Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Liberty's Silent Killer

     As Donald Trump and his votaries in talk radio like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin continue in their disserving of the public debate in this country by casting the superficial problem of illegal immigration as an assault on constitutional fundamentalism, there remains a silent killer of Liberty not being acknowledged. Not to imply in any way that illegal immigration is not a troubling problem that should not be addressed. However, once one has emerged from the foggy emotionalism of the Trump phalanx, the clear-eyed facts remain that illegal immigration over the southern border of the United States has actually decreased over the last decade.
     One of the more troubling issues about which no conservative pundit or candidate appears to be talking is the complete rearrangement of this great nation's financial and economic system. The economic aspect of this great rearrangement has been accomplished via the Federal Reserve. The one two punch to economic growth of historically low interest rates for the last 7 years, combined with the Federal Reserves purchase of treasury bonds, has kept a lid on inflation, but also economic growth as well.
     In addition to the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve more than tripling over the last 7 years, is the danger that has been posed by the new banking law passed in 2010 known as Dodd/Frank. Named for the two men more responsible for the financial meltdown in 2008 than anyone else on earth, this legislation was government's way of ensuring that a repeat of 2008 would not occur in the future. Those on the Left in congress who rammed this legislation through to law claimed that what caused the crisis was the idea of having institutions that were "too big to fail."
       The "too big to fail" ideology is a throwback to the early 20th century when the founders of American progressivism, Teddy Roosevelt, Louis Brandies, et al, went after large institutions like JP Morgan for the simple fact that they were "big, and anything big is inherently corrupt." Those early progressives, as well as modern progressives, still think anything big is corrupt, with the exception of government of course.
     What Dodd/Frank has accomplished is the narrowing of the banking industry so that only the big will eventually survive. Since its inception in 2010 only one new community bank has opened its doors in the entire country, while over 1000 smaller community-based banks have been forced to close. These banks have not closed due to mismanagement or wild speculation, but because they can not afford the millions of dollars required to be compliant with the far reaching Dodd/Frank law. This causes fewer choices for depositors, borrowers, and savers, which is never a good thing for the cause of Liberty. In other words Dodd/Frank has transformed too big to fail into too small to succeed.
     This fundamental transformation of our economic system which has its roots in the founding, has somehow been drowned by the rants, howls, and emotional machinations of those pushing the problem of illegal immigration to the head of the line. I think when the history of this time is written, and the sober thoughts of our descendants turn to the loss of Liberty in America, they will rightly see the transformation of our financial system to be more culpable in that loss than the ephemeral problem of illegal immigration.

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