I am not sure if the American public is being treated like the serfs on the Lord’s manor or the walking Zombies from “Fahrenheit 451”. Maybe we are getting a little of both treatments. If you look up the definition of thrall you might find it applies now to great segments of our population. They are in thrall to the Government. How did we get to the point that half the folks don’t even pay income taxes but yet have the right to demand that the Government hand out grants, favors and money in exchange for voting politicians into office? The noose of the welfare state might be lined with velvet but it is a noose nevertheless. The ancient serfs owed fealty and duties to their Lord. They had to work for him. It wasn’t optional. They even had to have his permission to travel or marry. In exchange he promised to defend them from invaders and bandits and would provide a certain amount of charity in times of crop failure. The relationship was much more complicated but the above sets out the essence of it. It appears we have lots and lots of willling serfs in the country now. They are willing to sacrifice their freedoms in exchange for alleged financial security and the assurance that the Government will take care of them like some paternal relation. We also have many of those walking Zombies who are willing to take orders to do about anything so long has they get their “goodies” from the Government and are willing to even stand and cheer on cue–like those multitudes depicted in a Cecil B. DeMille movie. In Fahrenheit 451 everything came from the Bureau and in the middle ages all laws came from the manor house. Today all edicts come from Washington.
Those guys on Wall Street are not my buddies nor are they looking out after my interest. But I never expected them to do that anyway. I would rather have those “Masters of the Universe” running the economy any day over the Darth Vaders of Washington. Those guys in Washington have indeed gone to the Dark Side and float one hypocrisy after the other at us. Sadly, many don’t even recognize their devious ways. There are those who believe anything coming from the Government is inherently good by definition. Of course they are the ones who want to be part of the governing elite or they are the ones receiving the bulk of Government favors. Can you believe the Dems think that giving ACORN 4 billion is going to help the economy? That is blatant and hubris. That grant goes beyond hypocrisy to arrogance of power. The urgency for passage of a stimulus bill is that the more time folks have to look under the rock the more bugs they find and that can’t be allowed. Of course the other need for speed is to get it done and beyond argument when the Treasury, lead by that tax expert Geithner, comes out probably next week with a TARP II plan for somewhere between 1 to 2 trillion more dollars. They need that money to do even more tinkering with social engineering and consolidating power over the economy in Washington.
I noticed that the head of the Texas university fund resigned yesterday at a hearing on his handling of funds for the State and his bonus of 1 million or so. The fund dropped in value last year by 27%. That is no surprise. The bonus he received was based on his contract and covered a period prior to the losses. He had fulfilled his contract and took his money. The politicians were outraged like they all are these days, screaming at executives of financial firms about their compensation. They overlook his contractual rights like they are meaningless. They are not meaningless to me. We are supposed to be a nation of laws. I loved it when right in the middle of their bitching that he blurted out that they could take it up with his successor; that he was resigning right there on the spot and that he didn’t need or appreciate their preaching. Some of the lawmakers were taken aback and tried to backtrack. He apparrently had a pretty good record over the years. But he stuck to his guns and walked away. I admire him.
It is the height of hubris to declare that this stimulus plan and this one alone will fix our issues with the economy. Indeed there are many thoughtful people and many a lot brighter than me who think this is exactly the wrong approach to take. It can be cogently argued that this cure for our economy is like bleeding the sick patient to cure a fever as they did a couple of centuries ago. A bit down the road the payback will come for all of us. But you watch the same politicians that are screwing this up will have another plan that involves even more Government intervention into the market. They will blame the free market types and capitalists for not making the stimulus plan work. They sure won’t accept any blame themselves. Have Dodd or Frank accepted any of the blame for Fannie or Freddie? They have been their guardians for years. Oh, did you notice that when Dodd “released” his records on his sweetheart loan with Countrywide that the release consisted of selected newspeople being allowed to lo0k at some records but not record them. And we don’t even know if those were indeed all the records or not. Ted Stevens just was convicted for something similar, oh, but I forgot he was a Republican and tried in Democratic Washington.
The beat goes on–did you see that yesterday it was the auto supply industry that is now also asking for a bailout to the tune of almost 30 billion dollars. No doubt they will get something because most of their workers are union members. So we’ll have however much they are given plus the 17 billion already advanced to the Big Three plus the additional billions for the Big Three that they will be requesting next month. They are lying low now at the advice of Washington. The public would not want to hear about that on top of the stimulus money is the thinking. That thinking is right. People would be upset if those numbers for the Big Three were in the headlines each day right now. The Washington crowd counts on the usual short memory span of the great unwashed to get the additional money to them when the dust settles on the stimulus plan.