Friday, October 17, 2014

Calvin the Super Genius

Ben Hunt on our political elders and betters:
I am calm. But I am angry, too. It doesn’t have to be this way … this consensus-by-fiat style of policy leadership where we are always only one counter-factual reveal – the sick nurse or the sick economy – away from a breakdown in market or governmental confidence. I am angry that we have been consistently misjudged and underestimated, treated as children to be “educated” rather than as citizens to be trusted. I am angry that our most important political institutions have sacrificed their most important asset – not their credibility, but their authenticity – on the altar of political expediency, all in a misconceived notion of what it means to lead.
Read the whole thing.


  1. Just excellent article, lewy. I think there are many people (from both sides of the aisle) angry about the way our gov't. chooses to communicate with us. Take a look at the current press secy. Take a look at the new ebola czar that was chosen today. The lawyer - with not a smideon of a medical background - who signed off on the half billion Solyndra loan. The uber-partisan guy who helped write Obama's stimulus package.

    The only other area I disagree with is that this style of communication is "always for the best of intentions". Does he really believe that? I don't. But I think he's spot on in the rest of his points.

    1. flo, thanks. I like this article because the talking points aren't really partisan - it's not about policy - it's about governing style and the intrinsic weakness of it. Perfectly safe material for the extended family holiday meal.

  2. It has never ceased to amaze me how people will complain about big corporations but will accept whatever the government does "for the benefit of the people." I can't tell you any corporation that has willfully murdered millions of people, but it does not take much time at all to find governments that have. In spite of that, people want the government to protect us from corporations (not that some oversight is not necessary).

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The latest news letter from Hillsdale College has a speech about the imposition of administrative law into democracies. The principal behind administrative law is that the elite know so much more on the best way to run our lives than we do ourselves.

    1. Matt, so true.

      By the same token, some conservatives reflexively defend Wall St and Hollywood because "Free Enterprise", when really they owe a good bit of their profits to regulation, subsidy and legal overreach.

  3. Yeah, I know there are RINOs. I despise them, too.

  4. Great article lewy.

    Matt, from what I see big corporations (think GE) go merrily along, buying the political candidates of choice while paying no taxes on their profits. MOST corporations are the little guys who pay taxes out the kazoo. The banks and Wall Street? The game has been rigged for quite some time. Conservatives should be supporting HONEST corporations, banks and markets, not this disgusting conglomeration of pigs gobbling up America's wealth for their own pockets, courtesy of a gov't that's supposed to protect ordinary Americans from corruption but instead elbows their way to the slops trough.

    Meanwhile, our gov't pats us on the head as if we are all imbeciles (and, in fact, a sizable portion of our population is just that). There is no longer an "elite" class to make good decisions for our nation. It's up to us, the little guys getting smooshed, to stand up and take the helm.

  5. Have you ever noticed the odds of losing a comment are directly related to the length of the comment that gets lost? -Sigh- Let's try this again.

    I hear what both of you are saying. But what in the world does that have to do with the fact that all throughout history, more people have been murdered by governments than by any other entity?

    Are there sleazy corporations? Yes. But those sleazy corporations would not remain in business if it were not for sleazy people in government (I know I am being redundant) to grease the skids for them. And what about sleazy unions?

    I am not enamoured by big corporations. I do not mean this in an anti-capitalistic way. I just do not believe that because a company is good at making solar-powered back scratchers means that they are good at making motor oil. I am not impress when an ad say "We are the official [fill in the blank] of the NFL/Disneyland/Olympic Summer Games/ etc, etc. etc. That has nothing to do with quality, it has everything to do with who was willing to pay the most money.

    Years ago I used to receive junk mail from some GE company pedling retirement funds. To me, just because GE made great toasters and jet engines did not mean that they were qualified to look after my retirement. From what I have seen, the larger a corporation, the farther away they are from doing a job well. Doing the job well is no longer important to them, especially if they get into many things that are in no way related to their original function.

    But again, what does that have to do with questioning why people advocate giving absolute power to the one type of entity that historically, when given absolute power, has murdered more people than can ever be imagined -- much more than corporations could ever do?

    1. Ha. Interesting. It ate my first comment too. Thanks for the heads up Matt. (I saved my comment before I hit "Publish".)

      I noticed that the "Reply as: " field said "Google Account", as if I wasn't logged in - this usually throws up a login dialog before posting; this time it silently logged me in and ate my comment. Wild. Yeah, that's the internet, they take perfectly well running software and break it every so often. It'll get fixed. Till then, beware.

    2. Matt, it's not a question of weighing one against the other (at least the way I see it)... you nailed it when you said But those sleazy corporations would not remain in business if it were not for sleazy people in government.

      Yeah. Exactly. And the sleazy politicians gain power (and jobs and consulting gigs and speaking fees) from those sleazy big businesses.

      It's not hating big business more than big government. It's hating big business because it is tied to big government at the hip. (In the extreme, what the Fascists called "corporatism".)

      And I should say that "big business" is just shorthand. There are more and less sleazy huge corporations - I don't see how you get to 10 billion in market cap without some sleaze - but I think some are sleazy because they have to be to exist in their markets, and some are sleazy because it's an awesome way to get big and stay that way. The fact that you have to get dirty to play with the big boys corrupts the most boyscout-worthy corporate culture eventually. But there are also sleazy startups (e.g. Solyndra).

      I watched an investor named Jim Chanos do a segment on Petrobras (the Brazilian national oil company) on the Bloomberg channel today. Detailed how it's essentially a ponzi scheme, where they keep borrowing to pay the dividend and don't invest enough to be able to explore the vast offshore deposits which they've discovered.

      Makes ExonMobile look saintly. And I'm sure they ain't no saints... but Brazil is not becoming more like us - we are becoming more like Brazil. I hate that.