Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Letter to National Review Magazine re: Repo Men, by Kevin D. Williamson

Subject: Repo Men
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2011 10:16:38 -0500

Re: "Repo Men" by Kevin D. Williamson

Dear Sirs:

Kevin D. Williamson is giving Mark Steyn a real run for his money as best phrase-turner at National Review. His recent shocking report of how the American economy (read "us rubes in the sticks") is being bled to death by the Wall Street-Washington Axis of Evil contains dozens of memorable phrases. But the guts of his report reminded me of a story often told by Lincoln: a horse had stepped on his foot...he said he was too big to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh.

How to prevent such abuses as described by Mr. Williamson? Create another regulatory agency? Increase staffing at existing ones? Uh...sorry to say that this would be like adding to the staff of the Nazi SS in order to regulate crimes against humanity. There are two reforms that would go a long way to curing the problem or at least mitigating it greatly. One, return to sound money. Throughout Mr. Williamson's fine (if disturbing) report, one reads how Washington pored hundreds of billions of dollars into politically connected firms on Wall Street. Where does Washington get this money? It prints it, of course. Two, eliminate special rules for investment bankers. Subject them to ordinary commercial and criminal law, which requires that government prosecute fraud wherever it may be found. Sound money would make it difficult for Washington to reward its favorite cronies with actual cash, and exposure to ordinary commercial and criminal law would soon land both Washington and Wall Street "Repo Men" (aren't they really one and the same people?) in the hoosegow where they belong.

There is only one politician who champions such real reform. Does National Review dare mention his name? Ron Paul.

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