Meltdown

Even as a guy who will forever look at Auburn, AL as home, I knew nothing of what The Wall Street Journal referred to as a “world-class think tank” anywhere near the Loveliest Village on the Plains. Now, not only is my interest piqued, but I have yet another book to read.

Hope you enjoy this piece by Rick as much as I did.

– Jeff

By Rick Saunders
America’s Right

If you buy and read no other book before the end of the month, your selection should be Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse. The author is Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. And, with a Ph.D. from Columbia, an economic neophyte he is not.

Meltdown provides in relatively easy, laymen’s terminology the intellectual antidotes for all of the Democrats’ and leftists’ venomous arguments that the economic maelstrom we now find ourselves in was caused exclusively or even primarily by greedy Wall Street brokers and bankers and Republican politicians’ calls for “deregulation.” While there are more colloquial, blunt terms to describe the leftists’ arguments, let us remain clinically polite here — the arguments are nonsense, plain and simple.

Long story short, the liberals and those who have peddled President Obama’s “economic stimulus bill” to the masses as being the cure for what ails us–especially Nancy “Partnership-not-Partisanship” Pelosi and Harry “Gotta-Have-that-Mag-lev-Bullet-Train-Between-LA-and Vegas” Reid–are simply not telling the truth. While not exactly lying to the public, they . . . oh, what the heck . . . yes, yes indeed, they have been lying and are continuing to lie to the public. And they have been lying for some time now.

Woods makes it clear, however, that everybody shares some degree of culpability for the hurricane, Democrats and Republicans alike, including former President George W. Bush, but in starkly differing degrees and contrary to what the liberal-biased, sycophantic mainstream media would have you believe. Translation: when Congressman Barney Frank told us that the Democrats were “totally blameless” regarding the causes of the economic Katrina we are now trying to weather, he was lying. And that practice continues. Daily. Hourly.

Woods chronicles, in painstaking and documented detail, the interplay between the original precipitating events for the current storm–starting with the chartering by Congress in 1968 of the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), continuing through 1970 with the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), through Jimmy Carter’s simultaneously well-intentioned but hopelessly misguided “Community Reinvestment Act” in 1977, all the way to 2008’s horrific “Dubyah” TARP bailout–and the even more ominous economic clouds sulking on tomorrow’s horizon.

Sparing no one with his “Austrian school” economic daggers, he has especially harsh words for the Federal Reserve System, which he [persuasively] contends lies at the heart of the problem through its anti free-market, artificial manipulation of interest rates and its ability to create money “out of thin air” rather than from the laws of supply and demand.

Woods documents that some of the first, heaviest dominoes to fall did so as a direct result of the improvident and ultimately reckless “affirmative action” lending policies aggressively pushed by Congress through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and shielded from criticism, as always, by the Democrats. And, of course, aided and abetted by those helpful ACORN folks who would badger and intimidate banks and lending institutions which even dared to suggest that mortgages should be given only to people with the means and intent of making the payments.

Here’s a little known fact from the book, thanks to a somnambulant press: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, affectionately known in the industry as the “Democrats’ Piggy Banks,” were responsible for packaging fully three-quarters–75 percent–of all American mortgage loans. And their biggest client? Countrywide Mortgage Company. That’s right, Countrywide — home to among other things Sen. Chris Dodd’s sweetheart loan. Now there’s an accident waiting to happen. And when storm clouds began gathering and the Republicans started raising questions and seeking reforms, the Democrats trotted out the tried and true “racist” and “bigot” pejoratives designed to silence any opposition. Kinda like a PC preview of the coming hearings on resuscitating the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”

Indeed, because Meltdown was written between last fall and this January, it doesn’t directly address yesterday’s monstrous “Gotta-Vote-‘Yes’-NOW-and-not-Just-‘Present’-or-the-Sky-Will-Fall-oh-Wait-I-Think-I-can-Take-a-Long-Weekend-Vacation” economic “stimulus” bill touted by the Guy from Chicago. Woods explains in clear detail why, as most principled economists now concede (economists not found, of course, in the current administration or heading up the Department of the Treasury), the $787 billion spending orgy–with interest, nearly $1.15 trillion–signed yesterday in Denver will only prolong the agony. Moreover, it will make matters much worse in the long run and ultimately could well lay the irreversible foundation for the metastasizing of the United States into a socialist landfill.

