Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Big Bailout - Free Market Socialism or Government Regulated Capitalism?

Somewhere between the wildly vacillating stock market, the global economic response and the confusion in Congress there is a presidential campaign nearing a conclusion. As the market soars down 2,000 points one week then up 1,000 the next day and governments around the globe step in to fix crisis after crisis it is no wonder the American public has no clue what just happened. Well certain aspects of the market have been repaired and a lot of manipulation has been covered up. The American public will now be a major shareholder in banks and other companies and a whole lot of hidden losses by the greed mongers will be paid off by the feds.

What price did we just pay for stabilization of the stock market? Did we just take a giant leap into the abyss of Free Market Socialism or Government Regulated Capitalism, either of which has never been a part of the American capitalist system? Even more important, did it fix the problems? Since the raid on the US Treasury went so smoothly don't be surprised if more demons of past behavior don't surface in the near future that also have to be addressed to save the struggling economy.

What hasn't been done? For one, the Congress and other elected officials must be banned from taking campaign money from all special interests from the corporations of Wall Street to the labor unions. This bailout is the best evidence yet that campaign contributions from those with a conflict of interest have no place in America. Beyond that lobbying by any group or organization benefiting from any of the many packages to bailout Wall Street or Main Street must be prohibited. Blood money from lobbyists has contaminated our political process to a degree never seen before. Does anyone think Congress and the new president will have the guts and honesty to do this?

Second of all, why has there been no discussion of the hidden debt or losses already incurred by the Wall Street titans in terms of unregulated derivatives and swaps I have discussed in previous articles? I believe there are about $62 trillion more in hidden losses directly attributable to greed, a level of losses far greater than what we have already dealt with in this crisis. If I am right, the economy could go into a severe recession or even depression and if the losses are any larger the consequences could be unimaginable.

In an earlier article about the resilience of the American economy I said the rest of the world cannot afford to let us fail. Recent events demonstrated just what I meant as a problem in the American housing market nearly destroyed the world economy. Perhaps I need to rethink my conclusion as we just were witness to a world teetering on the brink of economic destruction because of a little greed in the way mortgages were approved. It just might be that the world no longer has the ability to help America if we collapse and the interdependence of world markets and speed of world communications will bring down everyone within days.

One thing is certain, our economic system and congress are permeated with people who hold greed to a higher standard than honesty, with people who believe taking is more important than giving, and with people who place far more faith in the almighty dollar than the Almighty God. The foundation of our nation's existence is that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights. We are a nation that puts "In God We Trust" on currency and "One nation under God" in our national anthem. Somehow the Christian values so important to the formation of this nation have been lost in Washington, in Wall Street, in the media and in the overwhelming desire for more power, wealth and control.

What could happen? Read Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged and you will see as the mysterious John Galt led the disappearance of the little people who were the foundation for the wealth accumulated by the rich and greedy and all the puppets who served them. Fascism, socialism and communism were all targets of her failures of civilization and a couple of them could still be around today. Come to think of it, after the great nationalization efforts this dark October things may not be all that different.

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