Monthly Archives: October 2008

Overcoming the “Charlie Brown Syndrome”

Quote of the Day: “When I was young American politics were fairly straightforward: conservatives let you keep all your money in return for telling you how to live your life, while liberals let you live as you pleased in return for all your money. Now the only difference is whether they want your money or your life first.” — D.A. Ridgely

:::

Subject: Overcoming the “Charlie Brown Syndrome”

:::

When people learn I’m working to downsize DC they assume I care about the coming election. They say things like, “This must be your busy season!” Actually, it’s our slow season. Our growth statistics tend to drop during elections. 

:::

People are distracted by the sport of the contest, and by the hope that things will be different this time. But this is like thinking Lucy will finally let Charlie Brown kick the football. You’ve got to hand it to Charlie; he’s not a quitter.

:::

But given the evidence, maybe he should be.

:::

We call this kind of rigorous devotion to a failed strategy “The Charlie Brown Syndrome,” and we too, like so many others, have suffered from it in the past.

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

John Stossel’s mighty megaphone

Quote of the Day: “Bad ideas can only bear the weight of reality for so long.” — Greg Jesson

:::

Subject: John Stossel’s mighty megaphone

:::

Today we’ll compare the cases of Alan Greenspan, Ron Paul, and John Stossel, beginning with this . . .

:::

If you oppose fiat currency and centralized government banking, and would like to abolish the Federal Reserve and legal tender laws in favor of free market banking and free market money . . .

:::

And you think the best way to achieve these things is to put the right people — people who believe as you do — in positions of power, then . . .

:::

It would have been reasonable to assume, prior to seeing him in action, that Alan Greenspan was the “right person” to head the Federal Reserve.

:::

You could have justifiably assumed, based on Greenspan’s previous writings and statements, that he would use his position to not only control the damage done by the Fed, but also to argue for its abolition.

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

Greenspan’s Final Betrayal

Quote of the Day:
:::”Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
:::– Lord Acton

:::

Subject: Greenspan’s Final Betrayal

:::

In 1967 Alan Greenspan wrote an essay titled “Gold and Economic Freedom.”

:::

If you read the essay you’ll see in the intro that he once told a Senate committee he favored an end to the Federal Reserve and a return to gold money.

:::

When Greenspan gained the power to run the Federal Reserve he changed his tune. He stopped singing the sound-money song, though when pressed in interviews he would still say that gold was the most stable money system.

:::

If you accept what Greenspan said in interviews, then he still believed in sound-money and he still opposed centralized banking. But his actions betrayed his professed beliefs. He was now the Counterfeiter-in-Chief, and he played the role with gusto. He inflated and deflated the money supply, doing exactly what he had criticized before. As a result . . .

:::

Alan Greenspan was one of the many contributors to the boom and bust cycle in general, and to the current boom and bust in particular. Greenspan clearly knew better, so what are we to conclude from his actions other than that . . .

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

Are you being represented?

:::

Quote of the Day:

:::

“…the House of Representatives will, within a single century, consist of more than six hundred members.”

:::

— Founding Father James Wilson, November 30, 1787

:::

Subject: Are you being represented?

:::

Look what’s happened to representative government . . .

:::

* There were 105 House seats in the 1790’s — one for every 39,000 citizens

:::

* House seats were limited to 435 in 1912 — one for every 215,000 citizens

:::

* Today, House districts represent over 700,000 people

:::

* House districts are now 18 times larger than they were in 1790

:::

Many voting restrictions have been removed, but are we better represented now than in the 1790’s? House districts are now so large that . . .

:::

* Your vote is more likely to be miscounted than to bear much weight in an election

:::

* Direct contact between Representatives and constituents is now extremely rare

:::

* Election campaigns have become expensive mass-media efforts

:::

* Incumbents are constantly re-elected because few can afford to challenge them

:::

* Incumbents spend more time raising money from special interests, and less time representing YOU

:::

These factors have helped create a Two Party Duopoly funded and controlled by special interests. We are reduced to only two unappealing choices on Election Day, and power has been drained away from state legislatures, which are closer (numerically and geographically) to the people.

:::

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

Will the government repudiate its debt?

Downsize DC President Jim Babka will be doing radio interviews tonight and tomorrow. For more information, see the P.S. section.

:::

Quote of the Day:
:::”There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.”
:::~Richard Feynman, physicist, Nobel laureate (1918-1988)

:::

. . . or better yet, government numbers!

:::

Subject: Will the government repudiate its debt?

