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Reforming the banking system?Views: 364
Sep 21, 2009 2:42 pmReforming the banking system?#

abbeboulah
While the debate about the bank bailouts with taxpayer money continues, fueled by the banks’ blatant resumption of the very practices, including excessive ‘obscene’ bonuses for executives, that contributed to the disaster, more voices are beginning to wonder how seriously the Obama administration is beholden to the financial system (‘Wall Street’) as indicated by its reluctance to put the needed reforms in place. See for example Paul Krugman’s NYT 9/21 column ‘Reform or Bust’. If these suspicions are even just partially on target, it would seem that one should look for a different strategy than just pushing for ‘regulations’ -- that will surely be so tainted by compromoise as to be rather painless to the institutions in question and their expectations of profiting from the public coming and going. How about encouraging the foundation of banks or credit unions that explicitly commit themselves to guidelines designed to avoid the recurrence of the bubble-bursting calamities. Such commitments might include a system of ‘ante’ payments or accounts put up by top decision-makers which not only specify the extent of bonuses they can earn for successful performance, but also what they will forfeit if their actions prove to be damaging to depositors, investors, and the public. I also suggest for discussion a rule of ‘diminishing marginal profit’ as deposits increase -- the widening gap between the income and wealth levels being arguably caused by the systemic feature of awarding higher profit and interest rates the higher the amounts (which rightly offend those naive souls who still believe that earnings should be based on ‘hard work’, innivative ideas and intelligent decisions). If the public really wants such reforms, they should be willing to switch their economic activities -- deposits and loans -- to these institutions. This might in the long run nudge the entire financial system into voluntary adoption of more wholesome practices than draconic regulations imposed from above against the resistance of the industry which already inflames the public with its rhetoric against ‘government interference into private business’.
(Summarized from'Abbé Boulah's Weblog')

Private Reply to abbeboulah

Sep 21, 2009 5:16 pmre: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
A somewhat meandering and opaque analysis of the banking industry, but at the end of the day I agree that:

"If these suspicions are even just partially on target, it would seem that one should look for a different strategy than just pushing for ‘regulations’ -- that will surely be so tainted by compromoise as to be rather painless to the institutions in question and their expectations of profiting from the public coming and going."

However, the suggested solutions just sounds like more complicated 'regulations':

"How about encouraging the foundation of banks or credit unions that explicitly commit themselves to guidelines designed to avoid the recurrence of the bubble-bursting calamities. Such commitments might include a system of ‘ante’ payments or accounts put up by top decision-makers which not only specify the extent of bonuses they can earn for successful performance, but also what they will forfeit if their actions prove to be damaging to depositors, investors, and the public"


I think the solution is ultimately a strong, vigorous free market monetary system and corresponding free market banking system.

Unfortuately, with the political establishment's and the publics's apparent strong commitment to the "Federal Reserve" banking system and unwillingness to examine other more market oriented approaches, I would say that we are light years from any meaningful or effective reform of the banking system.

Prepare yourself for more calamities, more regulations, more crony-ism, more crises, more of the same.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 21, 2009 10:55 pmre: re: Reforming the banking system?#

abbeboulah
I am somewhat mystified -- should I be flattered? -- that my slim four-sentence lead-in to my modest suggestions could be characterized as an 'analysis' of the banking industry -- and 'opaque and meandering', to boot -- oh my! Even more, that the suggestions I understood as ways in which the industry itself might redeem its tarnished reputation with commitments that people might accept and recognize as honest efforts to avoid recurrence of past errors could be labeled 'regulations'. I thought I had made it very clear that I suspect regulations won't do the trick. We may have to clear up just what we mean by those terms. The industry in the strong, vigorous 'free' (quadruple question marks here, but that's another issue) market has proven itself vigorous enough to eviscerate or sidestep what government regulations were in place, amply demonstrating both that it can't be left to operate 'freely' by itself according to past guidelines, habits and mantras, and that imposed regulations by 'big bad government' too often won't have much teeth, especially if the regulators can be subtly or not so subtly 'cut in' on the free market machinations. Instead of merely lamenting and forecasting more calamities -- thereby inadvertently and sadly insinuating that the people with this vigorous free market system can't design themselves a market system that does not blow itself up every once in a while -- nor a government 'of the people etc...' that can guide this system properly, -- how about some innovative ideas for a change? On the Innovation Network...

