Earlier in DaretothREdux’s blog ‘Bet on Red’ I challenged DaretothRedux and Whereaminow to offer us an example of what the “small” government they have so passionately and persistently promoted would look like. More concerned with the vision behind my single question, than their prolific postings, Player Option1307 took me to task for not delivering my vision of what a large Government would look like. It is important to know, our Federal Government is not a large one; merely 20% of GDP by Government Expenditures, 34% including State spending. Denmark, Sweden, Qatar and Kuwait, France, Italy, Norway, Columbia and many other Governments spend more than 50% of their countries GDP. Regardless I promised Option that I would try to offer my vision.
Folklore is full of Witches. American folklore has good Witches like Glinda and Samantha Stephens, almost always contrasted with evil sister Witches. Good Men, helpless against their powers, must use their wits to decide which Witch to trust, and which to destroy. In the past when Witches left folklore and arrived in the land of real life, fear drove men to have Witch hunts and to destroy all who were suspected of being witches. 1690’s Salem Mass is infamous in its efforts to eradicate witchcraft from the real world.
Today Witchcraft has returned, and the Witches appear evil and greedy, determined to bring mischief to the world. They have invaded the world of finance. ‘Financial Witchcraft’ the populace cries out in fear. A ‘Wizard with numbers’ is pointed out and most dreaded of all is ‘Chartologist mumbo jumbo’. An evil force has taken hold of finance. Men were duped, their brains clouded with the spells of witchcraft. ‘Look away’ the spells said, and Barney Franks stopped watching. ‘Nothing to worry about’ and the weapons of the Securities and Exchange guards were removed. ‘Trust the financial experts’ and the Treasury was conquered. ‘Everyone is corrupt’ and men turned their heads in dismay. ‘It’s Governments fault’ and the last defense was removed.
Men were lulled with the promises that always appeal to them. ‘Relax control’ they were told, your work has ‘unintended consequences’ so it is best not to try. Free Markets will enrich you, if you just don’t work to guide them. The deserving among you will be rewarded with riches while the undeserving will suffer their weakness.
The Whichcraft runs deep. Which GS trades were made ahead of which Paulson decision? Which calls were made to which trader’s friend? Which AIG execs underfunded which guarantees? Which investment bank salesmen claimed Treasury guaranteed Fannie. Which clubs connect them, which schools?
As is always the case, some men resisted the spells of the witches. Men like Republican Kevin Phillips, who abandoned his party for its loss of values. Men like Robert Monks, an advocate of shareholders rights. Men can guide regulating investment banks. Men like Robert Kuttner and William Greider who understood the move to deregulate was the move to legalize theft. Women like Nomi Prins, and a hopefully vengeful Elliot Spitzer.
The men you ignored were the ones you should have heeded. Men like Ralph Nader, who stood for you while you worked.
Government should be big enough for a which happened when hunt.
The more I hear crying about government intervention on CNBC, the better the work is going.