Merry Christmas and A Few Thoughts about Socialism

Frank DeMartini
Let me start this column by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope all of you get through these hard economic times and that this Christmas season brings you joy, peace and happiness. May you all have a wonderful and prosperous 2009. We will all get through this and come out stronger just like we did after the Great Depression.

Now for the politics: I am afraid. As stated in one of my earlier columns, it seems that President Bush is going to be remembered, not for his foreign affairs achievements, but for his move away from the free market and into European style socialism. Apparently, we didn’t even have to wait for President-Elect Obama. We are getting it right now. And boy, are we getting it hard!

Last week, the final nail in the coffin of a free market, was hammered. President Bush decided to give our friends in Detroit approximately 17 Billion Dollars. Of course, there were many strings attached to this bailout. For one, the auto companies must prove they are competitive and on the road to profitability by the end of March. Secondly, the UAW must agree to substantial concessions; these include elimination of the jobs bank and acceptance of company stock instead of cash into the legacy plans. The UAW has already said that they will appeal to the incoming Obama administration to lessen these concessions. Based upon Obama’s love for the unions, I am sure that all of the demands on the UAW will quickly go away.

The part of this bailout plan that scares me the most is that the US Government could actually be purchasing shares in the auto companies as part of the plan. Since when does this government own companies: since, maybe October or November. It started with AIG and since then has gone on relatively unabated. Don’t you want to own GM? Especially in light of the fact that the government ownership will dilute the stock so much that some stock market analysts are saying that GM stock could become worthless.

Didn’t we fight a cold war so that this type of socialism would not happen? Didn’t Ronald Reagan do everything in his power to de-regulate so that we would actually have a free market? And, lastly, how can Mr. Bush be happy that this will be his legacy. Wouldn’t he rather be remembered as the man who kept America safe after the biggest attack against the continental United States in its history?

Secretary Paulson has spent the bailout funds without any checks and balances. The banks have received billions of dollars and just yesterday we discover that more than one billion has gone to bank executives. These are really people that need money. Maybe another week in Palm Beach can be paid for by the taxpayers? Wasn’t this money supposed to be used to loosen up the credit markets? That obviously hasn’t happened. Money is tighter than ever. And, the housing market continues its spiral downward. I agree that Secretary Paulson will probably go down as the worst Treasury Secretary in history. He has completely bungled his way through this economic downturn.

Now, the bailout fever has reached a new high! Even casinos are seeking bailout funds. Why shouldn’t they? We are giving the money to everyone else. I guess when Secretary Paulson decides to give money to the casinos which are suffering their worst economic turndown ever; the next people with their hands out will be organized crime. They probably can’t collect on their loans either. If Paulson gives them money, maybe it will result in a few less broken legs!

The bottom line is that the bailouts have got to stop. We cannot continue to print worthless money and give it to businesses that don’t deserve it. The economic cycle must play itself out. If that results in a few bankruptcies so be it. No one is going to save the mom and pop restaurant owner, why should we save some mega corporation with overpaid executives. Once this economic cycle completes itself naturally, growth and jobs creation will return. This country survived the Great Depression. It can survive this. Let’s keep the free market. It’s the only way to ensure long term growth and the creation of wealth.

I probably should have started this column by saying, “I am angry.” The proper word is not afraid. I am angry that President Bush has bailed out the failing auto industry. I am angry that President Bush has abandoned the free market. I am angry that President Bush’s legacy will not be his foreign policy achievements, but his cave-in to the left in the final days of his presidency.

In closing, I, again, wish you all a Merry Christmas and a great 2009.

© 2008 Frank T. DeMartini – All rights reserved. Permission to be copied will be granted freely upon request.

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2 Responses to Merry Christmas and A Few Thoughts about Socialism

  1. Anonymous on December 23, 2008 at 11:14 am

    I salute your anger and acknowledge your fear. I too agree that government bailouts must stop, and should have never been put on the table in the first place. Yes to free markets because as we’ve seen historically, those who have the social advantages will succeed and maintain their high seat at the table of wealth. When did the government ever care about the mom and pops of the country? Did mom and pops get subsidized over the decades? No, big corporations. Big companies with influential power. Forget your anger or fear about socialism… how about reviewing the definition of fascism! Furthermore, I must take you to task for your repetive claims of the Bush legacy. Foreign Policy achievements? We’re safer because no one has attacked us since 2001? And that is the result of the success of Bush and cronies foreign policy? Is not the likelhood that you will be swindled financially and lose your investments greater than you being bombed in your home or beheaded in captivity? C’mon man. Stop clinging to this notion that the Bush legacy has any merit with regards to OUR safety. The “great experiment” is in a difficult phase for sure, but neither the Republican platforms of the past nor Reaganomics will be the answer to overcoming this dire situation that you are angry and fearful about. Time to embrace Darwinism. Let the strong survive and ditch the weak. Or to paraphrase a childhood expression… “last one gets the rotten egg!” Merry freakin’ Christmas!

