Friday, March 20, 2009

A must read: "Is this the end of America?"

If you read nothing else online today, you must read this article by Terence Corcoran.


Mad Jack said...

From Terence Cocoran's article: The AIG bonus firestorm is a diversion from real issues, but it puts the ghastly political classes who make U.S. law on display for what they are: aging self-serving demagogues who have spent decades warping the U.S. political system for their own ends. We see the system up close, law-making that is riddled with slapdash, incompetence and gamesmanship.

Not so much for some. Consider legislation proposed by Phil Gramm and passed by the US Congress which deregulated the legalized gambling industry. This 250 page piece of legislation was included as part of a budget deal between the Right Wing-Nut Congress and President Slick Willie. Presumably no one read the legislation or even understood it if they did read it, but the Wing-Nuts signed it and so did President Slick Willie.

Now you could argue that Congress was incompetent for not reading the entire bill, and the same can be said of Slick Willie, but I don't believe that this neglect was due to incompetence. I would say that this is malfeasance more than anything else, and extreme competence on the part of Phil Gramm, who wrote the act and knew how to get it passed. As a result the people charged with making sure that the gamblers could actually cover their bets were reassigned or laid off, and the rest is history.

It isn't as though US voters have much of a choice, though. Political candidates do not have to pass any kind of competency test, nor does a criminal record prohibit anyone from being elected. What a candidate must do is win a popularity contest, and have the stamina to compete. After a candidate is elected, then what? The candidate works on getting re-elected and paying off the debts incurred during the campaign. In the meantime, special interest groups are appeased at the cost of the welfare of the constituents.

Incompetent? Not so much. Immoral and self-serving? You bet.

Joe C. said...

Ahh, the "It's Glass-Steagall's fault!" canard...

No this was willful economic terrorism on the part of the Democrats, and the "compassionate" Republicans (i.e. "moderates") in charge just rolled over.

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