Archive for September, 2010

The ACLU and Religious Freedom in America

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that when people call for separation of church and State, and their actions don’t match their words, I wonder what they are really saying… Because actions speak louder than words.

Take the instance in Texas.

The Texas ACLU is adamantly against a board of education resolution summed up within the resolution itself as; “State Board of Education will look to reject future prejudicial social studies submissions that continue to offend Texas law with respect to treatment of the world’s major religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage space-wise and by demonizing or lionizing one or more of them over others.”

What the resolution is saying is that text book publishers must not treat a religion as good or bad. Doing so would be lionizing or demonizing that religion. Under this rule it would be frowned upon for a text book publisher to come out with a text book that said or alluded that Islam is evil. This resolution clearly states that demonizing a world religion is to be rejected. The resolution also would forbid a text book that took the position that Islam is the only true religion. That would be lionizing it.

What about ensuring that the World’s religions are treated fairly is obnoxious to the Texas ACLU?

Well a cursory look at the blogs on religion written by the Texas ACLU are uniformly pro Islam. I didn’t see one reference to any anti Mormonism. Seems funny that the ACLU feels that anti Moslem behavior is unacceptable but completely overlooks anti Mormon behavior.

What type of anti Mormon behavior? What about laws on the books in Missouri until 1976 that made it legal to kill a Mormon? The ACLU was silent on that issue. It was legal to kill a human being in the USA until 1976 if he or she practiced a certain religion. Mormonism. Nowhere and at no time in the USA has there ever been a law allowing for any anti Islamic behavior. Yet the ACLU is very concerned over the treatment of Moslems but not Mormons?

Anti Mormon bigotry is evident today. In the main stream media. Mormon temples are denied permits every day but the ACLU is silent. It is probable that the Mormons have been the most persecuted minority in the history of the USA. Yet the ACLU and the arbiters of public knowledge are silent.

The position the ACLU and the unbiased media have taken is that one or more of the World’s religions should be lionized and some should be demonized. That the text books our children are forced to read at the expediture of the public purse should propagandize religion. It is a valid role of government to demonize some religions and lionise others. No matter the wishes of the parents.

But why would they want that? It doesn’t make sense. The ACLU cliams to promote tolerance and religions freedom. Yet their actions belie their words. So what are we to make of it? These are questions that have great moment in present human history. Moreover they are questions with much emotional weight. But the ACLU acts the opposite of it’s stated intentions.

To agitate about the one while ignoring the other makes them hypocrites. But that hypocrisy is dangerous as well. The danger lays in the tension this resentment builds in society. Tension that creates friction between groups of people who are corralled in a fictitious fence of human conception. Corralled for the service of the Elite. In this case the ACLU.

People can be grouped in many ways. The same people fall into multiple groups. All of which are of human conception and design. Take Germans, Chinese, and Nigerians or Whites and Blacks, or Christians, Moslems and Buddists, or Lefties or righties, or men and women the ways to classify the same people are infinite.

Realise that when people seek to group people it is to some end. Not always in the interest of the people being grouped. Always to the interests of the people grouping them. Grouping people and classifying them is what romantic anti capitalists have done since Justus Moser. It is a way of causing friction and upheaval in society. Capitalism thrives on stability. So when the anti capitalist creates chaos he undermines capitalist markets and the functioning of the capitalist system. Like for example… propagandizing to children in public schools.

Not saying the ACLU are anti capitalists. I’m sure if you asked most would avow a love of capitalism… It’s just their actions, and words, are those of historical anti capitalists…

Economic Equalibrium

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that as soon as the real economy kicks in the US will have several problems crop up that will imperil the economic reawakening.

One is the very low interest the government is paying on bonds. Once the economy starts to gain traction the rate of inflation will rapidly rise due to the high level of quantitative easing already in the market. Pulling trillions of dollars back from the economy will be e Herculean task. Doing so without causing the economy to roll over or to inflate will require the wisdom of Solon as well. Inflation being the most likely outcome.

When this tidal wave of inflation hits and banks are caught flat footed with their money tied up in very low yielding treasuries they will panic trying to get out. This will necessitate a loss. The banks will turn to the government to cover the losses and the government will issue new debt to cover the banks losses. As they have come to expect. Non the less the banking industry will take a good knock. Similar to the one that put us in this downturn.