Ah, change. Ugh.

Such a landfill, of course, is exactly what the leftists have for decades prayed for–well, maybe not exactly “prayed” for–and yearned to impose here in the United States because their enemy is that evil, satanic creation known as capitalism. Ohhhhh . . . the stench . . . the bile . . . the . . . the . . . the highest standard of living for the most people ever experienced in mankind’s history.

The Democrats insist that we can’t possible have such a thing, that all must suffer equally until none suffer at all. As noted here yesterday at America’s Right by Ron Glenn, we are indeed becoming more like France, only without the oppressive cologne.

Meanwhile, that pesky barometer called the stock market speaks volumes about the fledgling Obama administration and its completely feckless effort to just “kick the can farther down the road” instead of enacting real change and creating conditions for real economic recovery. At the dawning of the Obama Millennium, November 4, 2008, the NYSE closed at 9,319 points. In the 105 days since then, which includes 28 days since the inauguration, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost an additional 1,766 points, or an average of nearly 17 points per day, including non-trading days. Not exactly the greatest proof of one’s ability to walk on water. Stated another way, the NYSE has lost nearly 20 percent–one-fifth of its Election Day value–since President Barack Hussein Obama was elected. And this is the “change” that the voters are expected to welcome?

To reiterate, if you care for your country and the futures of your children and grandchildren, after you finish reading this post, go read Meltdown. You’ll not regret it, but you will mourn for your country. The “stimulus” bill asks, in effect, “Can we borrow our way out of debt?” Apart from the tautological conundrum that proposition poses, liberals and Democrats will with straight faces fall back on quoting one of Obama’s campaign slogans: “Yes, we can.” Meltdown demonstrates, in spades, that the reality is precisely the opposite.

Oh, and remember, Virginia, this doesn’t even get into the census grab by the White House and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. More on that later.

—————
Rick Saunders is a freelance writer who splits his time between endeavors in southern California and the American southwest. He began writing for America’s Right in December 2008.

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Comments

  1. Seeks Truth says:

    Yippee!

    Obama’s Stimulus Will Cause ‘Lower Wages’ for American Workers, Says Congressional Budget Office

    http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=43704

  2. Lisa says:

    Right on!!!

    MELTDOWN is fantastic!!! I am reading it now and it explains EVERYTHING! Everyone must read this book, as it makes the seeming complexity of this crisis quite simple.

    I am mystified that no one in the media (except Glenn Beck) ever mentions the culpability of the FED!

    And now Greenspan (being touted by the MSM as the poster boy for free markets) says it will be a good idea to “temporarily” nationalize the banks…and all the while he and his former FED cronies are to blame for most of this crisis! And the socialists (dems) are gleeful at his pronouncement and are running fast with this “bombshell” by Greenspan!

    READ THE BOOK!

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Socialist landfill!”

    I love it, Rick. The expression I mean, not the unfolding reality.

    I watched Obama’s mortage-related speech in Arizona today. He used the word “crisis” 25 times by my count. More high pressure salesmanship, I’d say.

    JV

  4. American Genie says:

    Tired of mourning, Rick, but will probably read the book anyway.

    Thanks for the great post.

    War Eagle!!!!

    God bless America!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Eric Holder says we are a nation of cowards, because we don't talk about race.

    I THOUGHT WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO MENTION RACE!!

    SCREW THEM ALL (LIBERALS)! I AM TIRED OF PLAYING BY THEIR *&%^$#@@%&***-UP RULES!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have had it!

    I don’t know where to direct my anger and I am afraid I am going to blow up on someone.

    What the hell is going on. I am the middle class. I am not even the upper middle class.

    My husband and I live carefully within our means. We pay ALL of our bills and ALL of our taxes.

    We make just enough not to qualify for any special help. My kids will not get aid to go to college. My kids don’t get a family vacation in the summer, don’t have designer clothing, can’t afford music lessons or extra luxuries.

    I wash out zip lock baggies to reuse them and tear my dryer sheets in half so I get twice as many.

    We pay our own bills and do not depend on handouts from the government.

    We have no money at the end of the month, do not have college degrees, have cars that are over 15 years old that we bought used not new.

