Thursday, September 18, 2008

Galtian response

I was having a virtual conversation with a couple of guys the other day after the So-Called Government announced the $64 brajillion bailout of AIG.

I was going off on an irrational rant (as I am known to do) about how the So-Called Government is always bailing everyone out and that’s why people had no problem borrowing more than they could even unreasonably afford knowing that the So-Called Government would be there to buy them out if when the financial shit inevitably hits the fan.

This guy rightly pointed out that most people didn't "know" the government would bail them out of their mortgages, although the banks probably knew the So-Called Government WOULD bail THEM out.

This is true, and I forgot to give props for that. So, Bull, yes. You’re right that most people didn't consciously and premeditatively go into their super-balloon payment ARM mortgages with the idea of ripping off the bank and the taxpayer.

But I guess what I and an unfortunately small minority of others are so frustrated about is this on-going and really unacknowledged dependence that the American Public has developed on the So-Called Government.

Run your auto company into the ground? Don’t worry, the So-Called Government will fix it. Airline tanking? Don’t worry, the So-Called Government will give you some money.

Did your bank lose a bundle in a mortgage pyramid scheme? Hey, no problem, the So-Called Government is buying mortgage companies this week.

You say your house was destroyed in a hurricane because you built it below sea level? Let the So-Called Government help you rebuild it under sea level again.

Look people, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking we don’t live in a socialist republic. Hell, I'm not even so sure about the "republic" part anymore. Everyone is on the public dole, from the richest corporate CEO’s to the rural beet farmer.

And the majority of people seem to think that’s okay.

Years ago I read Atlas Shrugged. Now, I know the pseudo-philosophy of Ayn Rand has been roundly debunked, but I can’t help feeling like we’re living the plot of that (at times tedious) novel. How long before the few, productive members of society just get sick of funding the moochers.

In the book, the So-Called Government took over more and more industries – banking, steel, mining, transportation – for the good of the people of course. Finally the productive people said “fuckit” and started their own country in wild and unexplored Colorado.

Reading the novel, I remember thinking Rand was a passable writer and the concepts are interesting food for thought on a conceptual level. The characters were pretty melodramatic, one-dimensional and not very complex, so I never really attributed any real-world significance to them.

After the last few months, I’m not so sure.

Anyone have any unused ranch land in Colorado for sale?

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  1. Debunked? Hardly. Rand has been proven right again and again and again... It's obvious that we're experiencing exactly what she foresaw- the flight of wealth to those wth 'friends in Washington', the collapse of non-objective money, the inability of an irrational culture to maintain its infrastructure... a blind man could see.

  2. Rands book may not have been a literary masterpiece, but Atlas Shrugged is something every high school kid should be required to read and understand in order to graduate. Eventually, given enough time (not much more unfortunately), that book will read like a prophecy on the decline of the United States. Most libertarians hold Atlas Shrugged as one of the great books of the 20th century. It is absolutely amazing to me that most people don't understand, the government has no idea how to run a business and "creates" nothing, but that doesn't stop them from doing it on larger and larger scales.

    To folks who don't understand... imagine how low your taxes would be if the government didn't give it all away to companies in trouble and "loan" it to other countries.

    BTW, anyone who thinks AIG will be paying back the 80+ billion dollars we just loaned them, I know of bridge you can buy.

  3. Screw Colorado. I think if you just go to Wyoming or Montana and stick a flag in the first plot of open land you see, you then own it, and the surrounding 4 acres. LET'S GO!!!

    We'll call it Faithemaw. And it will be awesome. (Do you know how to install drywall? Because we haven't learned that yet, and it'll be a handy skill to have when the houses of Faithemaw ar going up...)

  4. Emaw and Faith, no need for Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana.
    There has been a movement towards this already. , of course it's slated for New Hampshire... and I moved away from New England because it's too cold!

  5. old fart- global warming. It will get warmer there!

  6. Brilliant post!


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