Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 529, July 26, 2009

"Agorism proposes not to confront tyranny
in the streets, but to use counter-economics
to withdraw support from tyranny."

Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next

Cronies and Chris Dodd
by Jim Davidson

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

I've been trying to get a handle on the extent to which the taxpayers went to bat for Goldman Sachs. It is some tough slogging through a lot of garbage.

But, then again, what can I do about it? Rail and rant, aggravate my friends, and point at the thieves. Much like an ape hooting in the jungle to alert his friends about a baboon stealing their stuff.

Wandering through the AIG page on wikipedia, I noted the $185 billion or more paid by taxpayers to bail out AIG so that AIG could pay off $20 billion it owed to Goldman Sachs. Think of that. Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke made sure the taxpayers got stuck with the counter party risk. See, you can hedge the price risk, or the counter party risk, of any speculation. But you can't hedge both. What Goldman Sachs did was to hedge off tens of billions in price risk, knowing that their cronies in DC would make sure of the counter party by propping up AIG. Taxpayers have only begun to pay for Goldman Sachs's survival.

In this wandering, I came across this passage. "It was reported that Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Con) (who first denied, then admitted to amending the legislation to allow the AIG bonuses), received $160,000 from employees of AIG." It sort of stands out on the page because it has FOUR footnotes. Four, count 'em four footnotes.

I'll just add those here:

You have to be careful when you are supporting Peter Schiff against Chris Dodd for the senate seat in Connecticut that you don't make Dodd angry because he's been found out.

Now, wait, you say, didn't the Democrats rant and rail about campaign contributions from big business? Didn't they "reform" campaign finance to prevent this sort of thing. I mean, sure, a company might have a business interest in limiting the size and scope of government. But they can only be buying one thing with $160,000 and that's enough influence to make sure the government gives them fat contracts and cushy deals.

"A memo issued in 2006 by Joseph Cassano, AIG Financial Products chief executive, urged AIG employees to donate to Dodd, saying that as "next in line to become chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committe... Senator Dodd will now have the opportunity to set the committee's agenda on issues critical to the financial services industry." And another footnote, also found in wikipedia (that's five, you don't want to get this sort of thing wrong, because the senator could have your children raped in front of you, and very likely would because he's a mad dictatorial jerk, huh? Or am I thinking of Roman senators? Heh.)

Isn't that funny? Each AIG executive and his spouse provides $2,100. Now, you go ask an AIG executive's spouse if she knew why she was donating $2,100 to Chris Dodd if you want to penetrate that scam. I'll tell you why. She was donating that money so that AIG could put $160,000 in the hands of Chris Dodd and pretend it was all campaign finance limited individual choices by a bunch of people that AIG controlled. Which is why campaign finance reform is such a nutty idea—it is just another way of protecting incumbents and screwing over challengers.

So, the simple truth is, we know who the cronies were. We know why it was essential for American taxpayers to be forced to pay for the financial industries crony bailout. We know how much Goldman Sachs has already profited from being bailed out, and how that's being paid out to their employees and the cronies in chief. And we know who was involved in making it all happen, and what they got out of it.

In the particular case of Chris Dodd, that is hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from big finance industry scum. So, there's thirty pieces of silver, Judas, for betraying your fellow man. Point him out to us. Give him a big kiss, Judas, so we'll know who to take off to be scourged and crucified.

The leaders of your country are scum. And we've only scratched the surface here. The cronyism pervades big agriculture, big pharmacology, and big health insurance. The cronies run the CIA and the other "intelligence" agencies, and the cronies divvy up the defense contracts—which is how the F22 got built in forty states, for $200 million a plane, for decades, based on a 1979 design which is vulnerable to rain. "Vulnerability to rain" it says. The Washington Post reported the aircraft skin is vulnerable to rain and abrasion, which partly accounts for the average flight time of 1.7 hours before critical failure.

Now, here's some lying from the Air Force scum, bold faced and outrageous. In July 2009, the Air Force reported that the F-22 requires more than 30 hours of maintenance for every flight hour, at a cost of $44,000. The Office of the Secretary of Defense puts that figure at 34 hours of maintenance per single hour of flight at a cost of $49,808 per hour of flight

So, the death merchants can't get enough money. They just keep on screwing over the taxpayers. They build crappy planes that fall out of the sky and then they put a stealth coating on the plane that costs nearly $50K for every hour the plane is flown. And the Air Force lies about the numbers.

Who are the cronies here? It's a who's who.

The irony, though, of looking at one of the most heavily regulated industries, such as American finance, and calling the recent crisis a failure of capitalism is very rich. Heavy irony indeed.

The fact is that it is a failure of cronyism. And the only question that remains is why the cronies in government who make it all happen get to retire and die of old age like Robert McNamara, rather than being beaten to death with sticks by angry mobs.

My explanation for that lacuna is prosperity, or the illusion of it. People don't rebel when they believe that things are getting better, even though they have to struggle to make ends meet and pay the tax fiends. People do rebel, and riot, and protest, and actually change things that need changing, with the occasional bright moment of taking a politician or bureau-rat out of his home to be eviscerated and strung up from a lamppost, when they no longer believe things will get better.

Which is the whole point of the current bubble blowing contest. And the whole point of the indefinite detention game the constitutional scholar who is our president is playing. And the continuing point of the gun control crowd. The establishment is very frightened.

They have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible wrath, to quote a shrewd observer of American culture. The same genius who said, "I would never invade the United States for there would be a gun behind every blade of grass."

The government in its majesty and terrible power has decided that you are on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each American has a "share" in a "national debt" that amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars per person. Call it roughly $200 trillion when all the loan guarantees and unfunded mandates and actuarial obligations and financial rigmarole is played out. 200 x 10^12 divided by 300 x 10^6 = 2/3 x 10^6 So I make it just about $666,666 per person. In other words, they think they have enslaved you for about a third of your career.

Today the average per capita income for an American is $46,859. Which means in a forty year career you can expect to generate $1.87 million for yourself, except you have to pay off the national debt. Which means you have to be a slave to the government for 14 years out of your 40 year career, plus pay taxes and withholding for the rest of your life.

To which I say what Leonidas said. You want our lives, our money, our arms? Come up and take them, if you can.

Jim is an entrepreneur and author. His tome Being Sovereign is due out any day now. His latest projects involve free market money, including publicity related to the Liberty Dollar trial; making films including a feature film based on the book Alongside Night and a documentary Destination Resorts in Orbit. He is also forming a network of independent spirits at —the agorism cadre.


The Ready Store

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!

to advance to the next article
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 529, July 26, 2009

Big Head Press