The government will have to sell new treasuries at a much higher rate. Rapidly driving up mandatory government spending. On a six month rotational basis the US government will have to roll trillions of dollars of debt from one half percent interest to perhaps four or more percent. This will dramatically lower the availability of money in the capital markets for plant and equipment upgrades, wage increases, new opportunity investments, etc…

Remember, when economists say that the US consumes too much, part of the equation is government consumption of debt. As government consumes debt the capital must come from somewhere. If the American people are not saving sufficiently to cover the debt it must be imported from abroad. This is factored into the US balance of trade. The elephant in the room is that it presupposes investors in other countries have an appetite for US government debt. If the money is inflating rapidly, debt in US dollars, are much less profitable. If the US government is seen by investors as too debt laden compared to the rate of growth in GDP then US government debt will become even more expensive.

Another shoal in the waters of any economic advance is US energy policy. Which is easy to sum up. It is to drive the cost of energy as high as government policies can. Even at the low rate of demand we see in the US energy price is relatively high. Moratoriums on drilling and permanently closing production facilities have that effect. If government, in their total lack of wisdom, enact Cap and Trade under any name the cost of energy to the US consumer of energy will skyrocket. Imagine how much less spending power a consumer will have when his or her electric bill goes from $90 a month to $500 a month… No way that could hurt the economy.

The one ace we have in the hole is that the government is at present doing it’s best to keep the economy in the doldrums. It’s every action, from threatening the biggest tax increase in US history to constantly increasing levels of regulation, serve to keep the economy off balance. Moratoriums on drilling that cost thousands of good paying jobs ensure the unemployment rate will stay high and increasing regulation will make companies that are too big to fail even bigger. Only the biggest companies can meet extremely intrusive government regulatory rules.

The present faction in power have established equilibrium. An equilibrium of stagnation and lower expectations… But an equilibrium. The faction that will come into power in the Congress will have a tough job ahead. Navigating the shoals I have pointed out and many others the deluge of government intervention in the markets have laid down will be a challenge. With the faction that is now in power attacking with it’s fifth column in the unbiased media propagandizing every move.

The challenge is daunting but the rewards are many. I hope and pray the faction that is in power when the dust settles after the election is up to it…

Should There Be Negative Consequences For Negative Behavior?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me all parents know that you punish that which you don’t want and you reward that which you want. Any parent that did otherwise would quickly find their child unmanageable. But government sees it exactly the opposite way.

Government explicitly punishes good behavior and rewards bad behavior. Then wonders aloud why there is so much crime and poverty. In this case we see that the parent of a six years old son has more wisdom than the enlightened legislator.

Take two people. One saves and works hard. She pinches pennies to keep ahead of her bills. She studiously saves some money for retirement so she won’t be a burden. How does the welfare State treat her?

By taxing her at every turn. Her income is taxed at the highest rate, her property is taxed and the interest from her investments are taxed. In the aggregate dramatically lowering her standard of living.

Take a second person. She doesn’t work. Instead gets on drugs and gets pregnant. Her child is born with deformities from drug use during pregnancy. She doesn’t learn in school and is ignorant of reading and math as a result. How does the government treat her?

By providing spending money, housing, food, healthcare, daycare so she can have a “break,” often a car and free counseling.

But who has the better life? Most would argue that the woman who delays gratification. The person who makes the hard decisions, the person who is punished by the government. The person who is rewarded has a much lower standard of living even though she has immense amounts of free time to improve her situation. So it is clear that welfare state policies lower the lot of everyone.

So now we have an explosion of out of wedlock births in America coupled with an abortion rate that is the modern moral equivalent of slavery. The blame can be placed at the feet of the modern welfare State.

By trying as much as possible to eliminate the negative consequences of negative behavior government creates an incentive for people to engage in that behavior. Remember people are people. We are self maximizers. Most of us are rational self maximizers. But there are those who have not learned the rational part. It is a result of civilization. As children are civilized they become more rational about their choices.

But if government intercedes in the civilization of children by supplanting fathers it creates adults later who lack the rational part of rational self maximizer. Or in the terms of De Tocqueville self interested, rightly understood.

Unfortunately the problem has gotten out of hand. So badly so that to change policy now would inevitably lead to hugely negative results in the near term. This is only one of the myriad problems created by the modern welfare state. Problems that defy easy solutions. Every means of freeing society requires human suffering. (Which must always be avoided at as much as possible).

But the advocates of the welfare state claim more welfare state policies will fix the problems that earlier welfare state policies gave birth to. Like adding water to a flood. A little more won’t hurt much… but a little less would help… A lot.