Private Reply to abbeboulah

Sep 22, 2009 2:02 amre: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
Thorbjoern sayeth:

"-- how about some innovative ideas for a change? On the Innovation Network..."

OK. Here goes.

1. Audit the Federal Reserve as Ron Paul and many others have suggested.

2. Identify how much wealth they have sucked out of the American economy in the last 90 years.

3. Identify the perpetrators and give them the Oliver Cromwell treatment: execute them, behead them, bury them, try them, dig them up, execute them again, and then put their heads on pikes outside the gates to Washington, D.C.

4. Establish a free market monetary system, with clear, simple, straightforward rules, and minimal regulation.

5. Eliminate corporate taxes and capital gains taxes, and implement a simple flat tax system.

6. Get out of the way and watch the explosion of economic growth.


Or, we could ask Jimmy Carter what Leonid Brezhnev did to make the Soviet Union such a vibrant economy, and then do that.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 22, 2009 2:31 pmre: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

abbeboulah
New ideas? They do sound familiar.
# 1 & 2: OK. Who’ll do the audit?
#3. Vengeance (who was it that said it’s mine?) may make some folks feel good, but will it improve things, and how?
#4. Here’s where the question marks come in. Is there, (can there be?) such a thing as a free market? Who makes the rules? And how is it that even these free market fundis can’t get away from the concept of ‘regulation’ -- (as something somebody must needs enforce)? WHo? and how? What should they be? I have previously advanced the notion of mechanisms mutually agreed upon by parties to a transaction that automatically trigger sanctions -- in the form, perhaps, of disabling the credit points needed to engage in the specific transaction -- upon violation of those agreements. Agreements among the parties to a transaction -- precisely not imposed regulation, for the reasons I stated.
#5. If the resulting economy remains wedded to the concept of growth, the proposed tax measures will continue to widen the income and wealth distribution gap, with predictable results.
#6. The term ‘explosion’ says it all. A market blindly focused on growth will explode; that’s what the bubbles do. Will we never learn?
The last comment invites an equally sophomoric tit-for-tat: What would Reagan do? He who turned the US from the world’s largest creditor into its largest debtor in a single term (yes, he was right, his government was the problem) -- a strategy every president except perhaps Clinton has faithfully copied ever since. To the point where the Chinese by now own so much US debt, (having gotten as drunk on the free market bubbly as any Wall Street trader but not drunk enough to not get worried about it exploding) last fall twisted even Bush’s arm to agree to the first bailout for the banks.

Private Reply to abbeboulah

Sep 22, 2009 6:08 pmre: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
Thorbjoern sayeth:

"What would Reagan do? He who turned the US from the world’s largest creditor into its largest debtor in a single term (yes, he was right, his government was the problem) -- a strategy every president except perhaps Clinton has faithfully copied ever since."


I grant Reagan a full pardon and amnesty.

I believe that Reagan tried to change the nature of the budget game in Washington and failed because he did not fully grasp the profound nihilism and destructiveness of the other side. We are seeing that nihilism today in its full glory in the premeditated and intentional destruction of America by the Obama/Emanuel/Axlerod/Soros crime syndicate.

Prior to Reagan, there was predictible political cycle in American governance: when Republicans were in office, they would focus on fiscal responsibility, control spending, balance the budget, and build up a strong economic structure. When Democrats took over, they would use the fiscal surpluses and accumulated borrowing capacity to -- in the words of FDR advisor and communist agent Harry Hopkins -- "spend, spend, spend, elect, elect, elect".

Reagan took a chance and decided NOT to leave a succeeding Democrat regime with big surpluses to repeat the cycle. Instead, he spent like a Democrat on programs that would be supported by the conservative majority of America: defense, star wars, six hundred ship navy defeating the Evil Empire. America loved it.

When the Democrats finally took over, they ignored the fact that there was nothing left to spend, and spent like crazy anyway. They decided they could fund their extravagant vote buying by borrowing from the future.

Republicans were horrified because they always assumed that borrowed money ultimately had to be repaid. But Democrats made a complete departure from economic reality by inventing an astounding new reality: money borrowed by the government to increase spending and buy votes was simply being borrowed from the future. But the future is infinite, and so the MONEY AVAILABLE to be borrowed from the future is likewise infinite.

After the Democrats borrowed all the money they needed from the twenty-first century, simply borrow money from the twenty-second century to pay-off the twenty-first century. Then borrow money from the twenty-third century, etc, etc.