    We pay our OWN bills!

    I make my kids lunch, don’t go to movies, make our own bread and dinner, greeting cards.

    I shop at Goodwill when I can’t afford something elsewhere.

    We pay our own bills.

    I am the middle class. I am who Obama thinks should pay and be punished for my “success.”

    Guess what Obama, we bought a house we could afford. We did not get help from our friends.

    We pay our bills and taxes.

    EVERY Christmas, we donate an ENTIRE Christmas to a family in our community that has nothing. We give them food and candy and clothes and gifts.

    We are good stewards of our neighbors and our community.

    We pay our bills, we pay our bills, we pay our bills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Someone tell me what to do. Who will listen to us! Who will stand up for us!!!!!

    I am going to LOSE CONTROL OF MY ANGER!! I am sick of hearing how every one else is a victim and because I was born white and in America, I am a bad person.

    BULLSHIT!!!!!! I am a GOOD person. I am a RESPONSIBLE person. I am a GENEROUS person. AND, I am a PISSED OFF person.

    The government and the LIBERAL SCREW-CLASS better stay out of my business and get off my back!

    I am ready to fight!

    Somebody better tell me where to put my anger, before I LOSE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Kathy says:

    Great post, Rick. Your review of the Meltdown book is so compelling, I will order it today.

    Now, if someone would publish full one-page ads in the nation’s leading newspapers to inform the non-book reading public what is going on, the Republicans may have a chance to redeem themselves next election!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The total voting populance had more than sufficient information since early in the presidential campaign to know what was coming with an Obama administration and many of us suspected that the “meltdown” in September was contrived at a level above partisan politics, but there was little that we could do to stop the inevitable catastrophe. Keep in mind that even the sitting Republican president and the Republican candidate were willing partners in this fiasco.

    So, at the risk of becoming known as the voice of gloom and doom, I ask you, what has changed to make us think that we can reverse the obvious slide towards global socialism.

    Being a spriritually-minded (old) man, I truly believe that the underlying goal is to destroy individualism – the central theme of the Declaraton of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution – in order to create a one-world society. The “crown jewel” of the one-world society will be the elimination of “differences” – SUCH AS THE FREEDOM TO WORSHIP AS WE PLEASE. Now, that is important because committment to Judeo/Christian priciples (and the Person of Jesus Christ) will undoubtedly be considerd to be a “devisive” difference. This has been “the goal” since the beginning of time.

    The phase (financial collapse) that we’re entering now is only a means to that end. The panic being spread by the Obama adminstration is inteded to stampede individuals into forfeiting all of the principles of individual responsibility and rights in return for “security”. Perhaps “W” was doing the same thing with his war on terror, because there was much that he did that made me suspicious that he was not “one of us’.

    It is in this atmosphere that the dark powers, as clearly evidenced by the current administration, reach critical mass and along with it, control of all of the mechanisms of a social order.

    I’m not suggestion giving up the good fight for Conservative, Judeo/Christian values and policies, but I think that it’s unrealistic to ASSUME that we can reverse the flow of the battle. We may be able to slow it down, but that may be all.

    Old Bob

  9. Anonymous says:

    I also think that Obama and the phony Catholic politicians from Hell wish the U.S. would be like France. No matter how hard they wish, it can’t happen. It is going to take reality based policy to save our country. The credit junkies are hanging onto their fading dream, trying another poisonous injection of junk credit into our economy, closing their eyes tight and hoping against hope that this fix will do the job.

    Theologically, they really do speculate that if they destroy everything, a magical new world will emerge.

    The way out of this is to take their drug – excessive credit creation, away from them.

    As bad as the housing market is, in the past 30 years, college tuition has gone up even higher. All because the government gives out junk loans to students. The government artificially drives up the price of everything it touches.

  10. Anonymous says:

    After enjoying this book review, I immediately logged onto my local library (population 50,000; est. approx. liberals 45,000) and discovered that the book is being order and I am third on the waiting list. Don’t know which makes more more excited–that my library will actually obtain a copy of this or that there are two other like-minded individuals in my midst!

    First time I’ve commented, but I’ve been a fan of this site since August.

  11. T.I.M. says:

    Some people may think that Obama can walk on water, but I believe it’s just a misinterpretation. They thought he’d be able to raise the dead; alas he can only raise the debt.

