Has libertarianism been exposed for the fraud that it is?

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Submitted by IForget on June 4, 2010 - 7:48am

Are there any libertarians left out there? After this BP oil mega-disaster in the Gulf, I don't see how anyone can believe that libertarian principles would be effective in the real world. BP was essentially operating in an unregulated area and the choices they've made to cut environmental safety costs may lead to the destruction of the entire corporation.

As I understand it, libertarians believe that market forces will keep companies like BP from destroying the environment. However, BP presents a clear case of a company that can't even keep from destroying itself due to the focus on next quarter's bottom line.

Further, Rand Paul has been exposed as a joke who wants to take the U.S. back to the pre-Civil rights area. He was also critical of the President for daring to criticize BP for destoying the Gulf of Mexico (and possibly in the future the entire East Coast).

I think it's clear to any thinking person that libertarianism is a crock of steaming poo. What say the Piggs? Are there still some libs out there in denial of the fact that deregulation doesn't work in the real world?

Submitted by IForget on June 4, 2010 - 8:17am.

What libertarianism has wrought

Submitted by greekfire on June 4, 2010 - 8:35am.

Very broad statement with little facts backing it up. The Obama administration has been on top of the spill from Day One and said that they have their boot on the neck of BP.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzllR24e-...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JorKgvmfF_4

You can't imply that there should be more government intervention in private business and at the same time defend the government for incompetence when they say they are on top of things. You can't have it both ways.

Rand Paul isn't a joke, and definitely not a racist for that matter. If you listened to what he said and read up on the CRA, and then put some thought into it (this is key), you wouldn't have a knee-jerk reaction like most who use sound bites and headlines to form an argument.

The establishment media and politicos see Rand Paul as a threat and they are pulling out all the cards (including the race card) to thwart him.

Submitted by SK in CV on June 4, 2010 - 9:03am.

greekfire wrote:

You can't imply that there should be more government intervention in private business and at the same time defend the government for incompetence when they say they are on top of things. You can't have it both ways.

I'm reasonably sure no one has attempted to have it both ways. This disaster is the perfect example of the shortcomings of libertarian free market captialism. (As if the near collapse of the credit/financial markets 20 months ago wasn't sufficient evidence.) The market does not take care of itself. The market will neither protect irreplaceable resources, nor repair them when damage is done. It has nothing to do with post-crisis managment or mismanagement.

If there had been no government involvement with this oil spill, would BP have acted any differently? I suspect so. It still would not have been fixed, but don't suspect they would have spent the 10's of millions on their attempts to mitigate the damage. There is no free market incentive for them to do that.

The government didn't cause this disaster. The argument can be made that more government involvement possibly could have prevented it. Government involvement hasn't delayed the end of the crisis. I suspect that both BP and the federal government are doing all they can to fix it. You argue that the government is incompetent, yet they neither caused the crisis nor are they in charge of fixing it, only pressuring BP to continue to seek a solution. The "incompetent" label is surely misdirected.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 4, 2010 - 9:08am.

I guess if we were living in a libertarian society, you'd be correct.

Also, "libertarian" and "unregulated" are not the same things.

Third - morons will be morons in any society, be it socialist, libertarian, representative democracy or dictatorship. No system of government can stop morons from being morons.

Simple answer is "no"

Submitted by Eugene on June 4, 2010 - 9:07am.

Quote:
You can't imply that there should be more government intervention in private business and at the same time defend the government for incompetence when they say they are on top of things. You can't have it both ways.

Yeah you can. It's easier to prevent a spill than to fix a spill. Excessive Bush-era libertarianisation made the spill possible. Now that it happened, neither the government, nor the private sector know how to close it. That's not incompetence, that's a simple fact of nature.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 4, 2010 - 9:11am.

Eugene wrote:
Excessive Bush-era libertarianisation

You aren't wrong, but I would call that "Crony Capitalism" not libertarianism.

I can tell already. This is the thread where something other than libertarianism gets a bad name, but it is called "libertarianism."

Submitted by SK in CV on June 4, 2010 - 9:14am.

And one more thing.

greekfire wrote:

You can't imply that there should be more government intervention in private business and at the same time defend the government for incompetence when they say they are on top of things. You can't have it both ways.