After all, the twenty-third century will have TONS of money to lend because Democrat economics will be so successful at building wealth over the next two hundred years.

Ultimately, Democrats believe that as a practical matter, borrowed money NEVER has to be paid back, and a dollar that can be borrowed from any source, under any pretext, at any interest rate is a dollar that can be spent today to fund another program and buy another vote.

It wasn't Reagan's fault. He was just trying to do political battle with forces that were far more evil, cunning, and cynical than he ever knew. And he couldn't match them.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 22, 2009 9:01 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

abbeboulah
I give up. So much creative innovation applied to the past (as in: making things up as you go, thinking maybe people don't remember?) Reagan, if my information is correct, left a sizable debt. If he believed debts had to be paid back, he must have assumed it would be who? Did he know it would be a Democrat whom he would keep from spending as wildly as he had? (Reminder, lest Reagan's Alzheimer affliction was contagious: it was Bush I). When the Democrats (Clinton) 'finally' took over they built up a surplus (this does not mean that he was immune to other Reaganesque mistakes, e.g. in regard to deregulation). Which surplus Bush II promptly squandered within a year, leaving another unprecedented debt to his successor. He may have been more aware to the possibility it might not be another Republican. There is a serious problem with the assumption that it can be paid back, that apparently Obama has inherited together with his Wall street advisors: that it will be paid back through growth. This is the myth that Wall street or whoever runs it has drummed into all of them, in the face of the fact that exponential growth (which the financial system feeds on) is patently unsustainable, which anybody examining a growth curve beyond four quarters or a few years must realize. It will cause bubbles, it will increase the wealth gap, it will explode again. It is this feature and myth, if nothing innovative can be done to correct it, that justifies the nihilistic outlook and conclusion that we must prepare ourselves for 'more calamities, more regulations, more crony-ism, more crises, more of the same'.
Perhaps we should try to really l e a r n from the past and try to avoid what all those folks did that got us into this mess, instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over.

Private Reply to abbeboulah

Sep 22, 2009 11:15 pmre: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

James Booth
.
If I may make some slight changes to Mr. Holfords' recommendations:


1. Abolish The Federal Reserve System - as Ron Paul *really* wants to do, but is attempting, through a meaningless audit to pave the way for abolishing that unconstitutional scam.

2. It would take years to identify how much wealth The Federal Reserve System has "sucked out of the American economy" in the last 95 years, but hey ! - we need to put people back work !

3. Identify the perpetrators and bring them to trial; identify attorneys, so-called "lawmakers" and anyone else who has conspired with those criminals - banksters as they have come to be called - and strip all of them of all their assets while fining them into submission so they cannot even find another job, and use those funds to give the so-called American "taxpayer" a year-long holiday free of income tax, while we move to abolish that also.

4. Enable a free market monetary system in the absence of the criminal, unconstitutional Fed, and let it run according to the Supreme Law of the Land - the Constitution of the United States of America.

5. Reverse the decision which made corporations "persons" and restore human rights as necessary to Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness as above any so-called "corporate rights," ensuring that any subsequent system of taxation in and of the United States of America is wholly and unequivocally constitutional.

6. "Get out of the way and watch the explosion of economic growth."


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Sep 22, 2009 11:25 pmre: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
James Booth sayeth:

"If I may make some slight changes to Mr. Holfords' recommendations:"

Right! What he said.


I might quibble with changing the idea of "corporations" too drastically. Corporations are ultimately just voluntary associations for conducting an economic activity, and outlawing corporations seems to me to be attacking the idea of "freedom of association".

If you have specific quibbles with privileges or protections assigned to corporations, we can talk.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 22, 2009 11:44 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
Thorbjoern sayeth:

"When the Democrats (Clinton) 'finally' took over they built up a surplus . . ."

A cherished myth among the Clintonian populii.

"The announced figures of the annual deficits of the last two administrations are grim enough. But now a true audit of the government's books concludes that, as we suspected, the figures have been doctored all along. Things are acutally considerably worse than Washington has been admitting. Day-to-day government accounting, it has been revealed, is a highly "creative" operation, using the negative definition of the word."

. . .

"What does this audit show?"

"That the annual deficits are much larger than Washington has been admitting, losses that are bring us closer to the tipping point of total fiscal irresponsibility and eventual mayhem."