  2. Bruce on December 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    First off Franky, Merry Christmas to you brother.

    As usual Franky you have touched on a nerve of the American people and I agree with you partially…at least partially.
    I can’t help but side with you on the incredible waste of money our government has doled out to companies that have abused the opportunities in ways that many would not think possible. These Corporate C.E.O.s were hired to do a job and at it seems that the worse they fail the more they want and eventually get. We as a nation cannot continue to reward failure and feed off the middle classes blue collar style success. Eventually the middle class will fall to the ranks of poor and throw their hands into the air and basically as far as economics are concerned …give up and trickle into the world of Government assistance. Unfortunately if too many do this there will not be anyone left to tax. No sheep to shear… no one to give Caesar what he does not deserve! Then what?
    This country has evolved over the years into three groups (basically).
    1) The rich who will always find a way to come out on top as long as they are able to channel money to corrupt politicians and keep the middle class in check so their hard work and investments will never allow them to rise to the level of the rich. That’s right like the old “I love Lucy” episode where the faster they wrap the candy the faster they increase the speed of the conveyer belt. Then there is the square peg in a round hole phenomenon, this is the catalyst that makes it all work. See, no matter what they do or who they do it to they never seem to fit in a jail cell. Oh, you and I would fit quite nicely but they….well it just never happens. This sends as strong message to the rest of the rich and corrupt that there are no penalties for failure in corruption…only rewards for success. And well it’s easy to figure their next move based up those guidelines. Remember the golden rule…”Don’t rob a convenience store you could go to jail for that! Instead embezzle millions of dollars from the company you work for, hire a superstar attorney with the money you stole and claim you’re innocent and a victim of the system…now you are an American!”

    2) The middle class as mentioned above. You know the guys and gals that you see on freeway putting on their make-up or shaving in the car so as not to be late for work. Yes “Work” that four letter word that in a sense created all three categories. Well, at least two of them. The middle class makes sure the rich stay rich and poor stay fed and housed. As for them, well if you are making more than this system needs you are making too much and your taxes will have to be increased and the conveyer belt must be sped up to the next level as the pay stays the same! Their Job is simple and they sure as Hell better not take off time from it to read things like this!

    3) The Poor, or so they are called. These are the folks that claim they have nothing. But we know that not all of them fall in that category. Some collect welfare in many different names, some are the beneficiaries of totally ridiculous Government programs that the middle class pay for and can’t get themselves and some don’t belong here in the first place. Oh, and let’s not forget the ones that are guilty of all three. While the rich are not in any way burdened with any of this. After all, this is the taxpayers problem and the rich…well they don’t really have to pay taxes. At least while good old “W” is in there they don’t.

    So let’s get back to Franky…after all this is his show. Your blog is as usual an eye opener…it got mine open. After reading it I felt like there are others out there that can see past their nose like I feel I can but I have to say that one key point is overlooked. You want less Government…we all do. But how is it possible in a country where individuals can cause so much trouble and have so much financial power that their very failure can collapse the countries entire economy for everyone? After all what if all the major corporations failed and we (like now) don’t want to bail them out? And…what if we told the Government to stay out of it? Then what?
    I think the last and even more negative options would come into play. Like foreign countries buying them out! They almost bought Universal Studios years ago! They did buy out one of the largest and most legendary American beer companies. I mean after all, they have all the money!
    So maybe the Government has to intervene at some point to keep the big businesses from selling out to China or ? I mean its bad enough that China probably holds the note on both of the last bail outs anyway if the truth were known so why step back and let something even worse happen to the American people?

    And one more thing…as for Bush and being safer. You always drive better after you have an accident…I give him credit for nothing. The terrorist wanted to destroy our economy…not our military. Under George Bush they attacked the Pentagon which was supposed to be the safest building in the entire world. And even though we had almost an hour notice they were coming we did not even get a shot off with so much as a bolt action rifle. My 16 year old could make us safer than that!

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