Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“Aw, You're Just Figuring It Out, Are You? (WSJ)”

“Aw, You're Just Figuring It Out, Are You? (WSJ)”
by Karl Denninger

“One of the more-amusing aspects in observing and commenting on whatever goes on in a given day, whether it be in the political or business arena, is how many editors and writers ignore the obvious for weeks, months, years or even decades and then drop a "quip" that sounds pithy but in fact illustrates the vapidity of their mental prowess.

This is one of those times: One of the enduring—by now even touching—assumptions of people who advocate for ideas like gun control is that if the government waves its hand toward some such identified good, it will happen. Really? What's becoming evident by the day is that whether the issue is gun registration, air-traffic control, electric cars or health care, a lot of people no longer believe the federal bureaucracies will get it right. They don't trust them. Witness the current, terrifying rollout of Obamacare's first phase.

Oh really?

When it comes to "gun control" there is an 80 year record of fraud and failure. Starting with the National Firearms Act government has repeatedly claimed that we needed to "tighten" firearms laws and some supervision in some form or fashion and that by doing so we would be made "safer." The facts say otherwise. As just two examples of the above when Florida went to mandatory "must-issue" concealed carry the gun-banners actually ran ads saying that we were now the "Gunshine State" and predicting shootouts in the streets by citizens who couldn't be trusted to keep their weapons holstered except when needed for self-defense. They were dead wrong; what happened instead was that violent crime dropped precipitously.

When Massachusetts adopted strict gun control the number of people who the state knew had guns dropped by 80%, from about 1.5 million to about 200,000. The murder rate doubled during a time when nationally it was falling, and other violent crimes also increased. Both of these things happened during approximately the same period of time in the same country- this one.

Obamacare was sold to the American public with the claim that medical insurance costs would drop for most people by about $2,000 a year. They instead went up by nearly twice that much, and the law hasn't taken full effect yet. The number of lawmakers who have gone to prison for fraudulent misrepresentation as to the effects of the laws they have championed?  

Zero.

That's very similar to the number of executives who have gone to prison for fraudulently misrepresenting the financial condition of their public companies since 2008, even though after the 2000 crash a law was adopted to make such a specific criminal offense due to the public outrage at rampant "book-cooking" during the 1990s and the resulting market crash in 2000.

That anyone is surprised that the public has come to understand that whatever government touches turns to crap is the real point of astonishment here. You would think that lawmakers, like business executives, would have some sort of fiduciary responsibility to those who pay their salaries and that such would result in at least a moral and ethical obligation if not a legal one.

You'd be wrong because even in the instances where such a formal legal obligation exists it is not enforced. Witness "Fast And Furious" where we still have no accountability for conduct that our government undertook that is blatantly felonious for any person to undertake under existing black-letter firearms law. There is no exception in that law for BATFE employees conducting so-called "stings"; knowing involvement in the transfer of a weapon to a prohibited person or for prohibited purposes, such as a straw purchase, is a felony. Witness the young woman who knowingly was involved in a straw purchase in upstate NY, with said gun being used to shoot firefighters. She was arrested and charged, as she should be- that's illegal.

Why haven't all the BATFE people involved in "Fast and Furious" come under indictment? Why hasn't Issa issued public referrals for prosecution, done what is necessary to appoint a special prosecutor, and backed both up with similarly-public threats of immediate impeachment if there is no contemporary follow-through? Again, there is no exception in the law for these individuals and/or agencies!

Should we trust government in anything? Oh hell no. Not until and unless they start enforcing the law against members of government who in fact break the law. Until those lawmakers who knowingly lie to their constituents and promote and promulgate laws that violate rights and wind up having the exact opposite effect of that which they promote to get them passed are at minimum removed from office for malfeasance and dereliction of duty and face prosecution for fraud upon the public.

There will undoubtedly be apologists who say that this is unrealistic and will simply never happen. The latter may well be true but it is immaterial if government becomes nothing more than an impediment and bad joke among the public at large, and we're basically there in America today.

Trust requires accountability. When the only accountability that lawmakers and executives have is to those writing the checks from industries and other interest groups and not to the people and the claimed outcomes that are used to sell policies that not only fail to materialize but in fact wind up turning into gigantic screwjobs upon the public there should be no surprise when the influence and trust by the people toward the government fades into insignificance.

What follows next, unfortunately, if government does not cut this crap out is the fact that distrust quickly becomes contempt and revulsion.

Those in DC and in State Governments ought to contemplate that, because among those of us who are willing and able to start new enterprises and employ people- myself included- have already largely thrown up our hands and refused to do so as a direct and proximate result of this lack of accountability. This is why our economy is moribund and refuses to recover and no amount of force from government can change that. Only a restoration of trust can solve that problem.

Government exists only with the consent of and funding by the governed. Without the former you wind up with anarchy and potentially revolution. But without the latter government is left with only the ability to try to bribe people with their own money, which never works for long because without productive people willingly paying taxes the emission of unbacked currency or credit takes as much out of the pockets of alleged "recipients" as it "gives" them, in real time. It cannot be otherwise as arithmetic always trumps politics and when this scam sinks into the skulls of the people the consequence is exactly what we are seeing now.”

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