The Last Capitalist

A site dedicated to restoring individualism in the United States of America

Archive for August, 2009

Bribery in the State Department

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: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Socialist’s View of Capitalism

Posted by jemartynowski on August 25, 2009

I had one of those great discussions yesterday with my fiance where someone asks you a question and your own answer helps clarify philosophies using real world examples.  See, she was talking about an auto dealership she was working with.  This dealership was a very successful GM lot and was one of the best in a very crowded area.  Then, shortly after the auto bailouts and government takeover of GM, they received a letter via UPS :  You have a month (or something like that) to sell all of the new cars on your lot.  If you do not accomplish this, anything left will be taken and given to another (it listed a specific) dealership.

This, to the dealership, was a shock.  They knew there were going to be some lots shut down, but why theirs?  It was one of the best in the area.  My fiance rightly posed the question, “why, no matter how crazy the government is, would they shut down the best dealerships?” 

The answer is two-fold:  first, the rival dealership in the area has very strong political ties to the Democratic party.  They actually wrote letters to local politicians to encourage them to shut down others.  Obviously a terrible thing.  The second is very telling when it comes to the leftist, socialist views now taking hold in our country:  socialists have a very distorted view of capitalism.

The leftists in power nationally, and to a larger degree locally and for a long time here in Cleveland, think that those who are successful in a capitalist society did not earn their success.  They believe the successful are such because they cheated, lied, and stole.  It is not possible that someone not as smart and awesome as themselves could amass any wealth.  It must be ill-gotten.

The reality is pretty far from that.  Ownership of property and self are much better than the alternatives:  ownership by government and the collective.  Socialism is not far from the old styles of government run mostly by dictators and monarchs.  Your self is not yours.  In those forms of government only force dictates who owns what.  Whether it is once person or the collective, they only own things based on the threat of force.  In a capitalist society, only you can own you.  It is the only form of a community that does not require force or the threat of it to determine ownership.

So, that is why socialists decide to shut down successful companies and give to others.  They will give to those who they stand to gain from.  Welcome to the new America.

Posted in Socialism and Democrats | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Even Smart People Can Be Stupid

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: , , , | 9 Comments »

Honduras: When Democracy Becomes Tyranny

Posted by jemartynowski on August 3, 2009

I think we can learn a lesson right now from what is going on in Honduras.  Here, in the United States of America, we live by rule of law.  It is how we maintain, sort of, a capitalist society.  People must not be allowed to use force on anybody else.  The laws we have were created to prevent any one person or majority from doing as they pleased to the minority.  Created as it was, the republic was to stop tyranny by majority.  Even James Madison, father of the Constitution, said about democracy “there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.”

With the current administration, the government is doing just that.  They believe, and have said so, that since they are the majority, they can do whatever they damn well please.  When questioned about Republican criticism of his plans, President Obama said, basically, we won so shut up. 

What really kills me is that there are many Americans on both sides of the aisle that say, “yep.  He’s right.”  No, he’s not.  He needs to follow the rule of law like anyone else.  He only has certain, enumerated powers according to the Constitution.  Too many of the opposition even thinks that since he won he can do what he pleases.  But that’s not what capitalists are all about. 

How does all of this relate to Honduras?  I’m glad you asked.  To recap, the president of Honduras was trying to change the rules so he could run the country for longer than he was supposed to be allowed.  The country’s constitution was being threatened by one man who was trying to take more power than it was supposed to have.  That sounds familiar. 

Then, the supreme court of Honduras issued a court order to have President Zelaya detained and removed from office, as they are constitutionally obliged to do.  The military carried out this order with no violence involved.  It was exactly as a civilized society should do.  But the socialist leaders of the world, including Hugo Chavez and Barack Obama, claimed that something was terribly wrong even though nothing, really, was. 

“Oh my goodness!  This man was elected by the people!  His will should be done no matter what!” they say.  Not true.  He, like our own president, has no right to expand his power unconstitutionally.  There is no reason a free nation should be backing away from the situation and even, as many have, support the ousted ruler.  In fact, we should be supporting the courts and the laws that helped create a free nation there. 

Obviously, there are some pitfalls that must be avoided.  If our executive branch was strong, yet compassionate to the free people of Honduras, it would support the non-violent move while issuing warnings that they would only be supported if they continued to do things the peaceful way, the interim president steps down as he says and new elections are held.  Everything can be done peacefully and correctly.  The socialist leaders of the world support Zelaya because many of them took their power by doing the exact same things.  They eliminated term limits.  They then give things away and let the majority rule and take what they want from the minority.

What lessons should we learn?  We should learn that massive expansion of powers to one branch of our government is a bad thing.  It is supported by bad people because that’s how bad people become tyrants.  We want to avoid mob rule disguised as social justice.  No, I don’t support a military coup or anything like that.  I just support the American citizens becoming wise and not being dumb enough to support those who want to take freedoms from us.  We are by no means at the same scary point as Honduras, but we want to stop ourselves before we get there.

Posted in Capitalism and Politics, Socialism and Democrats | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »