New Era of Financial Responsibility: Day Two

I am going to be trying this particular tactic out for a couple of weeks and see how it works out. As it typically has worked out these days, I write my article, fully hoping to engage in discussion, only to go to work the next day and not be able to discuss the topic that I wrote about! For example the only comment I got in today was a response to Charlie during my lunch break. So what I am going to do is take two days for the discussion from Monday morning. As it stands I have been posting an article Monday morning around 2:00am and then allowing discussion for two days and doing open mic Wednesday morning. Rather than post no article on Monday night / Tuesday morning, I am going to write a follow up that answers some of the comments from the discussion of that day. Since the Monday morning article is usually the “heavy” one for the week, it will help to ensure that I continue to follow up on my thoughts and engage those of you that take the time to comment on my articles. Plus I can take a bit more time and answer a thought or two more thoroughly. I will start tonight with the idea of de-regulation.

I get those that feel complete de-regulation is the path to ruin. Charlie, I know you are a smart guy and I respect your opinion. But I do think that we are having a disconnect if we believe that the correct path forward is to further regulate the markets. That is wrong for two reasons. First, the path of regulation is not only more corrupt, it has zero effectiveness. Second, the result of no government intervention is not nearly as dire as many make it out to be.

Government regulation of business is not a needed thing. More important, it is a tactic that has zero effectiveness. We have been heaping regulations on everything from financial transactions to the allowed size of a sellable banana (which would be a hysterical example if it weren’t true). Regulations have done no good in stopping the bad things from happening to those we are trying to protect. The reality is that the only effect regulations have had thus far in industry are the following:

– They increase the costs associated with production. This raises the cost of the good or service. There is no regulation in history that did not increase costs and there is no increase in costs in history that were not passed on to the consumer. Those costs that were unable to be passed on to the consumer resulted in the failure of business (General Motors, for example).

– They spell out to the letter what a company who is not honest must do to LEGALLY defraud its customers, while simultaneously creating a situation where the consumer has no recourse for what was done because there was no law prohibiting said action.

– They put the power to curtail regulation in the hands of government officials, which leads to campaign contribution demands, corruption, and corporate favoritism. Essentially it gives the government officials, instead of the market, the power to determine the fate and level of success of private industry. Companies rise and fall at the whim of politicians and federal officials rather than based on market need, market desire, and proper business feasibility.

– They cause the public to no longer take responsibility for their own outcome, safety, or potential consequences. The FDA is a prime example. Because it exists, people simply have no idea what is safe and what is not unless the FDA tells them so. And the FDA system is as corrupt and manipulative as any in America. Industry doesn’t have to meet the standards of consumers, it only has to meet the standards of the FDA, which are lower and suspect at that. Other perfect examples are the EPA, the Department of Education, the SEC, the IRS, and just about every other federal regulatory agency.

– They limit new entrants to the marketplace due to the heavy financial burdens that are associated with both start-up and operations. Limiting new entrants is perhaps one of the toughest criticisms, in my opinion. New entrants are what drives technology, customer service, competitive pay and benefits, innovation, and accountability. Without new entrants, existing corporations are free to offer selective services and dis-proportionate fees, lower wages and benefits, and offer products that meet minimum standards.

Those are some of the bad things that result from regulation. And the good that comes from them? Nothing. They don’t stop bad drugs or food from entering the market. They don’t stop pollution by corporations. They don’t limit fraud (just listen to a commercial for “EXTENZ” to hear first hand what operating within regulations sounds like while committing fraud). They didn’t prevent the BP oil spill, the WorldCom or Enron disasters, the housing market crash, the financial sector crash, the dot.com crash, the failure of the dykes in New Orleans, or the increase in prescription drug abuse. In fact, I would argue that regulations were the CAUSE of all of those things. Regulations created an environment where these things were possible. Perhaps a pure free market would not have prevented them either. But the free market would not have caused the other negatives listed above while also allowing these things to happen.

Regulations don’t help. They only hurt the marketplace. Arguing for more regulations only increases the harm they cause while doing very little to decrease the potential harm they are meant to stop. It reminds me of that old saying: Does it hurt when you do this? Yes. Then stop doing that. We have seen the absolute failure of regulation to help and we can absolutely document all the ways that it hurts. So why exactly do we continue to do it?

We do it because we are told to believe that without all those regulations, we face a world of capitalist monsters going crazy. And that world is just as fictional as the monsters under your bed. Are there bad people who will do bad things? ABSOLUTELY. Regulations aren’t stopping the bad people as it is. Will the free market stop people from doing bad things? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But to believe that it would be worse without the regulations is simply not realistic. At this point the bad people get to do what they want by government writ! At least the free market takes away the legitimacy of what they are doing. Even now, BP hasn’t done anything criminal. After all they were granted a waiver by the government MMS agency! All the steps they took were negligent and stupid, but according to regulations, they were legal. Take government out of the picture and BP would be paying for this disaster with its corporate life. The company would rot and die under lawsuits, boycotts, and possibly some public hangings!

And you know what, it would be painful at first to eliminate most of the regulations. But the market will sort itself out. People will learn that they alone are responsible for the transactions they enter into. Perhaps they will even begin to actually read the contracts that they sign. They will begin to understand that a boycott has more power when government doesn’t prop up the boycotted companies or limit their liability when they screw up. Companies that mistreat employees will be replaced with companies that move in to steal market share because of the opportunity. Shareholders won’t stand to gain all the benefit while screwing the workers because there won’t be a government rule mandating that to be the case. Unions will either be equitable for both business and workers or they won’t survive.

