The Economy of Greed

“God must love the common people – He made so many of them.” – Abraham Lincoln

The dynamics of the free-market combined with a strong rule of law necessitates that man must serve others in order to earn a livelihood, to please consumers to make money. Only by providing a good or service better, with more ease of use for the consumer, and for less, can a man expect to get rich.

Contrast this with Corporate America. With big government and massive federal bureaucracies that employ literally millions of Americans just to regulate the many aspects of a national economy, massive corporations counterintuitively gain power over consumers and industries as well. Why? Because the supposed “middle ground” between a free market society and socialism called Corporatism allows and even incentivizes men to get rich by buying off the politicians and bureaucracies that control so much. Its not a coincidence that many board members of government bureaucracies are also the CEOs of the very companies they’re meant to regulate. Massive corporations thus manipulate government regulations and use their political connections to receive subsidies and bail outs from Congress. Corporations that would fail in a free-market because of their repeated mistakes are instead fed with the money earned by the sweat of the American people and become leeches on society.

The government thus enables greedy people to build empires on the backs of the 99%. This is precisely the kind of anti-social behavior a free-market  can practically eliminate.

However, even if every issue brought to Congress wasn’t politicized for the purpose of advancing careers, gaining personal benefits and pushing ideologies, even if we could ensure that the intentions of every politician and every bureaucrat were pure and just then centrally planned economies like Corporatism or Socialism would still only lead to dismal failure. Why? Because, as the old saying goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. What matters, is not mere intentions (though we should always have the best intentions at heart) but actual actions and their consequences. The economy of a whole nation is incredibly sophisticated and every action has unintended consequences. Is price regulation with the intent of providing affordable goods and services a good idea if it means no one has pants but the market is being flooded with millions of buttons? These are exactly the kind of situations that plagued Soviet Russia. While warehouses were crammed with an overabundance of certain goods that no one was buying, people would line the streets for hours waiting for some much needed good in high demand but short supply.

It is precisely because of the sheer complexity of economics that the politician’s job regarding the economy is so simple: protect rights and prevent anti-social behaviors (like the pursuit of monopolies for example) – because to centrally plan a national economy is far beyond the competency of any human being, or even an army of human beings like that needed to run our bureaucracies. We don’t need, for example, a President who can “run the country” but one who will create the conditions necessary to allow each individual to make his or her own decisions and thus each affect the economy in their own small way. Because only God could possibly manage the infinite variables of a national economy without treading the path towards rampant poverty for all.

Instead of putting our faith in central planning, where the conceited few on the top make the decisions for everyone else we should instead relinquish the mirage of control. In a free-market society the masses make the decisions. No one person or group of people is in control pulling the strings. Instead, our society must be allowed to adjust to the practically infinite variables of our economy based on the trillions of little decisions made by 311 million Americans everyday.

By divvying up the economic power of a nation among millions it thus becomes very difficult for the CEO of a massive company or the regulatory board of a leviathan bureaucracy to seize control, to cheat or exploit, or to, in any other way, effectively act on dispositions of greed. No amount of economic intervention can eliminate greed but with a free-market and strong rule of law we can at least render it impotent.

Because, it is liberty and not Nietzsche’s Ubermensch, his superman, that is the prerequisite to economic prosperity.


Big Government is Cancerous and Ron Paul Has the Chemotherapy

Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and professor of risk engineering endorses Ron Paul stating, “the only candidate I trust is Ron Paul.” Watch as Professor Nassim Taleb explains how the other candidates offer nothing but “novocaine” to appease voters while Ron Paul gets down to the core issues:

Rick Santorum: “Vote for Ron Paul – That’s What You Should Do.”

When asked to explain why he voted for Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, and five debt ceiling increases Rick Santorum’s response is to shake his head and sarcastically remark, “vote for Ron Paul – that’s what you should do.”

Now, I understand that Santorum was probably flustered in the face of a heckler raising difficult questions about his voting record but to respond to serious inquiries from a voter with a sarcastic non-answer is disrespectful and unbecoming of a presidential candidate. Regardless of how you feel about Rick Santorum, the American people deserve an explanation as to why they should vote for a man who describes himself as a “conservative heavyweight” but then votes for a big government, welfare state. If the prerequisites for conservatism are out-of-control national debt, socialized medicine and socialized education then I want no part in it.

Remember, this is the same totalitarian federal government that forces our states to provide free healthcare and education to millions of illegal immigrants – in the middle of a recession. While Santorum is against benefits for people who came here illegally and has his own solution to the illegal immigration problem he apparently has no problem with expanding their government-mandated entitlements in the meantime. We deserve an honest answer from Senator Santorum explaining why he believes his big-government voting record is compatible with his claims to being a conservative heavyweight.

Instead, by offering the alternative response that anyone who questions his record should just “vote for Ron Paul,” even sarcastically, suggests that if you oppose programs like No Child Left Behind or Medicare D, or are against increasing our already out-of-control debt you are already doomed and should just vote for some quixotic candidate who the Republican establishment refuses to recognize because any explanation for Santorum’s actions will just be lost on you. You don’t deserve to know why he voted the way he did; you’re job is to fall in line because he says he’s a conservative heavyweight.

