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Separating policy from politics

Friday, February 20, 2009, 11:44 PM

For the record, I think Obama seems a decent man and I am thrilled to have a president that can speak in complete sentences and does not have Dick Cheney as a vice president. All of these things are good and hopeful signs.

And it is good to finally see some heated debate erupt into this conversation about bailouts. It’s about time! If you are not taken aback by what is happening, you are not paying attention. A good, vigorous debate is exactly what is needed. Passions should be riled here.

There’s one thing in this discussion that I would like to set the record straight about. I have been a consistent and vocal critic of the bailout every step of the way. This spans a republican and now a democratic administration and you will not be able to detect any difference in how I approach my analysis of the policies of these adminstrations because that’s not how I work.

Folks, this is just not a partisan issue.

I don't see this as a matter of “left vs. right”, but rather “right vs. wrong.”

Anybody who injects partisan dialog into my writing is either confused about the situation or trying to confuse the situation. I am absolutely an equal-opportunity caller of B.S. when I see it. I really don’t care what race, religion or political affiliation a person holds. I will analyze their proposals on the merits as I see them.

What I am doing in analyzing the bailout plans of the new administration is absolutely no different than what I did with the past administration. I am cognizant that more people have placed their hopes for some sort of a rescue on the new administration and that analysis and careful examination of the details and impacts will not be welcomed by everybody, but that’s what I do. I really have no political dog in this fight, and no agenda beyond determining whether we are doing the right things with our precious time and money from this point forward. Because we don’t have much of either and it’s absolutely critical that we do the right things.

And it is a mischaracterization to suggest that folks around here have suddenly gotten worked up over this homeowner bailout. In fact, we have been very consistently decrying both the amounts and the moral hazard at every step of the process. In fact, I dare say this site and this blog was practically first on the scene and has not wavered in its positions.

Here’s a chronological view of my writings on these matters.

On September 21st 2008, I wrote about the What the Latest Bailout Plan Means which drew 19,379 reads and 31 comments (provided to give you a sense of the interest), and said:

Now that the details are out, we can safely state that the US political and financial leadership has completely sold out the taxpayers and has done so in a manner that is startling, both in its recklessness and its brazenness.

The reckless part I will spell out in the details below.

The brazen part is in how this is being spun out, as if the entire plan were hatched in a hurried rush, at the last minute, after events forced the issue. This is the spin, but it is completely false.

Because many financial commentators, ranging from Roubini to Roach to Calculated Risk to myself, foresaw these events, we can be completely confident that these events were both anticipated and planned for long in advance. The only question left was how they were going to be 'sold' to the public. What better way than in the midst of a "massive financial panic" that required urgent action?

And now that the details are out, the plan is even more insidious than I ever dreamed.

Yes, I was pretty worked up over the looting operation that I saw unfolding the minute I laid eyes on it. I knew what was coming. All manner of deceit and maneuvers were going to be used to cram a rotten piece of self-dealing legislation past a scared group of representatives. It would be fair to characterize my mood at the moment as “riled up”.

On September 24th, 2008 I did my level best to ignite some good old-fashioned interest in the situation with a strongly worded article entitled “The Greatest Looting Operation in History”. My hope was to get people actively involved. This piece drew 3606 views and 16 comments.

The recently proposed bailout of failed Wall Street banks represents the most brazen attempt at grand larceny ever in our nation’s history. Some have even likened it to financial terrorism, because Wall Street went so far as to repeatedly say; “Either we get this bailout or the entire system goes under.”

This echoes, more or less precisely, what happened in the years after Ronald Reagan deregulated the S&L industry in 1982. Within a few short years, excesses and fraud were rampant within the system, and taxpayers were forced to cover the inevitable bust that followed. Many well-connected individuals made out like bandits on sweetheart deals meted out by the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC).

But this crisis, which has been presented as if it caught everyone by surprise, was no surprise at all. It was years in the making, and the response was carefully planned over the past year. The bailout proposal, as originally presented (on Sat. 9/20/08), was shocking.

On October 13th 2008 I wrote an article entitled Handouts to Wall Street Announced, which drew 2959 reads and 26 comments, I wrote:

Once again, the "will of the people" was overridden by Congress in their haste to respond to an "emergency," and, once again, it turns out the people's instincts were right.

Remember the initial $250 billion that was going to be used to buy troubled assets which "we had to do right away!" because otherwise there would have been untold misery and millions of jobs lost?

Even more startling to me is that, instead of slapping the banks firmly on the wrist for being reckless, the government is also "expected to guarantee new debt issued by banks for a period of three years." To put it bluntly, that is just not the way to combat the moral hazard that is clearly endemic to our current banking system. I think the banks should be kept fully on the hook for any loans they make from here on out....mess up again, and your institution goes under.

Next, if you read the list of handouts below, things get even more troublesome (if your measure is "enormous rewards for Wall Street for misbehaving bother me").

Here's a quote from October 14th remarking on the FDIC bending rules to suit Goldman Sachs. (3118 reads/33 comments)

As always, in this never-ending looting operation, the rules are bent and modified willy-nilly to support a favored class of institutions and individuals.

We now have an openly two-tiered system.

And on October 15th 2008 I was already highly alert to the fact that the prudent were going to be punished (3483 reads/36 comments). This was well before any homeowner bailouts were even on the radar:

One of the dominant myths of America is that we practice one of the freest forms of capitalism on the face of the planet. Hard work and prudence are rewarded, while Schumpeter's 'creative destruction' quickly cleans out the mistakes.

Unlike most myths, this one apparently lacks a kernel of truth at the core.

As the details emerge over the various bailouts and market distortions, it is becoming clearer that moral hazard has been increased, not lessened, and that those who behaved prudently during the credit bubble insanity are going to be punished.

And on November 10th in a piece entitled, “US Taxpayers are Violated - the Looting Operation Continues” (6893 reads/53 comments), I wrote:

I am trying to maintain a very level-headed approach to the changes that we are seeing. However, from time to time the looting operation becomes just a bit too obvious, a bit too overt, and I find my level of cool slipping.

This is one of those times.

Here are the dots that I am connecting that have me concerned, if not angry.

Remember, even prior to its passage, I called the bailout the greatest looting operation of our time. I did so because the language of the Bailout Act, as originally proposed by the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, er, I mean the Treasury Secretary, requested three things: unitary power, no review, and no limits.

