On “The Bailout”, Part 13: “preserving the system in which a Harvard elite controls other people’s money”

Arnold Kling writes:

Big Finance and Big Government have much in common. Both are coveted by Harvard graduates. Both are characterized by an arrogant sense of entitlement and importance.

Instead of thinking of the pending bailouts and financial regulation as a new era of government supervisions of markets, think of it as preserving the system in which a Harvard elite controls other people’s money. In fact, very little is likely to change. Reading the news stories about how Secretary Paulson plans to implement the bailout, it seems as though the same people will be in charge of the money.

Sounds right to me. This so-called bailout is a disaster

Interesting…apparently the need for a rush is over. The bumrush against the American People was just to pass the legislation quickly before wiser/cooler minds could prevail.

On “The Bailout”, Part 12: The Long-Term Problem is the Massive Debt Burden (and some generic strategies)

The long-term problem is the massive debt burden.

The an unmanageable debt burden will reduce future wealth and reduce future freedom of action for the USA.

This burden is still growing.

The debt burden comes in several buckets such as (but not restricted to):

- Existing Accumulated Federal Debt (This is the current debt obligation of the United States).

- The NPV of reasonably expected future additional Federal debt (increased government size, cost and other spending)

- The NPV of future promised social security obligations (not well know, often distorted) and other pension obligations

- The NPV of future promised health obligations

- The NPV of expected military/sysadmin/security operations

There are seven generic strategies for dealing with the massive debt that I can think of off-hand

- The Ostrich Strategy. Do nothing. Let future generations fix it or go under

- The Dove Strategy. Dramatically cut all military/sysadmin/security operations

- The Stingy Strategy. Reduce future payments by reducing payment amount to individuals

- The Picky Strategy. Reduce future payments by restricting and/or reducing individual eligibility

- The Growth Strategy. Increased Economic Growth Rate (so the debt burden becomes manageable)

- The Firesale Strategy. Sell/auction off Federal assets to pare down the debt

- The Engineer Strategy. (I need a better name for this, suggestions?) Restructure the Systems so they are more efficient and cost less.

- Printing Press Strategy…inflate the money supply which reduces the real debt (and reduces the value of current accumulated savings).

Public policy choices will included different combinations and weights to the application of the above strategies.

I will cover these in turn real soon now.

The System That Is America and “Palin is qualified for high office by temperament if not by education, and is preferable to candidates whose education has made no improvement on their characters”

A great line by “Spengler” on Palin at the Asia Times!

The article has much insight on The System That Is America (I am trying out that the phrase of my own), that is often lacking from our own media, establishment elites and my fellow citizens:

All the PhDs and MBAs in the world can’t make a capital market work, but ordinary people like Sarah Palin can. Laws depend on the will of the people to enforce them. It is the initiative of ordinary people that makes America’s political system the world’s most reliable.

America is the heir to a long tradition of Anglo-Saxon law that began with jury trial and the Magna Carta and continued through the English Revolution of the 17th century and the American Revolution of the 18th. Ordinary people like Palin are the bearers of this tradition.

Outside of the United States, the young governor of Alaska has become a figure of ridicule – someone who did not own a passport until last year and who quaintly believes that her state’s proximity to Russia gives her insights on foreign policy. How, my European friends ask, was it possible for such an an ignorant bumpkin to become a candidate for America’s second-highest office? They don’t understand America.

Provincial America depends on the initiative of ordinary people to get through the day. America has something like an Education Ministry, but it has little money to dispense. Americans pay for most of their school costs out of local taxes, and levy those taxes on themselves. In small towns, many public agencies, including fire protection and emergency medical assistance, depend almost entirely on volunteers. People who tax themselves, and give their own time and money for services on which communities depend, are not easily cowed by the federal government or by large corporations.
Palin really did take on the American oil companies and turn the scoundrels out of office. Her predecessor, Frank Murkowski, appointed her to the state oil and gas commission in the apparent belief that a small-town mayor and former beauty queen would rubber-stamp corrupt deals between the state and the Big Oil companies.

Shades of Jimmy Stewart in Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Palin ran against Murkowski and took his job. That does not qualify her to be president, to be sure, but it does show cunning and strength of character. Palin is qualified for high office by temperament if not by education, and is preferable to candidates whose education has made no improvement on their characters.
One doesn’t see demonstrations by wronged peasants in the small towns of America. There never were peasants – American farmers always were entrepreneurs – and the locals avenge injury by taking over their local governments, which have sufficient authority to make a difference. At the capillary level, school boards, the Parent Teachers’ Association, self-administered religious organizations and volunteer organizations incubate a political class entirely different from anything to be found in Asia. There are tens of thousands of Sarah Palins lurking in the minor leagues of American politics, and they are the guarantors of market probity.
The trouble is that rich Asians don’t lend to poor Asians in their own countries. Capital markets don’t work in the developing world because it is too easy to steal money. Subprime mortgages in the US have suffered from poor documentation. What kind of documentation does one encounter in countries where everyone from the clerk at the records office to the secretary who hands you a form requires a small bribe? America is litigious to a fault, but its courts are fair and hard to corrupt.

