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Guest Post: The Perfection Of Crony Capitalism: Use Regulation To Destroy Competitors

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Perfection Of Crony Capitalism: Use Regulation To Destroy Competitors

Crony capitalism uses its wealth to impose government regulations designed to hinder, cripple and destroy small business competitors.

In the U.S. we now have the perfection of cloaked crony capitalism: corporate cartels use their vast concentrations of capital and revenue to buy the political leverage needed to write regulations specifically designed to eliminate competition.

Recall that the most profitable business model is a monopoly or cartel protected from competition by the coercive Central State. Imposing complex regulations on small business competitors effectively cripples an entire class competitors, but does so in "stealth mode"--after all, more regulations are a "good thing" (especially to credulous Liberals) which "protect the public" (and every politico loves claiming his/her new raft of regulations will "protect the public.")

This masks the key dynamic of crony capitalism: gaming the government is the most profitable business model. Where else can you "invest" a few hundred thousand dollars (to buy political "access" and lobbying) and "earn" a return in the millions of dollars, and eliminate potential competitors, too? No other "investment" even comes close.

The ever-expanding galaxy of regulations that business owners have to meet is a function of the corruption of government, i.e. corporations lobbying the government to pass laws and regulations (usually written by industry lobbyists to the specifications of their clients) specifically designed to eliminate competition by raising the costs of compliance amd imposing heavy fines via enforcement.

As an example, let's take a slice of American mythology, the family farm, that is under increasing pressure from just this sort of Corporate-State crony capitalism. Consider the family-owned small to medium size farmer who understands that the farm is a nature-based system that requires certain practices to maintain the health of the farm and the quality of your produce/meat/milk.

Suddenly a number of corporate agribusiness farms (i.e. concentrated animal feeding operations--CAFO) spring up nearby where thousands of pigs/cows are crammed into huge barns and the operation is run like a factory, enabling the CAFO to produce meat or milk at a significantly cheaper cost or production.

What's left out of the equation is the pollution to the environment and any associated health costs and damages to the values of the neighboring properties (Of course, these CAFOs are never sited near an affluent neighborhood).

In addition, the quality of the meat is suspect, as all the potential disease outbreaks that come with monoculture practices and crowded conditions can only be suppressed with constant, massive quantities of antibiotics. This is the perfect condition--animals packed together, plentiful manure, constant use of antibiotics--to create super-bugs that are resistant to antibiotics. Life being what it is, opportunistic and adaptive, eventually these resistant bacteria find a new and unprotected host, human beings.

A small family farm cannot duplicate these risk factors; only CAFOs can generate this kind of bacteriological danger to the populace.

These kinds of systemic costs created by the CAFOs are transferred to the taxpayer, including the local farmer who has to compete with the CAFO.

Since government in the U.S. is always for sale, and since the revolving door between the legislative and regulatory agencies and the lobbying industry is always spinning, it's straightforward to hire "the right people" and "express your concerns" to the corrupt politicos.

Here are some examples of the crony-capitalist favors corporate lobbying and campaign contributions can buy:

1) The government may give massive direct subsidies to the CAFO, depending how effective the "farm" lobby is (most farm subsidies go to large agribusinesses and not to small farmers).

2) The government will pass regulations that apply to the farmer's operations but require an entire new layer of compliance, reporting etc. that is beyond the financial capability of small operations.

3) The government may initiate enforcement actions against the farmer for non-compliance and if he's not rich, he will get steamrolled by the government regulators because he can't hire adequate legal representation.

4) The government often will not penalize the CAFO on the same relative basis, if it is part of a large corporation which have the resources to fight the government in the courts (i.e. the enforcement personnel don't have the necessary resources to do long protracted battles with Panzer divisions of corporate lawyers);

5) When there's an incident of blatant government over-reach or corporate favoritism that gets press coverage, the government agency will say they will "revamp the system" which is a code-phrase for passing even more regulations that secures them even more power.

In other cases, the regulatory agency was hampered from doing its job due to corruption/lobbying/political pressure from powerful corporate players.

As the regulatory thicket expands in complexity and scope, many of the regulations will not be adequately enforced because enforcement is now beyond the capability of the agency tasked with enforcement and monitoring. But the small/medium farmer will have to comply with them anyway, and if they don't, then that leaves a door open for corporate-directed regulators to take them down later with heavy fines for non-compliance.

6) The government gets complaint tips from a CAFO about the independent farmer, so he's subjected to a rigorous compliance inspection, whether or not the complaint is legitimate. It's like the vehicle inspections you get if you're caught "driving while black"-- with enough effort, some violation somewhere can be trumped up into a fat fine.

7) The regulations become so complex that prosecutors are reluctant to bring then to court because they're worried that a jury may not understand them. As a result, criminal cases are rarely brought against CAFOs and other corporate cartels.

After a few cycles of crony capitalism, competition has been destroyed, and you end up with something like America's "sickcare" system: no matter where you go, there's only two health insurance providers and their pricing is (surprise!) always about the same (it's called price fixing; that's the way cartels work).

Regulations don't arise unbidden; they arise to accomplish two tasks:

1. Enforce crony capitalism by eliminating or crippling competitors and establishing highly profitable cartels or quasi-monopolies protected by a bought-and-paid-for Central State.

2. They justify the budgets and payrolls of government agencies at all levels of government. A few years ago I mentioned a town that was trying to add a commuter train stop to an existing rail line. The process involved something like nine agencies, and as a result it has yet to be approved, a decade later. But the application did create a decade of justification-for-our-budget for agencies that might have been revealed as wasteful friction without the make-work application to diddle over for a decade.


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Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:49 | 2200532 tmosley
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Pretty sure that was ALWAYS the goal of regulation.  It certainly has been for my entire life.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:54 | 2200545 bdc63
bdc63's picture

agreed.  ain't noth'in new about this.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:07 | 2200583 kridkrid
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Nothing new, but most don't recognize it.  Years of both subtle and not-so-subtle indoctrination and propaganda.  On the whole, it's fairly impressive. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:11 | 2200602 Gully Foyle
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Most still don't recognize it or care.

It has nothing to do with indoctrination. The majority of people are merely disinterested.

No big shady conspiracies here.

Never put down to conspiracy anything that can be explained by sheer sloth.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:22 | 2200639 greyghost
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good tired of trying to educate anyone anymore...just to painful and exhuasting. i look after my girls and their families..and yes they listen.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:28 | 2200650 Gully Foyle
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Much easier to accept people as they are.