Frankly, it was the most plainly-worded document of theft that I had ever seen, and probably ever will see, in my life (because it was too blatant and such mistakes are rarely made again).

And so on. There are actually a fair number of additional articles and comments in this vein throughout the fall and into December but I think the point is made. I have been a very consistent critic of what I saw as a transparent theft of funds by a web of self-interested parties.

So there you have it. This site has long been very actively examining the looting operation every step of the way, wallowing around in the details, and generally doing everything possible to stir up some interest in the most magnificent transfer of wealth and opportunity ever seen by anybody alive.

The homeowner bailout? That is just one more (thinly) disguised handout to mortgage companies and banks which will do little of consequence as it treats symptoms, not causes. But one thing it will do is erode what remains of our incentive to work hard and play by the rules.

I think it is one more brick in a path that leads to the destruction of the currency and economy of this country. I think we suffer from too much debt, not sinking house prices.

As a matter of policy, I think it stinks.

And from an analytical standpoint it doesn’t matter to me in the slightest who has proposed it.

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51 Comments

The_Black_Death's picture
The_Black_Death
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 22 2009
Posts: 33
Re: Separating policy from politics

The reason I come here is because of your objectivity on the issues. The Crash Course should be broadcast in every high-school and college in America, because of your ability to convey the real issues that don't get bogged down in political, racial, gender, or class bias.  That is what makes you different from the Fox News, CNN's, MSNBCs, and mainstream media that is born out of exploiting and sensationalizing our news. This site is based on rationality, not bias and sensationalism.

Anybody claiming  bias on your part, obviously is not coming from a rational stand point. Hell, I've even changed my views completely based on the objective truth brought forth on this site. 

Chris, what you do is a public service and I applaud you. 

TimesAwasting's picture
TimesAwasting
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Bravo Chris!

Your consistent analysis is, in large part, what keeps me coming back!

Obviously, your message is breaking through... and touching nerves. Fear not though... criticism is a pathway from obscurity towards main street. Keep the pressure on!

grl's picture
grl
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Posts: 188
Re: Separating policy from politics

The_Black_Death wrote:

The reason I come here is because of your objectivity on the issues. The Crash Course should be broadcast in every high-school and college in America, because of your ability to convey the real issues that don't get bogged down in political, racial, gender, or class bias.  That is what makes you different from the Fox News, CNN's, MSNBCs, and mainstream media that is born out of exploiting and sensationalizing our news. This site is based on rationality, not bias and sensationalism.

Anybody claiming  bias on your part, obviously is not coming from a rational stand point. Hell, I've even changed my views completely based on the objective truth brought forth on this site. 

Chris, what you do is a public service and I applaud you. 

I second that emotion Smile and would add that most of the reader comments on this site are much more intelligent than any other site I visit. Chris, you know you are making an impact when you get attacked (unfairly as it might be!). Keep up the excellent work; you are a shining star in a cloudy galaxy. (or, whatever) 

 

castlewp's picture
castlewp
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris, Excellent post!!

I am still amazed that some people still flop back and forth between Republican andDemocratic leadership as if these are actually choices. They are merely two closing jaws of the same steel trap. 

jasonpaige's picture
jasonpaige
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris,

 I discovered your site, just a a few weeks before the bottom fell out last fall.  It's amazing, and frankly scary how things are playing out.  I do feel some solace in having a "heads up" on what's happening, but my wife still thinks I'm doom and gloom man.  I'm not sure where I read it, but the conservative man's portfolio for 2009.... 50% ammo, 50% canned goods.

- JP

Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Lemonyellowschwin
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Posts: 541
Re: Separating policy from politics

I am a big fan of Obama.  I had a yard sign, a bumper sticker, and I gave him a bit of money.  I stood out in the cold for 3 hours to hear him speak in my city.  I took my kids to the caucus and I get choked up from his speeches.  I think he is basically a good guy, very smart, respects the Constitution and wants to do the right thing.

But I totally disagree about the way he is dealing with our economic situation. 

Just as I totally disagreed with the way the last #&*(* heads handled the situation.

So I hear what you're saying Chris.

cannotaffordit's picture
cannotaffordit
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Posts: 273
Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris,

I don't know what prompted you to do this post, and I don't really want to know.  I just want to say "Hooray for you, for stating it so clearly."  

It has been perfectly clear to me all along that you are giving us information that has nothing to do with political leanings, but more to do with teaching us principles and keeping us abreast of news that can help us get through this nasty mess.  I think we all know, or should know, that both sides of the aisle have been guilty of the craziness in D.C. that has fostered this mess.  (My personal opinion is that they are all greedy crooks, working together in an oligarchy.)

Anyway, you Chris are an anchor in the storm, and the source of much that we have learned and are using daily to protect and preserve our family in these trying times.  We thank you greatly!

Ben Andrews 

P.S.  We won't be happy until you are the hour-long interview on Bill Moyers, as well as on some main stream media.  But that may not happen until MSM decides to quit sucking up to Washington, or maybe decides to start putting out real facts, instead of just sensationalism. 

TBJ's picture
TBJ
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Thanks Chris.  As someone said above, what you do here is a public service.  Anyone who spends anytime here will come away with a greater understanding of how the world works.  That can only be a good thing.

Thank you.

 Travis

strabes's picture
strabes
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Great to see this.  I wasn't here in those months and the posts are so good and come so fast that I haven't been able to trawl into the past posts.  

A few things I'd mention:

THE REAL ENEMY: Both parties serve national empire.  Repubs claim need for bigger government for security purposes.  Dems claim need for bigger government for economic purposes.  Two sides of same coin.  I despise both because they've killed the Constitution and destroyed local community.  But I hope you take a look at how they both serve the interests of the true banking elite behind the Federal Reserve, BOE, ECB, BOJ, IMF, World Bank, UN.  Those are the real powers.  They are the ones that need to be exposed and their system needs to die. While focusing on the corrupt alignment of Wall St firms with DC is a great thing to do, it only goes after the banking elite's front men...the public corporate officers and public politicians.  It's not so much that government is trying to help Goldman Sachs.  It's really about paying off the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, etc. who operate behind the scene with agents who own controlling preferred shares in Morgan, Goldman, JP....  They need to be taken out.  END THE FED...end our slavery to the banking oligarchs.