:::

The government caused the housing bubble. Even the editorial page of the Washington Post agrees. 

:::

But when the bubble burst, something strange happened. People fled for safety to . . .

:::

The arms of the government.

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

MEDIA ALERT: Jim Babka on Live Free Radio

Downsize DC’s President Jim Babka will be a guest on the “Livin Free With JP” radio show this Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The show is one hour and Jim will likely discuss several issues of interest to DC Downsizers. The call-in number is 1 (888) 747-1968. You can tune in by going here:

:::

http://www.livefreeradio.net/listen_live/index.shtml

:::

 

:::

 

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

Too much is never enough for Congress

Quote of the Day:
:::
” … the problem with the U.S. economy, more than lack of regulation, has been government’s failure to control systemic risks that government itself helped to create. We are not witnessing a crisis of the free market but a crisis of distorted markets.”
:::– from an editorial in (surprise) the Washington Post
:::

:::

Subject: Too much is never enough for Congress

:::

We’ve been hammering on the Republicans for years. They’ve richly deserved it. Soon it will be the Democrats turn, and they too will richly deserve it. We’re beginning to see what Democratic control will look like. It will look a lot like Republican control. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

:::

The first evidence for this is the new “stimulus” package being pushed by the Democratic leadership, with sideline cheer-leading from America’s Counterfeiter-in-Chief, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

:::

Economic stimulus, in the mind of the politician, means taking money away from productive purposes and spending it in ways that benefit politicians. They call it stimulus. We call it robbery.

:::

The first “stimulus” package, earlier this year, was a classic example. The government borrowed billions of dollars that it then gave to taxpayers. The politicians got to look like Santa Claus. This was supposed to stimulate consumption. Perhaps it did. But the wave of consumption came and went, leaving taxpayers to pay the interest on the resulting debt.

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

Did you hear about these big mistakes?

Quote of the Day:
:::”The whole reason we have elected officials is so we don’t have to think all the time.”
:::– Homer Simpson

:::

Subject: Did you hear about these big mistakes?

:::

A Fox News report claims that the World Bank’s computer network was hacked several times over the past year. The World Bank has tried to downplay this, but one internal email referred to it as an “unprecedented crisis.” [Source: Information Week]

:::

The World Bank is an organization of 180 national governments, originally intended to reduce world poverty. The Bank manages tens of billions of dollars and employs 10,000 people. The United States government is its largest donor and shareholder, and names its President.

:::

One might assume the World Bank’s computer network is as well-protected as any.

:::

But we must never make assumptions about the efficiency of government institutions — just because government can spend billions of dollars to address a problem, doesn’t mean the problem will actually be addressed, fixed, or handled competently.

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

Can you profit from a recession?

Quote of the Day:
:::”We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
:::– Franklin Delano Roosevelt

:::

Subject: Can you profit from a recession?

:::

The media has been busy doing what the media does — selling drama and sowing fear. This is what they did after 9-11, and leading up to Iraq. Look where that got us.

:::

Is the current fear different . . . justified?

:::

Was it justified leading up to Iraq, or in the previous economic downturns of the last thirty years?

:::

We think the answer is no. Cries of crisis and doom are often raised but rarely realized. The crash of ’87, the S&L debacle, the dot com bust, the post 9-11 hysteria — all of them came and went with only tremors in the upward climb of our quality of life.

:::

The track record for predictions of doomsday is by now so bad that prudent minds should develop a natural bias against such predictions.

:::

But aren’t the current events larger, and therefore more dangerous, than previous such events? The answer appears to be no. If you adjust for inflation and the current size of our economy, the current upheaval just doesn’t seem to rate.

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment

Jim Babka on Jerry Hughes’ Show

Most Friday afternoons, DownsizeDC.org President Jim Babka appears on “Straight Talk with Jerry Hughes” on the Accent Radio Network and more than 15 stations. Because this is a regular (weekly) appearance, it’s far from scripted and the questions and answers go in unusual places. Jim rarely knows what to expect and some incredible conversations occur here.
:::
:::Jim’s hour-long appearance begins at 3:05 PM Eastern time (2:05 PM Central, 1:05 PM Mountain, 12:05 PM Pacific). To listen live, go here.
:::
:::You are encouraged to participate in the show:
:::
:::The toll-free call-in number is: 1-866-222-2368
:::The show email is: Jerry at AccentRadio dot com

Posted in Archives, Blog | Leave a comment
© 2008–2017 DownsizeDC.org