It is with great distress that I observe the actions of Government, Inc. over the last few months with its unprecendented grab of power over our supposedly free enterprise system. First there was the AIG debacle and the outright confiscation of that company in complete disregard of the rights of the shareholders. There are much bigger issues at stake than the economy. What good does an economy do us if we have lost our fundamental rights and privileges as citizens? Government, Inc. is beginning to take on the characteristics of the neighborhood bully or perhaps worse the zealot who seeks a perceived good regardless of the means to acheive it.
Next up is the GM bailout which was a bad idea from the beginning. Never should have done and should stop now. Let them do a Chapter 11 and reorganize the company to one that can function profitbably in the market place. But no, the Feds are now running the company. They are dictating strictly business decisions that should be left to the company. Firing the President is a big, big deal and they have already announced that they are forcing some changes to the board of directors. Further in the bailout proposal now being proferred the Feds are literally instructing the company with regard to its product line; mandating those ‘green’ cars, mileage goals, etc. That is getting up to their eyeballs in daily operations of the company. Where does Government, Inc. get the Constitutional authority to do this? Read your Constitution again. It is only a few pages long. It is YOUR Constitution. The government is not supposed to be able to take private property without just compensation. I have heard the argument that since we are lending them money, it is our money and we have the right to dictate terms to them. That is only partially true under our law and very limited in scope.
First, we were not required to loan them any money. Anyone ever heard of simply saying no. To make the loan was our choice. If we wanted to impose some conditions to receive the loan we could have within limits at that time. Lenders are not normally owners of a company. That usually only occurs in small business operations where the owner loans money to his company to help it out. In the commercial and business system that is not allowed. In fact there is case law that makes a lender liable for the debts of the company and damages to the company if business decisions of the lender are imposed on the debtors and those decisons are responsible for losses. There was a case about 25 years ago called the Farrah case. It got lots of notoriety in legal circles at the time because of its impact on over aggressive lenders. Lenders are not supposed to stick their nose in the business of their borrower. In the Farrah case a bank didn’t like the way the company was operating and thought that it would lose more money and jeopardize the chances of a pay back of their loan. To keep the line of credit available the bank required certain changes in management and imposed its will on some of the operations of the company. The company still floundered under those restrictions and a suit was brought against the bank for imposing its will on the lender. The lender lost the suit and the company won. The case didn’t really break new ground legally. Lenders are just that, lenders. That don’t have the right to run the company. Our Government, Inc. is a lender to GM, not an owner yet. However, technocrats and politicians starting with the politician in chief are dictating the management and operational decisions of the company. That is contrary to law. Foreclose, sue for collection, don’t loan any more money, file an involuntary Chapter 11 against GM but don’t use government “muscle” to run the company.
We are quickly reverting to a law of the Jungle with our government running rampant and ignoring basic Constitutional rights. I know many cry “its an emergency” , “we have to do something”, etc. but that seems mere justification to me to expand the reach of government beyond the boundaries of our Constituional limits. Please read again all 10 of the original amendments. The economy will be alright if Government, Inc. is restrained by voices and outrage of the people. Let the judiciary do its job and the market do its work and we’ll be ok. We will not be ok if we have millions dependent on Government, Inc.’s largese and our rights have been eroded or worse completely abrogated. If we are reverting to the law of the Jungle then I want them to say so clearly. If the new law is anything those guys in the Administration say it is then let us know. That has been their modus operandi to date. I want to live by the rule of law but can adjust if necessary to the other existence. Some of us might even thrive better than the current powers would like under such a regime. It is hoped wisdom and respect for the law will prevail soon. Otherwise that yell you hear won’t be a Wall Streeter jumping out a window but a new Tarzan on the lose.
Have you ever thought about how many words we have in the English language that have dual meanings? Take a simple one like “aid”. It can be used as a verb or as a noun. We have thousands of them, heck maybe tens of thousands for all I know. Must be one of the harder aspect for a learner of English to master.