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  1. #91
    Senior Member OWK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think if the government is the cause it is because it is owned by the corporations. The corporations are not going to behave themselves unless they are forced to and no one is going to force them to until the government belongs to the people again. That will require, as a first step, campaign finance reform.
    Curiously enough, we don't even disagree here.

    Although campaign finance reform won't have much impact.

    I am sad to say that we have passed the point of peaceful return regarding the state of the nation. Government is bought and sold. The Constitutional restraints on its power are disregarded. Its growth is unchecked. The incestuous relationship between Wall St and Washington is conspiring to fleece those who work for a living.

    Politics have become theater.

    The left manipulates public opinion in the name of socialist causes under the banner of words like "inequality". It's political machine does this kind of pandering in order to buy votes. But it doesn't really believe in these causes. It believes in promulgating power and enriching its elite.

    The right manipulates public opinion in the name of totalitarian causes under the banner of words like "security". It's political machine does this kind of pandering in order to buy votes. But it doesn't really believe in these causes. It believes in promulgating power and enriching its elite.

    Sometimes the left talks about security, and sometimes the right talks about equality, but in reality the elite of both political machines keep getting richer, and the government keeps growing, and growing, and growing.

    The weight of it will eventually crush us.

  2. #92
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OWK View Post
    Curiously enough, we don't even disagree here.

    Although campaign finance reform won't have much impact.

    I am sad to say that we have passed the point of peaceful return regarding the state of the nation. Government is bought and sold. The Constitutional restraints on its power are disregarded. Its growth is unchecked. The incestuous relationship between Wall St and Washington is conspiring to fleece those who work for a living.

    Politics have become theater.

    The left manipulates public opinion in the name of socialist causes under the banner of words like "inequality". It's political machine does this kind of pandering in order to buy votes. But it doesn't really believe in these causes. It believes in promulgating power and enriching its elite.

    The right manipulates public opinion in the name of totalitarian causes under the banner of words like "security". It's political machine does this kind of pandering in order to buy votes. But it doesn't really believe in these causes. It believes in promulgating power and enriching its elite.

    Sometimes the left talks about security, and sometimes the right talks about equality, but in reality the elite of both political machines keep getting richer, and the government keeps growing, and growing, and growing.

    The weight of it will eventually crush us.
    If I hadn't suspected as much before the banking bailouts, I did then. Most of my IRL people are Republicans and most of my internet people are Democrats. Nobody I talked to wanted the banking bailouts to happen but both a Republican president and a Democratic president bailed out the banks with the support of the legislative branch. They've been doing the bread and circus thing for years, but they've started taking away the bread. So far just the circuses are working, so who knows how long it will keep going like this?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    If I hadn't suspected as much before the banking bailouts, I did then. Most of my IRL people are Republicans and most of my internet people are Democrats. Nobody I talked to wanted the banking bailouts to happen but both a Republican president and a Democratic president bailed out the banks with the support of the legislative branch. They've been doing the bread and circus thing for years, but they've started taking away the bread. So far just the circuses are working, so who knows how long it will keep going like this?
    What course of action do you (and @OWK) believe the US government should have taken instead of offering bailouts - 103% of which have been recouped by now; yes, the Treasury Department made a profit - to stabilize the financial system?

  4. #94
    Senior Member OWK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    What course of action do you (and @OWK) believe the US government should have taken instead of offering bailouts - 97% of which have been recouped by now - to stabilize the financial system?

    None.

    Stealing money from citizens to mitigate the gambling losses of bankers or manufacturers is immoral.

    It furthermore serves to remove the only natural deterrent to foolish and irresponsible decisions. (that being consequences)

  5. #95
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    What course of action do you (and @OWK) believe the US government should have taken instead of offering bailouts - 103% of which have been recouped by now; yes, the Treasury Department made a profit - to stabilize the financial system?
    Prosecution and real regulation.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by OWK View Post
    None.

    Stealing money from citizens to mitigate the gambling losses of bankers or manufacturers is immoral.

    It furthermore serves to remove the only natural deterrent to foolish and irresponsible decisions. (that being consequences)
    Please read my edit. I updated my post with the latest information. As you can see, the US Treasury Department has made a profit from the bailouts. This is irrelevant when weighing the actions of the State, though, as the profit could be ascribed to good fortunes independent of how well-designed the bailout mechanics were. Instead you must look at the strings that were attached to the bailout money: The system was designed to protect the "taxpayer's investment", meaning that every last bailout-penny was to be recouped with the entire financial industry as a guarantor. If an individual institution would want to default on their de facto loan, the entire financial industry would carry this default instead of the State (taxpayer). Taxpayers were therefore in a very favorable position as the State, via bailouts, was making investments with tax-money at near-zero risk to the taxpayer. And as mentioned before, taxpayers have profited from these investments.

