Posted by jemartynowski on August 27, 2009
This is just ridiculous. I can’t believe we allow this crap to go on in United States government. OK, I can. But still, that doesn’t change its status as “amazingly awful.”
Yesterday, my fiance and I were applying for passports. We need them quickly because, of course, we waited too long to get them. They already cost $75.00 for the State Department’s processing and the Post Office charges $25.00 for their processing fee. OK, I guess I can understand, kind of. But since we’re in a hurry, we’re pretty much screwed, right?
Nope. We were informed that for an additional $60.00, we can get a bright orange sticker that says “expedite” on it attached to our applications. This means that the processing people will process them before the others. Isn’t this essentially a bribe? Wouldn’t this be something we’d complain about if we saw it in some third world country? There is no additional costs to the State Dept. to accomplish this, justifying the $60.00. They simply see the sticker and move it to the front of the line. It is nothing more than greasing the palms of the government in order to get something done faster. Holy crap.
Am I missing something? Can someone explain to me how it is not a bribe? I mean besides the fact that they don’t call it a bribe.
Posted in Government Corruption | Tagged: Bribery, Bribes, institutionalized corruption, State Department, United States Government | 3 Comments »
Posted by jemartynowski on August 5, 2009
Mark Dow, a hedge fund manager, was on video on Yahoo’s finance page here talking about how dumb people are who still believe in free market ideology. Dow is a pretty intelligent person. He understands how markets work and he probably does a pretty good job of determining values of assets. He most certainly knows a lot of facts about the market and the entire banking/housing problems the country has experienced. Despite all of this, he’s pretty stupid.
See, he believes that the free market is why everything failed. The free market is why the housing market collapsed and why the banks were doing really stupid things. He goes so far as to say people “don’t recognize the extent to which it failed.” It makes me sick that someone so intelligent can have such a weak grasp on reality.
Dow is basing his assumptions on the fact that banks became so crappy because government wasn’t forcing them to do certain things. This logic is flawed. The banks were doing and have been doing most of what they do because of political and legal pressure. Plus, if there weren’t government-created organizations promising to buy bad loans, they would have never been made in the first place.
I would argue that the opposite of what Mr. Dow says is true. Had the government been hands-off, we would have never seen the housing market’s incredible, ill-advised run up. That’s not even mentioning the fact that banks were sued and protested against for not giving loans to people buying houses in parts of the country which could best be described as sh*t. If you had to make those decisions, would you loan money to someone buying a house in the crappiest neighborhood at a price you thought was way too high? No, you wouldn’t. Well, if you were a bank, you’d get sued. Then, they’d protest your branches and call you racist. This is followed by the federal government telling you to make those loans and they will guarantee them with Freddie and Fannie.
Do you know what the result of that would be? Me too! Just what happened. So please, Mr. Dow, don’t try to sell me some liberal spending agenda. I understand that you want an excuse for the government to give money to people you think deserve it, but, as we’ve gone over many times on this site, that’s just not possible and it’s just not right.
Posted in Capitalism and Politics | Tagged: free market, Mark dow, tech tickers, yahoo finance | 9 Comments »