Ok we all have heard so much about the impending economic collapse if we don’t vote for the huge Wall Street Bailout plan. Statements from so many in our government at so many levels are telling us that if we do not go along with allowing the Treasury almost unrestricted power to spend huge sums of money ( The $7 billion figure seems to have been pulled from thin air) we will face another nationwide, perhaps worldwide depression. Some commentators cry out for immediate support. Some say we should amend this plan; tinkering around the edges, then approve it.
The House of Representatives took a roughly three page outline and expanded it to 120 pages insisted that it be voted on without delay. We were told that if the package was not approved without delay the economy would collapse around us almost immediately.
Well, the high powers got together, our ‘leaders’ from both parties met, and told us this was a ‘thing that had to be done’.
The Speaker of the House took to her pulpit and preached. She chanted the prayers that she believes brought her to power. “Evil Republicans” Greedy Republicans, George Bush hates poor people, President Bush made this happen, GW and the elephants did all this and they need to be publicly flayed. Then she asked the elephants to agree that they are demons, and to vote with her and the donkeys to save the day.
Some of the elephants stood up, and said, “I think this needs to be done. She may be Queen of the Donkeys, but we need to do this.” They said YES
Others said “Well, I’m not really sure about this, but some of the people I trust most have told me this needs to happen. I’ll hold my nose, and vote for this.” Then Queen Donkey brayed at them, and they changed their minds. Some saying “What do you think? I’m not crazy enough to risk my career on something I’m not certain of, only to be called a demon anyway” They said NO.
Some of the Donkeys said right away “This is a good thing. It will do what we need. Also it has some cool payoffs that will help me buy some more votes, so I will do it.
Even better, there’s a bonus—we can trash the elephants at the same time, and they’re too scared to fight back!” They said YES
Some other donkeys said “We think the whole project is not enough. We look at this and say MORE MORE MORE! Until you pack more stuff in it for me and my ‘people’ I won’t support this.” They said NO
Some of the Elephants said right from the start “This is wrong. This whole idea changes the constitution and alters the way we do things way too much for me to even think of supporting this!” They said NO.
The people, who mostly are neither donkeys nor elephants, looked at this and said “This STINKS” By overwhelming majorities they called wrote and contacted their representatives and said NO.
Despite the full pressure on them, many of the donkeys and elephants held firm. They were told of apocalyptic consequences if they said NO. They did anyway.
The next day, the sun rose. People went to work. Trains Planes and cars moved about.
The Stock Market slipped, and many pointed and shouted “More points than ever before” The economically illiterate began to be scared. The media never said that the “more points” was still not the worst percentage. Also, most people walking around are not represented on Wall Street.
Some more banks found out they had less available cash than the new regulations (yes NEW REGULATIONS—same thing that happened with the S&L’s in the 80’s) required.
They sold themselves to others who had some cash.
Wachovia was sold to Citigroup. Interestingly, Citigroup was able to afford to do so, only with assistance from the Federal Reserve. The cash injected was provided by the Treasury, making the US Treasury a major shareholder of Citigroup. Interesting, isn’t it? [ Note as of 10/03/08 it appears the Citigroup deal is off, and Wells Fargo will do a deal, WITHOUT federal guarantees, and without FDIC bailout. GREAT news. I guess the private sector is not COMPLETELY dead yet!]
But, the next day, two days after the end of the world was predicted, the markets gained back some of the losses from the previous day. I think the Doomsayers were proved wrong. But that never stopped them before. Now they are back at it again. A Senate version was passed. Remember the three page original version? Well the House stretched three pages to 120. The senate now bulked it up to over FOUR HUNDRED pages! It is packed full with goodies. See, if you disagreed with the policy on moral grounds, that’s not a problem. Just get a subsidy for someone or something in your district. Grab some goodies and buy off those in your district, and allay your conscience. All the screaming about pork has been muted by, imagine this — GREED.
Greedy Elephants, greedy Donkeys, all looking to fatten their purses with tax money.
Let’s look at some of the background. Everyone is pointing fingers, trying to blame someone else. The Queen of the Donkeys made a visible and very vocal attempt to fix the blame on the elephants. A look to the recent past indicates just some of the causes.
If you want to see a bit of historical context, take a look at this!
In 1992, Congress mandated that Fannie and Freddie increase their purchases of mortgages for low-income and medium-income borrowers. Operating under that requirement, Fannie Mae, in particular, has been aggressive and creative in stimulating minority gains. It has aimed extensive advertising campaigns at minorities that explain how to buy a home and opened three dozen local offices to encourage lenders to serve these markets. Most importantly, Fannie Mae has agreed to buy more loans with very low down payments–or with mortgage payments that represent an unusually high percentage of a buyer’s income. That’s made banks willing to lend to lower-income families they once might have rejected.
Or to really go WAY back in historical context, look at this: (pay attention to #5)
10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto
- Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
- A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
- Abolition of all right of inheritance.
- Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
- Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
- Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
- Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
- Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
- Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
- Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c., &c.
According to the Communist Manifesto, all these were prior conditions for a transition from capitalism to communism (but Marx and Engels later expressed a desire to modernize this passage).
Now I had a conversation recently with someone about all this. We debated the whole ‘Bailout’ idea, and the resultant expansion of the Federal Government into private business. We discussed the fact, and he never disputed it, that this entire enterprise was probably in violation of several provisions of the Constitution. He was taking the stand that this was necessary despite the legalities, and despite the Constitution. I pressed him, and isolated one thing. The provisions which intend to ‘regulate or control executive compensation”, the idea of government taking control of private banking.
He replied, as so many others have. He said simply “That horse has left the barn. Closing the barn door is useless now.” This is not the only time I have been stunned to hear otherwise sensible people say something like that. The crux of this point is simple. Well, we already have a little bit of socialism, so we might just as well give up completely on the free market. So, the horse is running loose, so we might just as well feed him enough to keep him happy and let him do what he wants.
I have another idea. Maybe it’s time to shoot the horse. That horse has shown he is un-trainable, and dangerous. He will run and trample fences, farms, crops and people. The only sane thing is to shoot that horse, and get another.
In the context of politics, this translates to a simple concept; one which is scary, and powerful, yet possibly the only answer we have available to us.
Perhaps it’s time for a Second Constitutional Convention.
This is a Pandora’s Box of dangerous and wonderful possibilities, but I think it’s an idea whose time has come. Reopening the Constitution to reform our government could result in many surprising things. We might find we have some actual statesmen, as brilliant and principled as the original founders. We might find that our governors and bureaucrats are greedy self aggrandizing scum and will create a worse mechanism which imprisons more of us to government control. It might just end up fracturing the nation into several smaller, differently constituted republics. This is all incredibly dangerous. However, the point we have reached needs more than just reflexive, incrementally increased expansion of State control of our life and our economic liberty.
So, here I stand, making the plea:
It’s time. Now is the time.
Calling all statesmen. Calling all true Leaders. Calling all Patriots.
Second Constitutional Convention. Let’s go back to the beginning. Let’s return to Founding Principles. Let’s return to Sanity.
If you are reading this, I want a response. Reply here. Link here, love or hate this idea, let’s talk about it!
Keep the Faith!