And here is the best part. The market will respond to economic recession naturally, and without mortgaging the future generations of Americans. Times will get lean, prices will drop out of necessity, and a natural correction will occur. Instead, government intervention simply keeps costs high by falsely inflating income through redistribution.

No, a world without regulations imposed by a corrupt government does not mean that we are at the whim of corrupt corporations. That was, in truth, a rarity in the world before government intervention. For every horror story told there are thousands of companies that took care of people, produced quality goods, and was a trusted member of the community.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I am advocating for zero government and zero regulations. As I mentioned yesterday, I would eliminate 99% of the regulations. There are still a very few out there that serve a purpose, fill a need, and do what they were intended to do. And the need for government still exists in the judicial system (I know BF will argue that but I am not getting into that right now). Contract disputes, conflict resolution, fraud, and outright criminal activity still need to be dealt with, and a nation of laws is what we were meant to be. That my friends is a great segue to the Rule of Law, which is a discussion that we will be having very soon, as I am already working on it. If you want a preview, read Hayek’s chapter on it in The Road to Serfdom. I will await JAC’s return to present that one as I know he will have some input on that subject.

The other thing that I wanted to point out from yesterday’s conversation was the concept that the Constitution gives us all that we need in order to right the wrongs that have been committed. I have two different trains of thought on this. First, BF is correct that the Constitution as it was written allowed for its own destruction through the apathy of the people and the perversion of the Constitution via court interpretation. And that means that the Constitution as it was written was NOT sufficient to prevent the current situation from evolving. To believe that we could hit the reset button, start over, and end up with a different result is somewhat overly optimistic. Apathy of the people will happen again, and the process will merely start over. So we need more than just a reset back to 1787.

But that does not mean that I think that the Constitution is a useless document that doesn’t hold some of the keys to where we need to go. A simple repeal of some of the Amendments would be a good start towards fixing our republic. Amendments around the creation of the income tax and the Senators being elected via popular vote should be repealed. I believe that having Supreme Court Justices given lifetime appointments should also be changed. But the basic fundamentals of the Constitution are solid and do, in fact, provide a good starting point for fixing many of the woes of the country. The question becomes what parts of the Constitution must be changed in order to make it work. Its current form doesn’t do the job, and that is not simply because of voter apathy. It is because the system was set up in a way that allows the politicians to game the voters. For example, the Constitution does nothing to stop Congress from writing 2000 page bills with tons of pork and mystical language that keeps voters uninformed and ignorant of the truth. That has to change.

So there is some input based on yesterday’s posts. I obviously encourage everyone to grab the conversations that they found interesting and bring them forward. If there was something you wanted me to comment on, bring it forward and I will try to comment on it today. I definitely want to be involved in the discussions. Thanks in advance!

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Comments

  1. TexasChem says:

    I totally agree with you 100% USW.

    While it seems that the lefts elitist in todays divided America would love their wishes to be the father to the other sides thought…it is never going to happen and will end bitterly I’m afraid.For all.

    If you look at our governments members as a ruling class caste you would see that they have set themselves upon a pedestal and are attempting to constrain the citizens rights to liberty and justice.Government has come to define the bitter crime of deception in my minds eye.This has allowed this ruling class/caste the ability to distribute and re-distribute wealth as they see fit.Freedom is being reined in by these political jockeys; our so-called “leaders of the free-world” by leaps and bounds!

    If things do not change in November for the good of this country these political jockeys are going to wish like hell they had given the horse his head!I am seriously amazed at the amount of people who are waking up to these blathering fools lies and deception.

  2. USW, you make a very strong argument and on its face, it makes perfect sense. It is also loaded with “what would happen if(s)” … and although you cite many instances of where regulation does more harm than good, it ignores the other side of the “what if”. I just read one of BF’s replies to yesterday’s posts (regarding the miner) who would go out of business because deaths are bad (had there been no regulation and he ignored safety issues in his mine). It is similar to the BP argument; that if there were no regulations, BP would somehow be more accountable.

    Why? They would go out of business? There have been mining accidencts and oil spills forever (and in countries with less regulations than this one). What determines whether they go out of business has to do with the capital they have/can raise, not their bad publicity.

    But again, my argument regarding regulation has to do with this government and officials that are already corrupted. Joe Barton “apologized” to BP. Kenneth Feinberg thought it wouldn’t be “fair” to “ask” bailed out companies to return some of their “ill advised” bonuses (our money). One from column A and one from column B; and both should be hung in a public square.

    If big business (not all, just those who are guilty) can operate without fear in a society with regulations (adhered to or not), why would they not seek unfair advantage without rules?

    I agree that some regulations are absurd and way too costly to business owners (and that cost is passed down to consumers) but zero regulation at one point had bars selling rubbing alcohol mixtures (small business–not demonized big businesses) and killing consumers, etc.

    Unions were a necessity because of bad business practices. They aren’t all good, no, but they came into existence because owners had their way. The technology is almost in place to produce pretty much everything with cheaper labor found elsewhere. Should there be no regulations so that business can continue to remove american jobs? My industry was recently stripped to the bone by outsourcing. This gov’t, both sides of the aisle, handed out $800 billion in bailout money without a single stipulation against outsourcing to the very firms responsible for sending our jobs overseas. In that regard, there were no regulations. Was that a good thing? Is that cost effective? Now you have an entire industry (one of several) who are out of work or making much less money than they used to (while CEO’s reward themselves with record bonuses provided for by us).