Maybe less than one percent really get the point whatever that may be. They would be the ones naturally aware and attuned.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:36 | 2200671 Xkwisetly Paneful
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it takes 65 days to get a permit to open a lemonade stand in NYC,

it takes $1million in some US cities to get a license to run a taxi business,

The government is currently adding 80,000 pages of new rules and regulations a year.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:11 | 2200833 Buckaroo Banzai
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...and its time to take another look at Ted Nace's masterwork on the corporate takeover of America, "Gangs of America":

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:47 | 2200957 CIABS
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Kolko was one of the historians who figured out what the rise of regulation was about.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:52 | 2200962 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Check out the latest from the Capital Research Institute "Time To Break Up The Media Monopoly":

So much of our problems exist because of the complete lack of a free press.  The education system teaches kids what to think, and then the media takes over telling you what to think for the rest of your blessed life.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:50 | 2201106 Buckaroo Banzai
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Yeah, although his take is kind of dopey. He tries to shoehorn his analysis into his leftist viewpoint which creates some distortions in terminology. What he calls "political capitalism" really misuses the word capitalism. A more appropriate label would be "corporatism" which, when taken to its logical conclusion, becomes National Socialism or Fascism.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:59 | 2201147 Real Estate Geek
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...and its time to take another look at Ted Nace's masterwork on the corporate takeover of America, "Gangs of America":

. . . which is available for free (PDF) there.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:22 | 2200641 economics1996
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This shit has been around since Herbert Hoover in the 20s when the creeper was commerce secretary.  Useless men with no taleThis shit has been around since Herbert Hoover in the 20s when the creeper was commerce secretary.  Useless men with no talent trying to rip off other men with talent.


Before Hoover the Spanish regulated themselves out of a empire in the 16th century, and the Romans in the 5th.nt trying to rip off other men with talent.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:29 | 2200654 ATM
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I might suggest that the Spanish and Romans debased their ways out of empire because they had spent their countries fortunes well into the future.

IMO the regulations were/are a by-product of government seeking to retain power in a collapsing system.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:50 | 2201090 MachoMan
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This issue predates the Romans...  it is INHERENT in the process of effectuating self interest.  I know I have said this time and time again, but here goes another...

If the profits of any market normalize as competition gets closer and closer to perfect, then ALL RATIONAL ACTORS SEEK TO AVOID THE NORMALIZATION PROCESS.  That's what economics hasn't really dived into yet...  the degree and extent rational actors will go to in order to avoid the normalization of profits.  This can be through cannibalization..  but it can also be due to lobbying and bought and paid for regulation.  It will more likely be the latter, given other existing market participants aren't really interested in letting the others eat their limbs.

Of course it leads to regulatory entrenchment of the profit process...

There probably isn't a more obvious need for a safeguard/check and balance out there...  market principles have no known rival...  however, there must be rudimentary safeguards built into the system to ensure that the market forces do not usurp the process of governance...

I don't think most of our policy makers understand the systemic importance of their day to day decisions...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:11 | 2202024 Vlad Tepid
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I'm intrigued by this.  Not being a finance guy and not having had my morning cup, would you mind explaining the normalization process?  What does it mean to "normalize" profits?

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 11:52 | 2203999 MachoMan
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normalization = zero.  The econ 101 speak is that as competition increases in a particular market (assuming a flat growth rate) that market participants end up slitting each others' throats.  When "perfect" competition exists, the market participants are producing for no profit...  having undercut each other to the point of normalization.  Presumably, consumers are benefitted by this competition and this is the rally cry of free market proponents (among other important factors).

What economics has a blind eye towards is that rational actors will do ANYTHING to avoid the normalization of profits...  and their preventative actions occur MUCH SOONER than when normalization would occur...  In the end, this boils down to primarily a consolidation of producers initially and then regulatory capture later, although these processes need not be in any particular order.  In other words, perfect competition is more or less an argument fit only for an academic vacuum.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:24 | 2200644 mick_richfield
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I don't think they're disinterested.  My friends all want to believe in the wise and beneficent State. 

Like Roman soldiers wanted to believe in Mithras.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:34 | 2200666 V in PA
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Agreed. Let's not mistake disinterested with fear. The fear of learning that you have been brainwashed and everything you thought was real is bullshit.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:39 | 2200689 mick_richfield
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How about the fear that it's all up to you?  That there is no great wise entity somewhere who only wants what's good for you and has the power to make everything OK.

My statist friends mostly think that they are athiests -- but they're not.  They just believe in their religion so desperately that they think of it as reality.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:14 | 2200842 12ToothAssassin
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This is the story of your enslavement


To see the farm is to leave the farm.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:03 | 2200985 kridkrid
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Freedomain Radio - - Interesting... thanks for linking that.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:00 | 2201155 Cathartes Aura
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great points mick_

How about the fear that it's all up to you?  That there is no great wise entity somewhere who only wants what's good for you and has the power to make everything OK.

you mention atheist believers, and I think this way of thinking is perpetuated by the "top down" hierarchies we live under - that what or who ever is above us is their to protect us, like a "father"

"they" have used this myth since forever, building imaginary structures in our minds that no matter what, we are safe and protected, no need to pay attention to reality, that's for those who take care of us.

time to grow up, leave the nest, the fenced fields, time to acknowledge adulthood, and self-response-ability.

tell the truth.  no santa claus.



Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:59 | 2200784 combatsnoopy
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then they believe that some politician will randomly fix the US economy.  This is where the US will fall behind the rest of the globe.  Now if I can only move away from the influence of the baby boomer voting majority...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:01 | 2201165 Cathartes Aura
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you can, but you'll have to give up the structures they put in place for you.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:48 | 2200656 kridkrid
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I appreciate your position, but disagree.  The lens through which people view the world is created for them.  The assumption that we need a benevolent government to protect us from X, Y or Z is a fabrication.  How may times, over the years, have you heard someone reference Standard Oil as "proof" that government works in our collective best interests.  That person knows nothing of the actual events... doesn't know, for example, that competition was driving prices down and reducing Standard Oil's market share for a decade ahead of the ruling.

I readily acknowledge that people are lazy, but the collective view of the world (indoctrination) allows people to be run roughshod over.  It's a critical piece (the critical piece, I think).

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:08 | 2201200 Cathartes Aura
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when parenting young children, one must set up rules to "keep them safe" - as they grow into teens and contest the rules, some parents can be vicious in enforcement, petty and childish even. . .

government by petty nuisances being paid to harass has outgrown its usefulness, like an aging tyrant parent.

time to get out of daddy-gov's basement. . .

