Archive for September 25, 2011
Not some new revelation but good to see the thought being shared.
Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.
I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.
For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.
The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.
This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.
• Many of the regulations that govern energy and banking sector were written by Corporations;
• The biggest influence on legislative votes is often Corporate Lobbying;
• Corporate ability to extend copyright far beyond what original protections amounts to a taking of public works for private corporate usage;
• PAC and campaign finance by Corporations has supplanted individual donations to elections;
• The individuals’ right to seek redress in court has been under attack for decades, limiting their options.
• DRM and content protection undercuts the individual’s ability to use purchased content as they see fit;
• Patent protections are continually weakened. Deep pocketed corporations can usurp inventions almost at will;
• The Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations have Free Speech rights equivalent to people; (So much for original intent!)
None of these are Democrat/Republican conflicts, but rather, are corporate vs. individual issues.
For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.
What difference did the Left/Right dynamic make? Almost none whatsoever.
How about government spending? The past two presidents are regarded as representative of the Left Right paradigm – yet they each spent excessively, sponsored unfunded tax cuts, plowed money into military adventures and ran enormous deficits. Does Left Right really make a difference when it comes to deficits and fiscal responsibility? (Apparently not).
What does it mean when we can no longer distinguish between the actions of the left and the right? If that dynamic no longer accurately distinguishes what occurs, why are so many of our policy debates framed in Left/Right terms?
In many ways, American society is increasingly less married to this dynamic: Party Affiliation continues to fall, approval of Congress is at record lows, and voter participation hovers at very low rates.
There is some pushback already taking place against the concentration of corporate power: Mainstream corporate media has been increasingly replaced with user created content – YouTube and Blogs are increasingly important to news consumers (especially younger users). Independent voters are an increasingly larger share of the US electorate. And I suspect that much of the pushback against the Elizabeth Warren’s concept of a Financial Consumer Protection Agency plays directly into this Corporate vs. Individual fight.
But the battle lines between the two groups have barely been drawn. I expect this fight will define American politics over the next decade.
Keynes vs Hayek? Friedman vs Krugman? Those are the wrong intellectual debates. Its you vs. Tony Hayward, BP CEO, You vs. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO. And you are losing . . .
This short commentary was conceived not to be an exhaustive research, but rather, to stimulate debate. There are many more examples and discussions we can have about this, and I hope readers do so in comments.
But my bottom line is this: If you see the world in terms of Left & Right, you really aren’t seeing the world at all . . .
here’s more to this story. Potentially billions more…
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney confirmed his belief in man-made global warming last week during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. Though not a popular stance with conservatives, Romney was not shy is his statement.
“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” he said. (Reuters)
Though not the first time Romney has planted his feet firmly on the side of progressive global warming hysteria, this may be the nail in the coffin for his second run at the White House if the news media investigates the real reason for his theory.
Most news outlets and political pundits are talking about Romney’s “belief in man-made climate change” but there is a more practical explanation for his affection for Mother Earth.
Romney has a financial stake in the success of climate change legislation.
Since 1977, Romney has been employed by or been CEO of the consulting firm Bain & Company or its spinoff Bain Capital which Romney co-founded in 1984. Bain & Company and Bain Capital LLC are profitable to the tune of billions of dollars and have offices all over the world.
Connections between the Bain companies and the “green” agenda are astounding.
The Bain & Company website boasts the consulting firm’s expertise in the nonprofit and public sector and states, “Experts agree that climate change and environmental degradation must be tackled on a global scale.”
No doubt their expertise came in handy at the World Economic Forum where Bain offered insights on “Clean energy technologies” and a “low-carbon energy mix by 2050.”
Though not controversial for a consulting firm to be interested in conserving energy, the Bain Company seems to have a particular affinity for carbon credit trading, which would have occurred on the Chicago Climate Exchange, had the Cap and Trade bill passed last year. (Learn Obama’s involvement here.)
A confidential report entitled “Green Strategies in Oil and Gas” prepared by Bain & Company describes energy efficiency as the “strongest impact on new capital projects… when combined with climate change initiatives.”
The report created for the use of a client boasts, “Most energy-efficiency projects are attractive because of their own intrinsic economic equation, but others can become more attractive when associated with the generation of carbon credits.”
Bain & Company has also worked in conjunction with the Chicago Climate Action Plan, Verdantix – Green Quadrant Climate Change Business Consulting, and even partnered with the Blackstone Group and NBC (whose parent company is GE) in 2008 to purchase the Weather Channel. The Blackstone Group is currently invested in carbon trading in the Czech Republic and other nations.
Romney is clearly loyal to Bain and Company and their client initiatives. Does that mean a President Mitt Romney would put Cap and Trade legislation be back on the table?
Romney will face former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty for the GOP nomination and could potentially see Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann if she decides to run as well.