OBAMA: I can see why you think Obama is a step up, but a politician that's more skilled from harvard law at making great presentations and stirring popular support isn't necessarily a good thing.  It just might mean he's a far better demagogue than Bush.  Bush lost momentum behind his agendas (luckily) because he couldn't sell...people lost trust in him because he's obviously clueless.  A better salesman can get a bad agenda passed more effectively...that's a very bad thing.  Having said that, the way he handled the race issue was a beautiful moment that transcended right/left.  I thought he was a new type of leader. Unfortunately he has since proven he's not.

POLITICS: It's clear you don't think in terms of politics in your analyses, but you must consider how politicians will attack you if you give an impression their PR people can spin into "this is a rich joker who doesn't want to help little people."  The White House did that today...publicly crucifying a guy who was mad about the $75B.  Rather than focusing on the folly of idiotic bureaucrats who continue destroying our nation with socialism and impossible debt levels, he ever so slightly made it seem he was saying "these homebuyers need to suffer."  That's a big mistake.  There was some of that in your post saying people need to be accountable and suffer the consequences of their choices.  I know you don't mean that because you believe in local community, so your interest isn't in making people suffer.  You would help people in your neighborhood.  Rather it's that you correctly know that national government systemically eliminating risk from a market by trying to save people is yet another policy destroying our nation and it doesn't save those people anyway.  Notice the difference?  It's a subtle point, but crucial when it comes to politics.  

RussB's picture
RussB
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris, it's good to have all this roped together in one post, just to make the record clear (though unfortunate that it was necessary).

I can see why some people get the wrong idea. Clearly the right-wingers are trying to get people riled up only over this bailout, but only went through the motions of opposing previous ones which redistributed wealth directly upward (rather than indirectly, as this latest one does), since they weren't really opposed to those at all. We're certainly not in that category.

I hope this will once and for all now be clarified regarding the thinking at this site. However, we who have been consistently against every bailout on grounds of systemic unsustainability, to the extent we go to other sites, forums, etc. to oppose this bailout as well, should take care to stipulate that our opposition is part of a comprehensive anti-bailout framework. That should help prevent misunderstandings, stupid accusations, wrongful political associations, and also help convey the underlying idea that it's the system itself which is inherently flawed, not particular policies within an otherwise sound system. 

Brainless's picture
Brainless
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Re: Separating policy from politics

I think this government is at least trying to be more open about where the 'stimulus' money goes to.

At least if you think www.recovery.gov is a serious attempt.

cat233's picture
cat233
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris,

For me it
is important that you are apolitical.  The CC is the most important message and
I don't want politics keeping one from taking the CC.
As always, I am grateful for all you teach!
Cat
Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Agreed, thank you Chris for providing this post so that others can refer to it if they ever doubt your sentiments or motivations.

I know I get other people riled up sometimes when I begin popping their "hope bubble" regarding some of the new administration's latest actions. But when I continue on to take shots at the previous administration, they simply become confused. It seems our society doesn't allow us to criticize anyone without implicitly assuming that we belong to the opposite party. 

In my opinion, blind allegiance to either one of the main parties without a true acceptance and understanding of the issues and actions they stand for is relinquishing the opportunity to deal with problems and solutions based on facts, evidence, and merits. The earth doesn't care if its oil is being burned in a Republican or Democrat's car. Neither do I. The issues that challenge us now are challenging the very way that our political machine operates. Viable solutions will require politics to be cast aside and statesmanship to be reinstated as the status quo for our leaders.

Mike

SteveS's picture
SteveS
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Posts: 358
Re: Separating policy from politics

When I found this site I was reading very carefully trying to find the political bent. It completely eluded me because there is none. So many other sites and news organizations are pretty transparent and suffer credibility for it. All politics are the enemy here. I had great hopes for our new president, as he seemed to be smart and willing to, as I like too put it: "do the people's work". This last stimulus bill though makes me remember that this is simply politics. Where is the 'going though line-by-line to eliminate pork' as we were promised? Of course Congress is highly to blame. Just the fact it was passed on virtual party lines makes it obvioius that this bill had no meaningful use.

Chris, we know where you stand  - on our side! And I know by reading comments on this site that 'our' covers an amazingly wide political spectrum. Keep up the good work!

flavian's picture
flavian
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris,

you might find interesting my comments regarding Obama that were posted a few days ago here:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/18274#comment-18274

And I also thnik you should start preparing seriously some scenarios in case of financial collapse.

We keep talking about that, but nobody actually thinks about what would happen the next day after all the banks close doors.

I would recommend you to take a look on these also:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2802861/Germans-get-by-without-the-eu...

http://www.sunshinecable.com/%7Eeisehan/woergl.htm

http://www.sunshinecable.com/%7Eeisehan/gogo.htm

I know it's a matter of days, maybe months and I'm so curious why are we not talning more about what happends after... 

Downrange's picture
Downrange
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Posts: 62
Re: Separating policy from politics

I strongly endorse the idea that our political process has largely failed us, and would add that we have to judge the merits of public figures on their works.  That said, I do not share the view that anything to date that has come from the new administration is in any way a "good and hopeful sign."  It's simply not enough to speak the queen's English, welcome as that is.  In fact, this administration seems to have begun as a continuation of the previous ones, only worse, with horrible appointments showing a lack of comprehension (or worse) on the part of the Chief Executive regarding the example to be set, what needs to be done, and how to do it.  We cannot expect change to come as long as both parties are controlled by the same ruling kleptocracy.  Signs to date indicate we may well have "jumped collectively out of the frying pan, and into the fire."  We shall see.

I applaud Chris for his strong stance in opposition to the bail-out madness going back a very long time.  We must focus on the message here; the continued travesties against the Constitution cannot and will not be tolerated.  If the possible futures pointed toward at the conclusion of the Crash Course are indeed becoming more probable by the day, as they seem to be doing, we are going to need massive organization at the grass roots level to resist the coming tyranny from the Statist establishment and survive with a vestige of the freedoms that were our birthright.

I think Chris needs to become more, not less, "political."  Just my two cents.