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:52 | 2200747 JohnKozac
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'When it becomes serious, you have to lie.'

- Jean-Claude Juncker, Chairman of Eurozone Finance Ministers

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:36 | 2201059 Clark Bent
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Can't help but mention that the discrediting of anybody noting  collusion as a "conspiracy" nut is one of modern life's most common pieces of propaganda. The presumption (coming from where?) is that all apparently are supposed to know that any argument regarding collusion identifies one as the wearer of a tin-foil sombrero.  It's pretty simple, and requires no secret handshake to observe that people act collectively where their interests are in alignment. The government has a vested interest (for its members) to direct and advance policies that just incidentally happen to advance their own interests. Environmentalists get into the EPA because they are drinking the Kool Aid. It won't be too hard to convince them that everything is a threat to the environment. Likewise the legions of social workers are absolutely convinced that we need to have a war on drugs, poverty, ignorance, etc. that just incidentally happens to hire social workers of every stripe and enhance the status of those in the industry. The moral of this story is that it is a bad idea, given the observable nature of man, to put unchecked political power in the hands of people. They will predictably misuse it, and if not checked by competitors, will misuse it worse over time. Hence the stucture of our original government that understood the trick is limiting government as a positive good in its own right. Liberty is freedom from government. Freedom from coercive force.  

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:17 | 2200622 greyghost
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agreed, kridkrid...well hidden by noise about zoning...pollution....just look at your typical downtown and city you can't open another hamburger joint we already have one {does it matter if the mayor already owns that one?} no more liquor one, no more hot dog stands...already got one. refreshing that hugh is talking about something other than peak oil...then again maybe we are only talking about peak hamburger stands.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:08 | 2200590 mayhem_korner
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Yes, but what the slavemasters have really gotten good at is the wearing down of the intelligentia of the sheeple such that their now ultra-dubious sleight-of-hand efforts pass the smell test with ease.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:14 | 2200612 DCFusor
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Don't even get me started on how the throughly broken patent/IP system allows the big boys to suppress all innovation by small guys.  They can afford to patent everything under the sun, and no matter how much prior art or how obvious - or just plain ridiculous, they fly through.  Then you invent your little thing, and nothing you can do will prevent them from coming after you with their huge portfolio of things it "violates".  They simply cross license this junk to one another - they fear us little disruptive guys than each other, mostly (but see the cel phone business of late).

It takes a couple million bucks and a couple years to get just one of these bogus patents declared invalid - such that even fairly big players are mostly afaid to fight off, say microsoft's secret NDA/license agreements for using android, for just one example.  Did you know microsoft makes more money off android via extortion- with they neither wrote nor inspired - than their own stuff?  The agreement they get people to sign enjoins them from even telling what bogus patents are involved or how much protection money they have to pay, but the SEC filings from MS show some info....B&N is at least fighting them - at enormous costs.

Seems our lawmakers have a sweet spot for lawyers.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:45 | 2200719 Shizzmoney
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Seems our lawmakers have a sweet spot for lawyers.

Because most of them ARE lawyers.

Like, how the fuck did that dumb motherfucker Scott Brown pass a bar and become a lawyer?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:55 | 2201119 MachoMan
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The bar isn't very hard...

(the cpa exam on the other hand...)

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:12 | 2202019 outofhere
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I've never passed a bar, it's always Miller time!  Been f*^#ed by many a lawyer though.

Price of being in business.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:16 | 2201242 Buckaroo Banzai
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Stephan Kinsella makes a compelling case that patents and copyrights should be abolished. Unfortunately this would require an amendment to the Constitution.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:15 | 2200618 Gully Foyle
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"Yes, but what the slavemasters have really gotten good at is the wearing down of the intelligentia of the sheeple"

Really, you believe that shit?

Try this people are naturally lazy and disinterested. Others capitalize on that.

I just read this article by Teller.

He said

"1. Exploit pattern recognition. I magically produce four silver dollars, one at a time, with the back of my hand toward you. Then I allow you to see the palm of my hand empty before a fifth coin appears. As Homo sapiens, you grasp the pattern, and take away the impression that I produced all five coins from a hand whose palm was empty."

Any goddamned fool reading that can apply it to their own life, if they so choose. The majority don't, they choose not to be bothered. It's in their genes.

Yes some people actually profit from the weakness of the herd.

That's what life is about.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:49 | 2200716 Xkwisetly Paneful
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A certain baseball player passed away of a heart attack recently, someone added to their wiki page that he had complained of excessive gas to his wife before dying.

Not only has this been picked up by dozens of journalists and recanted as fact in their articles about the player,

but there are now  blog posts around wondering if gas can lead to heart attacks.

and yet wiki is the modern day source for information.

weakness of the herd? I'll go with strength of the herd largely borne of the conformist era in the US where the imagination was decimated.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:57 | 2200772 mayhem_korner
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The majority don't, they choose not to be bothered. It's in their genes.


Your point is well taken, and I think it could be debated endlessly - kind of a "nature v. nurture" issue.  But if you look at what is being "taught" in government school systems, you will be hard-pressed to believe that the sheep aren't being institutionalized right out of the womb.  It's sickening.

I think a big part of the problem is that the complex takes advantage of folks' trust.  By the time anyone gets a dose of reality, they are so far gone that they can't reconcile it with the 'truth' they were told about, the 'truth' they trusted the public schools to inform them of.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:18 | 2201247 Cathartes Aura
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couldn't agree more - knowing who and what you trust, and why, is a mark of self-awareness, and the cornerstone of personal responsibility. . .

all along the way we make choices, careers, relationships, etc. - some things don't pan out, but teach us lessons on misplaced trust - it's a function of growing into self-awareness.

of course the system we are raised in would prefer you trust it / them - who benefits?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 17:16 | 2201602 outofhere
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Newborns, not being able to leave the hospital sans a contract with the IMF (yes i went straight to the source) thru the SS administration IS being indoctrinated into the institution right out of the womb and they will receive no enlightenment for their tax dollars, just assaults to their right brain hemisphere and their GREAT-grandparents will be in their 50's.

Consciousness needs to raised now before it is to late.  Only psychopathy is genetic as seen in ANYONE who tries to control ANYTHING outside of their OWN BEING!