    Your paradigm looks wonderful on paper, but I don’t see it being realistic. I can agree with many regulations being trimmed and some being done away with, but I’d much rather see some genuine consequences for those who wilfully avoid regulations (whether through bribe or out and out disdain for them). Jail time, the real kind, in state pens, not club feds. Let the executive board of BP do 10-15 in Walpole or Ossining … that mine owner responsible for all those deaths in Virginia, let him do 25 to life in Attica. Let them have something real to stare at (including any bribed official).

    The way e’d all have to adjust to some conservative measures economically (and I’m all for those), let us also adjust to some real penalties. BF’s argument that the Virginia miner “had to look for shortcuts” is a bit nonchalant for me. Screw his shortcuts and his business. People died. I wouldn’t say squat about him putting people out of work if his business failed and he tried doing it the right way. BF came to his defense without a thought for lost lives. I don’t buy that argument. That mine owner violated regulations for years. He should spend a few touching his toes in the joint.

    • Charlie Stella

      BP would somehow be more accountable.

      I know it appears counter intuitive, Charlie.

      Let’s consider the facts:

      (1) There existed by regulation a maximum cost to a company for cleanup – a few hundred million. Beyond that, the company by law did not have to pay.

      There’s your regulation in action.

      Companies will not operate under a constraint unless they gain something else somewhere else. That is how the market place works – to take you must give.

      The government made this deal – pay us royalties, follow these rules that will prevent wildcat’s from operating in competition with you (we’ll call them regulations – which will increase the costs – you have to have this arbitrary level of education, this arbitrary piece of paper, this arbitrary amount of money held in trust, this arbitrary, etc. …. all of which prevents Charlie Stella from drilling for oil!

      BP and their ilk love regulation – because it keeps, YOU OFF THEIR BACK. They are terrified of the faster, leaner, quicker smaller operations. More regs, and you do not compete

      And, the government limited the damage!

      Now think about that in terms of you.

      If I said “Charlie, go to the casino – bet heavy – you get to keep all your winnings, but I will limit your losses to only a few grand

      Would you play cautiously as you would with your house on the line, or would you play recklessly knowing your risk/reward ration is waaaayyyy skewed in your favor!.

      You believe “regulation” forces men to act honorably.

      It never has and it never will.

      Honorable men act honorable because they are honorable men, not because of some regulation!

      Regulations protect immoral men from the fullest extent of their negative consequences.

      When you here somoeone say “We need a regulation…” it is someone who is saying “I, me needs protection from the People

      Why? They would go out of business?

      Why would you buy the products from immoral men?

      There have been mining accidencts and oil spills forever (and in countries with less regulations than this one).

      You can never eliminate accidents.

      You can never make enough laws to eliminate accidents.

      Trying to eliminate accidents with law will eliminate only your freedom.

      What determines whether they go out of business has to do with the capital they have/can raise, not their bad publicity.

      Why do yo believe men with money would invest it with immoral men?

      Unions were a necessity because of bad business practices.

      False!

      It had nothing to do with business!

      It had to do with a misalignment of power in a non-free market place.

      This gov’t, both sides of the aisle, handed out $800 billion in bailout money without a single stipulation against outsourcing to the very firms responsible for sending our jobs overseas.

      Where did the government get this money to hand out?

      It took it from business to give back to some businesses.

      Business men are a whole lot smarter than stupid government. They can see the shell game.

      It’s like the reversing the pool shark.

      He’ll let you win the $5 buck games to try to suck you in, and you take, say, $20. Then he ups the stakes to $20 a game ….. and you walk away.

      That’s how business works, Charlie.

      Trying to give business their own money never works.

      Instead, let them have their own money – and *magic* they will stay.

      BF came to his defense without a thought for lost lives.

      Charlie, you cannot see the cause and effect.

      You above cried about businesses leaving the USA.

      You cry about businesses cutting corners.

      You do not understand that the root of both phenomenon’s are the same – government regulation and taxes.

      You get angry when a business shuts down – so they don’t, but to survive, they have to cut corners –which makes you angry.

      What in this Universe think they can do? They either GO OUT OF BUSINESS or they CUT CORNERS!

      …because you, Charlie, refuse to budge on the core problem – you refuse to eliminate the real problem – government interference – that is immutable for you

      And, still you are angry at the consequences you insist upon!

      • Have to get back to you later, guys. I’m flying solo here because our firm whacked my former co-worker (who was GREAT) to save coin (outsourced to their home office in another, cheaper state).

        Seriously … I’ll do my best to get back to you later today/tonight.

    • One key factor that is missed here is that if government got out of the business business, it would also eliminate the corporations.

      The problem we have with government is largely the consolidation of power, an error or corruption there hits a lot harder than an error or corruption committed by, say, a member of a church deacon board. With business, the examples of “capitalist monsters” are always massive companies already saddled with a lot of government regulation and/or subsidies. Not only would they not have those regulations and especially subsidies, they would also not be so huge. Having a company reach that size without the corporate umbrella is very difficult, and when mistakes are made, or more aptly, when crimes are committed, the weight falls on a fake entity. If real persons were required to own their actions and to be responsible for what they own, things would be done differently. You think that BP’s stockholders would stand for bad actions if they were not stockholders of a corporation, but small owners? That is if BP was lucky enough to get that large at all.

      This, aside from the fact that a lot of the bad stuff that happens never would have happened if not for the regulations. Such as the BP spill. You think they would be drilling in such a difficult area without the EPA forcing it?

