8 replies [Last post]
SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
What you think?

For those that prefer to click on links: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1843168,00.html?cnn=yes

From Time, How We Became The United States of France

"This is the state of our great republic: We've nationalized the financial system, taking control from Wall Street bankers we no longer trust. We're about to quasi-nationalize the Detroit auto companies via massive loans because they're a source of American pride, and too many jobs — and votes — are at stake. Our Social Security system is going broke as we head for a future where too many retirees will be supported by too few workers. How long before we have national healthcare? Put it all together, and the America that emerges is a cartoonish version of the country most despised by red-meat red-state patriots: France. Only with worse food.

Admit it, mes amis, the rugged individualism and cutthroat capitalism that made America the land of unlimited opportunity has been shrink-wrapped by a half dozen short sellers in Greenwich, Conn. and FedExed to Washington D.C. to be spoon-fed back to life by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. We're now no different from any of those Western European semi-socialist welfare states that we love to deride. Italy? Sure, it's had four governments since last Thursday, but none of them would have allowed this to go on; the Italians know how to rig an economy.

You just know the Frogs have only increased their disdain for us, if that is indeed possible. And why shouldn't they? The average American is working two and half jobs, gets two weeks off, and has all the employment security of a one-armed trapeze artist. The Bush Administration has preached the "ownership society" to America: own your house, own your retirement account; you don't need the government in your way. So Americans mortgaged themselves to the hilt to buy overpriced houses they can no longer afford and signed up for 401k programs that put money where, exactly? In the stock market! Where rich Republicans fleeced them.

Now our laissez-faire (hey, a French word) regulation-averse Administration has made France's only Socialist president, Francois Mitterand, look like Adam Smith by comparison. All Mitterrand did was nationalize France's big banks and insurance companies in 1982; he didn't have to deal with bankers who didn't want to lend money, as Paulson does. When the state runs the banks, they are merely cows to be milked in the service of la patrie. France doesn't have the mortgage crisis that we do, either. In bailing out mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, our government has basically turned America into the largest subsidized housing project in the world. Sure, France has its banlieues, where it likes to warehouse people who aren't French enough (meaning, immigrants orAlgerians) in huge apartment blocks. But the bulk of French homeowners are curiously free of subprime mortgages foisted on them by fellow citizens, and they aren't over their heads in personal debt.

We've always dismissed the French as exquisitely fed wards of their welfare state. They work, what, 27 hours in a good week, have 19 holidays a month, go on strike for two days and enjoy a glass of wine every day with lunch — except for the 25% of the population that works for the government, who have an even sweeter deal. They retire before their kids finish high school, and they don't have to save for a $45,000-a-year college tuition because college is free. For this, they pay a tax rate of about 103%, and their labor laws are so restrictive that they haven't had a net gain in jobs since Napoleon. There is no way that the French government can pay for this lifestyle forever, except that it somehow does.

Mitterrand tried to create both job-growth and wage-growth by nationalizing huge swaths of the economy, including some big industries, including automaker Renault, for instance. You haven't driven a Renault lately because Renault couldn't sell them here. Imagine that. An auto company that couldn't compete with a Dodge Colt. But the Renault takeover ultimately proved successful and Renault became a private company again in 1996, although the government retains about 15% of the shares.

Now the U.S. is faced with the same prospect in the auto industry. GM and Ford need money to develop greener cars that can compete with Toyota and Honda. And they're looking to Uncle Sam for investment — an investment that could have been avoided had Washington imposed more stringent mileage standards years earlier. But we don't want to interfere with market forces like the French do — until we do.

Mitterand's nationalization program and other economic reforms failed, as the development of the European Market made a centrally planned economy obsolete. The Rothschilds got their bank back, a little worse for wear. These days, France sashays around the issue of protectionism in a supposedly unfettered EU by proclaiming some industries to be national champions worthy of extra consideration — you know, special needs kids. And we're not talking about pastry chefs, but the likes of GDF Suez, a major utility. I never thought of the stocks and junk securities sold by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as unique, but clearly Washington does. Morgan's John Mack calls SEC boss Chris Cox to whine about short sellers and bingo, the government obliges. The elite serve the elite. How French is that?

Even in the strongest sectors in the U.S., there's no getting away from the French influence. Nothing is more sacred to France than its farmers. They get whatever they demand, and they demand a lot. And if there are any issues about price supports, or feed costs being too high, or actual competition from other countries, French farmers simply shut down the country by marching their livestock up the Champs Elysee and piling up wheat on the highways. U.S. farmers would never resort to such behavior. They don't have to: they're the most coddled special interest group in U.S. history, lavished with $180 billion in subsidies by both parties, even when their products are fetching record prices. One consequence: U.S. consumers pay twice what the French pay for sugar, because of price guarantees. We're more French than France.

