Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Did the Founding Fathers Screw Up?

I've been thinking about this a long time. No, I mean a long time... I graduated university in 1970 with a double-major in Government and International Affairs. I've been thinking about this since then. I think I have finally reached a conclusion about our government, and it ain't pretty.
Civics 101: The government (state and national) is comprised of three branches, Executive, Legislative and Judicial. All three of these branches have equal power. It's what's known as "checks and balances." Each of these branches is comprised of groups of people who render decisions; Executive Branch, the President and his Cabinet; Legislative Branch, the Senate and Congress; Judicial, Nine old farts and the court system.
It's a complex system that by its very nature renders anything it does terribly compromised and vulnerable to the influence of special interests. Therein lies the problem.
The Founding Fathers were very deliberate in designing a government that would be nearly impossible for any king or dictator to gain control of. Remember, these folks were revolting from rule by monarchy. Unfortunately, the result is a government out of control.
Sadly, after all of these years of thinking about it, I've come to the conclusion that the Founding Fathers screwed up. That the flaw is the system itself. By making our system so complex and compromised, they actually played right into the hands of the ultimate controllers who have taken full advantage of a vulnerable and weak government. They didn't, or couldn't, foresee that something would emerge that was even bigger and more powerful than the government... multi-national financial institutions.
Even as powerful as corporations such as The East India Company were in their day, they were nothing like what we are facing today.
What we have now is a government so compromised, convoluted and muddled that it allows the powerful virtually free reign with no accountability. The system is so entrenched with greed and special interests that no matter how good their intentions, be it a President or a Congressman, they have nearly no chance of success.
So, what's the answer? A constitutional convention that completely restructures our unsustainable government more along the lines of a parliamentary system, one that's more responsive to Vox Populi.
Fat chance.


  1. That sounds about right, unfortunately so does "Fat chance".

  2. Yes Tex, I didn't even go into what might come out of a corrupt constitutional convention.

  3. Yep, I third "Fat chance". Fat cats ain't going to let that scenario come to be. But, your premise is sound, and spot on.

  4. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

    They say unto him, Caesar's.

    Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

    When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

  5. My suspicions were correct. Punch and DM are one and the same.

  6. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

  7. You make very good points here and I actually printed this out for a guy I work with yesterday as we always debate everything. His response was..."Well obviously this is an intelligent person but parliamentary? Like England is doing so hot."

    I didn't have a good come back for that. :)

  8. Heidi... ask him for a better idea. Government structures that seem to be working best are those formed following WWII, most of Europe and Japan. They learned from our mistakes and, curiously, were heavily influenced by U.S. participation, particularly Japan which previously had no experience with democracy at all.

    Punch and Andrew... it's the marveled part I like!

  9. While not an advocate of armed revolt in the nations streets because though the populace is not out manned it certainly is out gunned.

    I say there are ways to fight back though but before I go into that let me say I absolutely agree that a parliamentary system would be much better, governments are a shade more accountable to the people who elect a a party. Even if that party only holds a few seats it can be the fly in the ointment of the majority party's foolishness. This two party system has long been broken beyond repair and SCOTUS pshaw! Political appointees for life, insanity.

    But the real fight has to be on their terms, financial. If you are in financial straits then default on everything. If Credit Card companies will not take a reasonable settlement let them sue. The court will offer relief for a reasonable amount. I personally know of one guy who owed 17K and the court forced the CC company to close the debt out for $1500. Bankruptcy is still an option. I know one couple who had close to 50K wiped out by the court. The Credit card companies never even showed up in court. They were given 90 days to respond and when they didn't the debt was cleared by the court.

    Mortgage underwater? Fuck the banks, they walk away from their financial responsibility in the commercial real estate market all the time. You have no moral responsibility to them, they secured the loan with the property you can no longer afford, let them have it back.

    Refuse to spend on anything that is not needed. We do not manufacture much of anything for consumers in this country anyway so why send your money to a foreign country. Let the trade balances become more equal. If the government won't force the trade imbalances into a more level playing field through the use of the rules of the WTO then we NEED to stop being the worlds consumer nation.

    What you don't know how to do---learn. Your grandma knew how to can garden vegetables and fruits she grew herself. The whole idea of mass produced meat would have appalled that generation.

    Save money every penny adds up and stay the hell out of the market unless your employment forces you into Bush's 401(k) as your social Security and even then only contribute the amount equal to what your employer contributes.