      • Jon,

        I agree. East India Co. is the earliest example I can think of where
        big business was made possible only by government intervention. I think, but cannot prove, big business would disappear without government protection. Large companies, like governments, are inefficient and bureaucratic.

        I do not think the EPA is involved on where to drill. Speaking of where to drill, have you heard about Gull Island?
        http://thebobofiles.com/?p=173

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Whoever – I wholly reject the notion that “bad publicity” will send someone out of business. As an InfoSec guy who studies my own field extensively, I can offer you that even with the most egregious data breaches/data losses in history (each one seems to trump those previous) – much of what increasingly enters our consciousness as fewer and fewer people have NOT received “we lost your data” letter (more and more we have awareness and ‘concern’ over ID theft and security of our information) – the list of companies that have gone out of business stands at ZERO. Most analysis I have seen shows even a minor blip on balance sheets for public companies that have to report such. Large companies simply absorb the shitty news and keep right on doing what they were going to do anyway. The risk/reward calculations tell them that even in the most seemingly dire circumstances, rare is the event that will completely sink their business.

      • USWeapon says:

        Ray,

        I don’t think that it is reasonable to say that bad publicity will alone send someone out of business. But it is a powerful form of persuasion. It is not that I look to eliminate all law. Instead I look to eliminate the bucketfulls of crappy and costly regulation. You give a great example of exactly how ineffective the regulations are in curbing bad behavior. What has happened is that the regulations as they stand and the government backing as it stands do little other than protect companies from being held accountable for their actions.

        We have to stop accepting that we must take this action because we don’t have another alternative. If the actions are bad… STOP THEM. We will find another way. We always do. But to require a perfect solution prior to stopping completely ineffective action is ridiculous. Regulations do great harm while doing zero good. So stop them. We would be better off just by eliminating the bad. There will still be laws to punish criminal activity. There just won’t any longer be regulations to protect the guilty.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @USW – and I wouldn’t suggest bad publicity alone – I just saw that as an answer floating around. Short of small Mom and Pops I don’t see it as very effective in dealing with corporate malfeasance. I think we should treat criminals as criminals.

    • Oh, and never mind the conservatively estimated ~22 million gallons (or two Exxon Valdez spills) of oil per year that naturally seeps into the Gulf of Mexico.

      Or the 11-110 Exxon Valdez spills-worth of oil that has come from offshore petroleum seeps near Coal Oil Point in the Santa Barbara (CA) Channel.

      Or the 500 million gallons of oil per year (back in 1995) that end up in the environment each year due to ‘down the drain’ releases and ‘routine maintenance’ of ships bilges. Millions of tonnes of oil reaches the sea each year.

      Is oil in the ocean a good thing in the short-term? No, but this is not something new for Mother Nature, who has her own ways of dealing with such cycles.

      Is oil in the ocean a good thing for government expansion of power? Never let a crisis go to waste!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Not a good example Flag. Salt is a natural part of my diet. I wouldn’t pop open a fifty pound bag of salt and consume it one sitting. My body would be unable to absorb or digest it properly and it would kill me.

  3. TexasChem says:

    @-Charlie Stella,

    Don’t be so hard on BP man.Accidents happen.Mechanical equipment failures and operator error are the two main causes in industry of incidents.

    The earth has an estimated-
    326,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of ocean water.

    An estimated 184,000,000 gallons of crude was released by the accident.

    That is a ratio of 1 gallon of oil to every 1,771,739,130,435 gallons of ocean water.Which is a literal drop in the bucket!If my math is correct anyway 🙂

    I’m quite certain nature has had a multitude of events that overshadow this man caused event and make it seem microscopic.

    Tectonic plates colliding causing quakes/volcanoes to erupt spewing molten lava and gases.Volcanic ash surrounding the Earth.Oil spewing from the ocean floor from quakes.Large meteors colliding with the Earth.blah blah on an on.

    Was the spill bad?Yes, but the gulf will indeed recover.Crude is the mainstay of our economy.You would be surprised at the amount of chemicals derived from crude and used in the chemical industry.Man needs to learn from his mistakes so an event such as this does not happen again.

    Out of curiosities sake I am wondering this little bit of thought as well…How on Earth did you justify spending 7k on surgery for a dog?I mean I understand the value of a pet but they are replaceable at a much smaller cost!

    • I have to answer this one now: Texas Chem, Rigoletto cost us 5K earlier (when we learned he was diabetic–he went into shock). The cost of healthcare for dogs … why national health insurance is the way to go!

      That’ll stir it …

      He’s our dog, brother. How do you not save the dog if you can?

      Besides, there are people I’d like to put down (both major parties) and I can do it cheap — no cost to consumers … just the prize of a Louisville slugger will do it …:)

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @TC – I spent close to 15K to have a Chow Chow I had for 16 years included in a post-trial at Sloan Kettering in NYC for oral melanoma – the “free” part of the trial had ended – we still had to pay for the periodic meds, the visit fees, etc. We were happy to do so as this was a faithful companion and the results of the canine trial were then fed into the human trials that I believe are ongoing today.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @TC – and you’re also well aware that all the gallons of water you quote are not located in the same body of water and free of current and tides. As our science improves we continue to see how spills like the 7.7 million gallon spill in Buzzards Bay, MA back in 1976 appear to have permanently altered the environment in that area. The same is being seen in Prince William Sound.

      Even modest conclusions lean towards affected areas possibly never recovering. Suggesting its all a “wash” is not remotely accurate.

    • TC,

      Please spell it out for me…what is 326 & 18 0’s? I’m still trying to figure out TRILLIONS.

