Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Inevitability of Control

Unable to hide anymore Old Tipse Canoe emerged and has asked Congress to provide 700,000,000,000 in bailout monies.

It's time we started counting in Astronomical numbers. We could use Astronomical Units (1AU=93,000,000) for the Bailout. Bush asks for 7500AU would no doubt cause little consternation amongst the people and Bush wouldn't need to induce confidence in the economy with such pabulum; "People are beginning to doubt our system, people were losing confidence and I understand it's important to have confidence in our financial system."

With this being an election cycle The Two Parties have both sent forth minions to convince the people the problems were caused by the other side of the Coin. The problems stem from the US system itself and when a Government becomes the monstrous behemoth, which the US system has devolved into, it eventually finds itself in the position of taking over all functions of life.

The US was originally set up as a thinly veiled attempt to re-create Feudalism with the the Lords (Congress) having significantly more power than the King (President). The original Articles of Confederation failed because of the lack of fast means of communication and travel and thus the difficulties which arise in controlling individual Feudal Republics (States).

Over the existence of the Federal Government, as with all such creations, individuals in positions of authority and power expanded and enlarged their spheres of influence and control. So immediately after the Federal Government was born in 1789, Alexander Hamilton in his position as Secretary of the Treasury, convinced enough of his fellow Lords to impose a new tax. And in order to collect the revenue the military sent forth with the added bonus of imprinting upon it's subjects the Power which must now be accorded a strong Federal Government.

Of course, like all nations in the Industrial Age, the Landed Nobility faced the problem of the new rising influence of the Noueve Riche, the Captains of Industry. These men in the 1800's did not consider themselves inferior and as the powerful Merchants and Bankers had done in Europe during the late Middle ages and Renaissance they began to exert and accord to themselves powers and privileges normally reserved for the Old Aristocracy.

Government and Industry have struggled for control of the Apparatus of Control. Fortunately in America, the Military has allowed itself to not slide into the easy stance of Kingmaker. This is the problem which beset and destroyed the Old Roman Republic and then the Western Roman Empire. The Military of the Byzantine Empire often determined the Basileus.

The Byzantine Empire history was well known to the Founding Fathers who sought to emulate it's greatness in many respects commerce and learning whilst curbing the negatives, interence warfare and religious strife. And with an eye to the future;

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

they sought to stave off the eventual decline and fall of their new Feudal Republic.

Of course, not possessing the Asimov Discipline of PsychoHistory, the Founding Fathers could not totally foresee the rise of the peasantry. However, those who have inherited the mantle of Government have easily subsumed and controlled the rising lower classes by absorbing them into the false two party Dichotomy, through unions, use of religion and the hobgoblins of fake issues (gay marriage) designed to convince the great majority of the people in the US that the Two Parties (one coin) are all that stands between them and oblivion.

Vice President Cheney's use of Power and the Strong Unitary Executive Arm of Government is actually not unprecedented. In fact it's a fairly well established position in political philosophy. Cheney and Bush both hold to the idea of Sovereign as espoused by Hobbes. In Leviathan the powers ascribed to the Sovereign are unlimited and extend to all spheres and represent Total Power. In Hobbes' system unlike the later ideas of Locke and Rousseau, once the citizens have chosen their Sovereign the have no more political power. And the Sovereign can act in any way he desires including tyrannical behavior. I can think of no more clear example from Cheney to illustrate this than his "So?"

We the People are pawns for the controlling interests of the Nation. Members of Industry and Government have profited for centuries upon the backs of Americans, passing laws, creating rules of education, diverting the attention of the people with bread and circuses, undermining basic understanding and starting wars at home and abroad in order to ensure the power and wealth of this land will be in the hands of the few.

1 comment:

ran said...

Great post. On a related note, I sent the following to my elected officials about a just way of funding the bailout. I don't expect much to come of it of course:

Dear (insert rep. or sen. name),

I am writing to request that you block funding of the Treasury's $700 billion dollar bailout unless it is funded by a 95% wealth tax on the Wall Street financiers who have created the mess.

700 billion dollars. That's what we the US taxpayers are being asked to fork over to clean up the mess of some irresponsible Wall Street moneychangers. If this 700 billion dollars were approved, my family's share of that would be about $7500, not including the inevitable interest that my two year old daughter will continue to pay for the rest of her life on the treasury bonds that will be issued to cover the debt.

$7500 is about 10% of my family's annual income. 10% of my income to pay for a mess I did not contribute to. But what will those that created this mess pay? Here is a list of the estimated incomes of some of the people that are responsible for this mess:

James E Cayne, the CEO of Bear Stearns, made $26,260,000.
Daniel Mudd, the CEO of Fannie Mae, made $11,648,409.
Richard F. Syron, the CEO of Freddie Mac, made $18,289,575.
Martin J. Sullivan, the CEO of AIG, made $14,330,736.

These individuals made more in one year than most of us will make in three lifetimes. And yet are they held personally responsible for their mistakes? NO!!!

Before I and my fellow taxpayers pay a dime to clean up the mess of these individuals, they should have to pony up part of their vast accumulated wealth. I propose that any bailout of these and other financial institutions be paid for by a 95% wealth tax to be paid by those in the financial and mortgage sectors that are responsible for this mess.

If every executive and trader at these companies were required to give up the vast salaries, bonuses, retirement packages, and all other forms of compensation they have received over the past decade, the Treasury could undoubtedly raise the majority of the requested $700 billion.

Making the four individuals listed above pay the last ten years of their average pay would account for 1 percent of the requested total. If other executives, senior management, and traders were included, a sizable portion could be raised.

So, in an effort to reinstate personal responsibility in our financial sector, we need to make these individuals pay. They should not be allowed to skirt their responsibilities and duties to their country! My two year old daughter should not pay for the mess of a group of billionaires.

So please sir, block funding of any bailouts of the financial sector unless the funding first comes from a 95% wealth tax on those Wall Street financiers that have created this mess.

Thank you.