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What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

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  • What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeYscnFpEyA[/media]

  • #2
    Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

    I don't know exactly what Paine would say, but it most likely wouldn't be that. At all.

    First of all, Eric Holder's choice of words in his 'nation of cowards' statement is certainly debatable, but everyone who waves this statement around like a revolutionary flag is only waving their own ignorance. Holder said we were a nation of cowards when it comes to RACE, and Thomas Paine (author of The Rights of Man would most likely agree with the statement based on his published views of slavery and the rights of man. The publishers of this video probably wouldn't know that, since they seem equally confused about what real patriotism is.

    First of all, Holder's actual words, in context:
    Originally posted by Eric Holder, February 18, 2009
    Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race. It is an issue we have never been at ease with and given our nation’s history this is in some ways understandable. And yet, if we are to make progress in this area we must feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other, to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.
    Second of all, Thomas Paine, from his 1774 essay on 'African Slavery in America':
    Originally posted by Thomas Paine
    That some desperate wretches should be willing to steal and enslave men by violence and murder for gain, is rather lamentable than strange. But that many civilized, nay, Christianized people should approve, and be concerned in the savage practice, is surprising; and still persist, though it has been so often proved contrary to the light of nature, to every
    principle of Justice and Humanity, and even good policy, by a succession of eminent men, and several late publications.
    Why isn't there a '3 million person march on Washington' as this guy claims? Because some - actually most - of us in America actually feel as though our representative government isn't that far off base right now - overspent, you bet, but non-representative as old-man-acting-like-Thomas Paine claims? No, not even close. Furthermore, anyone with a college degree can understand the scope of the economic precipise AIG and the investment bank system has landed not just America but most industrialized economies in the entire world. Bailing them out (or, more accurately, propping them up) isn't pretty, and isn't going to be pretty, but even George Bush understood the dire necessity of it. Polls indicate the majority of Americans still in support of this - so to claim that representative democracy isn't working is false. The AIG 'bonus' outrage is also a clear indication of that - most Americans are against it, and their representatives are all fired up as a result. It probably won't get them anywhere, but the spectacle of it counts for something.

    That guy doesn't even look like Thomas Paine.

    By the way, Cooling - nice icon, but Ayn Rand was proven wrong last year (and this year) in case you missed it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

      Was she? Proof?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

        Originally posted by Global.Cooling View Post
        Was she? Proof?
        Not to simply assume guilt by association as fact, but if you accept Alan Greenspan's shared philosophies and economic views with those of Ayn Rand (they had a very close personal relationship), he himself admitted the flaws in their shared belief "in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms...those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief." Those statements, as hopefully we know, were made during congressional testimony during the late summer of 2008.

        I think it's safe to assume that Ayn Rand would be shocked (and awed?) as well by what has just occured in our free market banking system - as all of us should be. Further, if you think it wasn't really that 'free' due to regulatory controls, I would offer Enron, Tyco, AIG and Bernie Madoff as exhibits A, B, C and D, respectively, as proof of absolute regulatory failure.

        It is a failure of government, to be certain, but more broadly it is a failure of belief in a flawed system. Pure capitalism fosters greed, which fosters deceipt, which fosters collapse. If we are to live in a capitalist society, we must be ensured of buffers to detect (if not prevent) deceipt and therefore collapse. We had no such assurance, apparently, and now faced with collapse we are witnessing the sad (and frustrating) buffer that is the Federal Reserve. But to deny it's utility based on some flawed philosophy is to be a self-destructing fool. The political gravity that some are applying to this situation is more than just ignorant, it is dangerous.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

          Originally posted by AMosely View Post
          I think it's safe to assume that Ayn Rand would be shocked (and awed?) as well by what has just occured in our free market banking system - as all of us should be. Further, if you think it wasn't really that 'free' due to regulatory controls, I would offer Enron, Tyco, AIG and Bernie Madoff as exhibits A, B, C and D, respectively, as proof of absolute regulatory failure.
          Ayn Rand, capitalists, shocked at this crisis? Doubtful, seeing as they predicted this very crisis. But hey, what would they know? It's not as if one of the most prominent capitalist talking heads, Peter Schiff, went on many news shows talking about how the economy would blow up ;] That was wayyyy back in 2006, 2007, who can remember that far back?

          You evidently are not aware that Ayn Rand was absolutely appalled at the high level of government intrusion into the economy... in the US.

          The awesomeness level of posts has been increasing exponentially lately.
          Last edited by Nikolas; 03-18-2009, 03:10 PM.
          A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

          "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

            Austrians, amongst the most dedicated capitalists, say this:

            The theory views business cycles as the inevitable consequence of inherently damaging and ineffective central bank policies, which cause interest rates to remain too low for too long, resulting in excessive credit creation, speculative economic bubbles and lowered savings.
            Sounds familiar, don't it?
            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

              Originally posted by Nikolas View Post
              Austrians, amongst the most dedicated capitalists, say this:

              The theory views business cycles as the inevitable consequence of inherently damaging and ineffective central bank policies, which cause interest rates to remain too low for too long, resulting in excessive credit creation, speculative economic bubbles and lowered savings.
              Sounds familiar, don't it?
              This "Austrian Business Cycle Theory" seems to have a hard time meshing with empirical data. (See the wiki article you linked to.)

              There are two Nobel Laureates that call it a failed theory. (Same wiki article.)

              Why do you think this theory is a viable one?
              I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

                1) My previous post doesn't require that ABC (Austrian Business Cycle Theory) be true

                My point was that capitalists in general and Randians in particular would definitively not be shocked by recent events. That in fact, some predicted these events. Whether the theory which derived those predictions is true is irrelevant.


