I hope everyone is tired of the Left and the Right blaming each other for the failures of our country economically and the social crash into moral relativism. I know I am. They both need to look in the mirror and grow up! Our political party structure is such that the last thing either party wants is to be bothered with the US Constitution. RINOs complain but do not act against unconstitutional legislation that the left passes or even try to fix bad decisions by the US Supreme Court when the RINOs have the chance. The Right is hell-bent on Status Quo, and the Left is hell-bent on socialism and moral relativism. What you get in this situation is a ratchet effect. The gear can only move one way. The left moves the country to the left when it is in power, then the Right does nothing to move the country and society back to the right when they are in power, they maintain status quo!
Practically every American who is not in Congress, the Administration or the Judicial System, knows that today’s economy and social structure is bad and competing forces are driving both into catastrophic levels of demise. It does not seem like there is anyone who understands the complexities of the economy and have the guts to run for Congress or the Presidency. We have devolved into the abyss of political ideology ran by idealogues on both ends of the spectrum.
There is no one speaking “common sense” on either the economy or why socially we are fragmenting into a bitter quagmire or diverse sub cultures rather than continuing towards the color blind society envisioned by true civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.. Unfortunately, the people are bombarded with 24-7 manipulated news cycles that serve to bombard your senses with sound bites rather than true analysis and un biased commentary. The result is a frustrated electorate, a staggering economy, and a racially divided country, and competing and truly mutually exclusive competing political/economic ideologies.
There have been many pieces of key legislation that have brought us to the point we are today but I have picked a few “groups” of legislation that are at least key contributors. Until we start to address the fundamental problems in these pieces of legislation or re-establish their controls in some cases, or fundamentally reverse the impacts of others, we will continue to experience an out of control economic system. Remember one fact in politics. When barriers are erected to protect us average schmucks, the politicians will find a way to tear those down so their big donors can grow and increase their money and power base.
Federal Reserve Act of 1913:
I am not going to argue too much whether we should have a Fed or not but my point is that a control was put in place, then over 200 pieces of legislation have since been enacted to expand and change the scope of the original intent of this control legislation. The Fed today is not your Father’s Fed! The original Fed was set up to merely stabilize our currency against fluctuations from abroad or regional problems within the US that causes problems throughout our financial systems. Initially each of the Fed’s 12 districts was responsible for monitoring the health of the banking industry within its district. Due to a plethora of banking and Fed legislative changes, soon banks were international in scope and the local Fed districts were virtually irrelevant in controlling the banks within their districts. The idea of using the districts of “firewalls” to stop the spread of a financial crisis in one district spreading to the others was a good one. But the politicians were not happy with controlling their large financial industry donors. Also, within the over 200 changes, the scope of the Fed changed to include controlling inflation and has now even morphed into supporting the President’s fiscal policies, whether they are in the best interest of the country as a whole or not. Then, with Dodd-Frank, the Fed has been given out of control power to micro manage most of the private sector with little or no oversight. The Fed has become a super financial agency responsible to no one and managed and staffed by people who were elected by NO ONE!
The Fed is a great example of how politicians punt! They create a quasi something institution that they can claim no responsibility for then cry foul when they don’t like what the agency does. The Fed has served its purpose from time to time but it us now time for adults to sit down and restructure or eliminate the Fed. The Fed can print money at will regardless of the foreign policy and local economic impacts. Congress has little or no oversight over the day-to-day transactions of the Fed and what it does within and without or financial borders.
The Glass-Steagal Act of 1933 (aka Banking Act of 1933) and the Gramm-Leach-Bililey act of 1999 (aka the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999):
Almost everyone has heard of the Great Depression that hit the world in the 1920’s and 30’s that left the world reeling for years. in 1933, Congress passed the Glass-Steagal Act (GSA) that was intended to create a structure within our financial system that would prohibit banks and investment companies from adding undue risk into our economic system that could cause another Depression. But, the “Depression of 2008” is in many ways just as bad as the Great Depression. So what happened?
