American Elephants

Greedy Bankers, Evil Stockbrokers, and Nasty CEOs. by The Elephant's Child
March 1, 2009, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Freedom, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , ,


“Greed” is a political word.  It is used by politicians to make those to whom they have applied the term seem like bad people, usually because they want to blame them for something.

To visualize “greed” you’re apt to think of a really fat kid at the table, stuffing himself with pastries.  Politicians want you to think of bankers and stockbrokers and CEOs of major corporations, because they want these people blamed instead of themselves for whatever is happening to the economy.

It always pays to remember that people are ordinary human beings, some smarter than others, some more  honest than others, some more efficient than others and some more knowledgeable than others.  The opposite also applies.

Politics is the only venue where we give people jobs based on things completely unrelated to their actual qualifications.  Their appearance, smile, name familiarity and glowing promises rank a lot higher than their ability to speed read efficiently through long pieces of legislation, understand complex economic principles, grasp basic mathematics, and understand the consequences of the laws they pass.  A familiarity with our founding documents and their meaning, and an acquaintance with American history should also be requirements but we’re getting into fantasy land here.

It is easy to accuse bankers, stockbrokers and CEOs of greed.  Their business is creating wealth for other people and for themselves.  If they are successful in creating wealth for their clients, they will probably create quite a bit of wealth for themselves in the process.  We reward those who create wealth generously.

Even the most skilled money manager can make bad bets.  Legendary investor Warren Buffet, who has enriched himself and his clients immeasurably, had a very bad year if it makes you feel any better.

The greedy banker forced by misguided laws to make mortgage loans to clients who do not meet the standard of prudent lending guidelines is to be excoriated.  The applicant who takes advantage of overly lenient lending laws to buy houses to flip in a short time is not?  The applicant who knows that they cannot repay the loan they are offered is not?

My point here is not that all money managers are blameless, nor that all homeowners who face foreclosure are to be blamed.  The point is that your worries about the economy are being manipulated to make you do what  politicians want, and what they want is not always good for you or for the economy.

Your best defense against an unruly world is the knowledge in your own head.

Not everybody is reacting with awe! by The Elephant's Child

An article on Vice President Biden’s Middle Class Task Force began: “Commentators left and right have reacted with awe to the ambition and transformative potential of President Obama’s economic blueprint.” Awe was not quite the proper descriptive.

Karl Rove wondered in the Wall Street Journal ” Is the Administration Winging It?” At National Review Online, ,Jonah Goldberg, Yuval Levin, Andy McCarthy and John Derbyshire agree that he is winging it. Charles Krauthammer thinks he is more Machiavellian, aiming to change America into a European-style social democracy.  Daniel Henninger sees him as a radical president.  After his first month in office, we are still trying to figure the guy out.

The markets clearly do not like the administration nor administration policies. The Dow has lost half it’s value and decimated most people’s 401Ks, and retirement funds.

The nation’s largest corporations’ CEOs have personally lost a whopping $54 billion over the most recent fiscal year.  These losses by CEOs amounted to 50% of their total holdings.  These are the much excoriated rich whom Obama and the congress expect to pay for their stimulus and earmarks and generosity to their favorite constituents.

In his speech to Congress, Mr. Obama said “CEOs won’t be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet.” Funny, during the stimulus debate Barbara Boxer was off in an ante room picking out carpet samples, and immediately after it was hastily passed, Nancy Pelosi hopped on her personal government jet for a European tour.

After passing the $787,000,000,000 stimulus bill, Speaker Pelosi’s House has passed an omnibus appropriations bill for only $410,000,000,000 more, including 8,500 earmarks — the extra goodies that congressmen like to send home to their districts.  It is amazing to contemplate all those zeroes.  And that does not include the bank bailout that they haven’t figured out yet, nor whatever additional bailout money needs to be appropriated for the car companies.

As economist Larry Kudlow said:

Let me be very clear on the economics of President Obama’s address to Congress and budget.  He is declaring war on investors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, large corporations, and private-equity and venture-capital funds.  That is the meaning of his anti-growth tax-hike proposals, which make absolutely no sense at all — either for this recession or from the standpoint of expanding our economy’s long-run potential to grow.

Obama wanted to “hit the ground running” and Rahm Emmanuel said that “You should never let a crisis go to waste.”  “Bold action” apparently trumps deliberation and caution with the American people’s money.

Rush Limbaugh Brings Down the House at CPAC by American Elephant

An excellent speech, in case you missed it. And not a teleprompter in sight. *cough* Obama *cough*.

Rush defines and defends conservatism as all Republicans should be doing (but haven’t and aren’t) — as the fundamental principles upon which this nation is founded. He relates conservatism to the Constitution and the Declaration, he speaks passionately about the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and how it is all under assault by Democrat authoritarians pushing big-government.

Every Republican in office should be chained down and forced to watch this video. This is how you define the differences between conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats:

(h/t Hot Air)

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