Friday, April 17, 2009

Blogging comments.... a discussion about our society.

Yes, I know blogging ones own comments is the height of laziness, but this is an interesting discussion and worth enlarging....
Most of the 2.3 readers of this humble little blog are smarter than I, and I'd like them to kick in with thoughts on this. Most will be far too smart to enter the fray, I know, but I'm hoping some will (g)

Now.... full disclosure. I know Judy. She is family of very good friends.

Anonymous Judy K said...

Good points...but the crumbling economic system in my opinion is not due to illegitimate spending, but rather greed and poor decisions in an under-reglated or unregulated financial system. The greed started with everyday people wanting more than they could reasonably afford, and continues throughout the system. These poor decisions are leading to more illegitimate spending, most notably - corporate welfare. But let's be honest with ourselves and take some responsibility for our lifestyle... and learn from our mistakes. I applaud you for standing up and taking a stance. Enjoy your tea party.

April 14, 2009 9:10 PM

Blogger Carteach0 said...

Under-regulated..... or badly regulated? How about criminally regulated?

Let us not forget Senators Dodd and Obama, the two highest recipients of campaign funds from Fanni Mae and Freddie Mac.

Recall Dodd.... who swore up and down the institutions were healthy and needed no more regulation, when the Bush administration called for it and forecast exactly what happened.

The genesis of our economic meltdown was the collapse of the overinflated housing market, which in turn was fueled by incredibly bad lending policies, which were in turn shaped by unconscionable political dealings and the arm twisting of vote greedy politicians bending to the will of special interest groups. The lenders were clearly at fault, as were the people who took loans they knew they could never afford.... but at the top of that pile were political hacks threatening the lenders with federal action if they didn't make sub prime loans without regard to fiscal responsibility.

Corporate welfare is, and has been, a huge problem. It begins with a twisted incestuous relationship between politicians, regulators, and corporate donors. Neither political party escapes that brush.
It only gets worse.... and has now accelerated roughly 400% under the new administration and Congress.

Could our financial systems be more, or better, regulated? By who? Congress? A body with more criminals as members than any other institution outside the federal prison system.

April 14, 2009 9:37 PM

Blogger Crucis said...

"Congress? A body with more criminals as members than any other institution outside the federal prison system."

I've not heard it said better.


April 14, 2009 10:34 PM

Anonymous Judy K said...

Based on your view of congress, how could you trust them to govern at all? regardless of ideology? There will be criminals in congress, as there is a bell shaped curve of criminal activity throughout our society.

I don't understand this: "political hacks threatening the lenders with federal action if they didn't make sub prime loans without regard to fiscal responsibility"... can you elaborate with an example?

April 15, 2009 7:56 PM

Blogger Carteach0 said...


I don't trust them, at all, nor do I think anyone should trust any government. History shows that few governments can ever be trusted, as they attract the worst in people, as much as the best.

That's why I believe in our SYSTEM of government, a constitutional republic, where government itself is limited by the basic principles and laws it's founded upon.

The problem begins when our government oversteps those constitutional limitations. It does so now with blatant disregard and a near total abandonment of the rule of law. The bulk of what our federal government now takes upon itself in the way of power and authority are either not granted it, or prohibited to it by the constitution if read as originally written. Yes, I am an 'originalist' in that regard.

As for the governments role in our present economic troubles, look into the 'Community Reinvestment Act' (1972 I think), and it's effect on lending practices. Lending institutions were hauled before congressional hearings and questioned (at ACORNS behest) on their minimum loan application standards. They were told to lower the standards... or else. Some lending institutions did so under duress, others did so gleefully and then created a new derivatives market with the ballooning sub-prime loans.

You'll have to do your own research, and you will find those who say that Congress had little or nothing to do with it. I believe otherwise. On the post, I am appending a few links for you to begin with, including the revised testimony at Barney Franks hearings. On those, you have to read between, behind, and beyond the prepared testimony to see a glimmer of the truth. It's all much clearer in hindsight, given the results we now all live with.

April 15, 2009 9:09 PM

Anonymous Judy K said...

Thanks. After reading the 2 editorials and watching some of the CRA hearing, I have a better understanding of what you are saying. Here's another question. I now understand the "pressure" that ACORN put on the banks, but what federal action was threatened if the banks did not comply?

April 16, 2009 9:04 PM

Blogger Carteach0 said...

They were told to prepare for investigations under the 'fair housing' act, Sec. 800. [42 U.S.C. 3601]. Banks and lending institutions are regulated, heavily, despite the recent media attention. Like most regulations, they are selectively enforced. Such enforcement can be truly destructive to a commercial enterprise, even the threat is enough to make most fold.