Asians are reluctant to lend money to each other under the circumstances; they would rather lend money in places where a hockey mom can get involved in local politics and, on encountering graft and corruption, run a successful campaign to turn the scoundrels out. You do not need PhDs and MBAs for that. You need ordinary people who care sufficiently about the places in which they live to take control of their own towns and states when required. And, yes, it doesn’t hurt if they own guns. Popular gun ownership places a limit on the abuse of state power.

I know what side I fall on.

Go get the bastards Jimmy!

“What do they know about Obama that we don’t?”

That’s from a reader posted by Instapundit on the Obama/Aryes connection.

I think I have some ideas on this important subject.

Update: Here is some news by Michelle Malkin on bad acts by Obama’s ACORN buddies in Wisconsin.

Update: Also read (wow!) this at the CIIDG.

Update: Fox Special special on his past

Update: Jeez…now it turns out Obama was associated with the Socialist/Marxist New Party.

On “The Bailout”, Part 11: The Pigs are laying the ground for more troffs already

RightVoices has a roundup.

Bend over fellow citizens, the hazing will continue.

We can’t let things go this way

The Coming Dark Days

The American Left is getting in the mode for what is to come in January.

Smitten Eagle has a post with videos of what they are even doing to the you. Disgusting.

Dark Days are ahead for my country. The forces of the left are rising and have become the default narrative.

Here is what I thought of seeing those videos.

Others have made similiar comparisons on youtube:

Our Dumbass 60′s hippies-turned-soft-maoist are coming to power. Dark Days are ahead.

I fell asleep during the VP debate

I will finish watching it off tape tonight and maybe blog something then.

I am not live blogging the debate (well maybe a little), but Greg Gutfeld is…



McCain seems a bit slow.

WTF? A get well shoutout to Red Ted by McCain?

8:12pm. I am bored. I am checking my bloglines now during the debate.

8:17pm I have one classic Schlitz left. I think I will break it open tonight. Good on McCain speaking out on earmarks…but he doesn’t sound eloquent right now.

8:23 Obama pretty much just said markets suck.

8:40 My browser crashed again (Firefox 3.0.2)

8:44 Obama is sticking to his guns (bad metaphor) on Iraq.

8:45 Zinger #1: “I’m afraid Sen. Obama doesn’t understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy”.

Hey…no flag-pin on McCain!

8:49 Firefox 3.03 is now out also. Yet another upgrade.

9:34 I have been watching from my couch drinking my Schlitz. I think McCain has done well, bit no knockout. Obama has held his own.

I am going to watch the rest of this from bed and then go to sleep.

9:35 WTF!!!! Obama just invoked his communist father as some sort of African Ragged Dick American wannabee! My god!

9:38 Ok, its over. It wasn’t too boring. Not bad as far as debates go.

The Nightmare scenario of a Biden administration in Jan 2009…

…is speculated upon here.

I don’t think much of Joe Biden (I never have).

He would be the worst President of the four.

His mouth is big enough for two.

Carly Fiorina: None of the candidates Are qualified to run a corporation

So says Carly.

History shows us though, the neither was Carly, who was a failure as HP Chairman/CEO.

McCain should never had brought her on as an adviser. I have no idea what he was thinking.

I like to think she is saying:
Mr. Purpleslog, It depends what you mean by “failure”.

Comparing National Security Expertise via “Gut Reactions” to 9/11/2001: Senator Biden vs Purpleslog

Senator Obama supposedly picked Sen. Biden to be his VP running mate based on the perception of Biden’s national security expertise.

Experts act upon their expertise with “fingertip feeling”, or “gut reactions”.

Via StopTheACLU, here is documentation of Sen. Biden’s “gut reaction” to the attack 9/11/2001:

At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: “I’m groping here.” Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.

Besides the fact that Iranians are not Arabs, Biden’s “fingertip feel” tells him to send a payoff to the Arab – I guess to keep them from attacking again.

Here was my reaction:

Track down the terrorist and kill them and their families. Find their support network and kill them and their families. Find their financiers – turn some of them – kill the rest along with their families. Find the possible state sponsors and be prepared to destroy those nations. Be prepared to fight Islam (I never thought anybody but Islamic forces were behind the attack). Be prepared to fight long and hard with periods of quiet. Be prepared for deception operations to disrupt the US.

