Edmund Opitz [OWEpitz] was for 37 years one of the senior staff members at the Foundation for Economic Education. He died on February 13, four days before his colleague at FEE, Paul Poirot, also died. Opitz was 92. Poirot was 90. Opitz was FEE's resident theologian. He was an ordained Congregational minister. Earlier, he had been a Unitarian minister, but as he grew older, he grew more conservative.
When an economy undergoes a contraction, governments collect less revenue simply because less is happening and less is being bought. Consumer cutbacks are a good and healthy occurrence – individuals reduce consumption in favor of saving, and the economy can resume a sustainable growth pattern. The loss of revenue, however, is obviously despised by government bureaucracy. This is, in fact, why the Federal Government always prefers an inflationary economy and does its best to justify the existence of such with other measures. The fact that government wants inflation to occur as the rule should immediately give a libertarian or any Christian pause, even if he does not know the economic arguments for establishing sound money and abolishing central banking.
Now, where am I going with this? Consider what has been happening in California over the last few days. The economic pullback has thrown the state apparatus into complete turmoil. On one side, you have lawmakers demanding cutbacks in the budget and refusing to take out new loans or raise taxes. On the other side, you have lawmakers who do not want to cut the jobs in the massive California bureaucracy.
And thus the problem of socialism has hit them square in the face. They cannot do what they want to do without continuing on the path of first economic enslavement and then economic destruction. Some of their proposals include a sales tax increase of 1% and an additional gas tax of 12 cents per gallon. California already has an above-the-USA-average gas tax, but this will rank them in the top 5 highest gas taxes in the nation.
Schwarzenegger said to the press that lawmakers “need a great hero in the state Capitol” to provide them with inspiration. I suggest he put forward a new face in line with the iconography of the Glorious Leader, and I recommend the picture on the right as a start. Good luck with that.
“As California goes, so goes the nation,” or so they say. Watch how Arnie and the California laboratory of democratic stupidity handle this and how your state reacts to the changes.
Republicans call for bank nationalization
Over the course of the bailouts, the Federal Government has essentially taken equity stakes in all the nationally recognized banks, such as Citibank or Bank of America. The financial industry is becoming marked by even more regulation and bureaucracy, yet it is rarely recognized that the regulations and monetary policies that were issued in the first place bear the bulk responsibility for facilitating the financial crisis. But it isn’t over – now even Republicans are gunning for the complete nationalization of the banking industry via the “Swedish Model.” Obama, of course, is supportive of the idea.
Nationalisation, long regarded in Washington as a folly of Europeans, is gaining rapid ground among US opinion-formers. Stranger still, many of those talking about federal ownership of banks are Republicans…
Policymakers acknowledge that, if this is so, it will be difficult for those with the largest shortfalls to raise the required equity from the markets; in which case the government would probably have to take temporary control. Moreover, while nationalisation remains taboo in some political circles it is increasingly openly discussed among economic policymakers of all leanings…
The Obama administration remains officially opposed to control. Mr Geithner last week said: “Governments are terrible managers of bad assets.”
The government believes that they and they alone have the capacity to pull us out, and then they expect us to believe that they will willingly give up this incredible power they are taking. When was the last time you saw the US government give up power unconstitutionally taken by Congress and the President? Rather, as Robert Higgs has so elegantly presented in his books Crisis and Leviathan and Against Leviathan, government uses crises to instill fear and to abscond with power over its subjects.
If the Constitution were actually followed, all of this would be grounds for impeachment. Instead, we get enslavement and potential economic ruin. Don’t fall for the same old lines.
“Who is the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?”
UPDATE: California has officially passed their budget on Thursday, Feb. 19,2009.