Friday, September 26, 2008

My Two Cents

I'm hard at work on a common-law conservative perspective on the current financial crisis. But before I'm done with it, I thought I'd chime in with two thoughts.
  1. The "bailout" plan is something that in general has to happen. It is not unthinkable that the state enters the markets and buys and sells on the markets. After all, that is what the Treasury does every day when it sells bonds. That is also what the Federal Reserve does every day when it buys bonds. Andy Kessler's article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal provides the basic framework for understanding the way this would work. The question about what the government would do with the proceeds is the key here. A separate agency should be established with its own budget, insulated from the federal budget, so that the monies do not disappear a la the Social Security "trust fund." Those monies should rather be rebated to the taxpayers, from start to finish completely separate from the federal budget.
  2. There can never again be a socialist-paradise inspired venture to set aside market discipline in the name of social justice or equality. This is what by now has nearly destroyed our financial system. Our hot-shot financial experts thought they had developed a new angle on risk so that non-creditworthy borrowers could be covered by creditworthy borrowers in super-sophisticated loan packages which in turn could serve as collateral for new lending. That they were allowed to do this was the hook by which the government got them to cooperate with its push for "affordable housing." The linchpin for this rickety setup was Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. This we all now know. We also return to the basic understanding of credit. Credit depends on faith, on trust. This contagion of bad risk mixed with good has done for collateral what bad currency did for good currency back in the old days of metallic coins. There was a term for this phenomenon: Gresham's Law (coined by Henry Dunning Macleod): bad currency drives out good. Perhaps we need a new law (Alvarado's law?): bad risk drives out good. This packaging of risk has backfired bigtime, and the guys who developed the schemes, with their computerized risk calibrations, have proven once again that basic laws of economics cannot be repealed. Bad credit cannot be lifted by good, good credit will only be destroyed by bad.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

God Does Answer Prayer

A couple of posts back, I asked the rhetorical question, "Does God answer prayer?"

Lee Culpepper answers:

Palin is an answered prayer. She is exactly what America and John McCain needed. She is a proven leader. And leaders have an obligation to inspire others to do what is in the nation’s best interest.

That question is more than rhetorical. It is a wonder-filled acknowledgement that God is in control. Sarah Palin=God's avenging angel.

The text for this morning's sermon was Psalm 124:

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us
Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us
Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul
Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
Blessed be the LORD, who
hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
Our soul is escaped as a bird
out of the snare of the fowlers
the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

I would be remiss not to acknowledge the events of the past week as an answer to fervent prayer: for they were.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

She Did It

Sarah Palin has embarked on her journey toward restoring representation to its proper meaning. Her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention incorporated red meat in this regard. To wit:
I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

This is the proper function of representation: to channel the influence of the people into the state, not to channel the influence of the elite to the people. The latter is what the political process has become, and it takes gutsy, brilliant, compelling persons like Sarah Palin to divert the flow back to its proper course.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin's Qualifications

In one area at least, Sarah Palin will be a great improvement: she is definitely a better shot than Dick Cheney.

Monday, September 1, 2008

All-American Girl

She even anchored the sports news in Anchorage.

Sarah Palin seems to be the conservative dream woman, straight out of Proverbs ch. 31. And from everything I´ve seen and heard, this may be correct. If so, the threat of a Democrat tsunami in November has been overthrown in one fell swoop. In one of my previous posts, I gloomily reflected on the condition of politics in America today. The Democrats are bent on destroying the traditional understanding of law and liberty, while the Republicans are too intent on retaining power to make a stand against that threat. Or so it seemed, at least in the case of the Republicans. For the past two months or so, the McCain campaign has started to make an effective case against Obama and the Democrats, especially in the areas of foreign policy (Russian invasion of Georgia) and oil (drill, drill, drill). But by bringing Palin onto the ticket, McCain solidifies a common-sense approach to energy policy while also bringing front and center the theme of confronting the elites in power rather than mollifying them. In short, restoring representation to its proper direction, from the people to the government rather than the reverse.

If this truly is the case, August 29th -- the day Sarah Palin was nominated vice president -- may well become a national holiday of sorts. If she makes good on her promise, and the ticket wins in November, she will be first in line to be the next President of the United States. If she does not get corrupted by Washington politics -- a big if -- and brings that Northwest no-nonsense grit to the table day in and day out, they may end up erecting a monument to her some day.

Does God answer prayer?