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Belmont Club

Memory lane

September 29th, 2008 - 9:27 am

Only the beginningAlthough some critics will say that the selections from the 2004 hearings on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are cherry picked, can anyone seriously doubt, after watching this 8 1/2 minute video on the failed attempts to regulate these two institutions, that the Democrats also share a very large responsibility in creating the current financial mess. Repeatedly the speakers, including Barney Frank, say there’s nothing wrong with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Why is anyone trying to regulate it or even think it needs to be regulated? One of the most telling passages in the video was Shay’s accusation that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae simply hired anyone who might criticize it.

The 19th century British politician Andrew Tytler was supposed to have said, “a democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.” ‘Always’ is a very strong term; and it presupposes that information has no cautionary effect on the public.

In my experience information eventually filters through to the public, but it takes a long time. At some point everyone learns that no demagogue can deliver on his promises, but always on the reverse.  A dictatorship is always temporary in nature; a permanent tyranny cannot exist. It will continue up until the time that it breaks down from its brutality and inefficiency. From that moment on, the individual will realize that he can defy it without much fear of reprisal, with the result that every tyranny will finally collapse from its own corruption, which is temporarily followed by a democracy.

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