Saturday, February 28, 2009

Predatory Governors

The governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alaska have indicated that they are seriously considering turning down the federal stimulus money being targeted for their states. In some cases, citing fear of a "strings-attached" package deal.

The governors of California, Michigan, and North Carolina have publicly stated that they would gladly take any stimulus money that other states turn down -- even if it means renting moving trucks to get it.

The federal government, of course, does not have any wealth to distribute to any individual, organization or state that it does not first forcibly confiscate from those productive individuals who have created or earned it. Unless, of course, it borrows money from other nations or simply prints new money untethered to anything of tangible value.

Taxes must be expropriated from the limited resources of individuals and enterprises, leaving crumbs for the pursuits of industry and livelihood. Borrowed money is lent upon condition of repayment in time. Fiat money is backed by nothing but future debt. In each case, the wealth represented by these funding sources must come from the pockets, paychecks and currency values of working American citizens, now or in the future, and on unfathomable scales.

If activity of this nature were to occur in the private sector, it would be called theft, involuntary servitude and fraud. And the perpetrators of these crimes would be punishable by law. In the public sector, it is called public policy and is championed by politicians, media and partisan voters, who heap praise and fortune on the perpetrators.

States that accept stimulus money derive the government-provided funds from one of those sources. The government being merely a pass-through agency -- or, the perpetrator of immoral activity. The governors of states that willingly accept the loot collected and distributed by the federal government are the recipients of ill-gotten gains. And the governors of states that reject the loot extracted from taxpayers, consumers and generational debtors remain untainted by crime.

In this desperate economic environment, there are clearly some who would eagerly sacrifice their good moral standing and accept stolen goods, without regard to the suffering of those who involuntarily provide it, if doing so would offer momentary relief to their dismal material condition and perhaps sweeten their prospects for praise and political security.

The governors who stand by quietly waiting for a share of the public bounty to come their way, while willfully ignoring the plight of their invisible victims, are contemptible. But those governors who would fill their bellies with the fiscal entrails of the innocent and then come back for the scraps left by those few governors with moral clarity are beneath contempt. They are truly predators on the national treasure and they richly deserve scorn, ridicule and persecution.

We know who they are. They have given us their names themselves. Will we know enough to revile them?


The "Economic Stimulus" Myth
by Harry Binswanger | February 24, 2009
It is amazing that in this crisis, which is a crisis of over-consumption, over-borrowing, too little liquidity, the government's idea of a "stimulus" is to encourage more consumption, more borrowing, and less liquidity.

Battle Lines Quickly Set Over Planned Policy Shifts
By Lori Montgomery | Washington Post | March 1, 2009
[Obama's] plan would produce annual deficits far larger in dollar terms than any recorded before the recession...Washington would continue to borrow heavily, and the national debt would double over the next five years.

Taxation Is Robbery
by Frank Chodorov | 1962
The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines taxation as "that part of the revenues of a state which is obtained by the compulsory dues and charges upon its subjects."

What You Should Know About Inflation
Henry Hazlitt | 1964
When the supply of money is increased, people have more money to offer for goods. If the supply of goods does not increase — or does not increase as much as the supply of money — then the prices of goods will go up. Each individual dollar becomes less valuable because there are more dollars.

Government Debt Has No Upside
Robert P. Murphy | 1/16/2006
When the government spends more than it takes in through taxes or other methods of acquiring funds, it must make up the difference by borrowing.

What Could Happen
By Don Stott | Whiskey and Gunpowder | Feb 27th, 2009
I am not trying to be an alarmist, but I am worried about a lot of things. I just have to imagine what the chain reaction of the current downhill slide of the world’s economies can bring.

Sanford first to reject funds
By James Rosen | McClatchy Newspapers | March 10, 2009
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is expected Wednesday to become the first governor to formally reject some of the federal stimulus money earmarked by Congress for his state.

Texas gov. rejects stimulus money for unemployment
By MONICA RHOR | Associated Press | Jan. 27, 2009
Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday rejected $555 million in federal stimulus money

Economy Cure Thyself

This shaky economy is not going to cure itself
Keith Keller | Asheville Citizen-Times | February 28, 2009
Ah, good news — some Republican governors, like Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford, are going to refuse federal bailout money. Like former Republican President Hoover, they believe that “prosperity is just around the corner.” They think they can do nothing and the market will correct itself. There's no need to regulate anything. There is so much criticism about the bailout from most of the Republicans, but where is their plan? To do nothing now will hurt too many and possibly finish the job President Bush began by further destroying our country. But, it not just professed Republicans. Our own Democratic congressional Rep. Heath Shuler has voted twice against the bailout. Remember in November.


The headline is correct. The economy cannot cure itself under current conditions. The economy can only correct by removing all government interference in the operations of the marketplace. The economy is actually struggling to correct, but is prevented from doing so at every turn.

