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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Government banking

Barry Goldwater, in his famous 1964 convention speech, said it is "the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private or public." (Note the inclusion of "private," which suggests that Goldwater was not as far removed from the Theodore Roosevelt/John McCain tradition as some believe.)

Fast forward to the present: a tremendous concentration of power has emerged in the banking sector, now that government is a shareholder in the biggest banks. This concentration of power is both public and private; it's a nexus of the two, and it offers untold opportunities for corruption, abuse, and politically directed financing decisions. Creating it may have been a needed measure in the midst of crisis (though it should have been done in a more market-oriented way) but, as David Frum rightly notes, a major reason to vote for McCain is that he, unlike Barack Obama, wants to get government out of the banking business as soon as possible.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

Both McCain and Obama voted for the f*cking bailout. Legislators, unlike the rest of us, get to actually VOTE for bills. If you vote for crappy bills (like McCain and Obama just did) you don't get to cancel your vote with contradictory "talk" about wanting "to get government out of the banking business as soon as possible." If that was the way he felt, then he shouldn't have voted for the piece of sh*t bailout bill. And zero points to Bob Barr for supporting the bailout (though through the wisdom of Ga. voters, he was not in a position to vote).

Ron Paul voted against it, btw. Just one more reason for me to write him in Nov. 4.

Dan

Kenneth Silber said...

Hey Dan,
I would've voted for the bailout too, in case that's not clear from this post. (I said it in earlier posts.) I don't think it's wrong to vote for something and then want it to have a limited timespan or disagree with how it's been implemented. And, not that I want to help out Bob Barr, but I've read he opposed the bailout. As for Ron Paul, he has a conspiracy theorist's animus against "international bankers," among many other disturbing qualities. If you're not fond of evangelical politics, why write in the man who's the best-known supporter of Chuck Baldwin?

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

You are right about Barr & bailout. I was wrong. I don't know why I thought that I read Barr was reluctantly for the bailout. Who knows -- I may end up pulling the lever for him. It depends how much I can drink in the morning before I vote. I might not even cast a prez vote this year. Baldwin is appalling, of course, and I wish RP had endorsed BB. But you may be glad to know I'm voting for BJ Lawson (R) -- check him out. Otherwise, it is the straight L ticket for me.

I hate the bailout because I knew that lobbyists would circle like vultures and soon enough money that was earmarked to "save our economy" would be lining the pockets of every company with a good gov't connection. For me, it was Patriot Act part 2 -- a bill "we had to rush to pass" to avoid some catastrophic failure. Uggh.

I just connected with DD, too.

Take care,

Dan