                2) "Two Nobel Laureates disagree with the ABC"

                F.A. Hayek, one of the 20th century's main proponents of Austrian Business Cycle Theory, was himself a Nobel Laureate.

                Friedman and Krugman, the two Laureates whom disagree with the theory, have their own theories. So we've got three Laureates, three theories, and any two of them will disagree with the third's theory.

                Put another way, "Since two Nobel Laureates (Friedman and Hayek) say that Krugman is wrong, what makes you think Krugman can be right?"
                A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

                  Originally posted by Global.Cooling View Post
                  [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeYscnFpEyA[/media]
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                  • #10
                    Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

                    Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                    1) My previous post doesn't require that ABC (Austrian Business Cycle Theory) be true
                    Then why use it in an argument? You have cited ABC theory more than once.

                    You either think it is a valid theory or you don't. Which one is it?

                    Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                    My point was that capitalists in general and Randians in particular would definitively not be shocked by recent events. That in fact, some predicted these events. Whether the theory which derived those predictions is true is irrelevant.
                    I don't think "capitalists in general" where expecting what has transpired. As AMosely showed at least one big capitalist, Greenspan, was surprised.

                    Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                    2) "Two Nobel Laureates disagree with the ABC"

                    F.A. Hayek, one of the 20th century's main proponents of Austrian Business Cycle Theory, was himself a Nobel Laureate.

                    Friedman and Krugman, the two Laureates whom disagree with the theory, have their own theories. So we've got three Laureates, three theories, and any two of them will disagree with the third's theory.

                    Put another way, "Since two Nobel Laureates (Friedman and Hayek) say that Krugman is wrong, what makes you think Krugman can be right?"
                    Did I say Krugman was correct? Must be that Randian ability to understand things on the 12th level of economic bliss.

                    But since I just finished Adam Smiths "The wealth of nations" I think I will take on "The Constitution of Liberty" next.
                    I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

                      Thomas Paine would not have been as stupid as the guy in the video. At least I hope so.

                      America didn't become independent to get away from government and taxes. America became independent so it could decide for itself what kind of government would rule and what the taxes would be.

                      And that is what is happening.

                      So what is the problem?
                      I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                      - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                      - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                      - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                      - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                      - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                      - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

                        Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                        Then why use it in an argument? You have cited ABC theory more than once.

                        You either think it is a valid theory or you don't. Which one is it?



                        I don't think "capitalists in general" where expecting what has transpired. As AMosely showed at least one big capitalist, Greenspan, was surprised.



                        Did I say Krugman was correct? Must be that Randian ability to understand things on the 12th level of economic bliss.

                        But since I just finished Adam Smiths "The wealth of nations" I think I will take on "The Constitution of Liberty" next.
                        Awesome.
                        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

                          Originally posted by Nikolas View Post
                          Awesome.
                          I am glad you recognize my awesomeness.
                          I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

                            Originally posted by Nikolas View Post
                            You evidently are not aware that Ayn Rand was absolutely appalled at the high level of government intrusion into the economy... in the US.

                            The awesomeness level of posts has been increasing exponentially lately.
                            Of course I'm aware. But that's not what is at issue here. The crux of this issue lies in how much government intrusion (or lack thereof) contributed to this specific recession and near collapse. It would seem, based on his public statements, that Greenspan saw a lack of oversight and/or guidance through some of his (and Rand's by association) flawed beliefs in the free market. That was the point I was trying to make. I understand that it is debatable.

                            What I don't understand is any argument posing that the enourmous bubble that sub-prime lending practices (and the failing credit rating agencies, credit default swaps and flawed loan guarantees) was somehow caused in any small or large part by 'government intrusion.' It seems to me that the SEC or the executive or legislative branches of government would be the only forces that, through intrusion, could have stood a chance at preventing it. We know they didn't prevent it. I am fairly certain they didn't cause it, either. How can that possibly add up to a conclusion of less government regulation in the finance and banking industry?

                            If you can offer a counterspin to that logic, please do.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What would Thomas Paine say about what is happening now?

                              Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                              What I don't understand is any argument posing that the enourmous bubble that sub-prime lending practices (and the failing credit rating agencies, credit default swaps and flawed loan guarantees) was somehow caused in any small or large part by 'government intrusion.' It seems to me that the SEC or the executive or legislative branches of government would be the only forces that, through intrusion, could have stood a chance at preventing it. We know they didn't prevent it. I am fairly certain they didn't cause it, either. How can that possibly add up to a conclusion of less government regulation in the finance and banking industry?

                              If you can offer a counterspin to that logic, please do.
                              In a 2002 study exploring the relationship between the Community Reinvestment Act and lending looked at as predatory, Kathleen C. Engel and Patricia A. McCoy noted that banks could receive CRA credit by lending or brokering loans in lower-income areas that would be considered a risk for ordinary lending practices. CRA regulated banks may also inadvertently facilitate these lending practices by financing lenders. They also noted that CRA regulations, as then administered and carried out by Fannie Mae and Freddie MAC, did not penalize banks that engaged in these lending practices.
                              Economist Stan Liebowitz wrote in the New York Post that a strengthening of the CRA in the 1990s encouraged a loosening of lending standards throughout the banking industry. He also charges the Federal Reserve with ignoring the negative impact of the CRA. In a commentary for CNN, Congressman Ron Paul, who serves on the United States House Committee on Financial Services, charged the CRA with "forcing banks to lend to people who normally would be rejected as bad credit risks." In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Austrian school economist Russell Roberts wrote that the CRA subsidized low-income housing by pressuring banks to serve poor borrowers and poor regions of the country. Jeffrey A. Miron, a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University, in an opinion piece for CNN, calls for “getting rid” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as policies like the Community Reinvestment Act that “pressure banks into subprime lending."

                              Sounds like the government intruding on lending practices.

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