  4. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Whether the market is free or the market is constrained by all sorts of government gobbledygook, the maxim remains the same:

    Bad people will do bad things.

    However, in a free market, it is ALSO TRUE that:

    GOOD PEOPLE WILL DO GOOD THINGS.

    All regulation does is:

    1. ALLOW bad people to do certain bad things and get away with it
    2. PREVENT good people from doing good things.

    Any questions?

  5. Charlie,

    “although you cite many instances of where regulation does more harm than good”
    There is no end to that, where regulation replaces common sense.

    State mandate: Clearwater’s lifeguard station needs to be handicapped-accessible

    By Mike Brassfield, Times Staff Writer
    In Print: Friday, July 23, 2010

    The Clearwater Beach lifeguard station is being renovated and the state is forcing city officials to make the upper floors handicapped-accessible; though the only people who use the space are lifeguards. A waiver request was turned down. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]

    The Clearwater Beach lifeguard station is being renovated and the state is forcing city officials to make the upper floors handicapped-accessible — though the only people who use the space are lifeguards. A waiver request was turned down.

    CLEARWATER — Clearwater Beach’s lifeguards are in great shape. Most were competitive swimmers in college. They routinely swim, run and lift weights to maintain their edge.

    But government regulations are requiring that their headquarters on the beach be made handicapped-accessible, even though the only people who ever use the two-story building are the lifeguards.

    Another example of your tax dollars at work.

    “It’s odd. Obviously no one here is handicapped. No one in a wheelchair has ever asked to come up here,” head lifeguard Donovan Burns said during an interview on the building’s second floor. He noted that disabled people can borrow fat-tired beach wheelchairs from the lifeguard station for free, but those are stored on the ground floor.

    The little yellow building near Pier 60 has to be brought into compliance with the state building code and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

    This was triggered when Clearwater recently decided to spend $455,700 of revenue from beach parking meters to renovate and expand the lifeguard building. Among other things, the city will be adding a third floor so the lifeguards can see the entire beach better.

    Clearwater officials are a bit baffled by the order to make the upper floors handicapped-accessible. They expected to get a waiver so they could skip that requirement, but the state turned them down.

    • LOI,

      This highlights the greatest danger of government regulation – it turns Rule of Law into Rule by Administration.

      No one in government bureaucracy has a brain.

      No one in that bureaucracy is willing to use their senses and contradict ignorance.

      Thus, they will enforce total idiocy so to maintain their positions.

      You see this too with “No fly List” where a 5-year old boy is “National Security Threat” – and when his mother picked him up to comfort him, she had to be physically searched “in case he passed to her some weapon”.

      You see this when a toy solider, 3″ high, holding a rifle is seized because of the “Zero Tolerance on Weapons”.

      Regulation overrule reality.

      • It is very hard to argue against those examples, I have to admit.

        There is no substitue for common sense, but my idea of common sense and/or morality might be adverse to someone elses (Texas Chem and saving dogs, for instance).

        I think we can all agree that people justifying their jobs by enacting and/or writing or enforcing laws like the lifeguard nonsense should spend some time busting rocks. Likewise, ignoring 800 violations and being responsible for the lives of 26 workers (that we know of) between 2005 and 2010, should earn BP’s board of execs a trip to Attica for 2 or 3 hundred years.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Its all about smart, effective regulation and the will to enforce those regulations.

        The answer to today’s mish-mash of regulations which are overbroad, ineffective, and often unenforced is not complete deregulation. It is (1) to fully look into the regulatory scheme, gut out those regulations that are ineffective and hone in on the real problems that regulations can address and (2) to enforce those regulations.

        • Buck,

          Its all about smart, effective regulation and the will to enforce those regulations.

          That is the problem.

          You think you can determine smart regulation.

          What is that?

          You think you can determine effective regulation.

          How can you possibly measure this? What how can you tell effective vs non-effective?

          The will to enforce is there – my examples demonstrate it amply! That’s the problem – there is NO SENSE to the regulation or the people enforcing regulation – they are brain-vacant!

          The answer to today’s mish-mash of regulations which are overbroad, ineffective, and often unenforced is not complete deregulation. It is (1) to fully look into the regulatory scheme, gut out those regulations that are ineffective and hone in on the real problems that regulations can address and (2) to enforce those regulations.

          A lot of words that have no meaning.

          How can you know, or measure a “good regulation”???

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I’ve never argued that I personally am able to determine smart effective regulations. This is where industry experts come in to play.

            Is this a pipe dream? Possibly at the moment given today’s political climate. But there is really no reason to believe that it is impossible to create a smaller, efficient and effective regulatory scheme in each and every industry.

            • Buck

              I’ve never argued that I personally am able to determine smart effective regulations.This is where industry experts come in to play.

              Two comments:

              Why do you believe they would be better at finding the “effective” regulations any better than you?

              Second, don’t you think there is a conflict of interest of a group who chooses which regulations it should create for itself????

              Is this a pipe dream?

              No, its simply impossible.

              But there is really no reason to believe that it is impossible to create a smaller, efficient and effective regulatory scheme in each and every industry.

              It is impossible.

              To attain that goal, you would need perfect knowledge of the entire industry.

              Your lucky if they have a bit of knowledge on a very small piece of their industry.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                But of course complete decentralization would provide all the answers…

                Come on now. That is just as much a pipe dream as you believe my position is, if not even more so.

              • Buck,

                The Natural Order of the Universe is self-order

                What you think is a pipe dream is precisely how the system works!

