Sunday, October 12, 2008

Washing Day

I am strangely untroubled at the thought of the government stepping in with its clomping boots to do something about the current economic turmoil. I see it as a Constitutional duty, in fact. The regulation of money supply -- an obvious element of the coining of money. Credit is almost counterfeiting, from a certain perspective. It is, after all, the invention of "money", and if that's not government sanctioned, it's fraud. The market's Invisible Hand will grasp what it listeth, but we can at least put some moisturizer on it, clip its nails, file back its horny callouses.

As for this particular bailout action, I don't know. Not my thing. I have an interest in history, so the Great Depression is not unfamiliar to me. Point is, FDR seemed to have mucked it up even more. Maybe Hoover did too. But a governmental glove over the Market's Hand is not inappropriate. Hand in glove, you see -- a cooperative venture. Who, after all, controls the glove? The American voter. Oh, and the Illuminati. And the Jews of course. Even so, having some sort of, uh, republican oversight seems the responsible thing to do. Seems a bit smarter than letting the fatcats do all the thinking. You might say the market is controlled not by fatcats, but by consumers. Son. Locusts consume. It's a sort of control, yes, but not a benevolent one.

The Constitution, and therefore the US government, is about promoting the General Welfare. Nothing is more general than the national economy, or has more to do with our welfare. So, yes, Jefferson was wrong, utterly wrong, and Hamilton was right. A Bank of the United States, like a Bank of England. I don't really understand the fine details. I know that I'd trust an experienced realist like Hamilton in such matters, over an impractical and inconsistent idealist like Jefferson, always.

Y'see, the rich, that broad and amorphous category, will always get richer. I don't envy them that. I do suppose they need to be regulated, in some way at least. Us poor and regular folks get fined for jay walking. The rich don't. They can't be immune from all controls, though. TR was right, too, the Progressive Fella. The Railroad Interests must be curtailed. The Coal Magnates must not oppress their workers, through the Company Store and the like. There is no argument against such regulations. Well? New technologies outstrip old laws, and we have to scramble to adapt. We define ourselves into the category of "fittest" by our efforts to survive. Change, or die.

Big government? Perish the thought. But I am not affected by the regulation of Wall Street -- or if I am, not as much as I am by the placement of a traffic light. Traffic laws are big government too, if you want to be stupid about it. Let's not. Government isn't the problem. Irresponsibility is. When giant corporations aren't responsible, enough to plunge the nation into ruin, it's time for action -- hopefully competent. So we'll see.

In the meantime, buy stocks. Prices are low. See? Buy low, sell high. Capitalism. Given that there is no free market, let's make the best of a discounted one. There's the old story about the denizens of a certain island off of Ireland or Scotland. They all made their living by taking in each other's washing. We don't need such freakonomics. When McCain said the economy was fundamentally sound, he was right. The fundamentals are sound. We can and do make things of value. So market corrections are scary and unsettling. Call it the getting of wisdom.

Thus, the "political language of both presidential campaigns makes clear that many voters, for all the current pessimism, still believe in the idea of American pre-eminence. So, apparently, do many of the world’s investors.

"In recent weeks, the dollar has held its own. Stocks in every other major country are down about as much over the last year as they are in the United States, if not much more. America may not be a safe haven anymore, but it does seem to be safer haven."

One death is a tragedy; a million are a statistic. Individual pain hurts. But this is America. We won't last forever, but we'll survive this.


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