Gadfly's picture
Gadfly
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Re: Separating policy from politics

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that both Chris Martenson and Rick Santelli have been restrained in their comments today and yesterday respectively.  It is clear there are 3 parties to blame here; The irresponsible consumer, the irresponsible lending institutions/brokers and the Government.  The PC police have decided it is OK to criticize the latter 2, but irresponsible homebuyers are off limits.  We will never fix the problem until we have honest discussion and all angles are addressed.  This is not hatemongering, it is just honesty.  If one cannot see that, he needs to learn to be honest with himself.

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Posts: 1731
Re: Separating policy from politics

  Chris it sickens us that read & understand what is truly going on. Too many of the masses are unfortunately like sheep. Too busy watching Obrah & feeding their faces stretched out in their LazyBoy recliners waiting for their next Govt handout. Give these type a 3&1/2 hour crash course DVD or 1 hour of Obrah I think we know what they will go for. 

This was no doubt by design for votes to control the power. This is a BIG problem to turn around. It has to run its course of total failure I feel for people to finally get it (if they every will).  Like Plato & Socrates said a democracy is doomed for failure as eventually the solvent are outnumbered by the insolvent (something like that). We have a t hand a bigger problem than an economic problem we have a societal problem which is much larger. Bailout & stimulus can never fix this IMHO let alone what they were intended to fix.

Our founding fathers did their best with much foresight in mind for the future of forming a Great Nation but this has been perverse or distorted by a bunch of professionally trained manipulators with only self serving short term immediate "feel good" interests in mind. Very few appear to have long range goals in mind for our future generations. They give it lip service to sell it but as we see their heart is truly not behind it.

 Here is something I read.

We have watched and listened to the debate in Washington with deep concern. Our view continues to be that no one has made a convincing case for or against the stimulus bill just signed into law by President Barack Obama

The arguments continue to have the ring of partisan fervor without a broad technical consensus from economists, financial experts or politicians. Simply stated, it appears to us that we are throwing around trillions without understanding with any clarity the outcome, both long and short term.

As the same type of partisan fervor has heated up in California over the past three months, we note very similar arguments as state officials try to come to grips financially and politically with their budget issues. California is currently bordering on insolvency and the financial collapse of the state government. We wonder how far behind our federal government may be.

We believe there is something fundamental going on here that far exceeds typical partisanship. This, to us, is becoming a test of our basic form of government. When "we the people" demand more than can be produced by government, what happens? As a corollary, how can we tell when we have reached the limit of government's ability to produce, and our demands must, out of necessity, be throttled back?

The second question is perhaps reasonably easy to answer. When government income (IRS revenues and other sources) is less than government expenditures for extended periods, it seems to us we have reached that point. Can anyone dispute that we passed that benchmark long ago and have no idea how or when we can bring our spending back to such a level? This is no longer a partisan issue. It is an issue of the survival of our current form of government and economy.

For almost two centuries, we were a country of limited government and (at least for some) unlimited individual initiative. Perhaps the Great Depression was the motive force to begin to change that model when government began to assume burdens for which, at least in the model of the Founding Fathers, it was never envisioned.

Having whetted the appetite of the public with government programs that relieved the burden of support from individuals and passed it to "society," government has lost the ability to "just say no."

If we cannot find the courage and leadership to control the scope of government, we must be willing to accept the burden of a different form of government. Are we at that point, or at least approaching it, where such choices must be made? We are beginning to think that is the case.

And we have great fear of the consequences of such choices.

castlewp's picture
castlewp
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Re: Separating policy from politics

I think this is an important video for everyone to watch

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Separating policy from politics

CastLewP:

Good watch! 

Downrange's picture
Downrange
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Posts: 62
Re: Separating policy from politics

excellent video!

A few more thoughts:

Wiki says: "Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions. The term is generally applied to behaviour within civil governments, but politics has been observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions. It consists of "social relations involving authority or power" and refers to the regulation of a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy."

I think that's a fair summation, and I think it is thus impossible to separate policy from politics.  Had Chris said "separate partisanship from policy," I could agree completely.  Especially as the bipartisan system has failed us, and turned into a kleptocracy.  We are going to have to "make a lot of decisions," and the "methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy" are going to be the battle ground of the next few decades.  We have just about "lost our republic," as Franklin warned against.  It remains to be seen if we can regain it.

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Separating policy from politics

CastLewP:

Good watch! We need to refresh our memories from time to time & not forget. Look around at any Supper Center & what does one see these days that I never saw as a young boy with my parents. We see way to many extremely obese people of all ages on no less scooters because they can't walk now??? These are ominous signs of a glutenous society that wants the Govt to fix it all for them & provide things that they precieve as free..

When I was a kid it was cool to be strong but things have completely changed where excuses of weakness are common place anymore & more than accepted. Teachers can't discipline children today like in the one room school house(much more effective than attention deficit drugs) . We now have a multi billion dollar educational system that seems to teach down to the lowest common denominator (Public school). Kids are now put on Attention deficit drugs (most forms of amphetamine) to veg them out in the class room at the least sign of any problem. Wonder why many grow up to have a drug problem later???

Our management today lacks any-form of common sense.

I feel we are in the last stages of the Roman Empire.

I agree that being close & relying on our own communities is a good idea but I for one am not pushing these fat self inflicted lazy people around on their scooters when their batteries go down. Let them call Dan Weston (the guy on CNBC adds all day that says he can get them for absolutely "FREE" for them)LOL..

It looks to me if as a society we would have kept ourselves strong, educated & informed (proper parenting) we would not have allowed ourselves to become what we are now. There has to be a big disconnect when scientist mean little in a society but a movie star or rock star (that can't even sing & is covered in tattoo's) is revered.

Stimulus, Bailouts & medicaid are just other words that sound better than welfare but non of these will work.

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emhswm
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Re: Separating policy from politics

Easily understand that Chris wants to stay apolitical, since so many walks of life are drawn to the important matters presented and discussed here - and his own sincere position is that the clarity of his message outweighs them being political sidetracked into an emotional abyss of non-communication (what some call political discourse - hehe)

That said, in the end 'the discussion' will clearly become a very politicized matter, in my opinion.

 The Obama administration has done the calculus - that there will ne no pleasant outcome to this financial crisis (end of a business cycle, or super-cycle wave 5 for Elliot Wavers), and that they might as well dovetail a Keynseian solution to their clearly stated political objectives; to create a more goverment dependendant society --- spreading the wealth, and as a byproduct; pitting the productive v the non productive.