It's just the opposite. You can't imply there should be less government regulation of business and then complain when that lack of regulation may have caused a catastrophe and the government can't fix it. THAT is having it both ways.

Submitted by mike92104 on June 4, 2010 - 9:25am.

The oil companies are regulated, but the regulators were asleep at the wheel, or too busy watching porn and taking speed. How does more of that prevent the oil spill?

Submitted by jpinpb on June 4, 2010 - 9:29am.

I'm surprised no one included this:

Quote:
In her latest note on Facebook, Sarah Palin is blaming "extreme 'environmentalists'" for causing the gulf oil disaster that has been unfolding for over a month. Her logic is that because environmentalists push for tougher drilling regulations onshore in places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (also known as ANWR) it forces oil companies to explore deeper offshore drilling which has more risks.

Palin writes:

With environmentalists' nonsensical efforts to lock up safer drilling areas, all you're doing is outsourcing energy development, which makes us more controlled by foreign countries, less safe, and less prosperous on a dirtier planet. Your hypocrisy is showing. You're not preventing environmental hazards; you're outsourcing them and making drilling more dangerous.
Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country's energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It's catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it.

You can read her full note on Facebook here.

This is one of several comments about the oil spill Palin has made that has caused a stir, including a tweet in which she said we said we shouldn't trust BP because it is a foreign oil company. Palin's husband Todd worked for BP for 18 years.

Submitted by Eugene on June 4, 2010 - 9:31am.

mike92104 wrote:
The oil companies are regulated, but the regulators were asleep at the wheel, or too busy watching porn and taking speed. How does more of that prevent the oil spill?

Are you implying that it's impossible to regulate oil companies effectively, that disastrous oil spills can't be prevented, and we shouldn't even try?

Or is there some counterintuitive mechanism that will make companies like BP regulate themselves if the government regulation goes away?

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on June 4, 2010 - 9:38am.

sdduuuude wrote:
Eugene wrote:
Excessive Bush-era libertarianisation

You aren't wrong, but I would call that "Crony Capitalism" not libertarianism.

I can tell already. This is the thread where something other than libertarianism gets a bad name, but it is called "libertarianism."

Dude: Yup, you called it right. This is a tired old Leftist tactic from a Leftist troll. Ignore the inconvenient facts (as in, let's not look too closely at Ken Salazar, okay?), throw strawman arguments about (Rand Paul is a racist, which is now shorthand for demonizing someone who doesn't agree with you), or simply lie (Bush was a libertarian, in spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary).

You'll note that our little Trotskyite Fellow Traveler, IForget, doesn't stick around for the actual debate. Because an actual debate demands facts and the ability to formulate and advance a real argument. Nope, IForget plays hit-and-run and gets out of Dodge before those annoying facts start popping up.

Submitted by jpinpb on June 4, 2010 - 9:40am.

I feel compelled to link GS selling 43% of BP thread here

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on June 4, 2010 - 9:47am.

Eugene wrote:
mike92104 wrote:
The oil companies are regulated, but the regulators were asleep at the wheel, or too busy watching porn and taking speed. How does more of that prevent the oil spill?

Are you implying that it's impossible to regulate oil companies effectively, that disastrous oil spills can't be prevented, and we shouldn't even try?

Or is there some counterintuitive mechanism that will make companies like BP regulate themselves if the government regulation goes away?

Effective regulation is certainly possible, but not unless and until you divorce the regulators from having any commercial interest in the market they're regulating.

It goes without saying that we're now feeling the effects of the very laissez-faire Dubya years. Recently, we've had the Tesoro refinery explosion in Washington, the Massey Energy mine explosion in West Virginia and now this Gulf fiasco. There is no doubt in my mind that more effective ENFORCEMENT of EXISTING regulations would have had an effect, but its also fair to look at how regulators within Obama's own administration have behaved as well.

To claim all of this is a repudiation of "libertarianism" (which I don't think the OP even understands nor can define) is stupid.

Submitted by davelj on June 4, 2010 - 9:54am.

Libertarianism is a fraud just as communism is a fraud. To think that one extreme system (albeit more "logically consistent" in the case of libertarianism) is the best system for a diverse group of humans is the height of silliness.