On The Threatened Koran Burning

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that when society has different standards for different people it sets up a negative feedback loop that makes people less virtuous… In every way.

The people held to the lowest standard of personal conduct become more and more corrupt to the limit that society will tolerate. Even exceeding it when they can. Those that are held to the highest standard of personal conduct will resent the unequal treatment. That resentment puts a huge tension on society. When the tension, (from all sources), exceeds societal cohesion, the fabric of society rends. This manifests itself in many undesirable ways… Not the least of which spill’s blood and topple’s governments.

This is one of the most important points the International Capitalist Party makes. That there must be one standard that all people are held to. This religious conflict that some people seem to want is a perfect example of this law of politics in action.

Many people are condemning the Pastor in Florida that was threatening to burn Korans. They went on and on how despicable a thing it is to do… And it is. I wonder, however, what they are actually saying…

I assume that they are saying that the means that the Pastor is using is despicable because the means will offend a group of people. Holding that group to be human beings, and bestowing the right not to be offended, makes a means that offends them, despicable. In this case the means is burning Korans the point being in the mind of the Pastor and manifested with the speech at the time.

I don’t think the point they are making is that it is wrong to make a point or that all means of doing so are bad. That would be saying that all debate is off limits and is despicable. To say such a thing is tantamount to despotism. Once the voice of the people has been silenced there will be no end to the mischief of unrestrained government.

Perhaps their point is, that desecrating a religious symbol is what is bad. No matter if it is to make a point.

However, I don’t remember the same people taking the same position when the Andres Serrano‘s exhibit was funded with US taxpayer dollars. The exhibit included depictions of a crucifix immersed in human urine. Another example of desecrating a religious symbol. This was extremely offensive to all Christians. Yet the same people (in the USA) that revile the Pastor for the means he threatened to use, (but didn’t), took exactly the opposite stance during the Andres Serrano’s debates. This makes one wonder, again, what they are really saying.

Because it suggests that the problem they have is not the means of making a point but the group that will be offended by that means. If that is the case they are holding different people to different standards… Multiple standards of personal conduct. With all the negative externalities that comes with it.

But in the Arab world I have a hard time believing that members of Islam would have changed their stance an iota. I am sure that most would take the same stand. That the means are offensive no matter the group offended. They would have stood with Christians against the offensive Andres Serrano’s exhibit as Christians should stand with Moslems against burning Korans.

Making a point with discourse, rhetoric and logic is much more difficult than ginning up hatred with offensive actions. There is no reason for anyone to create friction where there should be none. To do so shows that person has an agenda that is in contravention to the interests of Humanity. That is not self interest or being rational in any way. It is stupid shortsightedness. Because the only possible outcome from such actions are bad.

Would those same people who condemn the Koran burnings still condemn it if it was in the name of art… And happily force Moslems to pay for it?

Why?

The Romantic Anti Capitalist

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that The ideas demanding communal aims are sophistry at it’s most dangerous.

The call for communal goals is the swan song of the romantic anti capitalist. From the folk ethos to the green movement there have always been people who call for communal aims. They claim the “moral” high ground yet decry if someone on the other side says the word moral. Because to the romantic anti capitalist the campaign takes the form of a moral imperative.

The campaign is of course the destruction of the market system. That is the goal. Communal aims are the means. Whether the notion resides in the id, ego or super ego, it is the overriding incentive for the romantic anti capitalist.

Calls for communal goals are ironic in that they are always espoused by people who pretend to advance the idea of “individualism.” The irony is that individuality as a philosophy is diametrically opposed to any communal goal. They are fundamentally incompatible.

Because a communal goal or aim subjugates the individual to the collective. The individual is not an end he or she is a means. The means to the communal end. The philosophy of individualism is that the individual must be allowed to make his or her own way. Like the point of the movie Easy Rider. Freedom is the highest goal for the individual. But freedom in one generates fear in another, etc…

This tension in the progressive philosophy is never examined… Probably because of where it would lead…

Adam Smith talked about how the political process can undermine economic progress. Universally the problems he lined out went back, in chain of causality, to one factor… People being foolishly self interested. Ignoring societal good for short term personal gain.

During the 1970s there was a lively debate why the economy had stagnated and yet inflation was out of control. Many pointed to the problems of political interference in markets to support this or that worthy cause. This debate was a mirror of earlier debates about the political process and economics. Basically some argued that democracy itself undermines economies by the mechanisms I have described.