Good to hear from you again Brother Mayhem

(+100 Aura)

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 17:46 | 2201803 Cathartes Aura
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+100 back at you outofhere!

re-minding folks of the birth to death model of ownership currently in place highlights how something as natural as birth needs to be co-opted by the white coat pharma brigade, ostensibly for "healthy" reasons, but when enforced ceasarean sections for the convenience of the doctor's schedules are becoming the norm - one might question the reliance on hospital birth models when required SS registration is a part of the deal.  (oh and the "SS" label is noted)

"sign here please to receive your package"

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:04 | 2202011 outofhere
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Intriguing word!  When i was indoctrinated into the service of our country I had to get a copy of my birth certificate issued and sealed by the STATE.

The identifier to the right of my name was SUBJECT.  WTF 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:24 | 2202060 Vlad Tepid
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Question for the Hedge:  I will be having a new kidlet coming my way soon, born in a foreign, developed, industrialized country.  The rest of my family already has dual citizenship in this country.  I'm seriously thinking about not even registering her birth with the US, since we'll be living in said country the rest of our days - me as an expat.  My (stateside) family would have a fit, but what thinks the Hedge?  Dual citizen or "other citizen?"

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 01:00 | 2202754 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

let the kid decide.  I believe she will have until age 18

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 15:22 | 2205027 Cathartes Aura
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Vlad, to use outofhere's words - I wouldn't SUBJECT a child of mine to being owned by any STATE - (intentional caps).

particularly *this* one, as it is proving to be a future bureaucratic hell. . .

ask yourself - what would be the benefits of CITIZEN-ship vs. the drawbacks.

best wishes.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:44 | 2200567 AssFire
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The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

Ayn Rand

They need only create a couple more regulations to take out Gibson guitar or other corporations who don't "play ball" (kickbacks).. the same tactics employed by our government's EHM around the world, but this is considered "legal" through plausible deniability. Right now Nike and other large lobbying foreign makers are pushing the EPA to create air quality laws that would cause the closure of New Balance, USSA's last sneaker mfg.

Reading Atlas Shrugged shows where it ends.. In England the wealthy are committing to reducing their incomes to contend with the outrageous tax burden put on them due to their government regulations that drove wealth producing jobs out in the first place.

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 01:49 | 2202842 blunderdog
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I would not assume that Frank Zappa and Ayn Rand shared too many opinions or sentiments, but the fact that Joe's Garage was an album where the premise is that the gummit sought to criminalize EVERYTHING makes the wisdom of that perspective very hard to question.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:09 | 2200594 Gully Foyle
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Goddamnit! I knew there was a reason SOLYNDRA failed!


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:07 | 2200817 Apocalicious
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The more corrupt the republic, the more numerous the laws.  ~Tacitus, 14 AD.


Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. ~Henry David Thoreau, 1849


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:17 | 2200851 Apocalicious
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Unfortunately, none of the sheeple read anymore. You get C's in school just for showing up, and there's not enough time to read history or Thoreau between the newest Dancing with the Kardashian Idols and Call of Duty...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:30 | 2201309 Cathartes Aura
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minds captured.

anyone who has spent time researching and reading of tribal folks indoctrinations into "culture" knows how the system imposes its lessons on the mind and body - be it in amrka, australia, canada - anywhere "white western" rulership is set up, the same Father-figures are used to shame the indigenous culture, and impress hierarchy on the individual, which is always subordinate, savage. . .

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 16:40 | 2201536 midtowng
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We aren't going to simply get rid of regulation because a) the public doesn't want to, b) big business doesn't want to. People remember that regulations were put there for a reason (read The Jungle) and getting rid of them won't fix the problem of factory farms and tainted meat.

   Therefore the cure is to fix the regulations. It happened once before, it can happen again.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:49 | 2200534 battle axe
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Wait, people in Govt can be bought and paid for? I am SHOCKED and DISGUSTED.../sarc

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:49 | 2200537 Cognitive Dissonance
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Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutly.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:14 | 2200613 Clamdigger
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...And Absolut Vodka corrupts hepatically.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:18 | 2200628 Temporalist
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Absolut Fascism

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:54 | 2200664 AssFire
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Ron Paul and Tito's Vodka bitchez

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:23 | 2200642 Gully Foyle
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Cognitive Dissonance

In Yoga people are advised that if they develop Siddhi's, they should ignore them. Thats because those powers detract from the pursuit of enlightenment.

Power doesn't really corrupt, it is the mind which sees power as an end all which is corrupt.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:53 | 2200540 prains
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Haliburton would be the poster child for cronyism but last time I checked it was a decidedly UN-liberal corporation so I'm not sure blaming "Liberals" is the correct terminology

"Dicksters" might work better. Blaming liberals implies that "conservatives" are oh so much better when in fact ALL these pricks are cut from the same cheque.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:08 | 2200587 Stack Trace
Stack Trace's picture

To play into the "Liberal/Conservative" dichotomy is to be comitting a massive intellectual flaw from which no substantive and meaningful argument can be made. Both concepts are so pregnant with manifold conflicts that it is impossible to even clearly define either.

Again, to debate whether Liberals, Democrats, Republicans, or Conservatives are the causes or solutions to our problems is like arguing about whether painting my car blue or red will make it get better gas mileage. These ideologies/parties don't matter when the activities in the real world remain effectively unchanged each election cycle. So go ahead and argue about the paint color while the powers that be continue to take out the safety systems on the car in the name of market efficieny. Too bad for all of us when this next crash takes place it will be painful as there will be no seat belts or air-bags.

The crony capitalist want it to stay this way. A perpetual state of quagmire and idiots fighting over idiotic things while they laugh all the way to the bank. Again, I can't say this clearer: Anyone that thinks either of the parties/ideologies is a path to a solution is an idiot at best and truly delusional and/or diabolical at worst.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:17 | 2200625 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Right, why would anyone care if the clown pretending to run the show wears red or blue shoes?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:53 | 2200740 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Ron Paul needs no shoes; he can walk on water...Hell, even Jeezus wears a wrist band that says: "WWRPD"- What Would Ron Paul Do?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:44 | 2201358 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

I don't vote, so pollyticians only interest me on a certain level - but Ron Paul is definitely serving a segment of the population who are waking up to concepts embodied in government control. . . for this he deserves attention, kudos even. . .

however, to wake up fully one needs to see through all governance currently in place - the system is rotten and cannot be papered over or hot-fixed, it needs a thorough overhaul, preferably a secular one.  should some folks need and desire religious rules to follow, let them find each other in the safety of a church house.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:22 | 2202050 prains
prains's picture

Hence the words "ALL these pricks are cut from the same cheque"

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:26 | 2200880 Apocalicious
Apocalicious's picture

Neo Socialism = State Corporatism

Neo Feudalism = Corporate Statism


Hmm, should I vote for John Jackson, and his conservative anti-Jack Johnson platform, or is Jack Johnson with his more progressive anti-John Jackson agenda a better candidate.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:22 | 2201271 Iwanttoknow
Iwanttoknow's picture

Thank you.Nothing sickens me more than to read occasional comments on ZH ,bashing Democracts/Republicans, as if they are separate entities.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:45 | 2201086 Clark Bent
Clark Bent's picture

Once one starts believing, or arguing, that the government has responsiblites to improve the lives of the citizens, you take the first step down the road to coercion. The government is, as Washington commented, a dangerous servant and a terrible master. The goverment should have a minimum of power and wealth. Its primary social goal should be to educate all citizens how much government is to be mistrusted, and how much it is dependent upon the individual to behave like moral and responsible citizens. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:51 | 2200541 Count de Money
Count de Money's picture

Nothing new here.