Rather than go on, I'll just quote as best I can Dennis Miller; I'm all for giving assistance to the helpless, just not to the clueless". ---- It seems the 'clueless' have been moved tot he front of the line by the Obama administration, and somehow we're all just supposed to say 'that's cool'

 

TW

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Re: Separating policy from politics

The $75B mortgage relief package is just another bit of the larger attempt to somehow maintain the status quo, that is, to maintain the current financial system. It does have a bit of a populist appeal, and so may forestall street demonstrations and social unrest. Getting ones back up about "help to the irresponsible at the expense of the responsible" is mis-directed resentment IMO. I tend to agree that until the powers that be accept that the international financial system has indeed collapsed there will be no fundamental change. This is not just a US problem - changing the rules of the game in an orderly manner will require international agreement. Lacking that, the change will be dis-orderly - more likely in my opinion.

It is not clear to me yet just where Obama's thinking/understanding on the situation is. For those who say that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats I would point out that if Al Gore had been allowed to take office in 2000 there would have been no 9-11, no anthrax attack, no Iraq war, no patriot act, no state-sanctioned torture, no wholesale collection of personal and financial information via illegal wiretapping (information that no resides in private hands by the way). Remember the vicious political hardball that played out at that time and tell me there was nothing substantial at stake. YET, the financial powers that were instrumental in creating the current crisis WOULD still be calling the shots. Likely we would still be facing a similar situation - perhaps it would even have occurred sooner.

More to say but I am out of time at the minute... perhaps later

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Re: Separating policy from politics

dbajba wrote:

Chris,

I don't know what prompted you to do this post, and I don't really want to know. I just want to say "Hooray for you, for stating it so clearly."

I believe that the thread below started this one:


Not everyone is thrilled
with Chris M.'s recent post "Obama Punishes Responsible Parties".

http://andrewtobias.com/

THE CRASH COURSE
Douglas Patton:  “I’m sure surprised you touted this guy.  He’s sure
not on board with Obama – or humanity for the matter.  See this [recent
post of his, decrying Obama’s plan to help people stay in their homes].”

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Re: Separating policy from politics

CB wrote

" I would point out that if Al Gore had been allowed to take office in 2000 there would have been no 9-11, no anthrax attack, no Iraq war, no patriot act, no state-sanctioned torture, no wholesale collection of personal and financial information via illegal wiretapping (information that no resides in private hands by the way"

You are correct.  That is why TPTB made sure that no matter what George W win that election..  Once again they were able to do things under the Republican brand name so what they did made sense.  Now they are following the Democratic brand name to keep leading you down the primrose path.

Don't be fooled, they are smarter than we give them credit for.

 

 

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Re: Separating policy from politics

Re:  "they might as well dovetail a Keynseian solution to their clearly stated political objectives; to create a more goverment dependendant society --- spreading the wealth, and as a byproduct; pitting the productive v the non productive."

Good post!  Is this not how those who seek a totalitarian regime (whether of the left or the right) accomplish their objectives?  They take advantage of financial collapse & social unrest.  They demonize the opposition, those who oppose are "enemies of the people."  They argue, "We will provide for your needs for wealth or security, etc."  They create a sense of urgency & panic among elected representatives.  They control or coop the media.  Poitical correctness is enforced by whatever means possible.  I know this is fanciful but it would be good to somehow have a limus test for potential governmental leaders on whether they are absolutely committed to our constitutional republican form of government.          

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Re: Separating policy from politics

I think this is getting "partisan," fast.  How can anyone state with any certainty that none of these bad things listed, especially the 9/11 attack, would NOT have happened if Bush had not been elected?  That doesn't make sense; those attacks were well underway (planning and preparation) during the Clinton administration.  This kind of leap of faith/flight of fancy is, I think, exactly what we have to avoid if we are to somehow unite to throw off the yoke of the fatuous two-party system.  No change happens, we just sink deeper into the boiling pot.  People need to wake up and shed their "party" illusions.  It's ONE BIG PARTY, and they DO NOT have the interests of the people in mind.

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Re: Separating policy from politics

downrange wrote:
I think that's a fair summation, and I think it is thus impossible to separate policy from politics.

Yep. It's almost senseless to try doing so.  We got in this situation because of politics.  So while analysis is useful, assuming away politics makes the analysis almost irrelevant because you're assuming away the HUGE key to the problem.  One must be a student of politics, Machiavelli, Orwell, Marx, etc to make a difference in this situation.  Political manipulators using 1984 tactics will crush you if you don't understand how they work, the powers behind them, and their ability to determine reality.  Seduction is far more important than facts.

CB wrote:
if Al Gore had been allowed to take office in 2000 there would have been no 9-11, no anthrax attack, no Iraq war, no patriot act, no state-sanctioned torture, no wholesale collection of personal and financial information via illegal wiretapping (information that no resides in private hands by the way). Remember the vicious political hardball that played out at that time and tell me there was nothing substantial at stake. YET, the financial powers that were instrumental in creating the current crisis WOULD still be calling the shots. Likely we would still be facing a similar situation - perhaps it would even have occurred sooner.

LOL.  The financial oligarchy aren't just behind the financial crisis as if it's somehow separate from the security mess around the world.  They are behind all the security stuff as well.  They use both parties to serve their purpose.   You think the NSA, IRS, FBI, etc. weren't tapping americans' private info under Clinton?  You think they wouldn't have continued that under Gore?  You think what you're calling torture hasn't happened under every president?  You think "terrorist" attacks didn't happen under every president since the 80's?  You think Bush is the reason we're in Iraq?  It's called the power elite (way above presidents)...that's the reason we're in Iraq, that's the reason our executive branch has become a monarchy regardless of party, that's the reason private citizens are treated like property owned by bankers. 

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Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris,

It feels frustrating when people muddle issues and try to confuse situations.  I have been reading your material for at least 6 months now and the qualities I have liked the most about your work have been its clarity, insights, always questioning everything including your own ideas and objective analysis transcending politics.  So it is rather surprising that you had to write this piece, but then again it makes sense because most of us have a clouded, confused and delusional mind than the one with clarity and objectiveness. 

I think so far Obama has NOT surrounded himself with the best team of people to deal with this economic crisis, but I feel better because he is a President, not McCain nor any one of demagogues.  He is probably not well versed in economy and financial systems and he has to trust someone to wade through this.  But Obama has intelligence, clarity in his mind and calmness in his temperament.  If anyone will figure out this faster and make course corrections, I think we will have much better luck with him than any other so called leaders I've seen in a while.  It seems to me that you and Obama have many qualities similar to each other in terms of how analytical part of your minds work. 

