Sunday, March 29, 2009

Corporate State = Bad

Bill Moyers inadvertently provided useful information on his show last week. He gave the name of an organization that correlates donor money to politicians: Center for Responsive Politics. Presumably, the reason Moyers was flogging the New York Times convoluted Bank PAC matrix

is because most of the top 3 contributors identified were typically Republican, and AIG was left off the map. I suspect both the New York Times & Moyers wish to muddy the awters and push the meme that all politicians are corrupt, but especially Republicans, who take kickbacks from private banks. I suspect that their answer to said problem is to nationalize the banks and have them controlled by the government, but only if said government is controlled by the Democrats.

What would be more useful is to correlate the PAC recipients' voting records to their support of TARP & other corporate baiouts. For fellow Buckeyes, Rep. Boehner received a boatload of bank PAC dough, and also voted in favor of the 3 Oct 2008 HR 1424 TARP bank bailout bill, but only after being Mau Maued by the MSM:

"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric demanded that House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, tell her on Sept. 30, 2008, "What in the World Are You People Doing?" That was after the bailout failed to pass the first time.

I agree how Moyers and his guest, William Greider, identified the problem: that it is wrong for the government to fob corporations' losses onto the public whilst allowing private profits. I assumed that our roads would drastically diverge from there, with Moyers and his merrie band of Marxists taking a hard left down the road to serfdom & bank nationalization.

I was rather taken aback when Greider argued against nationalization:

President Obama and if the Democratic leaders in Congress follow along, he'll put the Democratic Party on the wrong side of history. At this critical moment. What we ought to be seeking, the goal of reform, and government aid, is creating a new financial and banking system, of many more, thousands more, smaller, more diverse, regionally dispersed banks and investment firms. That's first obligation is to serve the economy and serve society. Not the other way around. What the administration's approach may be doing is consecrating too big to fail, for starters. Which, of course, everybody in government denied was the policy until the moment arrived. And secondly, and this will sound extreme to some people, but I came to it reluctantly. I fear what they're doing, not intentionally, but in their design is setting the crown for a corporate state.

I don't buy into Greider's false dichotomy that small=good and big=bad. His New Way Forward looks like an old way backward into the 19th C Andrew Jackson's liquidating of Biddle's bank. However, at least Greider's not taking us back to the 20th C Stalin's liquidating of the Kulaks, which I suspect is what Moyers wants.

I disagree with Greider's procedure for separating the wheat from the chaff. For me, a good bank is well managed, remains solvent, and eschews pimping themselves for taxpayer bailouts regardless of race, religion, gender, etc, etc, or size. A bad bank is a zombie bank that should go into Chapter 11, again, regardless of size and regardless of political favor curried.

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