                Society is a self-order existence – no man “invented” it or designed it.

                No man needs to “run it” either.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Yes, society organizes and orders itself…always with some rules and regulations….and always with a government of some sort.

              • Buck,

                *sigh*

                Society self-organized before any “government” existed.

                Your statement – “effective” – is the discussion.

                It is impossible for you to measure this – therefore, you cannot claim any one thing is better than any other thing within your regulation.

                All you can claim is it will create certain consequences – where the unintended consequences will overwhelm any of your intended ones.

                As Hayek said, this will cause people like you to demand MORE regulation to try to repair the damage of the PAST regulation – creating even wider, deeper and worse unintended consequences – which, undaunted, you will demand even more regulation to repair that….

                The end – tyranny with economic stagnation.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I agree – ::sigh::

                🙂

              • Buck,

                That’s always the problem with Social Engineering Activists and Statists – they can never provide a mechanism by which to measure their ill-conceived ideas.

                It is always “opps, didn’t expect that – sorry we killed 10 million people… we’ll do better next time!”

        • Buck,

          “Its all about smart, effective regulation and the will to enforce those regulations.”

          I think not. That is what keeps failing. Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows better what car I should drive(MPG’s), who my doctor should be, how he should treat me, how many soda’s I can drink. When they give government agencies authority over something, be it EPA, IRS or Minerals Mgmt, we loose all accountability. Just as Freddie/Fannie answer ONLY to congress.

          What we need to start with is accountability, where an injured party can nullify an unjust or unreasonable requirement from government agencies. We need to tell the IRS no, we won’t list out every $600 expenditure. We need a nullification process for every agency the government creates.

          http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/07/effort_to_eliminate_onerous_ta.html

          Ex. Jury nullification is LEGAL in the US(some judges may not agree)

          Jury nullification occurs when a jury in a criminal case acquits a defendant despite the weight of evidence against him or her.[1] Widely, it is any rendering of a verdict by a trial jury which acquits a criminal defendant despite that defendant’s violation of the letter of the law—that is, of an official rule, and especially a legislative enactment. Jury nullification need not disagree with the instructions by the judge—which concerns what the law (common or otherwise) is—but it may rule contrary to an instruction that the jury is required to apply the “law” to the defendant in light of the establishment of certain facts.

          Strictly speaking, a jury verdict which rules contrary to the letter of the law pertains only to the particular case before it; however, if a pattern of identical verdicts develops in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offense, it can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute. Jury nullification is thus a means for the public to express opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment.

          The jury system was established because it was felt that a panel of citizens, drawn at random from the community, and serving for too short a time to be corrupted, would be more likely to render a just verdict, through judging both the evidence and the law[citation needed], than officials who may be unduly influenced to follow established legal practice, especially when that practice has drifted from its origins. However, in most modern Western legal systems, juries are often instructed to serve only as “finders of facts”, whose role it is to determine the verity of the evidence presented,[2] instructions that are criticized by advocates of jury nullification.

          Historical examples of nullification include American revolutionaries who refused to convict under English law,[3] juries who refuse to convict due to perceived injustice of a law in general,[4] the perceived injustice of the way the law is applied in particular cases

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          “The answer to today’s mish-mash of regulations which are overbroad, ineffective, and often unenforced…”

          The thing that you completely miss, Buck, is that THE INTENT OF REGULATIONS IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS!

          You believe, in your heart of hearts, that the PURPOSE of regulation is to promote safety, minimize risk, and promote fairness and equity.

          You could not possibly be more mistaken, my friend.

  6. Sufa

    In reading some commentary about the latest on WikiLeaks, this statement rings so true and pogninat here on SUFA.

    I’ve struggled to understand why so many, (G.A. comes to immediate mine), refuse to release the failed paradigms.

    “We tend to think: big revelations mean big reactions. But if the story is too big and crashes too many illusions, the exact opposite occurs.”

    Reaction will be unbearably lighter than we have a right to expect— not because the story isn’t sensational or troubling enough, but because it’s too troubling, a mess we cannot fix and therefore prefer to forget.

    Precisely what I often see here – the problem is so troubling, so deep, so systemic that People would rather continue the illusions then abandon them.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      People have been told so many times that the illusion IS reality, that they simply refuse to see it as illusion.

      People have been told so many times that the illusion is “the greatest experiment in freedom and liberty in the history of the world” that they believe this too.

      I believe that a great many of the founders of this country ACCURATELY FORESAW that what we are going through right now was a highly likely (and perhaps inevitable) result of their experiment.

      I believe that this is why so many of them WARNED that the people must be ever-vigilant to prevent the outcome that we are seeing now.

      I believe that this is precisely why Jefferson admonished that when ANY government (including ours) becomes tyrranical, it is the DUTY of the people to throw it off.

      Jefferson believed that the people were strong enough that the American system would eventually evolve into a society based on SELF-GOVERNANCE. He did not envision the American Government being a PERMANENT STRUCTURE. He did, however, see how the American system could pretty easily devolve into tyrrany (which it largely has now).

      Anyone who advocates it being a permanent structure based upon their belief in the illusions outlined above is actually going contrary to what Jefferson envisioned.

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C.S. Lewis

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Making-Work-Pay-tax-credit-cnnm-3552082989.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE _LOVE!!!_ the last line of this story…

    “But on the flip side, it is expensive.”

    Expensive? WTF???????

    Allowing Americans TO KEEP 60 BILLION OF THEIR OWN MONEY INSTEAD OF ALLOWING IT TO BE STOLEN BY THE GOVERNMENT IS EXPENSIVE??? TO WHOM?