 Please keep up with a good work. 

 Presenmoment

.

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Re: Separating policy from politics

presentmoment wrote:
But Obama has intelligence, clarity in his mind and calmness in his temperament

Yeah, throwing $10 trillion at bankers just like Bush in the false attempt to reflate a bubble...so intelligent.  Hiring the guy who ran NY financial community to run Treasury who's no different from Paulson...brilliant.  Engaging in policy that will permanently destroy our currency and the economic system and, therefore, our country...genius.

Except, I think it is quite genius.  He knows this stuff doesn't work to fix things.  But what it does work for is further leveraging the system and sucking power up the chain to DC and Wall St.  That's exactly what he wants.  He is brilliant, but not for the reason you think. 

 

presentmoment wrote:
It seems to me that you and Obama have many qualities similar to each other in terms of how analytical part of your minds work.

Uh.  He is a political practitioner extraordinaire.  Chris is an analyst who tries to avoid politics.  

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Re: Separating policy from politics

dbajba wrote:

Chris,

<snip>

Ben, please contact me via my email link. Thx.

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Re: Separating policy from politics

castlewp wrote:

I think this is an important video for everyone to watch

castlewp,

Great video. Explains a lot in 10.5 minutes. Good reminder of where we came from and where we're going! Thanks for the reminder.

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Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris, I think you yourself may have inadvertantly politicized the whole thing about the current bailout on this site by putting Obama's name in the title of your 2/20 post.  You in effect said "he did this".  If you look at the very posts you cite, one can see how you carefully refrained from using names instead saying things like "US political and financial leadership".  With the 2/20 post you are now addressing, you are handling the fallout from simply using the name in the title (I don't think you did elsewhere in the article).  People are scared & they need somebody to blame and you gave them somebody specific to blame which quickly deteriorated into us vs them.   

You know how much I respect you,  how grateful I am for what you are doing, and that I'm only now trying to be helpful. 

What I'm worried about more at this point:  as I read the comments above, I think there are too many people on this site who think that sombody or something can actually save our economy when you have so clearly demonstrated that our economy cannot rebound permanently.  Is this a vestige of denial? Are we talking about how our economy devolves (or evolves, depending on your perspective)?  How it will crash?  How can that be orchestrated?  I personally will not second guess anyone on what they know or how they go about it at this point, even our leadership, even those I've been at political odds with in the past.  I'm guessing it's probably all new experience from here on out.  Except for the general fall of the empire, I mean.  How that will happen is nothing any of us can begin to imagine. 

Louisiana fared pretty well in the 1930's and even in the 70's because it is a land of plenty - climate and food and all that.  We even have a surplus in our treasury at the moment that our boy-governor has managed to accrue.  But we are home to the largest port in the Western Hemisphere (Port of South Louisiana), and I'm sure our economy will tank soon; our manufacturing has already deteriorated. 

But the folks in the little village where I live now aren't blaming anybody for the current state of things (if they even know about it), they're just going about their business, growing their winter food crops, boiling their crawfish,  butchering hogs and today, riding on homemade Mardi Gras floats throwing recycled beads, and of course playing chankachank music.  Sometimes, I think it would be better not to know anything about government machinations or the economy and I sorely wish I could assuage my brain of its urbanite focus which I suspect is the result of basic brainwashing by the media I used to listen to. 

If I could, I'd not be on this forum at all except out of curiosity, and be doing something really useful, too.  And my stomach wouldn't be tied up in knots about the future.  I'd be like my neighbors, focused on their community, having fun and knowing that anything that comes, they can handle.  And boy, have they had recent experience with that!

Rosemary

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Re: Separating policy from politics - Question to Chris

Chris,

 I have a couple of questions for you.

 1.  Why hasn't American public riled up more when our government gave away hundreds of billion dollars to bankers, AIG, etc last fall?  When the Congress made such a big deal out of giving some $20 billiion loan to car industry after giving away hundreds of billiion dollars to bankers and financial industry shortly before, it was hard to tell whether I was watching a comedy show or Congressional debates. 

Out of all bailout money given away so far, this $75 billion package is the 1st one, whose aim is supposedly to reduce the number of home foreclosures, which affect people on the main street.   Putting aside whether this will work or not, I am wondering why people seem to be more outraged against a smaller plan to help out individual home owners vs. the bigger bailout money given away to an oligarchy in financial industry?  Why does it seem that American public don't express outrage toward the bigger theft? 

2.  If we have lost several trillion dollars due to deflated asset values and we have mountains of debts which we can't service any more mathmatically, isn't printing more money one of solutions as long as other currencies are printed with about the same rate, thereby making our debt more serviceable?  If people's wages are raised at the same rate as money printing - - I know this will not happen - -,  can this money printing possibly work?  If not, can you explain why this will not work?  It seems FED, other governments and central banks are clearly following the same path of money printing strategy.  If everybody can devalue their currencies simulatenously against "real assets" and people's wages are increased at the speed of money printing, can money printing strategy work?  I know I am kind of rambling here, but I've wanted to ask this question to you for some time.

WIth warm regards,
Presentmoment

 

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Re: Separating policy from politics - Question to Chris

presentmoment wrote:

 1.  Why hasn't American public riled up more when our government gave away hundreds of billion dollars to bankers, AIG, etc last fall?  When the Congress made such a big deal out of giving some $20 billiion loan to car industry after giving away hundreds of billiion dollars to bankers and financial industry shortly before, it was hard to tell whether I was watching a comedy show or Congressional debates. 

Out of all bailout money given away so far, this $75 billion package is the 1st one, whose aim is supposedly to reduce the number of home foreclosures, which affect people on the main street.   Putting aside whether this will work or not, I am wondering why people seem to be more outraged against a smaller plan to help out individual home owners vs. the bigger bailout money given away to an oligarchy in financial industry?  Why does it seem that American public don't express outrage toward the bigger theft? 

Presntmoment, I know these questions are for Chris but I just was wondering if you remember Sept/Oct when TARP was running through Congress? There was a huge swell of anger, are you kidding? I dare say, the public was more riled up then than with the latest give-away.