When buying and selling is controlled by legislation, the first things bought and sold are the legislators.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:03 | 2200570 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Nothing new ... but it obviously needs to be said more often, since most of the sheep (including most commenting on ZH) keep crying out for more and more regulation with monotonous regularity.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:07 | 2200586 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

No shit. More regulations won't help, since their is no plan to enforce them. We could start by enforcing the current regulations.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:36 | 2200672 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Maybe we should pass some Laws that keep people from talking negatively about the economy. If we can just keep things positive (through regulation of free speech especially) then "yes we can!" rise above our petty, selfish, individualist desires and embrace a new tomorrow.........a better tomorrow.........a global tomorrow, where there are no divisions; social, economic, religious, political..............



Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:34 | 2201322 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Enforcing the current regulations also pushes us deeper into their snares. Remember who created the regulations in the first place, and why.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:56 | 2200549 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

I am from the government, and I am here to help.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:08 | 2200589 resurger
resurger's picture


RIP Nate Dawg


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:11 | 2200599 kralizec
kralizec's picture


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:56 | 2200551 Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez's picture

I wish the daily kos people coming over here might learn a little bit. They actually seem to think free market capitalism has failed even though it has never actually been tried yet.

Fascist business models and excessive moral hazard are not good examplrs of free market capitalism.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:15 | 2200615 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Right, right, free market capitalism just hasn't been implemented correctly.  Capitalism is capital chasing more capital.  Fascist business models and monopolies are a perfect examples of mature capitalism if you ask me.

You sound just like the liberals you decry. 


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:37 | 2200676 tmosley
tmosley's picture

We had free market capitalism in this country from the end of Reconstruction until 1913, at which time we adopted a mixed market which was still mostly free market capitalist.

The free markets didn't fail, they worked very well, creating a middle class from nothing within a few decades.  We simply abandoned the free market for a mixed market, and continued to dilute said mixed market with more and more fascism until that it was mostly fascism.  This is what is collapsing.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:56 | 2200769 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

   We had free market capitalism in this country from the end of Reconstruction until 1913, 

So everything was just perfect and fine, and then for no reason whatsoever, the Feds created the Fed.

Is that really your understanding of the history?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:17 | 2200848 ronin12
ronin12's picture

The bankers created the Fed.



Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:31 | 2200901 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yeah, but I created the National Reserve Bank of blunderdog back in '04 and for some reason my own currency still won't be accepted anywhere.

Something suggests to me there's a bit more to this than just a bunch of rich guys deciding to take over the economy.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 19:34 | 2202081 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Why did Edmund Hillary climb Everest?  Because it was there.

Why did a bunch rich guys take over the economy via the Fed?  Because they didn't fully control it before that.  It IS that simple. 

Sometimes powerful people will destroy something just so others can't have it.  Ask the Dutch why Hitler invaded or the Norwegians why Churchill was planning on violating their neutrality.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:04 | 2200806 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The free markets didn't fail, they worked very well, creating a middle class from nothing within a few decades.


US citizen stomach can digest anything.

From nothing? Sure. The vast land gently given by Indians to promote US citizen project is certainly nothing.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 16:04 | 2201424 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

first person accounts of native people forced to send their children to residential schools to learn "citizenism" - language, hierarchy (the natives were of course, subordinates), laws - using Canada as an example here, but yeah, it's the same white Euro mentality. . .

“I want to get rid of the Indian problem. I do not think as a matter of fact, that the country ought to continuously protect a class of people who are able to stand alone… Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question, and no Indian Department, that is the whole object of this Bill.” Dr. Duncan Campbell Scott - 1920


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:00 | 2200793 Acet
Acet's picture

The mode of failure of Capitalism is that, for it to work there need to be at least some rules (for example, to enforce contracts and avoid abuse of shared resources) which means there will be rulemakers and rule-enforcers.

It's then the natural tendency of those who have capital to try and influence said rulemakers and rule-enforcers so that the rules are made or enforced in such a way that their capital is preserved and even grows. Those with the most capital will have the most influence.

This dynamic naturally leads to the growth of elites, the suppression of the small entrepreneur, misallocation of capital and eventually the collapse of the system from the inside out.

In that sense, Free Market Capitalism is as much an utopia as Communism (I mean the utopian Communism where everybody is equal) - even if such a system was magically created to perefection tomorrow, it would within minutes start to drift away from perfection at an ever increasing pace.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:18 | 2200855 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

It has nothing to do with elite.

It has to do with competition.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:49 | 2201102 Clark Bent
Clark Bent's picture

Au contraire my friend, the market is never eliminable from the affairs of men. Merely the commodities change. In a free country one has to produce something valuable in order to command a return, like food or tools. In the socialist model we are instead selling people and influence. They have a definable market rate too, based ultimately on how much violence they can exert or deter. Like the beasts. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:57 | 2200553 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

'Since government in the U.S. is always for sale, and since the revolving door between the legislative and regulatory agencies and the lobbying industry is always spinning, it's straightforward to hire "the right people" and "express your concerns" to the corrupt politicos.'

It's an ongoing sale to buy influence and nothing more. The shared power structure is between corporations and the Chinese. Meanwhile, Americans wonder why their rights are being stripped, their work devalued.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:28 | 2201046 Jorgen
Jorgen's picture

These two films pretty much sum up what has been happening to U.S. and Western World food supply:

Food Inc.:

The World According to Monsanto:



Mon, 02/27/2012 - 16:12 | 2201445 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture


required viewing for anyone still "trusting" the food supply in amrka.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:05 | 2200554 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Regulators, Congress, public unions, you name it -- that is the key to the bailout pie closet. 


