Monday, June 14, 2010

Moribund Free Market?

There’s an article on Bloomberg by Lorraine Woellert and John Gittelsohn which explains how taxpayers are on the hook to Fannie and Freddie for somewhere between $160 Billion and $ 1 Trillion.  I was unfamiliar with one word they used; not being the sharpest pencil in the box I get to use the dictionary and thesaurus more often than most folks.

“Fannie and Freddie, now 80 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers, already have drawn $145 billion from an unlimited line of government credit granted to ensure that home buyers can get loans while the private housing-finance industry is moribund.”

Moribund, maybe it was some kind of fancy donut, like Bear claw. I really didn’t think so; but being a retired cop makes such words more fun. The thesaurus pointed to ‘declining’ or ‘dying’ as closest in meaning. If you consider the context of moribund, matched up with free market housing, the outlook is rather bleak. Declining; on the way out, on its last leg, waning, past its best, dilapidated, seen better days, none of which sound good. Then there’s dying; failing, expiring or at death’s door; again, not what you want to hear about something which controls 17% of our economy.

Think about that for a moment; the private mortgage industry is on death’s door step while Freddie and Fannie which control 75% of all home loans are…(I found myself looking at the ceiling while trying to put my thoughts into words), Freddie and Fannie are being propped up with taxpayer dollars because they’ve already died, been buried, granted second life and died again. Does that about cover how the government run mortgage industry has been handled?

This is the same government which now owns GM, Chrysler, Wall Street and recently took control of health care. Where in the constitution does government have the power to meddle with any of these areas of the free market? I’ll save you the time, the answer is no where. These powers have been usurped “for the good of everyone”.

We’ve eliminated certain inalienable rights for the good of the community. All you have to do is look at the Supreme Court ruling on Kelo v New London to understand that “for the good of the community” really means we don’t like the constitution so let’s just toss that part in the trash. The idea of private property all but vanished when the Supreme Court claimed that taking one individual’s property and handing it over to yet another was for the good of the community and satisfied the eminent domain requirement.

‘“Promoting economic development is a traditional and long-accepted function of government,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority.”

America, what have you done? In this land of promise, the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, promises from our Creator guarantee these inalienable rights. We, and by we I should mark that our leaders both elected and appointed, have distorted and perverted eternal laws in order to exercise unrighteous dominion over individual’s God given rights; but don’t be too concerned, it’s been done for the good of the community.

Thomas Jefferson asked:

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?”

Government can have no power(s) except these powers be given by the people and, by extension, no power can be given by the people which they do not themselves have to begin with. I refer to the writings of Bastiat and Locke to drive home the point that government does not have the power to redistribute wealth or property without the consent of the property owner. No amount of pressure from the community may alter the fact that property ownership rests with the individual, not even when it might be for the “good of the community”.

“Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but and extension of our faculties?”


“If every person has the right to defend – even by force – his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -–its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right.” (Bastiat, The Law, pg. 6)

Now combine that with what John Locke wrote nearly 300 years ago:

“For nobody can transfer to another more power than he has in himself, and nobody has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life of property of another.” (Two Treatises of Civil Government, II, 135; P.P.N.S. p. 93)

The purpose of government is to secure and defend our God given rights; anything more is a usurpation of power. How did we ever get saddled with a government which actually believes taxpayers are to be fleeced in order to pay for entitlement programs or any other program which violates property rights?

The Astros were getting their butts kicked at Yankee Stadium, nothing new there; however, between innings the station showed some of the pre-game festivities put on by the Army as precision paratroopers floated onto the playing field. The Astros’ sports announcer interviewed one of the soldiers; turned out he was from the Houston area and had graduated from one of the Klein area schools prior to entering the military.

The young man’s demeanor was something to behold, confident in his abilities while at the same time showing respect and humility during the interview; every sentence started or ended with, “Sir”. He said he had a decision to make once he graduated; considering his lack of scholarly skills he figured he would have a better chance in the military.

Why was it important to include the interview in this article on property rights? I’m not sure except that it came to mind while I was contemplating what ails America and the purpose of government. You see, that young man has accepted the job of protecting our God given inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He’s just one of many willing to put his life on the line while performing in what ever capacity is best suited to his abilities.

How is it that a young man serving in the Army understands his role so much better than our President, Senators, Congressmen and Supreme Court justices? The answer has to do with an appreciation for our Constitution and God given rights. That young soldier would lay down his life to protect my rights while the others mentioned have disregarded the constraints imposed on government by our Constitution for so long as to make it null and void.

My friend Col. Hogan wrote recently of his mistrust of government; neither Republicans nor Democrats being much better or worse at destroying liberty and freedom.

“In order to avoid actually doing the simple things the US Constitution and reason requires of it, power hungry (yet unbelievably incompetent) elected officials try and invariable fail to control every aspect of the lives of Americans, and by the inconsistent use of force and fear, cause chaos and destruction every step of the way.”

He then added, and this tied in with my reason for including the interview with the young enlisted soldier:

“All I want from government is protection for my absolute right to my life, rights and property…”

That young soldier represents our hope and desire to remain a free nation of individuals going about the business of commerce and come November let’s remember to put all those incumbents on unemployment for having violated their oaths of office. Vote no incumbent!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.


MK said...

The reasoning behind financing crappy companies like fannie and freddie is that they're too big to fail. If they fail, there will be far too much damage done to the economy that'll affect everyone else. Government and the people don't want the market to fix this problem itself through painful discipline.

The sad reality is that, these companies and those [taxpayers] that are forced to prop them up will also fail anyway and the damage will be long term and far more painful.

For now fannie and freddie will live, but eventually as they keep sucking more and more out of the taxpayer, the taxpayer will get wind that he's working so that someone else won't have to and he too will stop.

America will borrow and borrow until no one will lend you money. The irony is that it's still the free market that'll resolve this, be it the local American market or the international market.

Just look at Greece, for years they scorned the free market, @#%$ you capitalism and the free market they spat. And yet here they are today, broke, penniless and taking money from the international market and forced to make radical changes, bowing and groveling to the markets they do despised.

T. F. Stern said...

MK, As you have mentioned, "they scorned the free market" and it is only the free market which can set things right. The same holds true for our current crop of progressives who seek Utopia through other people's money. It has failed each and every time because eventually you run out of other people's money.

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T. F. Stern said...


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