I sympathize with the libertarians. (And I would consider myself a small-l libertarian - which is that I have libertarian leanings.) Libertarianism looks good on paper in a lot of ways, and brings a lot of good ideas to the table. But... to not acknowledge (1) market failures, and (2) the civil and social unrest that would result from an even greater concentration of wealth and power than we have now is to ignore some rather large problems with the philosophy as a whole.

Markets are GENERALLY better at allocating resources than any government, with all that implies. But, that's not always the case. The hard core libertarians have a hard time acknowledging this. Which brings us to Emerson, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Submitted by mike92104 on June 4, 2010 - 10:04am.

Eugene wrote:
mike92104 wrote:
The oil companies are regulated, but the regulators were asleep at the wheel, or too busy watching porn and taking speed. How does more of that prevent the oil spill?

Are you implying that it's impossible to regulate oil companies effectively, that disastrous oil spills can't be prevented, and we shouldn't even try?

I'm asking what additional regulations would do to help. There are already regulations in place, and the accident still occurred.

Eugene wrote:

Or is there some counterintuitive mechanism that will make companies like BP regulate themselves if the government regulation goes away?

I think it looks pretty damn bad when you dump a bunch of oil into the gulf, and that your sales will take a hit. Not to mention the huge cleanup costs. It's much cheaper and better PR to prevent spills.

Also remember that Libertarianism isn't anarchy.

Submitted by mike92104 on June 4, 2010 - 10:09am.

jpinpb wrote:
I'm surprised no one included this:

Quote:
In her latest note on Facebook, Sarah Palin is blaming "extreme 'environmentalists'" for causing the gulf oil disaster that has been unfolding for over a month. Her logic is that because environmentalists push for tougher drilling regulations onshore in places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (also known as ANWR) it forces oil companies to explore deeper offshore drilling which has more risks.

Palin writes:

With environmentalists' nonsensical efforts to lock up safer drilling areas, all you're doing is outsourcing energy development, which makes us more controlled by foreign countries, less safe, and less prosperous on a dirtier planet. Your hypocrisy is showing. You're not preventing environmental hazards; you're outsourcing them and making drilling more dangerous.
Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country's energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It's catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it.

You can read her full note on Facebook here.

This is one of several comments about the oil spill Palin has made that has caused a stir, including a tweet in which she said we said we shouldn't trust BP because it is a foreign oil company. Palin's husband Todd worked for BP for 18 years.

She has a point, and maybe it's because Todd worked for BP that she says not to trust them. Honestly though, I think she's just making a general statement about not trusting corporations that are based outside of the US. Seems fairly logical to me.

Submitted by SK in CV on June 4, 2010 - 10:09am.

mike92104 wrote:

Eugene wrote:

Or is there some counterintuitive mechanism that will make companies like BP regulate themselves if the government regulation goes away?

I think it looks pretty damn bad when you dump a bunch of oil into the gulf, and that your sales will take a hit. Not to mention the huge cleanup costs. It's much cheaper and better PR to prevent spills.

Also remember that Libertarianism isn't anarchy.

I'm not sure what your response has to do with the quoted text. The spill was bad for BP. Regardless of regulations. The question is which would have been more likely to prevent it: More and/or better government regulation or less?

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on June 4, 2010 - 10:11am.

Dave: No disagreement whatsoever, but that isn't what the OP is saying. He/she is taking a group of unconnected and disparate examples and using this as a wholesale repudiation of libertarianism.

Not only is this simplistic and wrong, but it completely ignores the fact that libertarianism has NEVER been tried as a governing system in the U.S.

To claim that Dubya was in any way libertarian is nonsensical and ignores all facts to the contrary. A simple glance at Patriot I/II would destroy that assertion completely.

And then you have the neat conflation of libertarianism and racism, using Rand Paul as an example. This conveniently omits the fact that Rand Paul isn't a racist and is entitled to his opinions on the CRA.

If we want to discuss and then discredit libertarianism based on the facts, that's one thing. And, for the record, I'm not in any way, shape or form, libertarian. Haven't ever been and won't ever be. But I get sick and tired of this ham-handed, broadbrush Soviet-style disquisition from trolls like IForget.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on June 4, 2010 - 10:17am.

You know, I'm half reluctant to even post to this thread because I agree that this is gonna degenerate into partisan name calling, and Bush is gonna be called a libertarian, and somehow libertarianism is gonna be blamed for everything wrong. But I'm gonna take a stab at trying to contribute a meaningful constructive post, and hope that my comments don't just get sprayed with polemic tripe from the bleachers.

I would have to admit that I have thought of myself as basically libertarian for a number of years. I've been very anti-government, and largely in favor of free markets and allowing people as much freedom as possible. I find the ideology of this very attractive.

However in the last year I've come to seriously question this. At this point I think it's pretty safe to say that deregulation of various industries, particularly financial industries, has been a full blown disaster.

While free markets sound great, clearly in practice they suffer from issues. Some of these issues we admit to and try to address, (like monopolies and bank runs) and others we ignore or deny. (like greed getting out of hand, looting of companies, fraud, corruption, and theft)

But while I'm losing my taste for libertarianism, I'm totally baffled as to how to best regulate markets. From my perspective the govt is not capable of doing so. (Witness the financial reform efforts, and all the totally captured regulators)

Which leads me to my biggest issue. In the past, the argument has been big govt vs free markets. But I suspect that this is not what determines our success or failure as a society. What does determine our success is the amount of corruption vs responsible behavior. While I'm no economics expert, and I'm not sure where to find the data, I'm of the opinion that there are economies that do surprisingly well despite large govts. (I'm thinking Sweden, maybe Norway, etc) They are successful because despite large govt sectors their corruption isn't that high. Whereas other economies with large govt sectors often have massive corruption, and so they are disasters.

So, I suggest to you piggs, that the issue really isn't libertarism vs socialism, or republicans vs democrats, it's how do we convince people in our society that it really is important that they fight corruption and act responsibly? If we have free markets, and everyone participates in these markets fairly and honestly, not ripping off others prosperity will flow. Likewise, I've come to the conclusion that having socialism is fine too, provided we can convince those in the govt to be responsible, not corrupt and to play fair. But both of those last two sentences point out the problem. How do you convince people to play fair? I wish I had a clue, but sadly I don't. Guess that explains why I'm pessimistic about our collective future.

XBoxBox

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on June 4, 2010 - 10:19am.

SK in CV wrote:
The question is which would have been more likely to prevent it: More and/or better government regulation or less?

SK: The problem isn't the existing regulations. Its the (selective) enforcement of those regulations, and that selective enforcement is continuing under the Obama Administration as well.

As I said, there is much blame to lay at Dubya's door, but, if we're being fair and honest, we also need to take Obama to task as well.

The spill in the Gulf isn't the only mess that needs to get cleaned up. I know that you and I are probably on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but I'd ask you how you feel about some of the proposed regulations, whether its FinReg or Power/Energy. I know you're a CPA (or were one), so as far as financial regulation goes, you certainly have formed an opinion there.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 4, 2010 - 10:30am.

SK in CV wrote:
The question is which would have been more likely to prevent it: More and/or better government regulation or less?

Difficult to say, and one reason why this whole thread is going to be a little "sticky." That is the right question, though.

I'm going to speak more in terms of the "free market" rather than "Libertarianism" for reasons mentioned by davelj.

I tend to agree that this situation was under-regulated. This isn't to say a free-market would have done less to prevent it. In fact, in a free market, where regulations are based on preventing property-rights violation, BP may not have been there in the first place.

As a free-market guy, I have no issues enforcing rules limiting those who put others at risk. As I see it, the fact that the govt gave license to drill there under the conditions that it did is not a failure of the free market. Under-regulation can make a market "not free" just as much as over-regulation.

It is important to understand that neither free-markets nor government-controlled markets are "mistake-free." Also, neither are static. When something like this happens - how does each react ?

So, the fact that this happened is only part of the picture. The question is - how will it affect rules going forward? Government may overreact here.

Submitted by jpinpb on June 4, 2010 - 10:40am.

XBoxBoy wrote:

While free markets sound great, clearly in practice they suffer from issues. Some of these issues we admit to and try to address, (like monopolies and bank runs) and others we ignore or deny. (like greed getting out of hand, looting of companies, fraud, corruption, and theft)

In a real free market, as a perfect example, the financial mess we're in, the government would NOT intervene, certainly and especially to the extent it has. So imo, this is not to be considered a free market at all. I wouldn't classify it as such if the government has to step in. The outcome would be completely different had there been no intervention.

XBoxBoy wrote:

So, I suggest to you piggs, that the issue really isn't libertarism vs socialism, or republicans vs democrats, it's how do we convince people in our society that it really is important that they fight corruption and act responsibly.

Agree that energies would be better spent if that were the focus.

Submitted by Arraya on June 4, 2010 - 10:41am.

There is no such things as a "free market"

Government intervention is taking place at all times and everywhere. Laws of property, contract, and tort are state creations that allocate certain rights to some people and deny them to others. These forms of law represent large-scale government “interventions” into the economy. Economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings thru the state. Without these rules, markets would collapse overnight. The only difference is perspective on whether "interventions" are happening to your benefit or not.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 4, 2010 - 10:44am.

XBoxBoy wrote:
But while I'm losing my taste for libertarianism, I'm totally baffled as to how to best regulate markets.

I suggest they are best regulated based on protecting people's rights, rather than regulating based on attempts at achieving certain economic or political outcomes.

The declaration of independence says we have the right to "the pursuit of happiness" not "happiness"

Take, for example, the housing market. All the regulation/bailouts are designed to "keep people in their homes" or to "prop-up the housing market" or to prevent banks from going under. Nothing is really focused on eliminating the fraud, particularly that by the ratings agencies who defrauded millions of buyers of "AAA" rated securities.

Regulating to outcomes instead of regulating to protect rights is killing this country.

Submitted by davelj on June 4, 2010 - 10:58am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
Dave: No disagreement whatsoever, but that isn't what the OP is saying. He/she is taking a group of unconnected and disparate examples and using this as a wholesale repudiation of libertarianism.

Not only is this simplistic and wrong, but it completely ignores the fact that libertarianism has NEVER been tried as a governing system in the U.S.

To claim that Dubya was in any way libertarian is nonsensical and ignores all facts to the contrary. A simple glance at Patriot I/II would destroy that assertion completely.

And then you have the neat conflation of libertarianism and racism, using Rand Paul as an example. This conveniently omits the fact that Rand Paul isn't a racist and is entitled to his opinions on the CRA.

If we want to discuss and then discredit libertarianism based on the facts, that's one thing. And, for the record, I'm not in any way, shape or form, libertarian. Haven't ever been and won't ever be. But I get sick and tired of this ham-handed, broadbrush Soviet-style disquisition from trolls like IForget.

Agreed.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 4, 2010 - 11:01am.

Arraya -

A "free market" is not a market where everyone is "free" to do whatever they want.

A "free market" is where all participants are "free" from personal and property rights violations by others.

Clearly, to do this, regulation is needed.

Arraya wrote:
There is no such things as a "free market"

Government intervention is taking place at all times and everywhere. Laws of property, contract, and tort are state creations that allocate certain rights to some people and deny them to others.

Yes, and no. They are state creations, but the existence of property, contract, tort actually make a market free if they protect everyone's rights in the same manner.

They don't really "allocate" rights, they define which rights are protected and they regulate transactions and ownership, not outcomes.

Submitted by SK in CV on June 4, 2010 - 11:06am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

SK: The problem isn't the existing regulations. Its the (selective) enforcement of those regulations, and that selective enforcement is continuing under the Obama Administration as well.

I think it's both. Sometimes. I'm not qualified to opine on whether better regulations or better enforcement of existing regulations might have helped.

But in the broader picture, I think the problem is two-fold. Regulations are almost invariably written by lobbyists. (and this applies to not just oil exploration, but financial regulation, health care regulations, EPA stuff, etc.) Congress and congressional staff are rarely qualified to write industry specific regs. So they receive (and I suspect, often seek) recommendations from both industry and anti-industry partisans. I don't see this as a huge obstacle to good regulations. Elected officials can't be expected to be chemists, or physicians, or financial experts. But what I do expect them to do, is to hold the interest of the electorate as whole as the primary beneficiary of all legislation. Not corporate interests. Not industry. So their job is to know enough (and acquire sufficient knowledge) to be able to evaluate recommendations, within those parameters, and decide which recommendation best fits with those goals.