    On the question of morality: The bailouts served a single purpose, which was to avert the complete meltdown of the financial sector and the chaos that would follow such an event. To call it a simple "mitigation" of "gambling losses" is an extreme understatement of the severity of the situation. A collapse of the financial system would put peace, security and the general welfare of citizens at risk. By preventing this from happening the State was living up to its end of the social contract that exists between itself and its citizens, making it a moral act.
    The bailouts brought with them stability which enabled the State to enact regulatory reforms designed to prevent the same events from taking place in the future.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Please read my edit. I updated my post with the latest information. As you can see, the US Treasury Department has made a profit from the bailouts. This is irrelevant when weighing the actions of the State, though, as the profit could be ascribed to good fortunes independent of how well-designed the bailout mechanics were. Instead you must look at the strings that were attached to the bailout money: The system was designed to protect the "taxpayer's investment", meaning that every last bailout-penny was to be recouped with the entire financial industry as a guarantor. If an individual institution would want to default on their de facto loan, the entire financial industry would carry this default instead of the State (taxpayer). Taxpayers were therefore in a very favorable position as the State was making investments via bailouts with tax-money at near-zero risk to the taxpayer. And as mentioned before, taxpayers have profited from these investments.

    On the question of morality: The bailouts served a single purpose, which was to avert the complete meltdown of the financial sector and the ensuing chaos that would follow such an event. To call it a simple "mitigation" of "gambling losses" is an extreme understatement of the severity of the situation. A collapse of the financial system would put peace, security and the general welfare of citizens at risk. By preventing this from happening the State was living up to its end of the social contract that exists between itself and its citizens, making it a moral act.
    The bailouts brought with them stability which then enabled the State to enact regulatory reforms designed to prevent future
    +2

    Austrian economics is nice when you have been pursuing Austrian policies previously. When you have not been pursuing Austrian-based policies before, and have blown up a giant behemoth of an economy, financial sector, etc, based on an expansive countercyclical monetary and fiscal policy regime over the prior 30-60 years, to suddenly pursue Austrian-based austerity measures when the behemoth is about to collapse is nothing more than to cut off your nose to spite your face. It would have been a disaster to pursue such a policy, and anyone who believes that such a policy should have been pursued should not seriously be listened to.

    I speak as someone who analyzed the financial sector for a living, was warning about this crisis LONG (as in since 2004) in advance, who profited nicely from bets made about the crisis, and who is a fiscal conservative/moderate libertarian.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Prosecution and real regulation.
    As far as I know, the State has prosecuted those whom it deemed had a chance of getting convicted, though I am completely out of the loop regarding the progress of these trials. And I am no lawyer. But mens rea is terribly difficult to prove in these situations, unless there is a veritably glowing, neon-green paper trail. There is a tremendous burden of proof if you want to make a single person or a small group of people criminally responsible for the actions of a huge corporation. These people must be afforded the same rights and protections as any regular citizen would, and it is unfortunate if truly guilty people walk free as a result of this. Be assured that many nations, such as Germany, are aware of this difficulty and have been criminalizing aspects of the risk-taking that led to the 2008 financial crisis so that individuals more easily can be held accountable.

    What do you mean by "real regulation"? Regulatory reforms have been enacted as a direct consequence of the Crisis. Do you have any concrete criticism of these reforms, or is "real regulation" just a buzzword of yours?

  9. #99
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    That 21.6% cost is only a fraction of the cost of doing business. There was a study of the regulatory burden to small businesses in Calif commissioned by the State Government. Here are some of the findings:
    What are you trying to prove to me here though? That not regulating business is the better alternative? That businesses shouldn't pay for doing business with certification and satisfaction from the state and government they're going about it properly? That people are not benefiting at all from the money being spent? I don't know what these numbers are suppose to mean to me except "This is the actual cost of doing business", in which case, if you don't like how high the rate is in Cali, go elsewhere. Everything's expensive in Cali.
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  10. #100
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei
    What are you trying to prove to me here though? That not regulating business is the better alternative? That businesses shouldn't pay for doing business with certification and satisfaction from the state and government they're going about it properly? That people are not benefiting at all from the money being spent? I don't know what these numbers are suppose to mean to me except "This is the actual cost of doing business", in which case, if you don't like how high the rate is in Cali, go elsewhere. Everything's expensive in Cali.
    I'm explaining why wages aren't higher. It's because businesses are being squeezed by government. If you lower taxes and eliminate a bunch of regulations, businesses can pay their workers a lot more money.
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