home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |

How's That "Spread the Wealth Doing?" Barack's Cunning Plan

print view

What Liberals Should Have Known

by Christopher Chantrill
August 30, 2010 at 7:42 pm


REP. BARNEY Frank (D-MA), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has changed his mind about Fannie and Freddie, the home-mortgage government-sponsored giants. According to Larry Kudlow, Rep. Frank is ready to send Fannie to a death panel:

“I hope by next year we’ll have abolished Fannie and Freddie,” [Frank] said. Remarkable. And he went on to say that “it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn’t afford and couldn’t really handle once they had it.” He then added, “I had been too sanguine about Fannie and Freddie.”

I suppose we should all offer forgiveness to Barney, as the generous Kudlow does. How nice that he has realized his error, now that we’ve had the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression. Now that millions of Americans have lost their homes. Now that we’ve passed the stupid bureaucratic finance “reform” bill that did nothing about Fannie and Freddie. Perhaps now Barney will tell his political chums to stop calling everyone a racist for opposing government housing subsidies.

Is Rep. “Too Sanguine” Frank now telling us that he didn’t know that government-sponsored enterprises spewing out government-subsidized credit were a real risk for a credit meltdown?

Either way, the chap who is parading himself before the world as chairman of the committee with responsibility for the financial markets should have known. It’s not as if we haven’t seen this sort of thing before, starting with the South Sea Company and the South Sea Bubble of 1720. Guess what: the South Sea Company was a government-sponsored enterprise too.

Here’s another fine mess that liberals should have known about. ObamaCare. Back in January, President Obama was confidently telling Democrats that their tough votes for ObamaCare would pay off in the fall. Bill Clinton even had the effrontery to suggest that Democrats lost the 1994 mid-terms because they failed to pass HillaryCare. Come on, Mr. President. I was there in 1994. I remember exactly where I was driving in August 1994 when I heard an NPR reporter marvel that the majority of Americans were against HillaryCare because they thought it would raise their health care costs. I’d been waiting for that moment all year.

Now all of a sudden, the Dems have woken up to the fact that the fall payoff ain’t gonna happen.

But then the elected Democrats should have known that. If they were reading their policy analyst stuff like me they would know about Irving Kristol’s Law of Social Programs. It simply says that if you want to help the poor, you have to deal the middle class in—as in Social Security and Medicare. On this view, HillaryCare and ObamaCare are non-starters because they are too late. The middle class already has good health care. It’s too late to deal them in.

Back in 1994 the middle class took a look at HillaryCare and decided it was going to mess up their health care. So it did the practical thing and sent an extra 54 Republicans to the House of Representatives that year. Here is how it looks over at US Stuck on Stupid. (You can make your own custom chart here).

UsStuckOnStupid.com is a website that chronicles the economic policies of the disastrous decade from 1929 to 1939, “a decade which will live—in stupidity.” We are hoping that the president and the congressional Democrats don’t force us to start a chronicle for this decade.

What should our liberal friends learn if they wish to avoid repeating the lesson of 1994? There is a clue in a recent Wall Street Journal article. It is called “The End of Management” by Alan Murray. Here’s the subhead: “Corporate bureaucracy is becoming obsolete. Why managers should act like venture capitalists.” The problem for corporations today is that all the traditional bureaucratic stuff—listening to customers, studying market trends—doesn’t help when you find that you “missed disruptive innovations that opened up new customers and markets for lower-margin, blockbuster products.” By then it’s too late.

But our liberal friends, just at the moment that corporations are abandoning the bureaucratic model, want to bury the financial system and the health care system in the mother of all bureaucracies. They should have known that was a stupid thing to do.

In An American Manifesto, I am developing the idea that bureaucracy is, by its nature, oppressive and anti-freedom. Because, in my view, the whole point of bureaucracy is to order other people around. In the America of the future, we will want to reduce the incidence and the scope of bureaucracy. You cannot have both bureaucracy and freedom. You have to choose.

It is starting to look as though, last winter, liberals chose oblivion.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

print view

To comment on this article at American Thinker click here.

To email the author, click here.



What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008

Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

presented by Christopher Chantrill

Data Sources  •   •  Contact