We at the International Capitalist Party observe that the demographic shift in the labor force (large scale movement of women from unpaid to paid market activity), drove up unemployment. The added familial income driving up inflation. That inflation then drove up the cost of capital driving down investment in productive capacity. Because more profit could be made by investing in bonds at the high rate of return the high inflation generated.

The romantic anti capitalist knows economic history. They study the laws economics to find a way to game them. The wily romantic anti capitalist uses the propensity of democracy to undermine capitalism… to undermine capitalism. They know that if they can get a real economic downturn to happen people might begin to blame capitalism itself. Like we have heard from members of the Obama administration. Proclaiming ‘Capitalism is dead‘. (More like wishful thinking).

In this very real economic downturn, it is clear to see who is a romantic anti capitalist, by their rhetoric and actions. It is also clear to see who is more selfless in their regard for the common good. By their rhetoric and actions

Because in reality the individual is ennobled by his magnanimity… Governments and societies are destroyed by it.

Failure is Not an Option… It’s a Standard Feature

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that The Obama administration makes my arguments better than I ever could. They prove over and over the validity of my assertions. For that I love this administration. I fear the result of their policies, on myself and posterity, but if you take the long view of history, as I do, then you have to appreciate a teaching moment.

Economics;

First they passed huge amounts of government spending and called it “stimulus.” Now even the blind can see that the “stimulus” failed. Perhaps catastrophically. The argument for it now is, “well, it would have been much worse if we hadn’t done it.”

If that were the case, what they are really saying is, that no economic policy could have alleviated the economic problems we are now in. No mastermind could have charted a better course than the one we took. It is a predicate of their argument. Because if any other policy was taken, it is not physically possible for it to have worked better… else the argument falls apart. That cannot be known so the argument is unacceptable. (Circular reasoning).

Now the administration has another stimulus on the table. They are not calling it “stimulus” because calling it stimulus II would be admitting stimulus I had failed. It contains many things that should have been in any package to actually stimulate the economy. Tax cuts for small business for, expansion, research, etc… Productive uses of capital.

But Republicans are loathe to vote for it because they are wary of actually fixing the economy before the election. They want to wait and pass these things under their watch and take credit for the economic expansion that results. Plus they want to be the ones to pass it so their backers can get the pork benefits not the democrat’s backers. (Who are already pretty fat with trillions of dollars of “stimulus” that will come from our grand children‘s paychecks).

The thing is, no one is pointing out that the new policies are tacit admittance by the Obama administration that a balanced, pro business – pro consumer protection, is pro growth. Consumers must be protected else they will not buy and the economy locks up. Business must not be milked like a cash cow else jobs will evaporate. It is unfortunate but true. When government screws consumers and milks business economies collapse. – Proving one of the major contentions of the International Capitalist Party.

Foreign Policy;

History may forget the giant missed opportunity that was the botched Iranian elections. Obama, in typical progressive fashion, backed the tyrant and the tyrant stayed in office. No matter that the devil defeated was probably no better than the one in power… but the people’s will would have been manifested. Instead, the world is facing an illegitimately elected tyrant, backed by a zealot, with access to nuclear weapons… No way that could go wrong. Maybe radioactive air will be good for our grandchildren to breath. The policies of this, and other, administrations ensure that they will.

Pulling the missile shield from Poland and Ukraine seems pretty stupid now. With the tyrant of Iran wielding nuclear weapons in a few short years. He will be able to hold the world hostage. After all, really, who will retaliate when the little Ego nukes Israel? When the little Ego will can simply nuke an offender? No missile shield means no missile shield. No way to stop an incoming Iranian nuclear missile. Putting all of Europe in the threat range of Iran’s long range nuclear missiles. (That will be coming online about the same time as Iran has several nukes operational).

North Korea is not of Obama’s making. It is true that the policies that Obama called for would have put the deranged tyrant of North Korea in a much better position… But Obama was not in power…

He is now though. With the Dear Leader facing his reward he is passing the baton of tyranny to his son. Who almost certainly will be no better than his father. In part due to the infrastructure a tyrant needs to build around himself. Like Bashir Al Assad, the son will step into his father’s shoes, and trod his father’s path.

History will record the blunders of this Administration for posterity. The world will recover from the nuclear war. The economy will eventually recover and history will show the philosophy of today’s romantic anti capitalist for the fallacy it is.

Hopefully the lesson will be learned… this time…

Chimerica and the Global Economy

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that the Chimerica analogy is apt but misses a critical point.

