Saturday, September 18, 2010

Regulation, Reform, and My Uncle Remus

Regulation, Reform, and My Uncle Remus

People often say that Big Business controls the government. I agree wholeheartedly, but when those making the statement are asked, “What can we do about it?” the answer usually comes back, “We have to give Congress more power to control Big Business.” Duhhh! If Big Business controls the government, and if we give more power to the government, then we're giving Big Business more power to destroy their competition through regulation and taxation. That's exactly what has been happening.

The old mantra was regulation, today it's “reform.” I caught onto “regulation” a long time ago and I think I have a pretty good handle on the meaning of “reform” if experience with tax “reform” is any indicator. Every ten or fifteen years, politicians, bureaucrats, and the media are “shocked” to learn of massive loopholes in the tax laws through which extreme wealth escapes taxes. Usually, this happens after the loopholes have become more generally known and many less wealthy people are beginning to use them. The laws are “reformed,” and the cycle begins again. It then takes another fifteen years for the new loopholes built in for the wealthy to become more generally known and then the “shock” and “reform” repeats.

One of the latest developments in the regulation and “reform” arena is reported by Brooke Masters, Quentin Peel and Francesco Guerrera of the UK Times Sept. 12 & 13. The subject was a meeting of the global regulators of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel where new global bank capital standards were being set.

The reporters indicated that most BIG [emphasis mine] US and European banks would not have much difficulty, but smaller banks could struggle to meet the new requirements. [Nothing to worry about. The big guys will be happy to absorb their business.]

The Times does report warnings that the new, stricter requirements might crimp economic recovery, but not all agreed (or at least admitted it).

Still, Masters, Peel and Guerrera tell us “One senior banking executive said the rules would prompt banks to hoard capital and cut lending capacity at a time when the US economy is struggling...”

“There is nothing we can do: more capital on our balance sheet means less capital available to the rest of the economy,” the executive is quoted.

Welcoming the agreement, the Times informs us, is Tim Geithner, US Treason secretary and CFR and Trilateral Commission member who the Times quotes as calling it the “next step on the way to strong global financial reforms.” There you have it. The money powers behind the CFR and Trilateral Commission want these “global financial reforms” and national sovereignty and the well-being of the peoples of the world be damned.

In light of this development, I thought it might be appropriate to relate this little story my Uncle Remus told me a long time ago, when “regulation” was the buzzword. Uncle said:

“One fahn day, ole small businessman Brer Fox finally caught da corporate monopolist Brer Rabbit and was decidin' what ta do wit him. Jus' den Brer Rabbit he say to Brer Fox, 'Yo can do anythin' yo want ta me, but please, please, please don't fling me in dat thar heavily go'ment regoolated en controlled economy. Hearin' dat, Brer Fox he chuckle' to hisself en flung dat rabbit right smack dab inta da middle o' dat regoolated economy.

Fo' a while Brer Fox he jus' listen' en laugh' at da loud weepin' en wailin' en gnashin' o' teeth comin' from dat regoolated economy. Den dere was nuttin'. Hah!, thunk Brer Fox. Ahv'e finally done away wit thet selfish, greedy rabbit. But, soon, Brer Fox he hear laughin' en singin' en da clinkin' o' gold coins from da regoolated economy. Den da rabbit he call' out, “Brer Fox, Ah tol' yo not to fling me in hayah. It was in da medieval economies o' Europe, heavily regoolated by da trade guilds en corporations, dat mah family grow' en prosper'. We loves da go'ment regoolated en controlled economy becuz we controls da go'ment.”

Today, Mom and Pop Fox's little store is gone, replaced by a unit of the Lickety Split chain. The tiny Fox Manufacturing Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rabbit Enterprises, Inc., and the Brer Fox Savings and Loan, having been lured into an economic trap by agents of Bunny Investments, has been swallowed up by the First Hare Commercial Bank of America. Brer Fox himself ended his days as unskilled labor, barely scratching out a living in a division of Rabbit Enterprises. Sadly, as John L. Lewis predicted,* his sons were killed in the New Dealers' War.

*In 1940, John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers Union, urged his followers to vote against Roosevelt or he would make cannon fodder of their sons. This at a time when the whole New Deal swore we would stay out of Europe's war. The “New Deal” turned out to be the same old dirty deal from the bottom of a stacked deck.

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