Nationalizing Failure

Yesterday, Marc and Monique noted that the “stimulus” sticker is being slapped on boxes of the Democrats favorite things. It may be the giddy air of Washington, these days, that brought forth from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the comment: “Would we have ever thought we would see the day when we’d be using that terminology – ‘nationalization of the banks?'”
With the direction in which the federal government is going, I fear that “stimulus” will prove to mean “national collapse.” From the proximate link (emphasis added):

Many believe that form of hybrid ownership – part government, part private, with the responsibilities of ownership unclear – will not prove workable.
“The case for full nationalization is far stronger now than it was a few months ago,” said Adam Posen, the deputy director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “If you don’t own the majority, you don’t get to fire the management, to wipe out the shareholders, to declare that you are just going to take the losses and start over. It’s the mistake the Japanese made in the ’90s.
“I would guess that sometime in the next few weeks, President Obama and Tim Geithner,” he said, referring to the nominee for Treasury secretary, “will have to come out and say, ‘It’s much worse than we thought’ and just bite the bullet.”

That’s speculation from a think-tanker, of course, but consider the prospect’s implications. Bank management will face national politicization of their jobs. Private shareholders will have less incentive to invest. The federal government will have even more power to refashion our financial system based on its own impressions of economic reality and “social justice.”
This path was mapped in the very first leap toward bailouts, last year, when America was assured of the necessity and everybody brushed off the natural tendencies of government as a consideration. The only question, at this point, is whether the stumbling beast can be stopped.

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OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Justin,
When you wrote,

The federal government will have even more power to refashion our financial system based on its own impressions of economic reality and “social justice.”

you probably inadvertently defined the dichotomy taking shape regarding the stimulus package. That you put “Social Justice” in quotes implies that the idea of social justice is ill defined and arbitrary, some kind of flighty liberal rant with no viable substance – feel free to correct this if I read it wrongly. Were I to have written the sentence, I would have put the quotes around “Economic Reality” and the sentence would have an entirely different meaning, i.e. “economic reality” being the phrase that is ill defined and arbitrary, in short a Right wing rant with no viable substance.
Clever wording and punctuation, but I object on the grounds of “leading the witness.” Exactly which phrase gets the quotes is being hashed out by the congress and I’m fairly certain that you’ll wind up on the losing side of this one by the simple means of majority rule.
OldTimeLefty

Steve A.
Steve A.
12 years ago

The government refashioning anything at this point should be reason for concern whether it be in quotes, parenthesis or left alone. The more control the government is given, the more it’ll want. That’s the same government delaying a recession from hitting bottom, unable or unwilling to control our borders/illegal immigration, and spending and growing at an alarming rate. If it can’t do its job well then why should we be thrilled about it taking on additional responsibilities?

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Stephen A., you said:

The government refashioning anything at this point should be reason for concern whether it be in quotes, parenthesis or left alone.

I would agree with you if we were discussing the Bush administration, but thank heaven, we are not.
F.Y.I. -government is not static, it is dynamic. We have opposition parties in order to bring about new policies when the electorate finds old ones inadequate. It is juvenile and ill thought out to blame the current government for the failures of the previous one. If you think that all government is doomed to failure, I suggest you take up residence in the Amazon Jungle or the South Pole.

Steve A.
Steve A.
12 years ago

Lefty,
I’ll agree with you that it is early in the Obama administration to categorize it as a failure or to even suggest it. That wasn’t the point. But while he may be new, the face of congress has not changed. When one speaks of the government in this country, you shouldn’t assume the president just like when we look at this state we certainly shouldn’t look at only the governor. One shouldn’t assume.
“We have opposition parties in order to bring about new policies when the electorate finds old ones inadequate”
In a perfect world you are correct, that is what should happen. But if that were the case, our general assembly would be much more diverse than it is. The few opposition members there lost ground. Were they responsible for the out of control spending? Were they responsible for taking one time settlement money and patching a budget hole with it rather than cutting the fat? Was there party even close to being the majority part the last few decades?
Lastly, not all government is doomed to failure. But when executive orders and excess spending send you into what sure looks like a downward spiral, are you better off closing your eyes and going for the ride or questioning the direction you see yourself heading?

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