Judy, all the history aside, do you have any idea the debt our country is being snowed under with? As bad as previous administrations were, in various ways, the new one makes them pale in comparison. In the first three months of his presidency, President Obama has signed legislation taking on more national debt than all the previous presidents in our nations history.... combined.

April 16, 2009 9:17 PM

Anonymous Judy said...

Thanks. I am very concerned with the debt, which is why I'm trying to better understand the conservative views on these issues. I am mostly concerned with the impact of this massive debt on our national security. How can we protect our country if we are dependent on borrowing money from other countries to do so? I guess I just don't see a way out of this recession without massive influx of gov't funded programs. Although nobody can really explain what would happen if we just let nature take it's course. The domino effect of our major industries plus the banks going under is something I can't comprehend...but I suspect that would have a much greater negative impact on our liberty and pursuit of happiness than the current stimulus plans (with all it's problems).

On another note, I've realized the last few weeks with the violence in Mexico that so much of what we fight is directly related to our drug addiction. Drug money made to support our insatiable appetite for drugs seems to fund nearly every aspect of violence in this world. It's somewhat ironic. Perhaps we need to focus our government programs on that...I would pay a dollar a day in taxes to develop more programs that demonstrate a significant reduction in illicit drug abuse in this country.

April 16, 2009 10:18 PM

Blogger Carteach0 said...

Judy, you cover many questions and points.... and it can be difficult to get to all of them in such a limited venue as this.

Sounds like.... you need to write a blog! :-)

I understand your questions. None are easy, all are troublesome, and all deserve the work it takes to understand them and seek answers.

Lets take this thought: "I guess I just don't see a way out of this recession without massive influx of gov't funded programs."

The problem here.... where does that money come from? Go back a page on this blog and look for a post titled 'Motivations'. In it I detail some thoughts about government and money.

There ARE NO government funds. Government exists solely by taking the wealth generated by working Americans and redistributing it.

The way our Federal government is being run today, fiscally, there is no more tax money money to spend. They have spent it all, and borrowed against it to the point you can't possible pay enough taxes to cover the bill. In fact, your children will not be able to pay the debt either. Now they are simply creating money out of thin air to pay the tab, and that is called inflation. It makes your hard earned wealth (Your bank account, your home, your car, your paycheck) worth less, because the wealth has been taken from you and used to make their new dollars valuable.

How to put this situation into an analogy....

Take a large family living in a big house. Mom and Dad don't work outside the home... but about half the kids do. The parents are taking a little more than half everything each working kid makes, and using it to support the other half. The working kids are paying rent and buying their own food, the other kids just live 'off the family', and so do Mom and Dad. Now, Mom and Dad have some bad habits. They can't manage money, are used to living a better life than everyone else, and are certain their children owe them everything. Mom and Dad have taken out loans to support not only the household, but a lifestyle for the 'house management' far better than any of the working kids enjoy. BIG loans... to the point the house has been mortgaged for 400% of it's value. On top of that, they have structured these loans so the kids are on the hook for them... and their grandkids.

It's gotten to the point where the kids who work and support the entire household are looking at almost total confiscation of the money they make from working, all in the name of 'Taking care of your brothers and sisters'. Not only do they have too little left to support themselves, but they are being told daily that they are rich and selfish and should just shut up and work harder.

Mom and Dad have just quadrupled the size of this years loans, and are demanding more.... and more... and more from the few kids left who are working for a living.

You see.... we can analyze the sad plight of the 'poor non working kids' and their greedy Parents all day, but what gets missed in the discussion is the slavery going on in the house.

Slavery.... is what happens when someone takes the fruits of your labor at gun point. It is evil. Perhaps the worst evil of all. Dressing it up in 356,000 pages of tax code and calling it 'sharing the wealth' does not make it any less evil.

Another point:
"The domino effect of our major industries plus the banks going under is something I can't comprehend...but I suspect that would have a much greater negative impact on our liberty and pursuit of happiness than the current stimulus plans (with all it's problems)."

Yes... and no. Would cascading bankruptcies be a harsh blow? Certainly. We'll leave aside governments role in helping cause the situation, and think about outcomes. What are they? Bankruptcies and business failures would cause heavy unemployment and much hardship for some years, until the economy could recover. I'm sorry to say, but each time our nation has faced this in the past, (a) government regulation made the recovery slower, and (b) we usually got involved in a major war to stimulate the economy and thin the population.