Fucking fascist bitches...  Anyone see any criminal prosecutions in the 10 year pipeline?

I am of the belief that unless O-bullshit has RICO up his sleeve for social-crimes incorporated (mortgage, banking, FraudStreet) he will lose the presidency.  Every independent I know voted FOR that fuck to deal with the banks.  Instead he only deep throats  fucking campaign contributions Inc. -- FUCK THE POOR!

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:05 | 2200578 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Hey now, lets not play the blame game." George dubbya

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:32 | 2200653 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Leave the comprehensive lawlessness of Florida out of this.

Hey!  That's weird, now Jeb is thinking of throwing his hat in the presidential ring.  More bushit for the poor, and I have the over on 3 wars started under that fuck should he run (winning is fucking guaranteed!)

War as economic policy is the first notch on the Bushit banker family tree.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 16:16 | 2201454 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

capitalising on people's tendency to vote "brand name" - these family trees, all of them, are for the lazy minds, deadly.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:30 | 2200652 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Criminal prosecutions of bad actors and treasury looters was halted on 9/11/2001 for national security reasons in the U.S. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:51 | 2201107 Clark Bent
Clark Bent's picture

I've been waiting a long time to hear that sentiment articulated. I think Widow has nailed it. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 11:59 | 2200561 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

this propensity was first chronicled by the ancient historiographer, cornholioAbutticus, himself a hagiographic projection of the philosopher, lexLothario

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:02 | 2200562 Mercury
Mercury's picture


The larger the corporation the less enthusiastic it is about free enterprise and the more it looks to government to erect artificial barriers.

If you're IBM or DEC the last thing you want is for some kid in a garage to invent a computer gizmo that might eat your lunch.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:03 | 2200568 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

DEC is long gone, a victim of bad management.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:20 | 2200588 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Yeah I know...probably not the best example. I was trying to come up with a 70's-80's example involving the personal PC revolution.

In any cae - the answer isn't to hope/encourage/mandate corporations or the people behind them to be less self-interested or more ethical.  It's much more effective to keep the size and scope of government limited in the first place.

One simple remedy cures so many symptoms...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:01 | 2200565 Racer
Racer's picture

And you can be classed a criminal under UK law, by not telling them what was the source of the seed you grew on YOUR OWN LAND now because the corporations have make changes in the law to suit themselves.. even if you sow NOTHING you will be a criminal if you don't tell them!!!!


"Under Regulation 10 Pland Breeders Rights (Farm Saved Seed) (Specified Information) Regulations 1998 it is a criminal offence, without reasonable excuse, to intentionally fail to provide the information requested or refuse to provide the information

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:16 | 2200620 DogSlime
DogSlime's picture

Not exactly farm related, but under UK law you are also a criminal if you fail to provide a decryption key to encrypted material - punishable by 2 years imprisonment.

Note that this is if you FAIL to provide the key - not if you refuse.  Therefore a fast-track to jail would be if you encrypted a file and then forgot/lost the decryption key - you're instantly a criminal.

People have served time for this offence already.

How cool is that?


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:03 | 2200569 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

Throw in Fannie/Freddie/FHA having over 90% of the mortgage market and Congress doling our MORE to cronys, this is spiralling out of control.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:03 | 2200571 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Love the article. Intelligence honed to a razor edge to fuck over by all and any means possible. The perfect recipe for a race to the bottom and disaster for culture and humanity.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:04 | 2200576 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

Switched on CNBC to find Warren Buffett is still on so switched off straight away.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:12 | 2200603 Osmium
Osmium's picture

I hope you were able to change the channel before you became sick.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:44 | 2200711 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

Oh yes, cat like reflexes had the off button pressed in no time.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:06 | 2200582 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

Tyler, you're so right on with this.  As a small business person I have observed first hand how difficult it has become to run a profitable business.  From mountains of regulations to taxes to available financing and credit, the little guy on main street, once the back bone of our economy and hiring, has been rendered almost extinct.  Long live Obamanism...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:19 | 2200636 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

now now.. give proper credit:


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:34 | 2200591 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Excellent point, Charles.  There are two types of regulations: the ones that are actually effective in resolving exploitation and problems (ex: Glass Steagall), and ones that we mostly see today to protect monopolies.

Most of the money spent in Congress today is spent on eliminating the ladder.

This happened in online poker, too.  The UEIGA, which was put on the back of a Port Securities bill (#joke), was "written" by Senator (at the time) Bill Frist.  His stance was percieved to appease Evangelicals in his state of TN in a reelection year, but if you follow the money, you'd know the TRUE reason.

The big banks, like JPM/Goldman Sachs, disliked online poker because their greedy hands could not touch any of the money players' had in their accounts until we withdrew, and they especially hated the fact we could p2p transfer cash for free (minus the vig that would be charged by the players themselves for the trouble). 

And the big casino industry hated it obviously due to the threat it was towards their monopoly. People would much prefer to stay in their homes rather than drive to a casino (on avg an hour away), as well as the fact you can play smaller online (ex: 0.01/0.02 NLHE as supposed to $1/$2 NL at the casino). 

The government agreed, because it wasn't getting taxed AND they don't like the thought of people earning a living that isn't State approved.  They'd prefer you'd work for a big corporation where they can finger fuck your paycheck when you get it every 2 weeks.  Hence: UEIGA.

So, write a law, have a senator you paid off push it through, and eliminate your competition (PStars, PartyPoker, etc).  Then, when the people write their Congressman that they want online poker, write the laws again so only the big casino corporations can run the sites, who obviously who secure loans from big banks like JPM and GS, to fund their site-building efforts.

Who were Frist's two biggest campaign contributors during his 2006 re-election campaign? 

JPMorgan and Harrah's (Now Ceasar's) Corporation.

You can rise-wash-repeat for almost any industry today.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:10 | 2200597 KickIce
KickIce's picture

Health Care is the perfect example.  Several large corporations, like McDnalds, have received exemptions but you can bet your ass that any small business will have to pay every last dime due.  Selective enforcement of regulations has been used for years against the small business owner.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:26 | 2200643 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

RomneyCare (otherwise known as "HeritageCare" since it was written by the Heritage Foundation) here is MA has not worked fully in bringing down costs.  It covers everybody, but it doesn't curb the real issue with the system: cost.