  12. Gail B says:

    Anonymous at 3:52 PM said

    “I have had it!”

    Out-damn-standing! Go back to your post, copy and paste it to your letterhead, change the second-from last sentence to “I am ready for you to represent the American people instead of the liberal Congress,” delete the last sentence, and mail it to any and every Democrat Congressman/woman you can! BRAVO!

    (I refered to Obama as a Presidential Puppet in my letters.)

  13. Gail B says:

    Rick, I am just in awe of you, and Jeff’s other writers as well. You all do a wonderful job and hit the target just like focusing the lens and lining up the cross hairs: BANG! Gotcha!

    Yes, I’ll read Meltdown!

    Thank you for an excellent read, and thanks to you, too, Jeff.

  14. Tigress says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I didn’t know about the von Mises Institute until last fall (when we all had to start looking for answers, I guess). It is astounding that there are 2 schools of thought in economics that are polar opposites.

    This gives us something to “do”–read and then go talk to neighbors, friends, spread the word. Thanks–it’s very constructive.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is just the beginning. A poilce state is next. I hardly believe the man in this article would have been pulled over if the sign had Bush’s name on it instead. Scary stuff.

    OKC officer pulls man over for anti-Obama sign on vehicle.

    By McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
    Published: February 19, 2009
    Buzz up!

    An Oklahoma City police officer wrongly pulled over a man last week and confiscated an anti-President Barack Obama sign the man had on his vehicle.

    The officer misinterpreted the sign as threatening, said Capt. Steve McCool, of the Oklahoma City Police Department, and took the sign, which read “Abort Obama, not the unborn.” Chip Harrison said he was driving to work when a police car followed him for several miles and then signaled for him to pull over.”I pulled over, knowing I hadn’t done anything wrong,” Harrison said in a recent phone interview. When the officer asked Harrison if he knew why he had been pulled over, Harrison said he did not.”They said, ‘It’s because of the sign in your window,’” Harrison said.”It’s not meant to be a threat, it’s a statement about abortion,” Harrison said. He said he disagrees with the president’s position on abortion. ”I asked the officer, ‘Do you know what abort means?’” Harrison said. “He said, ‘Yeah, it means to kill.’ I said, ‘No, it means to remove or terminate.’” Harrison said his sign was to be interpreted as saying something like: Remove Obama from office, not unborn babies from the womb.
    The officers confiscated Harrison’s sign and gave him a slip of paper that stated he was part of an investigation.Harrison said he later received a call from a person who said he was a lieutenant supervisor for the Internal Investigations Department and wanted to know his location and return his sign to him. According to Harrison, the supervisor said the Secret Service had been contacted on the matter and had told them the sign was not a threat to the president.
    Harrison was asked if he would like to file a complaint. He said he was not sure but would take the paperwork, just in case.
    But his run-in with the law wasn’t over yet.
    ”The Secret Service called and said they were at my house,” Harrison said.
    After talking to his attorney, Harrison went home where he met the Secret Service.
    ”When I was on my way there, the Secret Service called me and said they weren’t going to ransack my house or anything … they just wanted to (walk through the house) and make sure I wasn’t a part of any hate groups.”
    Harrison said he invited the Secret Service agents into the house and they were “very cordial.”
    ”We walked through the house and my wife and 2-year-old were in the house,” Harrison said.
    He said they interviewed him for about 30 minutes and then left, not finding any evidence Harrison was a threat to the president.
    ”I’m still in contact with a lawyer right now,” Harrison said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
    Harrison said he feels his First Amendment rights were violated.
    McCool said the officer who pulled over Harrison misinterpreted the sign.
    ”We had an officer that his interpretation of the sign was different than what was meant,” McCool said. “You’ve got an officer who had a different thought on what the word ‘abort’ meant.”
    McCool said the sign basically meant Obama should be impeached and it was not a threat.
    ”(The officer) shouldn’t have taken the sign,” McCool said. “That was (Harrison’s) First Amendment right to voice his concern.”
    McCool said although the sign should not have been confiscated, the situation was made right in the end.
    ”We always try to do the right thing and in the end we believe we did the right thing by returning the sign,” McCool said.
    Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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