Because if you don’t vote for Rick Santorum then <strike>the terrorists</strike> Obama wins. Never mind that Santorum’s voting record is remarkably similar to Obama’s own on everything from entitlement programs like Medicare to federally-controlled education to riotous federal spending habits. Thanks Santorum, maybe I will vote for Ron Paul and, if you want to see an actual reduction in government spending and federal control over every aspect of your life, maybe you should too.

The American Corporatocracy

In an article published by Russia Today, Ron Paul states that the United States is “slipping into fascism”:

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul slammed America’s system of governance at a rally in Kansas City, saying businesses and government are pushing the country into twenty-first century fascism.

But before you start picturing fair-skinned, blue-eyed CEOs and bureaucrats running amok and with their right arms held high, calm down. What the outspoken Texas Republican meant was fascist corporatism – an economic model most prominently seen in Mussolini’s Italy of the 1920s to the 1940s. Fascist economic corporatism involved government and private management of full sectors of the economy – which Paul says is par for the course in today’s America.

“We’ve slipped away from a true republic,” Paul told thousands of his supporters at the rally. “Now we’re slipping into a fascist system where it’s a combination of government, big business and authoritarian rule, and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen.”

His words, which a few years ago might have been dismissed by most, rang loud and clear in Kansas. Paul’s rally coincided with long-established Missouri and Kansas GOP events – from which many attendees actually slipped away to hear Paul deliver his speech. Drawn out and bled dry by ongoing and expensive overseas military campaigns, Americans are more and more receptive to a foreign policy of peace, which is what Paul promises to deliver.

The presidential hopeful echoed words already once delivered to the American people – by their president. Dwight Eisenhower said, in his farewell address to the nation, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

The disastrous rise, it seems, has happened. In 2009 alone, the United States was responsible for almost half of the world’s total military spending – 46 per cent, or 712 billion US dollars. Since then, the figures have only grown, to the point that American military spending now exceeds that of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined. The US has more than 700 military bases in 130 countries around the world.

But, one might ask, can’t the American government – which oversees the world’s highest gross domestic product – afford some extra military spending?

The simple answer is: no.

The wealthiest nation also happens to have the biggest national debt in world history. With the dollar acting as a global reserve currency, the Federal Reserve leaving the printing press running around the clock, and manufacturing and production being outsourced to cheap foreign labor markets, the US economy looks more like a Ponzi scheme. And as former president George W. Bush told his Argentine counterpart Nestor Kirchner, “The best way to revitalize the economy is war, and the US has grown stronger with war.”

But Americans are tired of war – and are tired of waiting for the magical day when war will magically revive the economy. Which is why Ron Paul may have found the perfect note to strike with voters as he continues to fight in the Republican primaries.

Lets examine Ron Paul’s claims point-by-point:

Big government

According to the U.S. National Debt Clock our nation’s total liability per taxpayer is $1,039,057. That’s right, over one million dollars per taxpaying individual. Our national debt accrues an annual interest of $11,971 per citizen. Our national debt is nearly 15.4 trillion dollars and our unfunded liabilities are 117.7 trillion. RT is not exaggerating when they state that we have the “biggest national debt in world history.”

Big business

Thanks to our out-of-control inflating government instead of a true free market we have government-enabled corporatism. The result is this:

Note how in nearly twenty years the bottom 50% of families have experienced no growth, the next 50-75% has experienced minimal growth and. all the way at the top, the top 10% has experienced tremendous growth. Not convinced?

The bottom 80% (aka, the vast majority of Americans) owns only 7% of America’s financial wealth while the top 1% owns nearly half of all financial wealth in America. This is a trend that has continued for decades as the few elite on the top continue to consolidate more and more of the wealth. Liberals may be tempted to take a socialist approach by increasing taxes on the rich for redistribution of wealth but this only serves to fatten government even more – which means that ultimately that money will be funneled right back to serving the rich’s interests. Instead we must minimize government in order to starve corporatism.

Authoritarian rule

The recent HHS mandate provides a clear example, in which the executive branch has forced companies to provide a product (contraception) free of charge to anyone. The mandate doesn’t even meet any need even remotely requiring federal intervention since, according to Obama’s own administration 99% of women in the United States have used birth control. No issue of accessibility here; this is nothing more than abusing government powers in order to enable cost shirking. Not to mention the violations to religious freedom posed by the mandate.

Suppression of individual rights

One must look no further than the NDAA which authorizes the executive branch to label as a terrorist and then detain anyone, including American citizens, indefinitely and without a trial. President Obama has promised never to use this power against Americans (a promise with no legal value) but with the Enemy Expatriation Act in the works that promise may be irrelevant is the EEA allows for the stripping away of citizenry of anyone deemed a threat to the state. Then, of course, there are the repeated attempts at censorship of the internet from Kill Switch, to SOPA and PIPA, to a new bill yet to be disclosed brought forward by the same people who failed to limit your rights of free speech with the aforementioned bills.

Indeed, even from the few examples listed it would seem that, more and more, our precious home has been commandeered by keynesian economics, consolidation of wealth and property, and tyrannical usurpation of power by the government. It is up to the individual citizens to stand up and be counted and demand a return to the principles of our Constitution and Jeffersonian democracy while we still live in a “Land of the Free” or this trend will never be reversed