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Re: Separating policy from politics

As I have been saying to many of the people I communicate with regularly:

Welcome to George W Bush's third term. He may not be in the White House, but what is happening is just what he prescribed at the end of his second term, only more so. These days, there isn't a nickles worth of difference between the two parties except that one was in control and now another one is. The difference is invisible. How could the citizens of this country elect the same corrupt 20% approval rated congress that it had before and expect a different result?

I have been wondering if there is any way to create a new party and what to call it. Any suggestions anybody?

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Re: Separating policy from politics

castlewp wrote:

CB wrote

" I would point out that if Al Gore had been allowed to take office in 2000 there would have been no 9-11, no anthrax attack, no Iraq war, no patriot act, no state-sanctioned torture, no wholesale collection of personal and financial information via illegal wiretapping (information that no resides in private hands by the way"

You are correct.  That is why TPTB made sure that no matter what George W win that election..  Once again they were able to do things under the Republican brand name so what they did made sense.  Now they are following the Democratic brand name to keep leading you down the primrose path.

Don't be fooled, they are smarter than we give them credit for.

I've noticed this too. Notice how guys like Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, and Glenn Beck are the only ones kind of making sense this time(and I'm a Liberal), and it's the Democratic party using the scare tactics and a cable network propaganda machine(MSNBC). It's like the world is upside down. You couldn't have paid me to agree with anything Glenn Beck said in 2005.

The same people who were for spending money like water in Iraq have all of a sudden turned into Austrian rationalists, and the ones who were against this war are the ones now encouraging the new administration to spend money like water, even though they cannot point to one Keynesian victory in our country, except the deluded concept that FDR brought us out of "The Great Depression", not WWII or Europe being flattened and us having to rebuild it. 

It's all a plan, I agree.

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Re: Separating policy from politics - Question to Chris

presentmoment wrote:
2.  If we have lost several trillion dollars due to deflated asset values and we have mountains of debts which we can't service any more mathmatically, isn't printing more money one of solutions as long as other currencies are printed with about the same rate, thereby making our debt more serviceable?  If people's wages are raised at the same rate as money printing - - I know this will not happen - -,  can this money printing possibly work?  If not, can you explain why this will not work?  It seems FED, other governments and central banks are clearly following the same path of money printing strategy.  If everybody can devalue their currencies simulatenously against "real assets" and people's wages are increased at the speed of money printing, can money printing strategy work?  I know I am kind of rambling here, but I've wanted to ask this question to you for some time.

First, reflating is the last thing we would want to do.  The problem is too much inflation, too much leverage/debt/credit, too much derivative hocus pocus.  Attempting to reflate that broken system would only make the next crash that much worse...just like how saving LTCM back in 99 made today's crash the big systemic collapse that it is.

Now, even if we wanted to do it, it would be impossible because we live in a monetary system based on auctioned credit.  We don't live in a currency based system.  Our government/Fed doesn't "print money" despite how many times the Austrians say that phrase.  That's an old term from Friedman in the 60's and the Austrian school before that.  It was a very correct view of, say, Weimar.  But it's simply not correct anymore for the US.  

In a monetary system with $60 trillion in credit collapsing (after 60 years of steady inflation that must deflate at this point), plus $500 trillion in derivatives, it is impossible to inflate by actually printing money (literally passing out dollar bills).  Cranking out cash like that would create the endgame collapse on US treasuries and interest rates would soar into the high double digits, i.e. it would cause an even bigger collapse and loss of purchasing power.  It is also impossible to inflate by what our media is currently calling "printing money" but is really the Fed leveraging its balance sheet, i.e. trying to increase available credit.  It's only done that by <$10 trillion (which is incomprehensibly HUGE, but still nothing compared to the size of the markets that are collapsing).  That simply will not do anything to prevent the systemic collapse that must happen.  And the more they do that it's only making it more likely that the endgame scenario will still happen...a run on treasuries, interest rates rocketing up, the end of the dollar, a complete collapse in the economy.  They're walking a tightrope as they try to soften what's inevitably going to be a crash landing while at the same time trying to avoid the endgame.

Unfortunately, anything they do is just preventing the credit deflation we need to happen from happening and the markets adjusting as fast as they otherwise would.  So the Fed has pretty much guaranteed a depression.  Had they just let Wall St institutions walk over to the bankruptcy courts and sell their assets (just like they expect little home mortgage customers to do...foreclose), it would've been a seriously severe and painful recession, but we would recover.  Now we're getting into a situation we might not recover from.  Beyond the Fed, add what the insane Treasury/president is doing and we're not just going to have a depression, but it's going to be of immense proportions.  Treasury is stealing so much from taxpayers and burdening future generations so much that people, the private sector, will have much less wealth with which to create and produce in the future.  Moreover, they're virtually bringing the private sector to a halt with so much interference that the market has no clue what to do...it's paralyzed until government stops tinkering.  So much systemic moral hazard has been created that the market cannot function. 

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Re: Separating policy from politics

Chris M wrote:

And it is a mischaracterization to suggest that folks around here have
suddenly gotten worked up over this homeowner bailout. In fact, we have
been very consistently decrying both the amounts and the moral hazard
at every step of the process.

 

 I totally agree.   I've been reading Chris's page since September 2008 and I have seen a pretty consistent amount of criticism over all of the bailouts - Republican, Democrat, corporate, & consumer.  Regarding what I wrote on the topic Friday "ChrisM. 'not on board with Obama - or humanity...'" on Friday 

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/chris-m-not-board-obama-%E2%80%93-or...

propamanda wrote:

What really baffles me though, is that there is so much rage over the $75
billion promised directly to consumers, but I hear little complaint over the
$200 billion being given directly to the banks that issued these ridiculous
mortgages!  The $75 billion pales in comparison to the money being doled
out to the people who knowingly and purposefully constructed the system that is
becoming our downfall.  Why is that?  Is it because we can identify
with the people who bought too big of a house and we can say "I wouldn't
have done that!, " but it is harder for us to envision ourselves in the
place of the bankers?  I don't know.  I think the $75 billion is a
mere distraction from the disgraceful amount of money being passed to these
banks.  

