Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vanguard of the Capitalists


David Brooks today discusses alternatives to Sec Paulson's "plan" to rescue capitalism. For those unfamiliar with Paulson's plan, it involved an emergency meeting with top congressional leaders asking them to give him between $700 billion and $1 trillion immediately, with no strings attached and the power to do whatever he wanted with it, not subject to review by any agency or court of law.

Paulson also said if this was not passed immediately, the entire US economy would face a meltdown. Then he went on four different Sunday talk shows to scare the hell out of the American people lest Congress balk.

Thankfully the Democrats are now saying not so fast, lets put some strings on this baby, lets get some power over these companies before we hand them a trillion dollars. John McCain said that no company seeking a bailout should have anyone paid more than the highest government official ($400,000); and only a few noble Republicans have stood up aghast at the final, inevitable destruction of their myth of a non-existant free market.

Back to Brooks. He proposes we set up a "financial elite" of the United States; Paulson, Volcker, Rubin, Buffett. This elite will be handed power becasuse, "These time-tested advisers, or more precisely, their acolytes, are going to make the health and survival of the financial markets their first order of business, because without that stability, the entire economy will be in danger. Beyond that, they will embrace a certain sort of governing approach."

This may more accurately be referred to as Leninism; where the masses are too dumb to govern themselves and therefore a group of elite intellectuals will manage society for them. The elites Brooks volunteers are all unelected officials who have come from Wall Street. They will manage the country for us. This is the alternative to Ceaser Paulson?

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