"Take the year 2005, for example. Instead of the announced deficit for the Bush administration, for instance, which was ostensibly $318 billion, the Audited Federal Budget shows a deficit of $729 billion. The disparity between the announced and audited budgets of the final four years of the Clinton administration is even greater. Instead of his supposed much heralded "surplus" of $559 billion, the true figure was actually a deficit of $484 billion, a truth spread of more than $1 trillion. The reality is that there never was a surplus. It was, instead, a well-publicized manipulation of accounting procedures."

Martin Gross, "National Suicide", pp 4-5.

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 23, 2009 1:54 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

abbeboulah
I do not have the means to check which sources on the figures for the deficits and surpluses are correct respectively doctored, and by which side, and I don't really have a dog in that race, as they say around here. The blame game may be fun for some but is an unproductive and costly diversion; no help for finding remedies for the banking system.

Assuming they all ran deficits since Reagan, all on the myth that growth would pay for them eventually, which just about everybody was happily buying into, this would even strengthen my argument that something needs to be done about that particular assumption, would it not? Even and especially if 'they' all didn't really believe it but just used it to pull the wool over our eyes; it continues to be used for the same purpose.

Private Reply to abbeboulah

Sep 23, 2009 2:16 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
Thorbjoern sayeth:

"Assuming they all ran deficits since Reagan, all on the myth that growth would pay for them eventually, which just about everybody was happily buying into, this would even strengthen my argument that something needs to be done about that particular assumption, would it not?"

If you argument is that "growth" is the problem that requires reform of the banking system, then no, I don't see how this strengthens your argument.

The problem is not "growth", it is lack of honesty.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 23, 2009 2:01 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

John Stephen Veitch
The right solution is this "debate" is not to participate.

Thomas won't concede that any Republican could do any wrong even if he behaves like a Democrat. Thomas doesn't believe any Democrat ever does anything right. His argument isn't about economics it's about "political labels". Foolish and meaningless labels from what I can see.

There is NO DIFFERENCE between Republicans and Democrats except the label. What they both do, and least in the last 30 years, is the same.

James's appeal to freedom and the constitution doesn't work either.

There is no way that the colossal amounts on money injected into the economy by borrowing from the future, or by printing money will ever be repaid. What will happen is that an indiscriminate TAX called inflation will continue the destruction of American wealth and power.

The Chinese who have been caught holding far too much worthless American paper, will be given permission to buy large chunks of American real assets that they can't access now. This political concession will be critical to future goodwill between China and the USA.

The continually falling value of the US dollar will make it unsuitable as reserve currency. I expect Special Drawing Rights will become the "Official" reserve currency of the world, and the USA will loose the $500 million of so "tax" they collect from other nations every year because of that reserve currency status.

The good news for the USA. A much weaker dollar will make it possible for the USA to start making things again.

Maintenance of the huge US military will be impossible without that $500 million tax, so the military will be scaled way back. Other nations will take up a more even share of that burden.

None of what I've said above addressed the problem Thorb, originally raised. Banking has become a parasite on the economic system. To sustain itself it had to call on political favours which in the USA it could buy on the market. In most countries of the world that would be considered corruption. In the USA, it's called "supporting my base". The sale of a politicians vote for money, in the UK, was outlawed in the during the time of Gladstone and Disraeli. In the USA, democracy is openly "sold" everyone plays the three monkey game, pretending that nothing is going wrong.

FREE MARKETS don't exist without a frame work of LAW, which can be relied on. That law MUST be created by the government. But since the government itself doesn't comply with the law, since politicians and their advisers are "above the law" and since businessmen who function as cooks and fraudsters are clearly "beyond the law", there can be no REFORM of any description until the rule of law is restored.

So Thorb, there will be no reform of the banking system. This whole sorry mess will continue. As I've said previously, one day (I expected before now) there will be riots in American streets and city burnings. Then there will be a political reckoning. I expect BOTH corrupt parties, Democrats and Republicans to disappear. The return of the rule of law, in my view, has to begin with restoration of democracy.

John Stephen Veitch; The Network Ambassador
Open Future Limited - http://www.openfuture.co.nz/
Innovation Network - http://veech-network.ryze.com/
Building an Open Future - http://openfuture-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to John Stephen Veitch

Sep 23, 2009 9:03 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
Remarkably, John Stephen Veitch is NOT wrong about everything.

JSV: "Thomas won't concede that any Republican could do any wrong even if he behaves like a Democrat. Thomas doesn't believe any Democrat ever does anything right. His argument isn't about economics it's about "political labels". Foolish and meaningless labels from what I can see."