Yes.... all the failures would be bad for a while. Real bad, and for years. But... what is the other option? We are faced now with nationalization of the banking industry, the automotive industry, health care, and energy production. It's traditional name is Socialism, and it's not something that lasts a few years. It lasts for generations until the nation collapses or their is bloody revolution.

Judy.... take a little while and study the history of nations which have gone that route. See how many people died (the ultimate loss of civil rights), and how those countries ended up. Every time.

Mexico and drugs? That is a whole 'nuther topic, and worth it's own post and discussion. :-)

And comments on another post:
Anonymous Judy K said...

The pictures are wonderful. Thanks for opening my eyes to this. Here's a question... I could be wrong, but it seems to me like people feel like their liberty is threatenend by the excessive taxes. What about the liberty to healthcare? To shelter for those who can't afford it? You wrote elsewhere that many gov't programs should be left to churches and charities...but how can you then insure liberty to those with no voice? I agree that many gov't programs are wasteful and excessive. But it would likely be similar with any other organization running those programs. Don't our citizens have a right to adequate healthcare? Is there is a way to provide healthcare to all without a government-funded system?

I have been involved with one government service, namely children and youth services. I know first hand that there is numerous waste and mismanagement in this system. But at the same time, this system protected the person who is now my son. Without government programs, who will insure the safety of these children? Will we be leaving babies on church doorsteps wrapped in a blanket?

April 16, 2009 9:17 PM

Blogger Carteach0 said...

Judy, good questions, and I don't have all the answers. I do know that government is not the answer to every question.

Does government have a role in our society? I believe it does. Are some safety nets appropriate? Yes, I believe so. Is the government the best route to provide those nets? I don't think so.

Think about it in larger terms... what exactly does the federal government run, that it runs well?
The military is not an optional answer on this, as it mostly runs itself despite congressional bungling. Private charities serve people far more efficiently, and fairly, than government welfare does. I believe this has been shown true in many studies. It's also been shown that the American people are the most giving of any in the world.

On a more personal level... riddle me this.... Suppose we say government has a role in these areas, and it's right for us to pay taxes to support these activities.
All well and good... now tell me... what is the highest percentage I should have taken from my wages in taxes to do so?

100%? Should I pay every penny I earn? No?

How about nothing? Should I get all the services the government has to offer, and pay nothing at all?

Someplace in between those two extremes there must be an answer, but no politician will name it. Their only answer is.... 'More', if they think they can get it.

Morally.... ethically.... what is the most any one person should have to pay? How about when they are forced to do so against their will?

Do you know what total percentage of your earned wealth goes out in taxes? Do you give it willingly, or do you look for tax deductions to lesson your burden? Do you approve of the way your wealth is spent for you?

This discussion could go on for years :-)

April 16, 2009 9:41 PM

Blogger Crucis said...

I live in one state and work in the neighboring state. I have the priviledge of paying taxes in two states!

The sum of all my state(s), local and federal income tax is nearly 60% of my total income. Why should I work more, earn more, when it will only be taken from me? What is my incentive? You want to know about unintended consequences?
Read Atlas Shrugged. It's amazing how much that 50 year-old novel accurately portrays activities occurring now.

April 17, 2009 11:47 AM

Blogger Crucis said...

The discussion above with Judy K brings this quote from Robert A. Heinlein to mind.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded---here and there, now and then,--- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck" RAH.The core liberal assumption is that people with needs would be abandoned if the government didn't force taxes from people to pay for those needed services. How were they cared for before the great socialist drive starting in the last century? Was there widespread starvation and death as some would like us to believe?


Those in need were cared for my their families, their churches, their local communities.

Did some fall through the cracks?


Is that sufficient reason to take my earnings from me at the point of a gun? No, it is not. I would give freely to assist those whom I believe are worthy of my help. I will resist coercion from the government to take that choice away from me.

April 17, 2009 12:27 PM


1 comment:

Crucis said...

Thank for including my comments in your post (next time, please correct my typos! :-) )

I wanted to expand a bit on voluntary donations for non-governmental agencies. In this case, our church.

Our church does not require tithing. However, my wife and I voluntarily tithe our gross income (not just the after-tax income that is the usual case.) We do so voluntarily. Our church has, does, and will provide temporary support to those individuals and organizations that we deem worthy of support. Our church also supports a free clothing store that provides clothing to whomever visits without qualification. We sometimes limit the amount depending on our supply but we usually receive more clothing donations than we can distribute.

The point to this is that is contribution of our money and our time is by OUR choice. We also know that 100% of our money goes where we want it to go, not to some group or groups That has philosophies or policies that are contrary to our beliefs.

These are our choices.