So yes, while we're still willing to work ourselves to death for the privilege of paying off our usurious credit cards, we can no longer look contemptuously at the land of 246 cheeses. Kraft Foods has replaced American International Group in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the insurance company having been added to Paulson's nationalized portfolio. Macaroni and cheese has supplanted credit default swaps at the fulcrum of capitalism. And one more thing: the food snob French love McDonalds, which does a fantastic business there. They know a good freedom fry when they taste one."

Ah, corporate welfare that we all pay for. How nice!

Offline
Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
What you think?

I'm sorry, could you please show a link to a reputable source

CVC
CVC's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3586
What you think?
JTapia wrote:
I'm sorry, could you please show a link to a reputable source

Now, I don't care who you are - that's funny! Laugh

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
What you think?
CVC wrote:
JTapia wrote:
I'm sorry, could you please show a link to a reputable source

Now, I don't care who you are - that's funny! Laugh

Hey, you broke your little vow of ignoring my threads. Now that's funny! Laugh

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
What you think?
JTapia wrote:
I'm sorry, could you please show a link to a reputable source

So, the information outlined isn't true? It appears to me you are in favor of welfare and socialism when it is used in favor of rich repub CEO's who are in the hurt locker due to their own mismanagement, but due to 700 billion tax payer dollars will walk away with intact retirements. You see the world through an odd prism jtapia.

Offline
Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
What you think?
SoCoKHntr wrote:
JTapia wrote:
I'm sorry, could you please show a link to a reputable source

So, the information outlined isn't true? It appears to me you are in favor of welfare and socialism when it is used in favor of rich repub CEO's who are in the hurt locker due to their own mismanagement, but due to 700 billion tax payer dollars will walk away with intact retirements. You see the world through an odd prism jtapia.

That was a tongue in cheek reply SoCoKHntr, No offense intended, I just forgot to put an emoticon at the end.
It is actually a copy and paste of a standard reply from someone else on the forum.
But it was an article in a Magazine that is "Partnered with CNN", Not exactly an unbiased news organization.

In reply to your statement, no I am not in favor of something that does not exist. There is no Corporate Welfare as those guys work and earn their money. What I do favor and support is that everybody that works and earns their money gets to keep their fruits from their labor and not have it taken away from them and given to someone who will not work to earn it, those same people that benefited from Legislation signed by Bill Clinton forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to create programs for them that would allow the purchase of Homes that they could not repay....now we are not only paying for their cell phones, fancy cars, and groceries but now their mortgages.

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
What you think?
JTapia wrote:
SoCoKHntr wrote:
JTapia wrote:
I'm sorry, could you please show a link to a reputable source

So, the information outlined isn't true? It appears to me you are in favor of welfare and socialism when it is used in favor of rich repub CEO's who are in the hurt locker due to their own mismanagement, but due to 700 billion tax payer dollars will walk away with intact retirements. You see the world through an odd prism jtapia.

That was a tongue in cheek reply SoCoKHntr, No offense intended, I just forgot to put an emoticon at the end.
It is actually a copy and paste of a standard reply from someone else on the forum.
But it was an article in a Magazine that is "Partnered with CNN", Not exactly an unbiased news organization.

In reply to your statement, no I am not in favor of something that does not exist. There is no Corporate Welfare as those guys work and earn their money. What I do favor and support is that everybody that works and earns their money gets to keep their fruits from their labor and not have it taken away from them and given to someone who will not work to earn it, those same people that benefited from Legislation signed by Bill Clinton forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to create programs for them that would allow the purchase of Homes that they could not repay....now we are not only paying for their cell phones, fancy cars, and groceries but now their mortgages.

Wrong answer friend. While their is some blame to lay at the feet of the mortgage holder due to ignorance and the desire to own a home the lions share is due to the greed of mortgage brokers. They took advantage of these peoples ignorance and desire to be homeowners by approving loans these people weren't qualified for and telling them they were qualified and shouldn't have any problem paying it off.

Why did these brokers due this knowing these people were ill equipped to pay their mortgage or not disclosing to them what an ARM loan was? Why, because they didn't care they were getting paid and paid well and it wasn't their concern what happened to Joe first time homeowner or America when the whole house of cards collapsed. Why heck no when they have friends like Bush and Mccain who want to give them a check for 700 Billion dollars and even though they were deceptive, fraudulent, and at the very least mismanaging accounts, there going to get bonuses upon leaving where as Joe first time homeowner gets to foreclose on his home.