SOMETHING RIGHT: John F. Kennedy, Democrat, supported tax cuts.
SOMETHING WRONG: George Bush, Sr., Republican, pledged "no new taxes" and then agreed to raise taxes.


JSV: "There is NO DIFFERENCE between Republicans and Democrats except the label. What they both do, and least in the last 30 years, is the same."

Republicans and Democrats are electoral parties and what they support, advocate, or oppose at any given moment is a matter of electoral circumstances.

There is a cosmic difference between the reality paradigms of Liberals - Leftists - Statists and Conservatives -Pluralists - Libertarians.

In a nutshell, Leftists are solipsists and believe that there is no external objective reality, only the reality they perceive inside of their heads. By definition, they are the smartest intelligence in the universe. The Leftist is his own God.

Pluralists believe in external objective reality. There is an outside universe, the existence of which the pluralist accepts but does not claim to explain. Other intelligent beings exist in the universe and the pluralist recognizes the logic and mutual advantage of harmonious interaction and transactions. Christianity's "Golden Rule" is an ethical expression of pluralist reality; the free market's practices of exchange are economic expressions of pluralism.

JSV Sayeth: "There is no way that the colossal amounts on money injected into the economy by borrowing from the future, or by printing money will ever be repaid. What will happen is that an indiscriminate TAX called inflation will continue the destruction of American wealth and power."

Correct. You've got it.

JSV Sayeth: "The Chinese who have been caught holding far too much worthless American paper, will be given permission to buy large chunks of American real assets that they can't access now. This political concession will be critical to future goodwill between China and the USA."

Correct, as far as it goes. But it will go MUCH farther.

From the perspective of Beijing, with a billion plus people, a 4,000 year old culture, and a trillion dollars of U.S. currency reserves, the U.S. looks like an island of naive third world simpletons sitting on some enormously valuable assets.

Just one specific case: California's central valley has VAST agricultural potential, but is constrained by a lack of water. California also has vast, accessible oil reserves, particularly offshore.

Vain, self-centered trust fund children sitting in their air-conditioned Sierra Club offices in San Francisco have prevented the development and exploitation of California's resources for "environmental" reasons.

It's just a matter of time before the Chinese decide that California would be a valuble asset for China's portfolio.

George Soros and the Obama campaign have demonstrated that a few tens of millions of dollars bestowed on the right politicians can buy up a enough corrupt legislators to own the necessary levers of government.

China could easily gain effective governing and regulatory control over whatever organs of government in Canada, Washington, and the Western U.S., to build a Western U.S. irrigation system that would rival the Three Gorges Dam.
The Chinese know very well how productive and wealth-producing irrigated agriculture can be.

They could turn Califonia into a wholly Chinese owned Saudi Arabia. If they wanted, they could have Canada and Alaska, too.

