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Bailouts and Bull with John Stossel: ABC 20/20



March 14, 2009 – Comments (8)

In case you missed it, John Stossel takes on the Bailout mentality in this investigate report.

8 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 14, 2009 at 1:12 PM, Hudarios (< 20) wrote:

Stossel is a rare gem in sea of self-important TV personalities.

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#2) On March 14, 2009 at 2:05 PM, hearttransplant (< 20) wrote:

At last; a reporter who is not afraid to tell the truth. Thank you for your insight and for presenting an unpopular viewpoint in a forum that is more likely to reach greater numbers than conservative talk radio. KO

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#3) On March 14, 2009 at 3:42 PM, kdakota630 (29.00) wrote:

I rec'd this without watching it, only because with John Stossel I know it'll be good, plus I taped it last night.  I'll watch it tonight while the wife is at work.

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#4) On March 15, 2009 at 2:00 AM, RookieQB (29.05) wrote:

Big Rec

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#5) On March 15, 2009 at 2:50 AM, TMFAleph1 (89.83) wrote:

The only high profile libertarian journalist working in mainstream media. Plus, he's a Tiger.

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#6) On March 15, 2009 at 5:38 PM, TMFLomax (90.05) wrote:

Thanks for posting! Good stuff.

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#7) On March 15, 2009 at 7:24 PM, Alex1963 (27.71) wrote:

David or anyone,

I wish someone would ask these libertarians visionaries what would have happened to AIGs creditors had AIG been allowed to fail, for one example? Please, direct me. What I understand from pretty extensive reading is that the banks they paid with their 50B share of the TARP $ were also looking at extensive losses and possible bankruptcy had they not been paid. Further weakening of the perception of American banking strength would easily have spilled over to every finacial sector and institution 1st in the US and then around the world. Even the confidence in T-Bills, corp bonds etc and again to every other sovereignty and economy. (the recent AIG bonus story is a seperate though valid issue)

I believe the bail-out thinking is this a) the US is currently a debtor nation which luckily is still the reserve currency b) These world investment and institutions are watching and thinking: If the US gov't feels confident in it's financial sector why wouldn't they backstop the financial sector? c) If they don't backstop then it really must be weak or the US gov't itelf is too weak to backstop. d) Massive investment flees out of the US economy in every form imaginable. d) since the US is a debtor nation then this would effectively bankrupt the country and slam us into the stone age.

Do libertarians really believe that this would be a "healthy correction"?

I also have yet to find a Libertarian analysis of this "healthy correction" idealogy which adequately addresses how interwoven commerce or the free market truly is. I believe we are taking the least bad route here with the stimulus. We need a soft landing and while simultaneously and incrementally working through the issues which got us here - which I won't belabor. Yes, we run a deflation risk. Yes we are building a huge deficit. But the alternative I heard presented here is way worse than the reporter or "economists" he "interviewed" got into. That was a teaser puff piece. I'm sorry but this seems to me to be the same failing of Libertarians I see in most other of their theses. A fundamentally flawed and overly simplistic approach which defies common sense. They seem too eager to let it all fall. To me there is quite a bit of irony to criticizing Obama for his "hope" message and current policies and then conversely to advocate for a complete systemic collapse and to "hope" something better and stronger will arise. Especially if they then want to try a Libertarian version of the Free Market. Something which has never been done and so has no track record. Something which will never be done and probably never will because it is counterintuitive to most people IMO. It is basically every man for himself almost, right down to the  justice system, regulation, infrastructure etc as I understand it. The vision Libertarians espouse seems most to resembe the Quaker ideals (an admirable society but inherently limited to a small scale). I'm not saying Libertarians reject machinery but I'd think infrastructure projects under Libertarians would amount to a "road raising" more than an efficient exercise in the pooling of community resources. No one would build unless there were profit. Large scale projects would be possible only by the wealtiest who could charge with impunity being wealthy enough to simply refuse access to their works. 

Yes our current system has many flaws. That is never more apparent than now, but the fantastical constructs proposed by Mises and Hazlitt and so forth could never work in an advancing society. To me it more resembles Republican or conservative ideals on steroids.

"To paraphrase Anatole France: "How noble libertarianism, in its majestic equality, that both rich and poor are equally prohibited from peeing in the privately owned streets (without paying), sleeping under the privately owned bridges (without paying), and coercing bread from its rightful owners!" " 

Definitely not the direction forward for a world which is moving, and desperately needs to be moving, towards more cooperation and less every man/gov't for himself. Further, this conservative penchant for calling the general political movement currently going on world wide "solcialism" is basically at it's heart trying to make Love Thy Neighbor" and The Golden Rule into a dirty word.

Please, feel free to direct me to any sources I have missed where a libertarian discusses in depth their comprehensive economic and fiscal plan and the subsequent ramifications.i.e. What happens when the all the major banks fail, millions more become unemployed, our currency collapses overnight, taxes are slashed and most of gov't goes with it. Who's written something appropriately detailed I could read? I'd prefer someone with credentials but I'll look at whatever you have.

I realize these things could come to pass on their own at some point. Just as earthquake weakened building should maybe be allowed to fall I'd still 1st like to know how we're going to get all the people out safely. Whether is was poorly located or poorly constructed is an interesting discussion but I still do care about the repercussions today and for those people. I also think there is often merit in trying to save the existing structure especially if it would be difficult to replace and enough people live in it now.

I for one, with the information I have today, will take a devil I know with the prospect of carefully implementing gradual change under a recognizable gov't that has a comprehensive vision. In other words I would prefer to work within the system.

I for one believe the current plan is a good oe and is our best hope for success 

How's that David, better? :)  




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#8) On March 15, 2009 at 9:38 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


Coercive organizations, usually government though sometimes religious, have been the driving force behind every war in recorded human history, both on other people and on their own people, and possibly have led to over one billion deaths.... and yet Anatole France finds nothing so horrible as (I shudder) having to pay another person to piss on their street. Wow... just wow.

Anyway, here is a collection of my favorite Libertarian works. You said you wanted to know if Libertarians had actually talked about how their ideology would work.  Most are available in full, or in part, on the Mises Institute website.  

The Federalist Papers

Planning for Freedom - Ludwig Von Mises

Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market - Murray N. Rothbard

For a New Liberty - Murray N. Rothbard

Bastiat Collection - Frederick Bastiat

The Economics and Ethics of Private Property - Hans Hermann-Hoppe

Human Action -Ludwig Von Mises

Democracy: The God That Failed - Hans Hermann Hoppe

The Ethics of Money Production - Jorg Guido Hulsmann

Man Versus the State - Herbert Spencer

The Road to Serfdom - F.A. Hayek

The Failure of the New Economics - Henry Hazlitt

Economics in One Lesson - Henry Hazlitt

The Left, The Right, and The State - Llewellyn Rockwell

The Revolution: A Manifesto - Ron Paul

A Foreign Policy of Freedom - Ron Paul

The Case Against The Fed - Murray N. Rothbard

What Has Government Done To Our Money? - Murray N. Rothbard

A Monetary History of The United States - Milton Friedman

America's Great Depression - Murray N. Rothbard

The Creature From Jekyll Island - G. Edward Griffin

Socialism - Ludwig Von Mises

Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles - Jesus Huerta de Soto

Anyway, those are the ones that I have either read or thumbed through, so I can rec them.  There are many others though as well as the Libertarian Papers, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and I'm sure dozens of other sources.

David in Qatar

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