Insurance premiums have gone up 6%-15% for the last 4 years.  28-40% in 2008 alone, and even when my individual plan went from $138 a month to $225 in a span of a fucking year!  And the best part is when the insurance companies in MASS send out their annual "cost" report to the government, it is ALWAYS release on 6:30pm on a fucking Friday.

MassHealth is even ineffective.  First, the government doesn't even run the program; you basically get registered with the govt, and they sign you up with a private insurer (so my tax dollars doesn't go towards my care persay, but to cover the premium set by the insurer).  Single payer, it ain't.

It takes a long time (3-6 weeks) for you to get your card to qualify for the program (and you have to basically disclose your life's holdings.)

The income cutoff to qualify is $18K (Fed Poverty level)...meaning if you make $20K (aint shit!), you are fucked for qualifying for the system.  You also do get discriminated against; when I was under Mass Health during my unemployed time, I tried to schedule an appointment for a physical with a new doctor.  The reception asked what paln I had, I said MassHealth......she said, "that will be two weeks".  

I just got a ER bill for $1250.....yet some illegal from Brazil can get the same treatment, and just leave the country, and I get stuck with the bill in higher taxes and higher insurance premiums (since they run the market).

How is this not crony capitalism?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 16:16 | 2201461 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Health care is NOT an insurable risk-- either by private insurance companies, or by governments.

The only way to get health costs down is to abolish ALL forms of health insurance (public AND private) and go back to cash-for-services.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:20 | 2200601 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

That bit about ag is spot on. One of the last bastions of something sustainable (the family farm) and it's being destroyed right before your eyes.

If you have delusions about fleeing to the country at the last minute when SHTF, have fun trying to survive. You'll be met with barns full of rotting livestock carcasses because the mega-operation was unsustainable to the smallest of supply disruptions.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:18 | 2200834 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

You mean, like the 50k dead chickens that made the headlines this morning?  People need to read up on their Great Depression history; plenty of farm crops, and farm animals, were left to rot by foreclosing banks.  Cost to salvage exceeded market prices, and dumping would have hurt their other, still solvent, farm borrowers.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 14:59 | 2201152 Clark Bent
Clark Bent's picture

I am currently reading "FDR's Folly" by James Powell. Earlier read Amity Schlaes' "The Forgotten Man." Both reveal how much failure, arrogance, and stupidity the Ivy League miseducated scumbags can (and will, whenever given the chance) inflict upon their hapless underlings. I can recommend either wihtout reservation. If nothing else one has to evaluate their own definition of what it means to be free, and not free. It is also encouraging to see that this level of corrupt stupidity can nevertheless be overcome. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:13 | 2200609 Moneyswirth
Moneyswirth's picture

Don't know why everyone has their panties in a bunch.  Regualtions and politcial and bureaucratic over-reach, especially in global real estate markets are working just fine:

 Lloyds says 90% of its Irish commercial property loans are impaired

Just turn away, nothing to see here.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:19 | 2200633 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

I have searched the cbs website for a report of this but could not find it.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:26 | 2200645 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Fulford is the grandest idiot disinfo agent of them all.

His secret Aisan society, for example was going to force GWB to step down a few years ago, along with the Western elites in general, or they were going to take them all out. Now, who did Fulford claim they had ready to step into the White House in W's place in order to counter-balance elite power?

Albert Freakin' Gore!

Now, you'd think that he (they?) could've came up with a far more credible name to add the idea that true opposition exists, yet this was the best he could do? Like I said, the man is an idiot of the grandest order.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:45 | 2200704 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

I notice that Bush is now a target but yeah Al Gore belongs on one of these lists too.

Perhaps back then Ben had only targetted one of the puppets but now the puppet masters are known - the Rothschilds.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:19 | 2200634 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture

Regulations don't arise unbidden; they arise to accomplish two tasks:

You forgot:

3. To earn fees for those who make money from writing, changing, enforcing, and interpreting these "regs".........lawyers. From the corporate attorneys to the government attorneys to the attorneys milking the farmer for fees.

It appears to me that the referees have become the reason to have a game......

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:21 | 2200637 taniquetil
taniquetil's picture

"Regulators are important to our economy. Regulators stimulate the economy by greatly increasing the demand for pornography."


-unnamed SEC Senior Manager



Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:33 | 2200663 jal
jal's picture

The crony capitalist is helpless without the pimps that he pays ...

the lawyers and accountants.

Turn your anger towards the real executioners

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:19 | 2200635 taniquetil
taniquetil's picture

How many times do you think Warren Buffett has gotten away with this because his secretary (who is a martyr for paying taxes while earning a mid-6-figure salary) gives Obama political ammunition?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:26 | 2200646 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

I'd bet my last dollar that Sarbanes-Oxley is being violated regularly... and that the enforcement of this law is not going to happen again in my lifetime if you're a bank.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:28 | 2200648 Moneyswirth
Moneyswirth's picture

This post is spot-on.  But I'd expand it to include the destruction of entire industires---see Obamacare.

This is elitist oligarchy on steroids.  Here you have legislation specifically designed for the outright elimination of the private health insurance industry.  Who loses?  In the long run, the private insurers and their shareholders, and ultimately the end users--the private citizen.

Who gains?  The leftist/moderate political class implementing this monstrosity.  Also, the various unions who stand to gain permanent employment from the implementation of a massive bureaucracy to be created from Obamacare--from offices centralized in DC employing thousands of SEIU workers, government bureaucrats making decisions, etc.

Then you have the (soon-to-come) regionally located national "health offices/clinics"---these will be filled with unionized "health workers" to operate the whole thing. 

In other words, a massive payoff to the unions (political donors and boots-on-the-ground muscle), newly cemented government bureaucracy, and generations of Democrat voters (don't you dare take away my guaranteed healthcare).

It's all coming together and the middle class continues to get fucked in the process. 


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:48 | 2200734 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

"Who loses?  In the long run, the private insurers and their shareholders, and ultimately the end users--the private citizen."

While I'm sure some "shareholders" will be fucked, I gurantee you other "shareholders" will benefit greatly.  I agree with you though the private citizens will get fucked, but I believe they are referred to as "consumers" these days.

We didn't get a public option, this is hardly a leftist win. 


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:08 | 2200821 Moneyswirth
Moneyswirth's picture

It will be a leftist win eventually.  For short term political reasons, the public option was dropped and consequently, most of the moderate wing of the Democrats were eradicated from the House.  The extremists in the party were more than happy to sacrifice their jobs for the ultimate goal--the nationalization of the health care system, which they know wouldn't happen in one legislative term.  Pre-President Obama admitted as such in a talk he gave to the SEIU (or some other organization cant remember which).   Others have admitted that the destruction of the private insurance industry is, indeed, the end game.