    With the FDIC for now your money is safe in a straight savings account and use either a credit union or a local independent bank not the big 5. It may not make much of a return but it is safe and not going to collapse when the government props worldwide are pulled out from the financial institutions. Wait for a good day and sell what stock you own and get the hell out of the market, I think as high unemployment continues the market is going to bounce and then when enough pension funds and others are invested, the Goldman Sachs of the world will collapse it again by shorting the blue chips.

    whatever money you do have, in other words keep it liquid and not tied up for years in funds, let the devils play in the hell they control. It is no place for novices. Without the "do not count people's" money they can only play with their own.

    Conserve. Water for example for less than $150 dollars I was able to make a system where the laundry water now flushes the toilet. Out of a $25 water bill $1.50 of it is actual water usage the rest is service fees and bond repayment fees. Turn shit off, all the way off when not in use. Don't just turn the TV off put it on a surge protector and turn it off so no power at all is going to the damn electronics, same with the computer. My monthly plan utility bill for both gas and electric is $140.

    The only weapon you have in this fight against the new (old) corporate controlled government is your money. They started the fight, no one thought it could or would happen but only a fool thinks government will step in to do something that may compromise the ability tobe reelected.

    I will vote once ever couple of years but I will fight every damn day.

  10. Well put WM. I know someone who quit paying their mortgage and 18 months later, they still live in the home mortgage free. Later ran into an attorney who all but guaranteed he can keep you in your home for 24 months with paying the mortgage. Something to do with the banks needing the original paper to file an eviction and the mortgages have been bought and sold so many times no one knows who has the original paper.

  11. Ah, that should be keep you in your home for 24 months without paying the mortgage. Sorry 'bout that.

  12. God bless the banks and their making of new markets with their CDO's, Credit Default swaps and, their derivatives.

    They took groups of mortgages of varying ratings and bundled them as AAA investment grade products, then sliced the bundles up and sold the slices as investments to hedge funds and pension funds while Goldman and others went on the short side (betting the product would default). What wound up happening was that financial institutions and investors all wound up owning percentages of individual mortgages that had been bundled. That is why no one can find the original paperwork.

    It was sent to the derivative market makers who actually made a brand new market out of the bundles. The original paperwork got shuffled to the shredder as the new market made new paper that represented each piece of bundle, so the homeowners original paperwork became a simple address line on a list with an amount due representing a percentage owed to the investor. So your home in actuality may have a hundred or more "mortgage holders" each owning a portion.

    The evil in all of this was that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were the primary insurers for those mortgages which is why they are so far in the hole because the insured well over 90% of all mortgages. The government should have let them collapse with Lehman brothers and the Fannie/Freddie investors should have ate that loss.

    If you play in the market you are gambling and just like a casino the odds are rigged to favor the house (banks and market makers) if you make a bad bet you should have to eat it. Like I said it is not a place for novices which I learned the hard way and I stay the hell out of stocks. I save money when I can.

  13. This all became easier to understand when one understand how and why the well overheated, over valued market of 1925-29 grew astronomically and collapsed. Then though there were no pension funds and 401's involved. In fact only 15% of the people had money in stocks when that market collapsed. It was the bankers in the small towns and neighborhoods using their depositors money to invest in the market that caused the problem for the majority.

    They had no right to invest their depositors money in the market. they were there to loan locally for mortgages and business and collect interest in those loans and pay a portion of that interest into the savings accounts of the depositors. But the small banker got caught up in the fever of an ever rising never going to fall stock market, when the truth was as it turned out. Syndicates would pick a stock---say Anaconda copper and buy large quantities at X amount, then it looked to the little guy the price was going up because the medium investors saw that someone had bought hundreds f thousands of shares. so everyone got on board with Anaconda. Then when the price hit Y amount the syndicate which caused the rise pulled their profits and the little guy who bought on the way up lost as the price collapsed.

    Think Walter Durant, Joe Kennedy Grandpa Bush, and others of the super rich 2% at the time manipulating the market. The banks did the same damn thing 100 years later. Made a market (bubble) then pulled out which collapsed it after they had their profit securely somewhere else.

  14. It's Deja Vu all over again. The money grubbers knew exactly what they were doing. They had already been through it in the real estate collapse of the 70's, and again through the S&L collapse of the 80's... run the thing into the ground raking off huge profits to hide overseas or in the "markets", sit back and let your cronies in Washington bail you out as "too big to fail", start all over again


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