I don’t think much of Biden. I kind of think of Biden as a joke. Sadly, the joke is on us.

Bill Ayres, Domestic Terrorist, Leftists 5GWer, Obama Mentor, and…

blogger? The bio seems to be missing some key events. I suspect the Obama campaign will be mostly successful fooling voters into ignoring his connection with a domestic terrorist turned Leftist 5GWer.

I am not fooled though.

Update – More on the 5GW aspects:

Obama on Tilt

I have written this as comments on a few other blogs, so I might as well say it here.

Even though I was for Gov. Palin for policy reasons, I have decided that Gov. Palin is the greatest VP pick of my lifetime because of the terror, confusion, and panic it has spread to the opposite side. The reaction is funny/strange…and informative.

If Palin running as McCain’s VP can put Sen. Obama and his team on tilt, how would a future Obama administration act when they gets a real crises on his hands?

The likely answer seems to me to be: not very well.

Update: more examples 9/15/2008 at HotAir.

US News: “Generation We’s Apollo Project”, Me: “What a dumb idea”

I saw this in the online version of US News:

…he’s urging both presidential campaigns to focus on one mega-idea the kids endorsed: an Apollo-style approach to the energy crisis. His plan is to create a department of new energy and give it $30 billion to $40 billion a year to invent the next best energy source. And put a 15-year cap on the department’s life. “They need votes, and 70 percent of gen we-ers want this,” says Greenberg, an Obama backer eager for either campaign to adopt his plan.

To which I responded (first!):

What a dumb idea. Governments are no good at “inventing” anything. The Apollo project and the Manhattan project are the exceptions (and they had clearly defined goals).

The same thing could be accomplished by:

1) Increase basic science research grants through the Dept of Energy and NSF.

2) Sponsor prizes to be awarded when certain energy producing threshold are met.

3) Get government regulations out of the way of the entrepreneurs who will make this happen.

This is simple. It does not require dozens of “deputy assistant under secretaries” and the like.

Also, little public money (e.g. current taxes or debt obligations) is spent without success being incurred.

Ooops…notes from McCain’s Speech…

…were left at home today. I will type them up tonight.

For some reason I have had this song going through my head today…

Notes from Gov. Palin VP Nomination Acceptance Speech

1: I meant to watch the speech live, but I fell asleep just before it, and woke up just after it. My new early morning work start times have effected my TV watching! I caught the end of the speech on C-SPAN this morning while I was getting ready for work. I watch the entire speech completely this morning via this Hot Air link to the C-SPAN video. I also scraped a photo from HotAir for the end of this post.

2: In case you are wondering why I didn’t blog the Sen. Biden speech…I just can’t stand hearing that guy talk (I never could). I watched the first 5minutes and gave up. The thought of listening to 30-60 minutes of Biden was too much for me. Moving on…

3: She praised McCain nicely as expected as the VP nominee.

4: Nice reference to her son who is in the Army….he don’t look to comfortable haveing the cameras on him! Visually, her family is attractive. Thankfully, the photo-op part of speech doesn’t go on too long. I don’t like those seemingly mandatory parts of political speeches.

5: Hell yeah:

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer’ except that you have actual responsibilities.” Devastating!

Then: “In small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco”

6: She is saying all the things I want to hear: anti-establishment, MSM disdain, ethics reform, controlling spending, energy policy smartness.

7: About Obama: “…listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state senate. This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word ‘victory’ except when he’s talking about his own campaign.” Zing! Then: “The answer is to make government bigger … take more of your money … give you more orders from Washington … and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy … our opponent is against producing it. Victory in Iraq is finally in sight … he wants to forfeit.”. She zings Sen. Obama on terrorism and taxes.

8: On the Democratic Congress: “Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee. He said ‘I can’t stand John McCain.’ Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we’ve chosen the right man.”

9: She makes a great case for McCain as a real leader, compared to Obama/Biden.

10: She says everything I want to hear.

11: McCain made the right choice picking Gov. Palin. McCain/Palin are the right choice for the American Presidency.

12: This is the best I have ever felt as a voter with my choice.

Anti-Left Influence Warfare Example: Jason Mattera among the anti-USAers at the DNC

From Hot Air, this is a great examples of using ridicule. This should be broadcast on regular TV as part of an anti-left campaign:

Lessons about Zombies and Politics from Bob Hope

Found via the Gates of Vienna:

Biden as Foreign Policy Expert?

I think Biden is way overrated on Foreign Policy.

