A tale of two thieves
"The measure is intended to inject liquidity into the student loan market by allowing the U.S. Department of Education to buy federally guaranteed student loans that lenders haven't been able to sell to investors." Investors don't want to buy the loans because they're crap investments, relative to what else is available. It tells us something about this "non-crisis economic crisis" (the one the mainstream media wishes the U.S. were in) that, even though these student loans have the guarantee of repayment by the federal government should any borrowing students later default, most investors would still prefer investing in normal markets like stock exchanges!
But this still won't stop Bush and Congress from using our money to buy the loans, touting more of this "injecting liquidity" bullshit that we've heard too much about from the Federal Reserve. The federal government will buy these loans, using money coerced from the rest of us via taxation. If the students default, the federal government will then assume the payments to the loans' owner -- itself. And we won't even see a dime, because the repayments will simply go to the U.S. Treasury.
Such accounting practices in the private sector are called fraud. Bernie Ebbers received a 25-year prison sentence for what amounted to "merely" a few billion dollars. What, then, should politicians deserve when they do this all throughout a budget of $3 trillion dollars?
My Congressman, John Hall (former member of the band Orleans who found
That article at Empire Center talks about "market-driven reforms," when such a thing is impossible when government is behind it. As I tried explaining last year to my friend JK when talking about Medicare Part D, there is no "market" when government is involved, because government by definition will coerce at least one person into doing something he normally wouldn't do in a truly free market atmosphere. People can talk about "choice" all they want with some new "reform" in a social program, but ultimately it's "choice" at somebody else's expense.
This article talks a bit more about NYS Medicare fraud, and talking about how the New York State Legislature "agreed to only about $700 million in savings" for 2006. That's nonsense. When politicians talk about "savings," it doesn't mean they actually reduced the size of a program, but that they reduced the previously planned growth. The spending still increased. How long could you or I run our households this way when facing a financial crunch? "Honey, we have to cut back. Now, I had previously projected a $700 monthly increase in our car budget if we got that new car. But look, if we get that less expensive new car, it will cost us only $500 more per month. That saves us $200 per month!!!"
Such "logic" seems absurd, but that's how government operates. We normal folk must work for our wages, because we cannot use compel those who hire us or otherwise trade for our goods and services. But because government can take people's property by force, it need not worry about being "worthy" of what it takes. It simply takes, and ultimately it takes from you upon pain of death -- your death. I was starting to read "Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax" by Sheldon Richman, with a wonderful introduction by Dr. Richard Ebeling. Sheldon and Richard are true lovers of liberty, and I am proud to call them friends.
[Correction: I was blogging on vacation and didn't have the book with me. It was actually Walter Williams who wrote the following in his foreword, not Richard in his introduction.] Williams explains far more eloquently what I've said before, that all taxation is coercion, and so if government takes from you anyway, it's theft. But what do you do if you refuse, believing sincerely that you will not submit to thievery? Well, then the government will "fine" you, which is merely a declaration that if you don't surrender your property, you must give up more. If you resist enough, you must give up your freedom by going to prison. What if you will defend yourself, as is your God-given right against oppressors? Then the government will send in "police" and take you by force, killing you if necessary, all because it says you don't really own what you think you own, because a majority of your neighbors banded together and elected some "government":
Give us what we demand, cried out the multitude, lest we seize it by force.Anyway, I'm blogging from Davao, the largest city in the world in terms of area. My fiancee and I were visiting her family here, and this afternoon we're going to Manila. We stayed in Davao longer than planned, because we couldn't get tickets to Bohol. This being "summer vacation" time in the Philippines, all the flights were fully booked. It's probably just as well, because Mindanao and the Visayas have been quite cloudy, and the beaches wouldn't have been as enjoyable.
And the merchant replied, Depart in peace while ye yet can, for ye have no right to my possessions save with my consent, and as I have done no wrong to any man, none of ye have any authority to seize any of my possessions.
Behold, cried out his neighbors with one voice, that we have declared ourselves a government, and as such we have given ourselves the authority.
The merchant replied, Ye have no authority, for one cannot give authority unto oneself.
That matters not, they replied and began to grumble, for we are a greater number than thee and thy family, and because of our greater numbers, we have decided that thou shalt pay us tribute.
Then did his neighbors, armed with swords and staves, seize a goodly portion of the merchant's possessions. The merchant did not consent in his heart, but for the sake of his wife and children, he did not resist in his actions.
Yesterday we went to "Paradise Island," a resort on Samal Island, just a few minutes off the coast of Davao. It's beach isn't one of beautiful white sand like Boracay's, and in some places a little pangit with the tide out, but it's a wonderful little getaway if you're in this part of Mindanao. Mr. Tungol, our host, was extraordinarily gracious. He was always checking on us and the other guests, ensuring our comfort. He also brought over the four-piece band to serenade us, inviting me to join in, which I couldn't resist when they did a Sinatra/Bennett/Elvis medley. Victor Heiser, an American doctor who spent a lot of time in the Philippines in the early 20th century, wrote that he believed you could give musical instruments at random to Filipinos and hear sweet music at once. Perhaps an exaggeration, but it was truly amazing to hear what bongo drums, two guitars, a bass and three voices could produce.