I didn't really mean that Chris Martenson or people on his site have expressed disagreement with the $75 billion given to consumers, but not the bailouts given to banks.  Rather, I've noticed a lot of rage in our greater society and media toward the homeowner bailout that seems disproportionate to the reaction they gave the bank bailouts.  In regards to that, I think that Russ . here makes a good point:

RussB wrote:

I can see why some people get the wrong idea. Clearly the right-wingers are trying to get people riled up only over this
bailout, but only went through the motions of opposing previous ones
which redistributed wealth directly upward (rather than indirectly, as
this latest one does), since they weren't really opposed to those at
all. We're certainly not in that category.

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Re: Separating policy from politics

Propamanda,

To the pith of your post and the quote from Russ. B regarding this recent hullabaloo.

Exactly.

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Re: Separating policy from politics

Strabes,

I don't think Obama team has thrown $10 trillion dollar at bankers yet.  Have they? As far as a team of people he has surrounded himself with for economic policy, yes, it seems that the same people who have contributed to creating this problem are in charge.  I hope Obama is a quick learner to make policy changes before it gets too late. 

As far as him being "a political practitioner extraordinaire", I think it is an excellent asset this country can use now.  I am not a subscriber to conspiracy theories yet because I personally have not seen enough convincing evidences for that.  It seems to me it is more of a case of "infinite human stupidity, greed, arrogance and delusions".  If Obama manages to use his political skills to pull many groups of constituents - - who can be impossibly stupid, boundlessly greedy, prejudiced, fearful, not respecting others with different opinions and irrational - - together to achieve a decent level of common goods for people in this country and the world, I would be very happy with that.  I think he has several ingredients which make me feel hopeful rather than giving up totally; good intentions, the first class intelligence with less delusions than most people and political skills to be able to sell his policies and ideas to people.  

Presentmoment

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Re: Separating policy from politics

presentmoment,

Good luck with that.

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Re: Separating policy from politics

presentmoment wrote 

"I think he has several ingredients which make me feel hopeful rather than giving up totally; good intentions, the first class intelligence with less delusions than most people and political skills to be able to sell his policies and ideas to people."  

Hope is like riding a carousel horse; no matter how fast you go you never get closer to the one in front. The idea, however, is to persuade you to stay on the horse, despite the evitable disappointment, in the 'hope' that things will change. But they don't because the very system is designed to prevent it." - David Icke

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Re: Separating policy from politics

Castlewp,

 Chances are you are probably right, but we never know...

Presentmoment

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Re: Separating policy from politics - Question to Chris

Strabes,

Thanks for sharing how you see this.  Yes, ideally I think the current financial system should collapse to allow a new, workable and sustainable financial system to emergy.  I also agree that all these tinkering by government creates a situation where priviate and productive business people can't operate successfully due to business environment which does not have predictability, rules of games clearly understood nor individuals / institutions bearing the full consequences of their actions.   

What I am wondering is how government needs to balance the needs to have a new system and to go through this process of financial system collapse in an "orderly" fashion so that the consequences of this meltdown are not that devastating to over 300 million people.  Go through a shorter, but more painful process and get over with it sooner OR drag this longer with a bit less pain, which is questionable...  I am not sure which one is the better strategy. 

I hope the current administration creates some kind of forum where these issues and the solutions to correct them are studied, vigorously debated and vetted transparently.  I have seen too many utterly incompetent and compromised leaders, politicians and bureaucrats.  The question is how we make this happen.  I was glad to see Rick Santelli's recent "ranting" and the Whitehouse responding to it.  Maybe, more influential people should be ranting to force this debate with policy makers. 

 Presentmoment

 

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Re: Separating policy from politics - Question to Chris

presentmoment wrote:
go through this process of financial system collapse in an "orderly" fashion 

We have an orderly process, if only the national government would let it work.  The orderly process is what always happened in the past.  Bankrupt banks go into bankruptcy, a very orderly process called restructuring which takes assets from insolvent, worthless companies and sells them to companies that did a better job and are solvent, still serving customers.  That immediately shifts productive assets from incompetent people to competent people who can keep running the operation and serving customers.  Many of those competent banks are more local, smaller banks, so this would also facilitate a massive shift in power from top-down national institutions that treat people as a spreadsheet data point to more local banks where relationships are the key currency.  

That shift would be painful...very much so.  But the pain is inevitable.  The worse thing to do is for the national government to step in and prevent that orderly process from happening by propping up these dead, top-down, Wall St institutions which prevent the power/financial shift to state/local level from happening.   

On the issue of Obama and conspiracies.  The power elite has always existed throughout human civilization.  There's never been a time when they didn't seek and gain power.  They have successfully trained the masses to writeoff as a crazy "conspiracist" anybody who points out what they do.  That's too bad...ensures the healthy revolution in ideas that we need will never happen.   But even if Obama isn't in that game, though his appointment of the entire Clinton apparatus sure looks like he's in that game, then he's just a clueless believer in caretaking national government, i.e. 1 person in DC can better take care of the lives of 350,000,000 than letting power shift back toward those 350,000,000 so they can take care of themselves and each other.  I'd almost rather have a power elite "conspiracist" than a utopian oaf.

 

castlewp's picture
castlewp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 7 2008
Posts: 304
Re: Separating policy from politics - Question to Chris

Strabes,

I am in awe of your writing. You are so clear in your thinking and you make so much sense. Just wanted to let you know I am a fan.
For what it's worth...

rmurfster's picture
rmurfster
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 17 2008
Posts: 84
Re: Separating policy from politics - Question to Chris

Chris,

I totally understand and respect your desire to keep this non-political, but the undeniable truth is that our government is currently controlled by those who freely call themselves "Progressives", which is the same political party that gave us the federal reserve and the New Deal.  Yes, both parties have contributed along the way and at this point there is very little difference.

So, like it or not, this is political.  It is those who want limited government represented by a Constitutional Republic as our Founding Fathers gave us, or those who want big government, including President Bush and our current Progressive/Socialist President Obama.

Progressives will never allow our financial system to reset.  It is essential that the debt continue or their system fails.  So, as long as President Obama and the Progressives who control congress are in charge, there is no hope for a non-governmental solution.

I admit that the other major side (the Republicans) at this point have abandoned Constitutional, small government as well.

So, the bottom line is that I believe we are all in for a rough ride.

Richard

presentmoment's picture
presentmoment
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2008
Posts: 50
Re: Separating policy from politics - Question to Chris

Strabes,

I have to agree with all of your points here except the last sentence. 

Presentmoment

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