...Wrote the French libertarian philosopher in his 1850 classic, The Law:
“See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”
The obvious – and fallacious – rebuttal here is that Wall Street fat cats earn tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of times the salary of government employees. And that’s true. But you don’t have to pay it. If you don’t agree with excessive executive compensation, don’t buy that company’s products. Don’t invest in its stock. Simple. Of course, that won’t stop the government gifting your tax dollars to its Wall Street buddies…but you can hardly blame the grafters on The Street for taking what’s offered. Call it corporatism. Call it crony capitalism. Call it whatever you like. Just don’t call it the free market.
But just because the state can avoid consequences in the short term, that doesn’t mean it can avoid them indefinitely. “Imperial suicide,” as Bill calls it, is nothing new. In 1917, the year of Russia’s October Revolution, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin offered a few predictions for the century ahead:
“Germany will militarize herself out of existence,
England will expand herself out of existence,
and America will spend herself out of existence.”
Had he known the inherent shortcomings of his own political ideology, Bolshevism’s bad boy might also have added, “And Russia…she will plan herself out of existence.”
As for the United States, it seems she is not content with simply spending more than she produces, foisting the unfunded obligations onto future generations; instead, she militarizes, expands, spends AND plans toward her own demise…as all once great empires eventually do.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Economic Recovery, Plunder, and the End of an Empire?
Joel Bowman writes: