Libertarians only have it half right

  • Posted on: 29 February 2016
  • By: Tim Harnick

When I discovered the OLP it was an epiphany. I am 60 now and hadn't felt such a rush since my first love. As I researched further the shine began to come off the apple. When I look back at my first love I now sing to myself, "she ain't pretty she just looks that way." To be brutally concise I feel libertarians disdain for big government power is to be applauded but they don't research the consequences of transferring that power to the private sector.

When I studied bank deregulation by Clinton I saw his first step was to eliminate a depression era Act called Glass Steagall. Before Glass Steagall banks could use depositor's money to invest for their own enrichment. If they bet poorly the depositors lost their life savings. Glass Steagall separated investment banking from commercial banking so if a bank became insolvent the deposits were protected. It was this way in America until Clinton.

The consequence of "laissez faire capitalism" permitted by Clinton has led to 5 large banks becoming "too big to fail." Even though they are technically insolvent the government through TARP bailed them out for $750 billion. Subsequently they were bailed out again for $4.5 trillion.They launder drug money, commit all sorts of fraud and are virtually untouchable. Even when the openly admit guilt they are only fined; a cost of doing business. No one goes to jail, even when they push whistleblowers out of the 32nd floor window of the bank.

So the cost of regulation was high I will admit but look at the cost of deregulation...almost $5.3 trillion and rising. When this house of cards falls the fallout will be worldwide and cost economies hundreds of trillions of dollars, social unrest, starvation and prolonged misery. Historically governments go to war when their financial systems collapse so American bank deregulation could result in the end of all life on earth ( nuclear war).

Capitalism is supposed to weed out individuals/ corporations that use resources poorly. Instead of letting the banks fail when they made poor bets on stocks, bonds, derivatives and securities using depositor's life savings they were recapitalized by the taxpayer.

This isn't capitalism.

There are countless examples of deregulation horror stories and they all end the same. Transferring power from the government to the private sector makes us feel good but ends terribly for individuals, their families and the economy. The private sector will do anything for this power.

Studies quoted by Stefan Molyneux from the Sunshine Foundation reveal corporate lobbyists get a $750 return on their investment for each $1 invested in government bribes and campaign contributions.

The stakes are high and the private sector is relentless in maximizing profit at the expense of the taxpayer. The government "regulators" are really executives from the private sector. Even with  "cronie" regulation the big corporations are rarely charged and no CEO goes to jail.

The other half that libertarians have to get right is to balance the power they relinguish to the private sector with public power that works for citizens. Lobbying laws and preventing corporate executives from assuming positions in regulatory agencies should be our first priority. As Thomas Jefferson said, "it should be illegal for any government to borrow." This would be another step to getting it all right.

This new approach will grab the ear of the unconverted. Many know our approach is only half baked.

Alter your platform to address this issue and we could quickly shoot past the conservative and ndp parties in my opinion.