I am not the only one:

In 2004, I was astonished to hear Biden doing his own bit of America-bashing in front of an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The US, he claimed, had no moral authority to preach democracy in the Middle East. “We don’ have much of a democracy ourselves, ” he said mockingly. “Remember our own presidential election; remember Florida!”

Biden has the experience of more than three decades in the US senate, at least two of them dealing with foreign affairs and defense. But experience is no guarantee of good judgment. And Biden has been wrong on almost every key issue.

* In 1979, he shared Carter’s starry-eyed belief that the fall of the shah in Iran and the advent of the ayatollahs represented progress for human rights. Throughout the hostage crisis, as US diplomats were daily paraded blindfolded in front of television cameras and threatened with execution, he opposed strong action against the terrorist mullahs and preached dialogue.

* Throughout the 1980s. Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s proactive policy against the Soviet Union. Biden was all for détente – which, in practice, meant Western subsidies that would have enabled the moribund USSR to cling to life and continue doing mischief.

* In 1990, Biden found it difficult to support President George Bush’s decision to use force to kick Saddam Hussein’s army of occupation out of Kuwait.

* A decade-plus later, the senator did vote for the liberation of Iraq from Saddamite tyranny. But as soon as terrorists started challenging the new democratic system in Iraq, he switched sides and became a critic of the whole war effort. He claimed that the Iraq war was lost and suggested that the US partition the newly liberated country into three or more mini-states.

Biden’s misreading of the situation in Iraq shows that experience is no substitute for judgment. He judged the situation on the basis of headlines and CNN footage – not the long-term, geo-strategic interests of the United States. In short, he lacked what President Harry Truman called “strategic patience.”

So writes Amir Taheri in the NY Post.

And most devastatingly:

Had Biden had his way, “the Evil Empire” would still be around and Saddam Hussein still in power. The US would still be begging the mullahs of Tehran for forgiveness of unspecified “past sins” – and more American hostages would be seized in the Middle East while the mullahs celebrate their first atomic bombs.

By choosing Biden, Obama, the candidate of hope, has transformed his promise of change, into a back-to-the-future pirouette – back to Jimmy Carter.


What I Believe

This started out as a comment at Soob, but quickly grew in length.

I did a very short post on this once before. Let me go into more detail.

Let me be clear: I am not a Republican. I consider myself an Independent. I have mostly voted Dem in the past. The first time I voted for a Republican for President was 2004, though if I could vote again, I would have voted for Reagan in 1984 (and Bush in 2000 – update). I was 18 and surrounded by liberals and communists. I had always had strong pro-national security beliefs and much to the horror of those all around me, I was OK with Reagan calling the Soviets the “Evil Empire”. I also had the pleasure of being denounced in front of a room full of people (mostly fellow travelers and useful idiots) as an American-stooge by a Pro-Soviet Afghan Communist in 1988 (a proud day for me).

As far as policy, I am future oriented. I have no policy nostalgia for small family farms or big manufacturing industry and their labor unions or other such things. I love reading history and exploring retro culture and I am a big early jazz fan (real jazz, not smooth jazz), but that does not carry over to policy.

I am for a strong national security but I don’t think the Dems are anymore. On national security, the Dems are the party of McGovern, not the party of Roosevelt, Truman, and JFK. I am not deluded by “yes we can” and “change, change, change” into thinking otherwise.

That all said, America must continue to develop and exercise its other elements of national power besides that of military (which needs to keep developing and advancing too). US diplomatic and intelligence capabilities are pretty bad considering the money spent on them. Also, US Influence Warfare capabilities are atrocious. Right now, the US is really the only western country willing act. The lesson in that is we have to keep our expeditionary capability…and we can’t count on “allies” for support.

I am pro-globalization economically (big yes on global free trade) and pro-strong international state system. I favor strengthening the state system, not continuing to weaken it.

I am anti-Global Governance. Global Governance institutions (and the movement itself) are mostly non-democratic, and do not serve to protect the fundamental rights of Americans and frankly other humans. Governance bodies are unelected non-democratic (and often anti-democratic, anti-American) bureaucrats often serving their own purposes and see themselves in opposition to to USA. It would be dangerous to invest to much of America’s and the world’s future in their hands.

I am pro entrepreneurial capitalism, pro-growth, pro-tech, pro-innovation, pro-higher productivity and progress. This is possibly the most important thing for the American System. The unleashing of human capital through entrepreneurialism (business, social, cultural, heh and political) will continue to make us economically and cultural rich. The rest of the world is better off for this too.