    Shows you just how darn stupid people in general are that they can even write that sentence in the first place.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      By the way, the mentality of EVERYONE (and sorry to the Statists on this site, but I do mean EVERYONE) who is a Statist now seems to be that the Government is actually the owner of all money, and we the serfs should be happy to have any percentage that they actually allow us to keep.

      This is one of the primary dangers of centralized banking and allowing a quasi-governmental or even a real governmental agency to have a monopoly on determining what is money and what is not money, and being the sole provisioner of said money. The Federal Reserve REALLY DOES OWN ALL FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES!!! As such, the people ACTUALLY HAVE NO MONEY (other than those who are smart enough to hold silver, gold, and other things of tangible value).

      It is sort of impossible to even discuss “fiscal responsibility” when the “money” involved is simply a fantasy at a fundamental level. BF would say it is “real money” because the people value it.

      I would somewhat disagree. Just because we have all been fooled into believing that an illusion is real does not make that illusion into reality.

  9. Hate to change the subject but in reality I’m not sure I am-Regulating us physically not just our business. But are they really seriously debating this craziness.

    Slavery bill H.R. 5741 is now in debate
    July 26, 9:31 PMLong Beach City Buzz ExaminerDanita Craft

    H.R. 5741 is now being debated – 2 years of forced labor from everyone between 18 and 42
    H.R. 5741 is now being debated – 2 years of forced labor from everyone between 18 and 42
    Google Images

    H.R. 5741 is currently being argued in the house of representatives. If passed, H.R. 5741 will give the president the power to require 2 years of compulsory service from every US resident between ages 18 and 42. That’s not a misprint: everyone between ages eighteen and forty-two will be required to serve in any capacity at the president’s whim.

    This bill will destroy US commerce as citizens are reassigned to service. The bill’s sponsor is Charles Rangel, a democrat from New York. The bill does not yet have a co-sponsor. It was introduced on July 15th and is now before the armed services committee.

    Prison Planet reports, “Under this new legislation nearly all, able bodied Americans will be sentenced to two years of forced labor. The infrastructure is already in place for those unwilling to participate in mandatory service and now the army is looking to fill it’s ranks with Interment/Resettlement Specialists.”

    “The slavery bill is currently in debate in the House Committee on Armed Services chaired by Rep Ike Skelton a democrat from Missouri. Those who oppose mandatory slavery should contact Rep. Skelton. Many bills die in committee and this bill should meet the same fate.”

    The slavery bill H.R. 5741 is now being debated. It will allow the president to require 2 years of service between every US resident between 18 and 42. The Libertarian Examiner says. “The bill HR5741 is government sanctioned slavery. Read it and weep.”

    http://www.examiner.com/x-60483-Long-Beach-City-Buzz-Examiner~y2010m7d26-Slavery-bill-HR-5741-is-now-in-debate

    • USWeapon says:

      VH,

      This is a good find. I want to do some research on it before I offer any commentary though. It sounds too crazy to be true but I am certainly not dismissing it. I will research it and write about it. Do you have any other reference material on it?

    • I saw this too V thanks to Cyndi. While I’m all for service to the country this legislation seems to be the beginning of Obama’s Civilian Defense Corps or whatever it was that he was wanting in the campaign. Up to age 42? Glad I’m past the cutoff age but this is OUR kids he’s messing with. Maybe at a different time but seems more like a sneak attack coming from this administration! 😦

      • Your right Anita-it was the combination of our President talking about a civilian defense force that made my eyebrows go up when I read about this bill. But I did read by another poster that Rangel has put this bill up many times through the years-I don’t know if that is true or not.

        • How much do you wanna bet that the children of congressmen/women will be exempt from service. And of course Sasha and Malia are totally off limits. I sure hope this bill doesn’t get anywhere.

  10. Cyndi P says:

    posting for comments

  11. Q/ What happens when a liberal asks a conservative about Financial Responsibility? He ignores the answer.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Congressman Ryan, is there any tax role for reducing our $1.4 trillion to $1.7 trillion debt this year — deficit this year? Is there any role in tax increasing to help do that job?

    REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: I don`t think it`s a good idea, especially when we`re trying to come out of a jobless recovery in a slow- growth economy.

    Look, we have got unemployment at almost 10 percent. The last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on the economy. Look, the worst thing for deficit reduction is a slow economy. You hit small businesses with these kinds of tax rate increases and you will slow down the economy further.

    Look, 75 percent of those who will get hit with these higher tax rates are successful small businesses. Tens of millions of our jobs come from these small businesses. Now, if you try to blame these tax cuts and the wars for all of our fiscal problems, the numbers just don`t add up.

    At best, 14 percent of the evaporation of the surplus came from these tax cuts. It all came from other circumstances: spending, economic growth declining, 9/11, all these other things.

    MATTHEWS: Yes.

    RYAN: So, I think what Joe earlier said is right, which is these taxes will go up. And I think that`s a mistake. And I think it`s going to hurt the economy.

    MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you one question as a follow-up.

    It seems to me every Republican that goes on “Meet the Press” lately is asked, where will you cut? They say nothing. They will not mention any cuts.

    (CROSSTALK)

    RYAN: Chris…

    MATTHEWS: No, I have had Congressman Pence on, who won`t say any cuts.

    (CROSSTALK)

    MATTHEWS: So, you won`t cut — you won`t raise taxes and you won`t cut spending.

