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Before the US invaded Iraq, when the President was talking about mushroom clouds [0] and the Secretary of State delivered a PowerPoint about bio-weapons to the United Nations [1], I gave our leaders the benefit of the doubt.

Surely the military, the CIA, the NSA, the NRO, and the President must have secret information they cannot share with the public to justify the horrors of war.

Turns out I was wrong. It was a pack of lies, half-truths and poorly-substantiated rumors to justify a predetermined agenda.

After the 2007-2008 financial meltdown, when the President and the Secretary of the Treasury threatened the end of the world as we know it if the richest corporations aren't given direct cash infusions [2], I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

Surely our elected officials would never directly transfer hundreds of billions of dollars to the richest of the rich unless the alternative was truly grave.

Turns out I was wrong. It was a pack of lies, half-truths and poorly-substantiated rumors to transfer wealth from working people to the ownership class on an unprecedented scale.

So when the President stands before us today and speaks for 45 minutes without saying anything of consequence, without providing any evidence that the threat is so dire, so imminent, so cataclysmic that we must relinquish our freedoms to preserve our freedoms, I can no longer give him the benefit of the doubt.

No more vague threats. No more fear. No more intimidation. No more secrecy. These are fatal to a political system that relies on an informed citizenry.

[0] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw9BJ_Kh7mE

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_weapons_laboratory

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/business/26bailout.html?pa...




Joshua Topolsky put it best:

> America we are under constant, vague, terrifying attack. There is no end. There will never be an end.

http://twitter.com/joshuatopolsky/status/424220069003288577


>So when the President stands before us today and speaks for 45 minutes without saying anything of consequence, without providing any evidence that the threat is so dire, so imminent, so cataclysmic that we must relinquish our freedoms to preserve our freedoms, I can no longer give him the benefit of the doubt.

It gets worse: people who do such things, can also manufacture concrete evidence of "dire and imminent" stuff.

For example by letting the stock market crumble to some predetermined stop point, when they come with measures to save the day. Or by provoking for some attack and seeing it happen -- which is mostly what was done in Pearl Harbor to convince people to get in WWII (E.g: http://mises.org/daily/6312/FDRs-Pacific-War-Before-Pearl-Ha... -- Can't vouch for the validity of the linked website in general, just found a quick link to the issue. The facts are available in tons of historical books).


The financial crisis was probably extremely dire.


That's an opinion you share with all investors who were made whole by the heavy-handed official response to the "crisis". The rest of us, not so much.


That's because the rest of you don't understand what an all-out financial collapse would mean for you because as a result of the FED's actions, it didn't happen.


What? What would it mean? Doesn't man nothing. It's just an excuse to hand over millions for free.

The basic Liberal theory says that when a big player goes down, it's good for the market, because many smaller players will fill that gap. What is happening the last years throughout US and Europe is that when a bank goes down, the state turns communist and we share the losses.

If the bank has huge earning, it's capitalism, so they can keep it because hey they worth it!.

Joseph Stiglitz has an entire book on the subject. As Krugman said - and the economist also... go figure! - Obama should have put at least some rules to Wall Street giants when they were on their knees, not after he made them twice as big.

Blah, I am not sure if the Congress or Obama CAN actually do anything to regulate WS giants at all.


Yes. Idahoans also didn't understand why they should pay me mucho dinero to continue protecting Idaho from dragons.

"But we don't have dragons in Idaho", they'd say.

To which of course I replied: "See how effective I have been?".

Plus, besides the disregard for the burden-of-proof in your argument, wasn't the economic crisis caused "as a result of the FED's actions" in the first place (deregulation etc)?


> Plus, besides the disregard for the burden-of-proof in your argument, wasn't the economic crisis caused "as a result of the FED's actions" in the first place (deregulation etc)?

Deregulation was Congressional action, not action of the Federal Reserve (usually referred to by the shortened form, "the Fed").


>Deregulation was Congressional action, not action of the Federal Reserve (usually referred to by the shortened form, "the Fed").

That's the "law passing" part. But the advisory part has Fed written on it:

"In Congressional testimony on October 23, 2008, Greenspan finally conceded error on regulation. The New York Times wrote, "a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending. ... Mr. Greenspan refused to accept blame for the crisis but acknowledged that his belief in deregulation had been shaken."

"By dialing rates to near zero, Mr. Greenspan made it cheap to lend. It was natural for the banks, a greedy lot to see that they could borrow money at low rates and lend it out to customers at higher rates."

"As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time."


People who speak about things which they know nothing about are the worst kind of fools.


Enjoy your hellban, oh self-referential one.


I don't see how it is substantially improved by instituting a tax backed financial insurance policy for gambling losses.


You mean the moral ideological alternative would have been better even if it caused the economy to implode?

This is why I'll never vote libertarian.


Eh? There are a lot more choices available than that.

And is not about moral ideology, it is pragmatic to take the view that declaring organisations as too big to fail, bailing them and then letting them carry on as before is pretty stupid. That's not running an economy, that's making excuses for an abusive relationship.


it was already imploding some. We'll never know how much more worse it could have been, but... Bear Stearns had already closed and the world didn't collapse. If a couple investment banks had closed, would everything have stopped? The big boys would have found a way to keep going pretty quickly. As it stands, the 'fix' still ended up keeping most previously normally available capital for average people on hold for years, grinding many regions to a virtual standstill with respect to housing/travel/construction/etc.

So... even with the massive bailout, the majority of average people got hit pretty hard, and many are still recovering as their regions try to fight back from the economic collapse, while we read about bankers bitching that their bonuses were only in the single digit millions for so many years.


So that is the price of your soul? Noted.


Yes, I'm much more for avoiding economic collapse than ideological purity. I like not starving to death, while the tea partying libercrazians would destroy the whole nation just to see out their distorted principles.


the punch line is thee was no threat to economic collapse..

The FEd had full powers to ask that any bail out remove current bank leadership from power due to the threat of full Gov receivership of those banks by Fed..we were sold the idea of giving a free get out of jail card to banks based on lies


It doesn't. A bailout was 100% necessary, but it needn't have been as generous as it was. Especially considering it severely curtailed Congress's appetite for heavier demand-side stimulus in the aftermath.


Sorry tootie, it was not necessary. More, it was not even wanted.


It's refreshing to find someone who gets it.




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