I've got to run a bit earlier than usual this morning...the Red Cross has re-done their appointment schedule and now the first one is at 7:30 instead of 8:00, so my apologies if this is a little choppier than usual.
By now you probably heard that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are in a good deal of trouble. There's a bailout on our dime in the works, but of course there's another opinion. Some Libertarians think they should be allowed to fail.
"Let them fail," says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis, referring to the mortgage institutions Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, who the Bush administration has said it plans to rescue from financial collapse.
"Let them fail, and let them learn from their mistakes on their own dime," says Davis. "Bailing out these two institutions will only delay the inevitable outcome of any financial firm insulated from the market by government backing. The long run damage of continuing a policy of bailouts far exceeds any short term woes in letting the market consume failing institutions."
The Libertarian Party is calling for an end to government bailouts, which it equates to nothing more than welfare for businessmen. The Party believes that government support of these institutions decreases the incentive to make responsible decisions, and unfairly socializes the risk--putting taxpayers on the line for costly mistakes.
"It's like giving more candy to problem children," says Davis. "Lenders should recognize that there are repercussions for risky loans, and borrowers should realize that there are consequences for taking loans they can't repay. If it's financial collapse, or having your house foreclosed--so be it. It's bad economics to remove the incentives, even if they are negative, which encourage sensible and responsible decisions."
The Party says Freddie and Fannie should be fully independent of government support, and subject to the same levels of market competition other firms face.
"I could not agree more with the editorial page of yesterday's Financial Times when it said that the current structure of these institutions cannot be maintained, and that government should prepare a 'decent burial' for them," says Libertarian Party National Chairman William Redpath. "Freddie and Fannie are not needed for mortgage finance in the United States. No credible commentator thinks that the failure of these two institutions would add even as much as one percentage point over the long-term to mortgage rates. Congress and the President need to quickly move Fannie and Freddie to privatization with no strings attached to the federal government and taxpayer."
I hate to compare myself to any Republican (since the only similarity we generally share is being an air-breathing mammal), but I don't pretend to know anything about economics, so I guess that makes me like Sen. McCain in that regard.
So....let's take a look at some drugs. No, not Januvia silly....Crystal Meth! The National Libertarian party has a reputation for being the party of guns and drugs, so I guess I wont be helping much with this today. But I do have two stories that kind of dovetail neatly together. First....another drug war rant.
When I tell people in meatspace conversations that I’m opposed to drug prohibition, I frequently get a look of utter astonishment: “You mean people ought to just be able to take crack, or meth, or whatever, whenever they feel like it?”
Well, the point is they can already do that right now. If you look at countries like the Netherlands, where pot is for all intents and purposes legal, and private possession and use of the hard stuff is virtually decriminalized, the actual rates of drug use are probably at or below those in the United States.
So essentially, we’ve allowed our country to be taken over by gangs and organized crime syndicates fighting to control the black markets in illegal drugs. We’ve created lawless, militarized police forces that view us as an occupied enemy, sadistic bastards who taser people in diabetic comas to death for “resisting arrest,” and murder 92-year-old women in their sleep in botched SWAT team raids. We’ve gutted the due process provisions of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, which are now kept around mainly as examples of good penmanship. We’ve got the highest rate of incarceration in the entire world–greater than Communist China–and a massive prison-industrial complex using slave labor. We are literally at the mercy of beasts of prey in SS chic uniforms. We’ve corrupted our society to the core. And we’ve done it all for nothing.
The corruption of our society includes turning the cops themselves into the biggest criminal gangs of all, under the corrupting influence of all that drug money. Only the cops’ approach to gang warfare involves building a petty empire of planted evidence, jailhouse snitches, entrapment, plea extortion, and civil forfeiture.
The biggest fans of Prohibition were the bootleggers–probably even more than the Baptists, who served as their useful idiots.
Today, most people would probably be amazed at how much of the leading “drug warrior” politicians’ campaign funds consist of laundered money from the drug cartels. As Larry Gambone says,
The point has to be made that whether the figure is $100 billion or $400 billion it is a lot of money and the gangs cannot account for more than a fraction of it. The rest has to be somewhere else and the most likely set of suspects are the people who are already handling billions of dollars such as the offshore money laundries connected to “legitimate” financial institutions or the folks who already have a history of involvement in high-level drug trafficking, namely the CIA….
….The people most vociferous in their support for the so-called War on Drugs are the people, or are associates of the people, who profit from the drug trade at the higher levels.
One thing the illegal drug trade is good for is raising lots and lots of cash. And the biggest organized criminals of them all are probably the shadow warriors of the CIA, using the international drug trade to raise money for criminals and terrorists in the employ of the United States government.
It's interesting that the author would mention prohibition....on yet another blog, I ran across a police officer posting a snippet
in response to a news story out of Chicago,
where the governor wants to call in the State Police and National Guard to help with a crime wave, but Mayor Daley is not so sure.
Is Chicago's crime problem caused by the modern day Prohibition? Is it street gangs fighting it out for drug turf?
Then Chicago I can offer a suggestion that will reduce your crime and violence by well over 50%. Interested? I am a retired police officer and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc) and we believe that legalizing drugs, implementing a system of regulation and control is a far more moral way to fight drug than incarceration. But to regulate anything it must be legal. So, legalize drugs and put the modern day Al Capones out of business overnight. Then the police will be able to confront and control the regular crime. It will save the city millions of dollars in costs too and then Chicago might be able to build a few parks and recreation centers to help keep the kids out of trouble. Just a thought but you might want to think about it.
I suppose that's true to some extent...after all, when was the last time anyone was shot over a case of whiskey? But crime is crime...legalize drugs and they'll move on to the next thing.
So...we'll leave it at that today. Got some summer weather going here in the Northeast; stay cool!