government more power.
Just as few understood the role our interventionist foreign policy played in the September 11th attacks, few in Congress understood that the 2008 meltdown was caused by the Federal Reserve and Congress, not by unregulated capitalism. Not surprising to anyone familiar with economic history, the story of the 2008 meltdown starts with the bursting of the Fed-created tech bubble.
Following the collapse of the tech bubble, the Fed began aggressively pumping money into the economy. This money flooded into the housing market, creating the housing bubble. The Bush Administration and the Republican Congress also added fuel to the housing bubble. These so-called “free-market” conservatives expanded federal housing programs in hopes of creating an “ownership society.”
If Congress understood the Austrian theory of the business cycle, it would have allowed the recession that followed the housing bubble’s inevitable collapse to run its course. Recessions are the economy’s way of eliminating the distortions caused by the Federal Reserve. Attempts by Congress and the Fed to end a recession via inflation and government spending will only lead to future, and more severe, economic downturns.
Better hope none of the furniture was made from tropical hardwood. But given the prices paid for some of this stuff how could it not be?
I really think that with stories like this there is a good bit of envy of people in the private sector. I once talked with a senior manager in government who lamented that given the number of people he managed he should be paid more. In the private sector a manager on his level might make 3 times as much. But I argued that in the private sector there was more risk and that since this fellow was employed by the taxpayers his pay was factored using a fundamentally different equation.
Let’s just say we agreed to disagree.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States which provides below market financing underwritten by taxpayers for giant corporations needs to die. Its charter wasn’t renewed in June, which is excellent, but the “bank” could still be revived if John Boehner attaches a revival to a big bill, a must vote on bill, like the highway bill. According to the hyper liberal, extreme statist, uber crony capitalist Maxine Waters, a Democrat, that just may be in the cards. She wants her money for her corporate sponsors and she doesn’t give a damn about the taxpayers or crony capitalism. And according to this report from The Hill the Speaker may be right with her.
Is Boehner even a Republican? He’s certainly not a conservative or a friend to the taxpayers that is very clear. If he attaches a revival of Ex-Im to the highway bill, or any bill, know that Boehner is just giving the people who fund the US government, the taxpayers, a giant middle finger. Right with Maxine Waters.
We hope Boehner will do the right thing and let the Export-Import Bank die. To do otherwise is an insult, a big insult, to the American people.
I almost didn’t post this headline because the term “leftist” is used in a pejorative sense. That is not terribly constructive.
But the article itself is important. The author reports on a statement made by the new UK Labour Party’s economic flag bearer who said that the money one earns isn’t actually one’s money. You don’t actually pay taxes so much as give the government back its property. Essentially he is saying that your ability to feed and clothe your family, indeed to prosper in any way economically, is at the pleasure of the government, of the state.
Yesterday we asked whether the EPA (or some other regulatory agency) would have gone after GM like the EPA is going after VW, had GM done what VW is alleged to have done. We argued that it likely wouldn’t have. In the back of our minds was the recent GM ignition switch scandal which the US government didn’t seem very concerned about. Well, actually the government was concerned, but not for the public. The Obama administration didn’t want to make a big stink because GM, Government Motors, was a chosen “winner.” The administration had bailed out the Detroit based company for political reasons and it didn’t want to be embarrassed by a high profile example of incompetence. So what if over 150 people died?
When half of the population sees the government as a threat this should set off alarm bells. In the United States the citizenry should NEVER see the government as an immediate threat. Sure, perhaps in some sort of abstract philosophical sense government itself should always be seen as a kind of threat. But we are supposed to be a country of limited government, per the Constitution. The government should not be something the average American citizen is concerned about from day to day. But many of us are.
There was a time when government in the USA was little more than background noise. There was a time when the only interaction the average person had with the federal government was the post office. There was a time when most of life was private and wasn’t managed. A time when there was no income tax. A time when Washington was kept in check for the most part by the states. Government power was relatively small. It was inexpensive. There were few services to be sure, but there were few taxes. What one made one could keep. We didn’t have to pay tribute to a king. And that’s one of the main reasons we became the richest nation the world had ever seen.
Was America before the welfare state perfect? Certainly not. Nothing is. But people, it appears for the most part didn’t see their government as a malevolent force. How could they? The government wasn’t the beast it is today. It had few teeth and little appetite.
(Most people weren’t concerned with the government; if I was black I would have absolutely feared the government during this time. American Indians had much to fear also. Both groups felt the pointy end of what state apparatus there was pre-welfare state.)
That half of Americans now see government as an immediate threat is a very bad sign.
And yet there are those who still push for even more government.
In the 21st Century, there is absolutely no reason for a government built in the 20th Century highly centralized style. No reason. Progress is smaller, less intrusive government. Progress is the degree to which the average person can actualize his or her potential free from coercion. Government at best should be a very light app. Progress is NOT more government. It shouldn’t be an operating system.
We just ran a review by Charles Murray of someone else’s book so we figured we’d run a review of Murray’s recent book too.
Cronies are all over. But some of the worst reside in the belly of Leviathan, the federal bureaucracy. This bureaucracy perpetuates itself without reason often and inserts its tentacles into every nook and cranny of life. (Typically extracting wealth from the real economy in the process.) The beast is slowly strangling the spirit (and the economy) of America.
Murray says it’s time for civil disobedience.
And the other 25% of the people polled were apparently legally blind.
One does get the sense that we as a country are teetering a little too much toward modified banana republic status. I wouldn’t say that we are completely there yet, but it seems the government and its cronies have steadily worked toward achieving such a status over the last couple of decades.
To be fair I think this number reflects Americans becoming more aware of the real nature of government. Government is not some benevolent force. It’s not your ally. It is there in a very real sense to distribute money from your pocket to those who are in and around the government apparatus. That’s the harsh reality. But at least more people are coming to see this.
I actually am all for electric vehicles (within the market). In fact when I was a kid my father was an engineer at a research base and I remember that at least one of the other engineers there commuted with an electric car. And this was in the early 80s. I remember thinking how cool it would be to just plug in a car. I’d happily give an electric BMW a go today.
But these cars aren’t cheap and still aren’t terribly practical. That the LAPD thinks that buying such technology (basically for show) before it really is ready for prime time (or crime-time…get it?) is probably a waste of taxpayer money.
But no doubt the purchases will earn the department accolades from everyone the LA mayor’s office cares about.