You imply that these people are part of that lazy 'welfare' society with your pay for their cell phones comments, but again you're not stating the truth. The great majority of these people are hard working lower middle class married couples struggling to make a home and living for their family without the luxuries of big screen TV's, cell phones, fancy cars, and other gadgets.

While Clinton did push for actions to allow people a chance to buy a home under the Bush admin this was taken to a whole nother level of corruption and is another example that an unregulated free market can't work due to the inherent greed in man. There has to be some level of oversight and regulation to prevent what is occurring now.

You don't have a problem paying for a Golden Parachute for Corporate America when they don't deserve it, I do.

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
What you think?

I'm no Ron Paul supporter, but he makes some good points here:

Dear Friends,

Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.
The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress' throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect.

It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China!

"This is welfare for the rich," he said. "This is socialism for the rich. It's bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters."
That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we're being told it's unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences - predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics - are being let off the hook.

The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!
??? The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.

??? Financial institutions are "designated as financial agents of the Government." This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.

??? Then there's this: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.
There goes your country.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this "sadly necessary." Sad, yes. Necessary? Don't make me laugh.
Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people.

The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind - another example of the big choice we're supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes.

Now, with a backlash brewing, they're not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we'll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it.

Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?

When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?

Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.
In liberty,
Ron Paul

Offline
Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
What you think?
SoCoKHntr wrote:
Wrong answer friend. While their is some blame to lay at the feet of the mortgage holder due to ignorance and the desire to own a home the lions share is due to the greed of mortgage brokers. They took advantage of these peoples ignorance and desire to be homeowners by approving loans these people weren't qualified for and telling them they were qualified and shouldn't have any problem paying it off.

Why did these brokers due this knowing these people were ill equipped to pay their mortgage or not disclosing to them what an ARM loan was? Why, because they didn't care they were getting paid and paid well and it wasn't their concern what happened to Joe first time homeowner or America when the whole house of cards collapsed. Why heck no when they have friends like Bush and Mccain who want to give them a check for 700 Billion dollars and even though they were deceptive, fraudulent, and at the very least mismanaging accounts, there going to get bonuses upon leaving where as Joe first time homeowner gets to foreclose on his home.

You imply that these people are part of that lazy 'welfare' society with your pay for their cell phones comments, but again you're not stating the truth. The great majority of these people are hard working lower middle class married couples struggling to make a home and living for their family without the luxuries of big screen TV's, cell phones, fancy cars, and other gadgets.

While Clinton did push for actions to allow people a chance to buy a home under the Bush admin this was taken to a whole nother level of corruption and is another example that an unregulated free market can't work due to the inherent greed in man. There has to be some level of oversight and regulation to prevent what is occurring now.

You don't have a problem paying for a Golden Parachute for Corporate America when they don't deserve it, I do.

As I posted on another thread the problem had it's beginning in 1992 when in an attempt to prevent "redlining", of either an "undesirable part of town" or "racial/ethnic groups Congress approved and President Bill Clinton signed into law the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 which, among other things instructed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to create programs that would allow loans to the afore mentioned groups regardless of ability to repay. ARMs and investment groups willing to insure these mortgages (other than VA and FHA) were the result. If you lived in one of these area and/or fell into the ethnic groups you were not even required to have a job to qualify for these loans so while I agree with you that it was unwise to provide unqualified people loans they were bound by Statue to make these loans available. It is Ironic that this ACT was also designed to provide oversight of these Loan practices.
Bush and his Administration has some blame to carry also for keeping the interest rates artificially low to encourage growth in the housing market when it was becoming obvious that the economy could not support this with the inflated property values.
Middle and lower middle class Americans are caught in this trap and while I sympathize and feel for them this is just a risk you take when you buy a home, but they should have been aware of what they were getting into. They didn't ask my opinion before obligating themselves why should you or I, as a taxpayer, now be obligated to purchase their mortgage for them? I am sorry but I have a hard enough time providing and taking care of my family and don't have the time, energy or the resources to take care and support others. It;s time folks start taking responsibility for themselves and their decisions and quit depending on the government to "bail" them out or take care of them.
You have misjudged my support for the 700 billion dollar "Bailout" as I do not agree with it as I stated in another thread. I also do not support CEO's getting "performance" bonuses while their Corporation is going down in flames but I cannot agree that they be deprived of their salaries that they have been contractually availed.

Of course I have just barely skimmed the surface of this fiasco and it is so much more complex so I'll trust that you have done your own research and know the facts already.
Oh and by the way, I like Ron Paul and his message that he presented to America during his campaign.