GSA set up barriers between commercial banks (ie Bank of America), securities firms (ie Morgan Stanley) and insurance companies (ie Travelers Insurance) so the banking industry could not take undue risks in shaky investments, market positions or insurance coverages through their securities and insurance subsidiaries. GSA also established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to insure individual’s bank deposits up to the limits set by the FDIC. What Glass and Steagal were attempting to do is create firewalls between differing types of financial institutions SO THEY DID NOT GET TOO BIG TO FAIL. Sound familiar.
GSA soon became the target of special banking interests and politicians who were trying to expand their banking/securities/insurance holdings in order to grow and continue to line the pockets of politicians. By the end of the Clinton era, those in power passed the Gramm-Leach-Bililey act of 1999 (GLB) which basically repealed the banking controls in GSA. Before Republicans get all puffy chested, all three of the sponsors of the GLB were REPUBLICANS. Although I personally have no respect for John Dingal Democrat from Michigan, at least he raised the point that if GLB passed, “the bill would result in banks becoming “too big to fail.” Dingell further argued that this would necessarily result in a bailout by the Federal Government“. How prophetic was that? TARP anyone? This was 9 years prior to the Depression of 2008!
Just prior to the passage of GLB, Citibank had bought Travelers Insurance which was a violation under GSA. Well, just so Democrats don’t get too cocky, little Timmy Geithner was at the New York Fed and granted Citibank absolution for this violation of the law and allowed the transaction to stand until GLB could be passed in the next year! Politicians and their puppets in Federally chartered agencies are manipulated to help large donor constituents at the expense of solvency for taxpayers. Get why both sides stink yet?
To make sure that the big players in the banking industry were protected, GLB also repealed Glass–Steagall’s conflict of interest prohibitions “against simultaneous service by any officer, director, or employee of a securities firm as an officer, director, or employee of any member bank“. The law also then allowed for Commercial banks, Securities Firms, Insurance Companies, and MORTGAGE INSTITUTIONS to be under one happy roof. No one in their right mind would ever put all of these eggs into one basket, except a politician! By allowing all of these financial institutions to merge, it set up an even faster demise of smaller commercial banks as the suction from the big money steamrolled over the entire financial sector until today 6 US/Global banks control the vast majority of the world’s financial transactions.
Other examples of well-meaning laws that were passed that have gone bad are Medicare, Social Security, the creation of the EPA and the Department of Energy, and so on. Medicare was expanded so it gave government control over health care reimbursements which inflates and sets the usual and customary fees charged by doctors and hospitals. The government meddling has caused insane cost spirals. Social Security was bastardized to include disabled persons and is also the collection arm for Medicare. SS relies solely on payroll taxes from employees and employers to sustain the system and this past year Congress and the President reduced the employee tax portion thus exacerbating the downward spiraling into bankruptcy of SS! An on and on…. Even the best structured laws and programs are eventually cannibalized and ruined by our politicians. And yet, they are always clamoring that they are the only ones who can FIX the problems that THEY CREATE!!!
If we continue to vote for career politicians and re-elect those who have been ruining this country during our lifetime, we will get what we deserve, a third-rate country! We started in 2010 to elect people who will fight for the PEOPLE rather than the power brokers and their own career. That was just a start and there are not near enough of these people in office yet to make a difference. We have to take back the Speakership in the House and the Senate Majority position to start to reshape legislation. We have to get a man or a woman in the WH who get’s what makes this country great and that is not WASHINGTON DC! Those we elect can then ensure that Constitutional Conservatives are appointed to the Judiciary including the Supreme Court. The Constitution has to be re-established as the law of the land and decisions that corrupted the soul of the Constitution have to be reversed.
The private sector and you also has a role. If you own stock in public companies, make sure you vote in boards of directors that look out for the business and not cronies they may have in political offices for the short-term. Don;t allow the boards to buy into political correctness such as “global warming” that is contrary to the best interest of the vast majority of business in the long run. We should all be good stewards of all of the blessings and resources God has given us but that does not include bowing to false ideology that will corrupt and rot the capitalist systems.
Finally, we must take back our Federal, State and Local government employees from the Public Sector Unions. Pensions have to be changed to 401K type of programs, compensation has to be in line with the private sector, and benefit programs should be made to mirror the private sector. FDR was correct when he said that Public Sector Unions were a bad idea as it would pit taxpayers against those who work for them in the government…
Vote Carefully. You only get one!