The public option will happen--it's the only logical result from what the legislation will enforce.  But it will be another milepost along the road to nationalization. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:36 | 2200921 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Mandating participation in established rackets is the forced distribution of wealth.  I'm not buying that this particular legislation is some long term strategic ploy by socialist to nationalize the industry though. More like more of the usual we get from washington, nationalizing losses while privatizing the profits, and framing it as classwarfare to divide and conquer.  Same old shit. 


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 13:02 | 2200797 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

  Here you have legislation specifically designed for the outright elimination of the private health insurance industry.

Wow.  How do you figure that?

This is legislation which mandates that every citizen purchase health insurance.

Can you sketch out the machinations of design that result in elimination of private health-insurance? 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:08 | 2201201 Clark Bent
Clark Bent's picture

Insurance companies are supposed to manage risk. This means essentially that more people pay in than they pay out over a given time period. Obamacare requires one-size-fits-all coverage. this is the least efficient as it has people paying needlessly for coverage they will never need. With "free" healthcare, you also get huge increases in demand. The Obamacare approach makes it ok for some to pay nothing (or get subsidized by taxpayers), and then they can start paying when they get sick. There is no risk managment at work here. Then we also come to the onerous regulations on employers that will likely drive them all out of the role of paying for healthcare. The endgame? Single payer, medicaid for all. The health insurance model is destroyed by Obamacare except for those connected enough to get special treatment options, like they have everywhere single-payer is imposed. It is one step ahead, but Obamacare means the death of the health insurance industry as currently constituted. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:21 | 2201261 Moneyswirth
Moneyswirth's picture

The law demands that health insurance providers take in everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions, status, etc.   That goes against the essence of what insurance companies are supposed to do.  Eventually they will be out of business.  Which suits the pols just fine...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 18:18 | 2201921 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Well, honestly, we never needed medical insurance in the first place, so it's not like society will be missing out if they do all fail.

But this is a pretty wild-eyed prediction, in my opinion.  Seems far more likely to me that they continue operating as they currently do--shift increased cost burden onto the healthy population and find ways to deny claims for the really expensive stuff.

If you stop and think about it, the only thing *any* insurance company really provides is a promise.  It's a lot like government.  It's a non-productive industry that just juggles money and takes another cut.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:30 | 2201302 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:30 | 2201303 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

Just push the Fast Forward button . . .

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:30 | 2200655 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Ramp jobs

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:35 | 2200659 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

+5... I read your previous post there CHS...

I was waiting for you to get to the point. The finance capital oligarchy, corporate power and a powerful centralized federal government grew in a symbiotic relationship. You could not have one without the other.

Of Useful Idiots and Corporate Tools
Our corrupt, bribed, useless political class don't read the laws they pass, let alone write them (See: Bullshit Barry and the 2200 page Welfare for Health Insurance Corporations Bill). Corporate lobbyists do write the laws with the expressed purpose of exempting elite and corporate power from criminal charges, taxation and regulation...

Criminal Charges, Taxation and Regulation: That's For The "Little People."
The whole point of the current structure... Corporatism or Crony Capitalism is to destroy small business, local markets and competition and suck all surplus labor profits to the center, to further enrich CEOs and the ruling elite... and into the coffers of Wall Street and DC...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:33 | 2200661 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

did someone hack my ZH account, all comments are showing as read and i havent read them yet ????......anyone else having this issue ?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:38 | 2200678 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

That's just the NSA monitoring you...

You don't have to worry until Trollwoman Napolitano "See Something Say Something" videos pop up where CNBC Cramer ads used to be...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:40 | 2200695 tmosley
tmosley's picture

It looks like I am too.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 18:23 | 2201938 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I have the opposite problem--stuff I've read keeps showing up as "new comments." 

Seems they broke their cookie system.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:36 | 2200670 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Meanwhile the DOW rolls past 13k. I am curious if we'll be sitting here and still complaining at 14k?? LOL.

I seriously doubt that happens but then again I was sure the top was in 3500pts ago.  Of course you just have to remind yourself daily that things aren't normal.......with all the manipulation etc. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:37 | 2200677 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Can every one see that free market capitalism is, was, and always has been a myth? Ever wonder why it is never allowed to work?? Let that sink in a little before the rebuttals.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:40 | 2200691 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

+1... Yes.

The Amerikan Myth Narrative is forcefully instilled and effectively operative...

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:43 | 2200706 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Eh?  free market capitalism did exist, even if imperfectly, and it was tremendously successful.

Unlike inferior ideologies, free markets don't have to be perfect to work, and produce real progress for all involved.  They just have to be something less than terribly fascist/communist/socialist.


Mon, 02/27/2012 - 16:42 | 2201537 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Oh, I agree.  But those societies that are closer to free market capitalism are still the most prosperous, eg. Hong Kong, and that should be the ideal. I realize you weren't saying crony capitalism is better, just that it's always there to some degree.


I just had a great time in Nicaragua, WiFi in all the beach bars.  People are happy and things were good. But a bunch of us expats sitting around speculated that if our little beach town was run by US bureaucrats the whole place would immediately be shut down. It was much more free there, even under their thug Ortega. 

All would be verboten and disappeared: People selling stuff on the streets, the bars, the restaurants, the scooter rentals, hotels, the construction, the B&Bs, the taxis, and the beach itself -- would all be taken away if ran by US bureaucrats. Why? Because their taxis have dents, the restaurants and bars are open air, there are lax rules to rent a scooter or to run the rental, and street vendors have no licenses or USDA permits to sell their citrus; and, I'm sure there must be some drainage somewhere in that small town which would be deemed an environmental threat to the beach and humans alike, requiring evacuations and a two year billion dollar cleanup -- even though cruise ships still don't seem to mind taking regular portage there.

Real freedom is economic freedom.












Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:38 | 2200680 stiler
stiler's picture

years back Adobe Systems wanted to coin the name "Illustrator" for its program of same name, so that any two-bit illustrator couldn't use the name on their business card to denote their profession without ensuing lawsuit.

Same with Monsanto and "their" "seeds". First of all, all seeds aren't theirs and secondly they aren't seeds, but are so genetically modified so as to withstand horrendous conditions of their "soil"-- they're doing to the soil what Ben is doing to our markets.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 16:53 | 2201576 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Dow & Monsanto are looking to spray Agent Orange chemicals on "our" soil next. . .

just upping the stakes, daily.

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