The Chimerica analogy is… That the growth we saw during the first decade of the 2000‘s was a result of China producing products, Americans purchasing those products and borrowing the money to buy those products from China. The collapse of the American home market translated into a collapse in the American appetite for Chinese products.

Where it misses the point is the part where China loans Americans money to buy Chinese made goods. The largest consumer of Chinese goods is the United States Government. In the form of debt. Take the US debt out of the equation and the American Chinese picture changes.

Today we hear rumors of sovereign insolvency. The news reports that Harrisburg Pennsylvania has gone insolvent. Another example of Sovereign insolvency. We find out Greece hasn’t come clean on it’s debt yet. Rumors abound, about the other countries in Europe teetering, even as Germany reaps huge profits from the devalued Euro.

Governments are spending money as fast as they can to “prop up“ their economies. Especially the American government. Spending to “Improve” the economy and drive up aggregate demand. Some are cheering the spending claiming that as long as the bond market keeps interest rates low government can keep spending. Ignoring the fact that most people thought Lehman Brothers was a good investment… until it wasn’t. So is government borrowing. There is a brick wall somewhere in the fog out there. No one knows where it is… So might it not be prudent to slow down?

Government borrowing also has the pernicious attribute of raising the expected level of government spending. People get more money from government and expect that money to never stop coming in. Look at the mohair subsidy. The US stopped putting mohair into military uniforms after the first world war.

The Obama administration believes, publicly, that there is a multiplier of .8 for government spending. So a dollar of government spending stimulates $1.80 in the private sector. If this were true then all spending should be channeled through the government. It would be a win win. This is exactly what some in the administration believe. That the government is in the best position to determine what should be bought and sold in the economy. Added a .8 multiplier and it makes it seem, to them, a no brainier.

Of course reality has to stick in it’s ugly head. Empirically, if that were true the 3 trillion dollars the US government spent on stimulus should have generated 5.4 trillion dollars in economic output. At a tax rate of 33% that aggregate demand should have generated 1.78 trillion in tax revenue. We clearly see that it did not. In fact government spending has a negative economic multiplier.

Now the money is spent, (on everything BUT infrastructure), and we nothing to show for it. The national debt load to foreign persons and nations has dramatically gone up. Driving up the aggregate balance of trade deficit, Soaking up capital for industry and creating fear of future taxation. All have a negative effect on any economy.

So the American economy is faltering. Due at least in part to the unrestrained spending. The US budget deficit is slated to be 100% of GDP this year. The last time this happened was during the FDR administration when we were fighting the Second World War. With no such existential threat the US government is spending like it is fighting an all out war.

Maybe it is… Against the American People, our children and our grandchildren…

Confucius On Government Corruption

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, how can the government hold me to my word when they publicly don’t hold our highest office holders to theirs?

Everyone knows the example of Clinton and Lewinski. Regardless of what was lied about the fact is there was a lie said under oath and it was publicly known. More importantly the negative consequences amounted to a slap on the wrist. So if the President of the United States can lie under oath and have no real consequences then why should other far less important people bend the truth to serve their self interest?

In Vermont a Judge was caught with 35 marijuana plants and 2LBS of processed marijuana. The judge served no jail time, paid no fine, instead got diversion. Less then a year later 2 college students were caught with 2LBS of processed marijuana and the book was thrown at them. The Prosecutor made the statement that an example would be made of them.

Tim Giethner who is in charge of US Treasury was caught not paying income taxes. To the tune of not reporting over 100K dollars. No negative consequences were deemed appropriate. He simply paid the back taxes. No other years were looked into. Charlie Rangel is accused of not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars over decades. Lets sit back and see what negative consequences are levied against one of the most powerful men in the Congress.

Today the government is hiring thousands of IRS agents to look into your income tax records. They want to make sure you are not chiseling a few dollars here or there. If a discrepancy is found you will be punished, fined and punitive interest levied.

We can clearly see from these very few examples the tip of a much larger iceberg in society. That is the Elite need a peaceful society to enjoy their power in. But they themselves want to live as Thrasymachus claimed. They don’t want to live to the laws they seek to force the rest of society to live up to. So with this fundamental tension going on they must resort to ever more punitive measures to keep the populace in line.

Right out of Confucius. He pointed out this very problem 2500 years ago. But being Confucius he also pointed out the cause and the solution. Ancient Chinese Philosophers were all about causality and the chain of causality.

