Monday, October 13, 2008

Better late than never

My first and elementary attempt to write about something that is not a streetscape in Winnipeg, written several weeks ago (before the New York Times reported that Congress was strong-arming Fannie Mae into giving riskier and riskier home loans, for example) was published in the Uniter last Friday:

W hen the U.S. Congress rejected the initial bill to approve a $700 billion government bailout package of the American financial sector on Sept. 29, observers deemed this as proof that the free market does not work and that governments must have a greater, more regulatory role in the economy. Keynesian talking heads on cable news and radio programs struggled to restrain their giggles at the thought of Wall Street – that great bastion of capitalism – going cap-in-hand to governments for help.

What this crisis actually demonstrates is how true capitalism and its philosophical counterparts, individual freedom and personal responsibility, became increasingly absent in the U.S. economy in the few years leading up to this current meltdown. This includes the freedom to fail and the responsibility to learn from these failures...

When the negative consequence of decisions are supposedly thwarted by a coddling government that rewards investors with exorbitant bailouts, the risk is gone and there is no longer reason for investors (and consumers) to practice restraint. The very things the government attempts to “save” the market from are only perpetuated...


(the rest...)

***

Where is the financial crisis? Not on "main street" Bloomington MN over the weekend, where the hordes of consumers still waddled through the hamster maze at IKEA, and the aisles of Urban Outfitters, H & M, Club Monaco, Banana Republic, and even Brooks Brothers. Worried faces were nowhere to be seen in the city on the busy night-time sidewalks on Hennepin, First Ave., or Cedar-Riverside, either.

***

A source at CBC informed me that an application to demolish the Kelly House has indeed been submitted to the City. This will be the owner's second attempt to demolish in several years. Would it be too cynical of me to assume that Council will turn down this application, but that he'll be back in a few years--the Kelly House a little more decrepit? Anything can be demolished in Winnipeg, it just takes 10-20 years of willful negligence.

***

I am voting for the Conservative Party tomorrow. I don't think they're particularly great, but I cannot imagine voting for anyone else. I believe in liberty, the Rule of Law, the rules of economics, and that I am capable enough to care for my own family, and spend my own money. I am no longer in a position to vote as an altruist (I do not wish to pay higher income tax so the man down the street can pay none, for example).

6 Comments:

Anonymous kid zubaz said...

I thought Ayn Rand was pretty awesome when I was in grade 10. Then I read some more and realized that the state can be an instrument for positive social change, and to allow people to accomplish what is beyond the means of any one individual. That's why I'm voting Liberal.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just this once Rob doesn't it feel great to be part of the winning team?

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet the americans wish they had their own CMHC eh?

Oh wait, thats another useless bureacracy...

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You voted FOR the Tories?

Forget that the Conservatives are really just another social democratic party (even if marginally right-leaning).

Your vote conferred legitimacy upon a flawed and failed system. The only vote the Canadian electoral system deserves is one of non-confidence -- accomplished by staying home.

Voting just encourages them!

4:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might the Libertarian Party been a better choice? As an economist, Harper's a Keynesian at best, Marxist at worst. Harper also offers progress toward a North American Union, ballooning military budgets, 9/11 cover-up, and Mulroney-esque graft.

9:25 PM  
Blogger umgrantb said...

Oh there's no economic crisis because of one anecdote - a busy street on a weekend disproves the conventional narrative that there is a looming recession.

5:33 PM  

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