Government incompetence is not acceptable. We know that there are some things, many gigantic things, that government can do well. I know anectodal evidence might lead to other conclusions but the postal service and medicare are two prime examples of huge government run services that work well, and at very least, competitively cost-wise as compared with the private sector.

Conservatives often attack liberals for wanting the government to do everything. Liberals attack conservatives for wanting less government. I don't think either are accurate accusations. (except for some conservative politicians who do, indeed, claim and brag about wanting less government. See Haley Barbour and his bathtub.) Liberals want good, efficient, competent government. I think most conservatives agree. The difference is that liberals are more likely to think it's possible and conservatives are more likely to believe it impossible.

I believe it is possible. I think it's a leadership issue. We had an absolute failure in leadership and competence in almost all facets of government during the Bush years. There may have been some improvement under the current administration, but certainly not enough. Obama apologists (which I am certainly not) will argue that big boats take a long time to turn. Some truth there, but I haven't seen sufficient evidence of increased competence.

What was the question? Oh. Proposed financial regs good. Could be better. As always, too much industry influence. I'd like to see fewer loopholes in derivitive contract regulations. Power/Energy, i got nothing. Other than legalizing marijuana in california could be a HUMUNGOUS boon to alternative energy research and development. Toke on, go green. All in one.

Submitted by jpinpb on June 4, 2010 - 11:14am.

SK in CV wrote:

Other than legalizing marijuana in california could be a HUMUNGOUS boon to alternative energy research and development. Toke on, go green. All in one.

Don't want to thread hijack, but the great depression improved when they got rid of Prohibition. The tax revenues were substantial. I really think legalizing marijuana will help California out of this mega hole. But only if we have someone competent enough to manage the finances. Otherwise, we'll be in the hole again down the road.

Submitted by afx114 on June 4, 2010 - 11:25am.

Some great posts in this thread. Nice to see people debating shades of gray rather than going hard black/white.

It seems to me that in the gulf situation, the "free market" IS working. Look at BP's stock price, boycotts, what their balance sheet will look like after all of this is over, etc. The market is reacting to what has happened and what is happening. The problem is that the "free market" is working AFTER the fact -- it is reactionary.

No one expects BPs stock price to go down because some day they might have a spill. Their stock price goes down because they had a spill. This reactionary path is where the "free market" fails. And this is where (properly enforced) regulations should step in to balance the scales.

Unfortunately for us, it looks like both sides have failed.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on June 4, 2010 - 11:29am.

sdduuuude wrote:
XBoxBoy wrote:
But while I'm losing my taste for libertarianism, I'm totally baffled as to how to best regulate markets.

I suggest they are best regulated based on protecting people's rights,

But you're still suggesting that regulation should come from the government? If so, how do you control the corruption of the government by interests that want to regulate based on what's in their interests?

See, I don't disagree that people's rights are a good basis for devising regulation. But if the regulators are corrupt and beholden to special interests, they aren't going to do what's best for the general public. So, all the theory of what to base regulations on suddenly get real meaningless.

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I think the only way to get back to decent regulation, (either by govt or by self regulation) is to convince people that corruption is crushing our economy.

sdduuuude wrote:
Take, for example, the housing market. All the regulation/bailouts are designed to "keep people in their homes" or to "prop-up the housing market" or to prevent banks from going under. Nothing is really focused on eliminating the fraud, particularly that by the ratings agencies who defrauded millions of buyers of "AAA" rated securities.
Regulating to outcomes instead of regulating to protect rights is killing this country.

I think we're really saying the same thing, only I'm calling "regulating outcomes" as corruption. The outcomes they are trying to achieve via regulation are outcomes dictated by those who spent the most money on campaign contributions. To me that's corruption, plain and simple.

Which leads to these questions: If we can't clean the corruption from the government, what's the point in looking to them to regulate things? Why would a corrupt government follow your advice to regulate based on people's rights when they are paid to regulate based on the interests of the people paying them?

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