Tuesday, June 1, 2010
STOP, LISTEN, THINK: The Oligarchs Are Running The Country
Many people say they find history boring. History is not boring if the threads are pulled together to form a fabric that can be seen and understood. Just as a picture with too few dots leaves us wondering what to make of it, history without drawing those threads together is incomplete. So, what am I talking about?
I want to get back to the philosophy of less government and show how this philosophy is not only a joke, but a dishonest philosophy at best.
We have now the largest oil spill in the country's history taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. This oil spill resulted from the efforts of a publicly held corporation, BP, to drill for oil at a huge depth and not heed the safety procedures that their own industry has set down. Several mistakes were made, and yet the drilling continued to the eventual loss of 11 lives and millions of barrels of oil washing ashore and destroying the lands, beaches, wetlands, commercial businesses and a way of life.
Now comes the Governor of Louisiana wanting MORE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT involvement. Asking for more from the federal government AFTER the spill is the wrong time, in my opinion. The time to be asking for more federal government involvement is before there is an oil spill that damages the economy of possibly four states (LA, MS, AL, FL). The idea that the federal government is the "bad guy" is just plain wrongheaded in my opinion.
Had the federal government exercised proper governance over the oil companies and insisted that the rules and proper procedures be followed, this accident may have never have happened. But, for too many years, there has been too close a relationship between those that monitor the oil drilling offshore and the people that do the drilling. Now, when all hell breaks lose, those same people that cling to the philosophy of small government, or, a federal government that does not enforce its own rules and regulations, want the federal government to stop the leak and clean up the spill even faster.
This is the same kind of thing that happened on Wall Street. No enforcement by the SEC, downplaying the importance of accountability of the investment bankers, the credit rating agencies and a Fed that promotes a monetary policy for the benefit of the banks, and to the detriment of the majority of the people. After there is a bond market meltdown, a liquidity crisis, a financial crisis, and finally an economic recession, the idea of less government as a political philosophy takes on the appearance of a sick joke. And yet, with a need for accountability, transparency and enforcement, the new regulations coming out of Congress are weak and will not prevent another government "bailout".
Our government is no longer run by the people. Our government is now an oligarchy. Government by a few wealthy individuals for the benefit of those few wealthy individuals. Whether it be oil or banking, the outcome is the same. Make it possible for the few well connected to continue to farm off the labors of the workers, and to the detriment of the whole country. The Senate of the United States is for sale to the highest bidder, and the oligarchs of oil and banking are the highest bidders.