    RYAN: Chris…

    MATTHEWS: So, in other words, all this bitching about the deficit doesn`t mean squat, because you won`t do either, raise taxes or reduce spending.

    RYAN: Let me answer it, then.

    MATTHEWS: Neither one.

    RYAN: This year, Congress isn`t even doing a budget, but, last year, when we did a budget, I brought a budget to the floor that specifically cut $4.8 trillion of spending out of the budget and paid for all of these tax cuts and debt reduction. Two months ago, we put out $1.3 trillion in very specifically listed and enumerated spending cuts. So, I can go on with you on cuts. I can show you all the kinds of cuts.

    Good answer, right? Here was Matthews’ astonishingly addle-minded response:

    MATTHEWS: But that`s one-three hundredth (ph) of the deficit. That`s 0.3 of 1 percent you`ve talked about.

    One-three hundredth of the deficit? $1.3 TRILLION?

    The lesson continued:

    RYAN: Four-point-eight trillion dollars is not .3 of 1 percent of the deficit.

    MATTHEWS: OK, 4.8 trillion. OK.

    RYAN: And 1.3 trillion is not peanuts.

    MATTHEWS: OK.

    RYAN: It`s nothing to sneeze at.

    MATTHEWS: OK. Let me go.

    (CROSSTALK)

    RYAN: Two things —

    From here it became obvious what Matthews was up to. He’s not interested in balancing the budget. He’s certainly not interested in cutting spending.

    What he’s interested in is getting Republicans to say what programs they want cut so that Democrats can use that against them in the upcoming elections.

    Ryan saw through the charade:

    MATTHEWS: I just don`t see — I just don`t see any program cuts. You`re talking in general terms, but let me tell you this: the major Republicans that come on television will not cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They won`t cut the military. They can`t cut debt servicing. They won`t — they won`t get rid of a major cost of government.

    They`ll talk about, you know, let`s freeze discretionary spending or discretionary and domestic in some sort of generalized way. But they won`t get rid of government. They seem to like government. In fact, they love to talk against it.

    RYAN: Go to Americanroadmap.org and you will see a very comprehensive piece of legislation that the CBO has scored that`s actually paying off the debt —

    Indeed, this Roadmap was released last week, but I digress:

    MATTHEWS: OK.

    RYAN: — with specific reforms to the entitlements you mentioned.

    MATTHEWS: Name a major piece of the 1.4 trillion to 1.7 trillion. No, just take —

    RYAN: OK.

    MATTHEWS: — just take a chunk out that 1.4 trillion by getting rid of a big program or good expenditure that people now watching can understand.

    Straightforward question. Now watch Ryan give a straightforward answer that Matthews will summarily brush aside like a fly in front of the camera:

    RYAN: I would rescind the unspent stimulus funds. I would rescind all the TARP funds that aren`t spent. I would do a federal hiring freeze and pay freeze for the rest of the year. And I would go back and cut discretionary spending back to `08 levels and freeze that spending going forward.

    Now, you and I can get into a debate about Keynesian economics, whether it worked or didn`t. I don`t think it did. We increased domestic discretionary last year by 84 percent. I don`t think we should continue to build that kind of a base. Let`s go back and cut discretionary spending back to `08 levels.

    MATTHEWS: OK.

    RYAN: Rescind stimulus, rescind TARP and do a federal hiring and pay freeze. Those are just a few ideas that add up to $1.3 trillion right there.

    Now, let’s understand that at the beginning of this segment, Matthews asked Ryan how he plans on reducing our $1.4 to $1.7 trillion deficit. The Congressman just gave cuts to eliminate $1.3 trillion, and Matthews dismissed it totally:

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/07/26/paul-ryan-schools-chris-matthews-tax-hikes-budgets-and-economics#ixzz0uugE58hh

  12. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.

    –G. Gordon Liddy

  13. Not much time to read tonight. Two thoughts for you.

    1) Here in Sacramento we have levees to keep back the rivers. Our levee system here is rated the second worst in the USA behind N.O. As we often see in the Mississippi Valley, levees are great until the inevitable breach, then the are terrible because the flood is much worse and they prevent rapid drainage. I view regulations in much the same way, they prevent the small corrections thus allowing problems to grow until the results are catastrophic.

    2) Did anyone see that Mass. is passing a law to change the Electoral College method. They plan to select their electors according to the US popular vote. I know the Constitution leaves it up to the state to determine how electors are selected but this is a fundamental change that should be considered by the entire country not just a few large states.

    Gotta go.

    • They should be very careful what they wish for. They dream of having every leftist vote counted in their favor. What they are more likely to end up with is a nation full of voters disgusted with politicians with Ds after their names. Those voters will vote for pols with Rs after their names or candidates from other parties. The Ds will do very badly. This sort of manpulation has bitten them in the behind before. They think they’re being clever, but mostly they’re just hurting themselves.

  14. From my I told you so file:

    Where is all the oil?

    Mighty oil-eating microbes help clean up the Gulf
    Gulf focus shifts, but where is all the oil?

    Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared. Nor has much oil washed up on the sandy beaches and marshes along the Louisiana coast. And the small cleanup army in the Gulf has only managed to skim up a tiny fraction of the millions of gallons of oil spilled in the 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig went up in flames.

    So where did the oil go? “Some of the oil evaporates,” explains Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University. That’s especially true for the more toxic components of oil, which tend to be very volatile, he says. Jeffrey W. Short, a scientist with the environmental group Oceana, told the New York Times that as much as 40 percent of the oil might have evaporated when it reached the surface. High winds from two recent storms may have speeded the evaporation process.

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