Domestic policy should be changed to increase, support and create incentives for this activity. This mean changes to the legal and financial systems. It also means a pension system not tied social security and long-term single employer employment. It also means a health care system not tied to a particular employer or type of employment (this does not mean government run national health care though). All Americans should should have a stake in and profit from the success of the American System. Also, the American K-12 education system is obsolete and needs to replaced with something best summed up as “vouchers, charters schools, and mass customized education for all”.

I am moderate on social issues with libertarian leanings. I am all “equality of opportunity”, not “equality of outcome”. Most government handouts and social programs do harm in that the create bad incentives and they don’t really accomplish their goals (other then making some do-gooders and politicians feel good about themselves). All of the “feel good” programs should be examined and if found lacking, abolished (and maybe replaced with something new or something like vouchers or a negative income tax system).

I was also raised Catholic and I tend to be a bit of a prude on moral issues when pushed. Mostly though I have a sort of libertarian attitude – “don’t ask, don’t tell”, and “if its weird do it in your house and don’t shove it my face”. Don’t mess with children though – they are off limits for indoctrination into the weird.

I am not gay but I have had gay friends and I don’t like the idea of them being pushed around or being denied normalcy. I may find homosexuality uncomfortable at a certain broad intellectual level, but not when interacting with homosexuals as direct real individuals. Love is hard enough to find in this world, I am not going to stand in the way nor support policies to do so.

I care nothing for elites or the eastern establishment. They do great harm to this country.

I am pissed off by the continued presence and influence on society by Marxists/Marxism and socialists/socialism under what ever labels they hide under. I don’t buy into “Global Warming” because the science isn’t there and the supporters all seem to be Communists or their contemporary useful idiots.

I don’t like paying taxes on wasteful things and bloated bureaucracies, but I don’t mind paying them for efficient government activities. That being said, the tax system is too complex, costs too much and has too many bad incentives and loopholes. I favor switching to a flat tax system for individuals based on either income or consumption. I favor switching to a flat tax of cash flow system for C-style Corporations (if we are still going to tax C Corps, that is). This can be revenue neutral, but will have the positive effects of costing less in compliance and regulation, and will reduce the distortion of economic activity.

There is more detail of course. This should give you an idea of where I come from though. I may update this or add links occasionally.

Updated: grammar and spelling fixes.

Update: If you think I am an Islamaphobe, read this including the comments.

Update: Here is a quick hit on Federalism.

Update: I am mostly in sync with the Tea Party principles (as I understand them).

Meg Whitman as McCain’s Running Mate?

Maybe. She would be right on technology, entrepreneurship, business and economics. I don’t know anything about her security policy-wise. While she has never had elected office,she has proven successful executive experience. It would be an intriguing choice.

Obama’s Speech Last Night

I watched and took notes that I meant to blog on last night. I decided not to and went to bed after the speech.

Here is a short version from memory:

1) The Greek Obamapolis thing was over blown. The stage and set looked fine. I don’t know what the fuss was about.

2) “Enough! – Obama shows he can be an angry messiah

3) The polices are mostly just standard liberal/leftists stuff.

4) Does Obama think Bush and McCain don’t want to kill OBL? Does Obama think he knows where OBL is?

5) “Change” – how vapid is this. It is a way to to capture peoples hopes…with out being specific. I hate this word now.

6) “The party of Roosevelt and Kennedy”. Obama’s rehtoric aside, the Democrats post-LBJ are the party of McGovern as far National Security stuff goes. The have keopt the mild-socialism and anti-business tendencies of Roosevelt (who though was a great war time President). This is what has consistently driven me from the Dems my entire adulthood.

7) The camera cuts to weeping O-cult members is pathetic. I would be embarrassed if any of them were my friends.

8 ) I liked the small girls dancing around and playing with the confetti at the end (Obama youngest and one of Biden grandkids perhaps). That was the feel good moment of the night for me.

9) Obama’s rhetoric was not over the top. I liked that he didn’t just stare into the camera, that would have looked silly.

Well, my impression hasn’t changed of Obama. He is a leftist (keeping that stuff soft-spoken). He is wrong on security, economics, entrepreneurship and domestic policy.

Carly Fiorina as McCain’s Running Mate?

No, no and no.

Why anybody thinks this failed CEO would be a good choice is beyond me.

She has no credibility on business, economics, and her executive experience is supsect. She would be a lousy choice. All negatives, no positives.

Huckabee as McCain’s Running Mate?

Please no.

He seems like a nice enough guy to have over for dinner.

He has strong anti-business, anti-entrepreneurship and anti-science tendencies.

The fact that he a is a legalistic fundamentalist christian preacher is also a big negative for me.

I’d rather him over for a beer and a brat then Romney though.


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