Confucius pointed out that Dukes and Barons in his day lived by rapine and averous. They lusted and fulfilled those lusts. Yet detested their very own actions when they saw them in others. As did Tonnies. They were and are hypocrites. But that hypocrisy is not lost on the population.

When the people see their leaders lusting after money, luxury and sex they naturally lust after these things themselves. But when all people behave as Dukes and Barons who have no respect for the persons, property or family of others societal advantages break down and society collapses. There is no longer a stable society for the Elite to enjoy their power and wealth.

So the Elite must resort to some means to keep the population virtuous. The answer is always in increasing punitive measures. In fact I believe there is a correlation to the level of punishment meted out in society for infractions to the level of corruption in the upper ranks of that society.

Confucius answer too this intractable problem was as elegant as it was simple. Eliminate the fundamental tension. That is to force the Dukes and Barons to be as virtuous as they need the population to be.

Simple, elegant and next to impossible to do…

The More Regulation… The Less Integrity

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that the reason Americans don’t save money and the stock market is not a good investment is because the system is loaded.

American’s are self-interested people rightly understood (rational maximizers). We will roll dice all day long. But, as soon as we see the dice are loaded, we pick up our money and we stop playing that game. The dice are clearly loaded in the stock market.

The personal investor is barred from using money gained as a result of a stock trade for 5 business days. But the investment firm is not barred from charging $60.00 to transfer $112.00. Does that seem like regulation that is written to protect the consumer?

No it benefit’s the institution. Regulation and regulators always get into bed with the industry they are tasked to regulate. There is even a term. (If the phenomenon was rare there wouldn’t be a term in the lexicon). That term is ‘regulatory capture‘.

How is it efficient for a firm doing financial business to be so large their net income surpasses 50% of the countries of the world’s GDP? To control such a behemoth requires gobs of bureaucracy. The only advantage a giant would have over an ad hoc group of smaller leaner firms… is regulation.

What about blatant price fixing? When financial firms bring an IPO to market they have agreed before hand on a price floor! Imagine if sofa dealers agreed on a price floor. Someone would go to jail. But no matter the consequences to society the outright corruption of giants is overlooked. But when it is so egregious something has to be done… Government punishes the investors, not the culprits! No one who made the decision to break the law ever has to face negative consequences. They keep their jobs and their bonuses. The investor gets charged. Who is paying the price for the BP disaster? Management or the investor? What incentive does this give to potential investor? What incentive to management?

Government regulation punishes investment and rewards corruption in the people who handle money. FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC are examples of institutions that were intricately involved in the recent economic meltdown. But the regulator didn’t see fit to saddle them with any new requirements. In fact the regulators rewarded them with more money and new powers.

The reason that firms grow too big to fail is that regulation favors that outcome. Why would regulation, that is supposedly there to protect the consumer, be an incentive for businesses to grow to huge scales making supernatural profits, even in a down turn? Because the people at the table when regulation is written are the industries that are being regulated.

That has to be done to get sane regulation. The problem is that the total lack of oversight of government and it’s action results in corrupt officials. If there was no oversight in the business you work for, would the level of corruption go up, or would it go down? Further, add to that, when corruption that will inevitably lead to the diminishing of our standard of living is discovered… people laugh! We laugh at our own funerals.

Now we have a huge amount of regulation flowing down the aqueduct into our investments and our employers investments. Can we trust that our officials are clean and wrote those new regulations with an eye to fairness and without bias? Of course not! What fool would actually believe that? A willing suspension of disbelief would be required.

The amount of shady things institutions can do with our investments is the reason people don’t invest. As soon as you put your toe in you are bombarded with caveats and gotchas that ensure that unless you are extremely luck or somehow navigate around the gotchas you cannot make a profit. Even tough your stocks may rise in value the fees, hidden charges and outright gotchas winnow down the profit to nothing. (Loading the dice). And nothing stops commerce in it’s tracks like a rigged game. No one willingly plays when they know they are being played. Only a fool.

So why go without to invest? The institution you invest in will get the profit and the investor gets the bills. Unless there is a giant catastrophe and the investment houses loose money… then the taxpayer covers the investment houses, the investor takes a bath and is looking at inevitably higher taxes to pay for the bailout. So the investment houses can keep playing the people…

Here’s an idea… Tie the profit of the investment firms (and their employees) to the profits of their clients. Force the alignment of the two party’s interest. Then lay off thousands of government CPAs…