I hate to admit it, I don't advocate it, but the ultimate consequence of "representative democracy" is that power transfers from "the people" to the representational class, and they have enormous self-interests and will sell their country or their society in the blink of an eye.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 23, 2009 9:14 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Joseph Lynders
~~~~~~~~~~~---~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Banking Business and the Creativity & the Innovation Businesses are similar to every other business these days that gets itself into trouble.

People jump to the conclusion that the folks in these businesses are all dummies and they are not.

We actually don't have a financial problem in the Banking Business to solve. We have a financial symptom in the Banking Business which is the result of a pretty much universal problem that now runs across almost all Businesses or at least those requiring higher education.

Yes! The serious symptoms need to be handled first.

But!!! The actual problem is biological. And no one is willing to go there.

Have a good IDea today,

09/23/09 Joseph F. Lynders FTg/M/*

Private Reply to Joseph Lynders

Sep 23, 2009 11:24 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

abbeboulah
John, sadly, I'll have to take your advice: "The right solution is this "debate" is not to participate." It seems to be impossible to stay on topic much less to actually devote some constructive thinking to the problem.

Private Reply to abbeboulah

Sep 23, 2009 11:39 pmre: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

James Booth
.
"I might quibble with changing the idea of "corporations" too drastically. Corporations are
ultimately just voluntary associations for conducting an economic activity, and outlawing
corporations seems to me to be attacking the idea of "freedom of association"."


No.

"Reverse the decision which made corporations "persons" ..."

Persons, as "equal to you or myself" kind of persons.

I have no problem with corporations designed to perform or deliver certain functions or services.

What I have a problem with is "corporations as persons" which have come to expect certain "rights" and privileges equal to, and in some cases superseding, our own human rights, mine and yours.

Corporations must, in my view, remain subservient to the needs of human beings for human beings to maintain a sustainable environment, planet (the only one we have), our home in this universe.

As it stands now, corporations which must, by law, deliver a profit to shareholders, often do so at the expense of the "rest of us" and we simply cannot afford such a scenario long term if we are to survive as a species.


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Sep 24, 2009 12:52 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
"John, sadly, I'll have to take your advice: "The right solution is this "debate" is not to participate." It seems to be impossible to stay on topic much less to actually devote some constructive thinking to the problem."


No problem, Thorb. Just take a seat in the bleachers.

Ludwig von Mises and I can handle the constructive thinking.

Regards,

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 24, 2009 1:10 amre: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
James Booth sayeth:

"As it stands now, corporations which must, by law, deliver a profit to shareholders, often do so at the expense of the "rest of us" and we simply cannot afford such a scenario long term if we are to survive as a species."

I am failing to grasp your point.

What is the problem with making a profit?

How is it at the expense of the "rest of us"?

"Profit" is just an accounting concept that says value created is greater than resources consumed, a good idea for any society that wants to prosper.

And the notion that corporations are profiting at the expense of the rest of us implies that the situation is a "zero sum game". Only true all encompassing entities like totalitarian governments can impose "zero sum games".

If you are worrying about large impersonal entities doing self serving things "at the expense of the rest of us", worry about big government before worrying about corporations.




T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

Sep 24, 2009 8:29 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

James Booth
.
"I am failing to grasp your point."

True - could be my fault.


"What is the problem with making a profit?"

None that I am aware of, as long as it is reasonable.

If "insurance industry" (industry?) executives are upgrading to the latest yachts while many of the rest of us are losing our personal transportation to repo men, or leaving our homes for lack of any way to pay mortgage, is such "profit" reasonable ?

I am open to arguments on that "account."


"How is it at the expense of the "rest of us"?"

An example might be:

If an oil company goes into an African country today and uses early Twentieth Century technology to "hold down costs" thus unnecessarily poisoning the local water supply, it could be said that corporation is acting in "the best interests of its shareholders" but I think it extremely unlikely to support an argument that company is acting in the best interests of humanity.

Such examples are not hard to find, and do not measure up to "zero sum game" but clearly define a loss - not to the company (short term), but to us; in other words, at the current rate of "consumption" (last I heard equal to 1.2 planets the size of Earth) there will come a day when corporations remain but there is no one left to purchase what they offer, and where, pray tell, is the *profit* in that (long term loss to company)?


What I find curious in this line is the notion, at least apparent to me, which seems based in the essence of "Gospel of St. Hannity" which poses every "issue" as strictly polar - that is, "either this or that" - completely foreign to anything natural which always shows "shades of gray" or the slippage of colours in a rainbow, etc.

Such thinking is precisely what has Americans divided against themselves, unable to do anything effective about their own futures, with the possible exception of procreation, and even that seems at risk.

Opinions are not ever divided cleanly into "camps" but are always displayed as a sort of "mish-mash" as one individual is viewed next to another, carrying the flotsam and jetsam of his own experience and interpretations - no matter what the "talking heads" would have us believe, and they do not talk (more often yell and scream lately) just because they believe what they say.

They talk because they are wannabe "social engineers" who desperately want you and me to believe what they say, and the more we do believe, the better they are paid, and the more dire our predicament.

Levin, et al., may use a "meltdown-of-the-day" routine to convince us the world as we have known it is coming to an end, but is it, or does such bellowing better line his / their pockets
... he said, listening to the man slide from "critical issue" into on-air commercial as though both were on the same level of importance, indistinguishable one from the other.

He likely thinks no one notices, 'cause he is so cute ...


"... worry about big government before worrying about corporations"

No, I refuse to waste my time worrying.

I favour abolishing government entirely
- have for quite a while and do not see changing my mind any time soon.


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Sep 24, 2009 4:17 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Reforming the banking system?#

Thomas Holford
James Booth sayeth:

"No, I refuse to waste my time worrying.

I favour abolishing government entirely"


Sounds like we're probably on the same page on "human caused global warming."

I'll inform the Revolution to grant you safe passage if you ever get detained.

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

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