Michele Bachmann, standing on the floor of the House:
"The Federal Government has set up a new cartel and private businesses now have to go begging with their hand out to their local--hopefully well politically connected [sic]--Congressman or their Senator so they can buy a peace offering for that local business," said Bachmann. "Is that the kind of country we are going to have in the future?" she asks.
What was she talking about and what did she call it, Spotty?
She was talking about the intervention of congressional members to speak on behalf of car dealerships slated for closure by GM; she called it “gangster government.”
Why are those pictures of Jack Abramoff and Tom De Lay up there in the corner, Spot?
Oh, they just seemed ironic, grasshopper. Or maybe iconic. Take your pick.
Our beloved Captain Fishsticks — Craig Westover — takes up the cudgel, too, although it is unclear whether he is speaking as a Pioneer Press editorialist, a contributor to the Minnesota Free Market Institute, or as an alternate to the Republican State Central Committee (which he apparently is):
Bachmann is right. What is happening in this country is not capitalism. It is not free market economics. It is not "necessary" to save either capitalism or free markets. "Gangster government" is the blatant exploitation of fear, uncertainty and doubt spawned by an economic crisis created by decades of government meddling in the economy. It is "the law perverted" as Frederick Bastiat wrote in " The Law. " It is the destruction of the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded -- the primacy of individual sovereignty, the sanctity of private property and the rule of law.
Yes, the Captain says we are entirely forgetting our national motto: E Pluribus Pluribus! And the Captain is certainly right about the “sanctity of private property”; we have almost entirely forgotten the line in the Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the acquisitive, for they shall inherit the earth, or all the valuable parts thereof, anyway.
You see, the Captain believes that free market and capitalism are the ultimate goals of society. Get for yourself, and the devil take the hindmost. It’s the simple hunter gatherer mentality: you get to eat what you kill and you don’t share with anybody. I caught this grub, and I’m going to eat it!
Fishsticks and Andrew Mellon would have gotten on quite well, Spot thinks:
Mellon became unpopular with the onset of the Great Depression. Many economists today (such as Milton Friedman and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, to give two prominent examples) partially attribute the collapse of the American banking industry to the popularity among Federal Reserve leadership of Mellon's infamous "liquidationist" thesis: weeding out "weak" banks was seen as a harsh but necessary prerequisite to the recovery of the banking system. This "weeding out" was accomplished through refusing to lend cash to banks (taking loans and other investments as collateral), and by refusing to put more cash in circulation. He advocated spending cuts to keep the Federal budget balanced, and opposed measures for relief of public suffering. In 1929-31, he spent much of the time overseas, negotiating for repayment of European war debts from World War I. In February 1932, Mellon left the Treasury Department and accepted the post of U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He served for one year and then retired to private life.
Even Herbert Hoover thought Andrew Mellon was a nutjob, got rid of him at Treasury, and sent him to England where he couldn’t do so much harm. Mellon thought that a liquidation of the entire freakin’ economy was just what we needed in the Depression, a view undoubtedly embraced by Fishsticks, too.
The Captain and Michele raise some issues about bankruptcy reorganization and the enforcement of contracts, too, but they will have to wait for another time.