Please learn more about what carbon credit trading is by watching this video: CCX Part 1
To learn more about Cap and Trade, the CCX and the Goldman Sachs connection, click here.
Ron Paul will return to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart this Monday, September 26, at 11 pm EST.
Last month, Jon Stewart had famously called out the mainstream media’s disconnect from Ron Paul:
Ron Paul Paul thanked Stewart for the media attention, insisting that it was “great that somebody like that comes to defend us.”
Below are videos of Ron Paul’s previous appearances on The Daily Show from 2009 and 2007.
A Rasmussen poll released Friday shows Texas congressman Ron Paul trailing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas governor Rick Perry in New Hampshire, the second poll to show Mr. Paul continuing to gain support in the key primary state.
A Rasmussen poll released on Friday finds Mr. Romney clobbering the field of Republican presidential candidates, receiving support from 39 percent of likely Republican primary voters. Mr. Perry received 18 percent of the vote, while Mr. Paul came in third with 13 percent, followed by former Utah governor Jon Huntsman at 7 percent. The rest of the field was in the low single digits.
The results from Friday’s poll come just two days after a new Suffolk University/7News poll showed Mr. Paul placing second with 14-percent, a solid four points above his closest competitor, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman.
Speaking Thursday, Mr. Paul said he remains confident in his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination, despite trailing Mr. Romney and Mr. Perry in support.
“I don’t take it personally…I think a lot of people don’t understand what I’m talking about…that’s what I work on the most, trying to refine my message,” the Texas Republican said.
More from The State Column
September 25th, 2011
Update: You Can Actually Embed the Poll On Your Own Site—If You Want
HAHAHA. Fox News. What a bunch of idiots.
Someone will eventually sober up and take it down, but for now, it works.
Here’s a screenshot:
This is one of those “must” read assignments that should be taught in schools. Here you have two flavors to choose from, so to speak. So pick your preference and get busy!
The PDF version can be found here: http://www.fee.org/pdf/books/The_Law.pdf
Below is the audio version, thanks to my friend and fellow patriot Ken Johnson.
by Frederic Bastiat
The Law is one of the most important books ever written on the uses and abuses of law. While short, The Law has proven itself time and time again to be life changing to those who read it. Walter Williams an economics professor at George Mason University put it thusly:
I must have been forty years old before reading Frederic Bastiat’s classic The Law. An anonymous person, to whom I shall eternally be in debt, mailed me an unsolicited copy. After reading the book, I was convinced that a liberal-arts education without an encounter with Bastiat is incomplete. Reading Bastiat made me keenly aware of all the time wasted, along with the frustrations of going down one blind alley after another, organizing my philosophy of life. The Law did not produce a philosophical conversion for me as much as it created order in my thinking about liberty and just human conduct.
He goes on to say:
Many philosophers have made important contributions to the discourse on liberty, Bastiat among them. But Bastiat’s greatest contribution is that he took the discourse out of the ivory tower and made ideas on liberty so clear that even the unlettered can understand them and statists cannot obfuscate them. Clarity is crucial to persuading our fellowman of the moral superiority of personal liberty.
If you are looking for a single book that once read will provide you with many hours of thought and may perhaps change the way you look at life and your interactions with others, this is it..
A current CBS News headline reads “Paul blends conservatism, libertarianism in pitch to voters,” reporting:
“Paul’s fiery libertarian rhetoric drew warm reaction at Orlando’s Conservative Political Action Conference Friday as he offered a scathing critique of the federal government and promised to ‘restore the greatness of America.”
If judging him by the Goldwater-Reagan legacy which has historically defined the American conservative movement, then Ron Paul is unquestionably the most conservative candidate currently running for president. But as CBS News notes, he is also a libertarian, and blends such language with conservatism in his message.
The Goldwater-Reagan tradition represents first and foremost a critique of the modern state, or what we often call big government, or what CBS News rightly calls “a scathing critique of the federal government.” While there are certainly ideological particularities that make conservatism and libertarianism distinct, it is also true that one cannot be a conservative in the traditional Goldwater-Reagan sense without also being a libertarian.
Who thinks this?
National Review founder William F. Buckley referred to himself as a conservative and a libertarian interchangeably throughout his entire career. I’m currently reading his 2008 book “Flying High: Remembering Barry Goldwater” in which Buckley constantly recalls that he wondered if the Republican Party of the early 1960’s was ready to embrace the explicitly “libertarian” message of Goldwater’s famous book “The Conscience of a Conservative.” Similar to Buckley’s view of the Arizona Senator, FOX Business’ Judge Andrew Napolitano dedicated his last book to Barry Goldwater, who he calls the father of American libertarianism.
But perhaps Ronald Reagan made the obvious connection between conservatism and libertarianism most clear, or as he said in 1976—the same year Ron Paul was one of only four GOP Congressman to endorse Reagan for president:
“The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is…”
Added Reagan: “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”