Housing prices should fall to affordable levels, but no, the government props them up artificially. Mismanaged businesses should fail, but no, the government bails them out. Interest rates should rise to reflect the true availability of capital, but no, the Fed lowers the rate to falsify reality and encourage malinvestment. The riskiest Americans should default on over-valued homes and become renters, but no, the government will pay their mortgages with other people's money. The regulated market should be set free to cure the disease of government intervention, but no, the government comes bounding in once again to hamper the economy and further hamstring economic freedom.

The current interventionist administration is doing precisely the opposite of what is needed to stimulate the economy. It is increasing its interference, meddling and control and will enormously damage our world-renowned prosperity and our ability to recover and thrive -- perhaps forever.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tea Party

"One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary."Ayn Rand, 1975

Video by Robert Clay


WLOS TV 13 news coverage
February 27, 2009, 12:00pm
It will benefit the few, based on political calculation, at the expense of the rest of us. The only proper role of government is to protect of individual rights -- period, not to interfere in the economy or to control the economy in any way.

WLOS TV 13 news coverage
February 27, 2009, 4:30pm (modified)

Erika Franzi | A Rainy Day Success! | February 27, 2009

Pictures from the tea party
Jen Bowen | February 27, 2009

Tea party updates
Instapundit | February 27, 2009

Get angry
Freedom is the Solution | February 20, 2009
If you haven't seen this rant by Rick Santelli of CNBC, I highly recommend it.

Santelli Responds to The White House
The Kudlow Report | CNBC | 02/20/2009

Ayn Rand and the Tea Party Protests
Paul Hsieh | Pajamas Media | March 2, 2009
Protesters must couple their outrage at bailouts with a positive vision of a properly limited government.

Original Asheville Tea Party Announcement

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stop Me Before I Loan Again

West Asheville at center of foreclosure storm
Joel Burgess | Asheville Citizen-Times | February 22, 2009
But John Myers, senior vice president with HomeTrust Bank in Asheville, said if the government doesn't intervene now, things will only get worse. Fewer people will buy homes, hurting the housing industry and cutting into home ownership, one of the primary ways Americans build wealth, Myers said. That could mean more people are out of work and looking for government assistance, which is also funded by taxpayers, he said. “This is what we have before us today. And we've got to deal with this issue,” he said. “Taxpayers are going to pay for this one way or the other, whether it be directly or indirectly.”

Mr. Myers may have a personal interest in having the government bailout the riskiest Americans.

The economy is struggling to correct a government-created recession with lower housing prices and mortgage defaults. Home owners who cannot afford to buy must rent and prices must come down to where they really belong instead of the artificially inflated prices that the government is feverishly trying to prop up.

As for the "pay-now-or-pay-later " argument, this is an attempt at psychological blackmail. And it is a false choice. People who cannot afford their mortgages should be converted to renters in more affordable housing. This does not move them onto the welfare roles. It moves them into housing they can afford.

As it is now, the taxpayers are paying for affordable housing by subsidizing local housing stock that is overpriced.

I think Mr. Myers is looking for a bailout for his bank and I am not inclined to give him one. Let the markets clear, Mr. Myers, and get back to making sound business decision -- for the benefit of us all.


Subprime crisis
Vincent Benard | Objectif Liberté | 26 octobre 2008
So, at the root of every mechanism identified as a catalyst of the current crisis, we can find a bad federal or local regulation.

Monday, February 16, 2009


We will soon see the inevitable result of 100 years of unbridled government meddling and interference in the marketplace.

Gerald Celente, founder and director of the Trends Research Institute, has some choice words on the state of the economy.

“We’re going to see the economic collapse the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

"When I say it’s going to be worse than the Great Depression, we call it the Greatest Depression. By the way, to be using 1930s models to get the U.S. out of this is really stupid."


Is America Going the Way of Argentina?
by Mike Miller | Liberty Maven | February 16th, 2009
Lavish social spending? Welfare programs? Protectionism? Taxation? Runaway deficits? Sound familiar?

Irish government faces growing fears of debt default
Elena Moya | The Guardian UK | 16 February 2009
Fears are growing that Ireland could default on its national debt after the cost to insure against possible losses on loans to the country rose to record highs at the end of last week.

Financial crisis causes Iceland's government to collapse
By David Blair | Telegraph London | 27 Jan 2009
Iceland's economic crisis toppled the government and destroyed the conservative prime minister's career yesterday when the entire cabinet resigned.

Atlas felt a sense of déjà vu
The Economist | Feb 26th 2009
Books do not sell themselves: that is what films are for. “The Reader”, the book that inspired the Oscar-winning film, has shot up the bestseller lists. Another recent publishing success, however, has had more help from Washington, DC, than Hollywood. That book is Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”.