Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Nostalgia For Saturninus
One of the most played-out metaphors in political discourse are comparisons with events in Roman history. Usually these metaphors only fit in the most vague ways and flit from the late Republic to the declining third, fourth and fifth centuries.
My metaphor tonight involves the demagoguery of the late Republic. Whenever someone wanted to stir up the mob he would promise a cancellation of debt. Last night, I watched in horror as Hillary proposed a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures, allowing speculators who are renting out the houses they would have flipped if the market had continued its rise to collect three more months rent without making any mortgage payments. She then talked about how the Feds are going to have to get their hands on the throats of the Evil Lenders. She continued, mentioning the most pernicious idea of them all, and the one that brought the Late Republic to mind. She suggested a five-year freeze on interest rates. Anyone who suggests an idea like that should be instantly disqualified from any high office. A five-year freeze on interest rates would cause the greatest capital flight in history. The credit and banking systems would collapse. Would you buy a bank or insurance company stock under those conditions? Business would not grind to a halt, it would stop instantly. The bonds that fund the pension funds of the fat, happy, Socialist chipmunks that tend to vote for the Clinton Crime Family would become worthless. The panic that would ensue would rattle every Keynsian/Marxist bone in the body politic and, as the current crisis has shown, politicians think the solution to people not having any money is easily solved by giving them some. And some more. This piddling $145 billion that the misguided Bushies think will have some great effect could easily have its decimal point moved a place to the right in a Demagogic... er, I mean Democratic administration. This happened recently in the wreck of the Soviet Union. Socialism always leads to collapse. The utopian determinists dont recognize economic laws. The end of the Roman Republic happened when everyone became so sick of chaos that they followed the first strong man that came along.
Those are the stakes in this year's election. Now, I know that Mrs. Clinton is almost certainly lying about this proposal, she gets too much money from financial corporations to go the whole hog, but she will set a horde of glassy-eyed radicals on the bankers. Just the fact that she could seriously propose something like an interest rate freeze is frightening beyond belief.
It has also been the deep-down desire of the wealth redistributors to strip the assets of the upper middle class, which purpose would be served nicely by the hyper inflation that will result from Aunt Hilly's economic recipes. Remember a large part of this crisis was caused by the Feds leaning on the banks to lower qualifications for mortgage borrowers so that 'red-lined minorities' could share in the real estate party. Look at the result. The left-wing geniuses screw up everything they touch and when they roar back to power after eight hungry years eking out a miserable existence in the Bush they are going to be touching a whole lot of things.