“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” — Patrick Henry
Indeed, the above quote is a timeless truth. And while the status quo is trying to feed us more gruel, transparency and honesty would have prevented much of this crisis. Instead the American people are on the receiving end of political conniving and a mockery of justice. Much of our economic future has become intertwined with politics over the last year or so. So, it’s impossible to talk about one without the other.
I believe the new political leadership in Washington is making grave political and economic mistakes as it relates to the future of the economy. We will continue to discuss the economic mistakes over coming months. I personally believe a mistake in political strategy is the largest Washington miscalculation made to date. And I believe it is a deal breaker that will ultimately sink the economy unless it is addressed with vigor.
Let me start by saying that calls for justice have been met with political rhetoric that the problems we see today are not the result of broken laws. This is a false reality because Wall Street has paid Washington handsomely to change the laws to their favor. Indeed, there are egregious disregard for the rule of law and terrible crimes committed. But, the rule of law was overturned. Our legal system was for sale. Wall Street has bought and paid for legal asylum and the American people know it.
If I am any representation of the American people, and given I actually have relatively mainstream political views I suspect my perspectives represent more than a few, the government has a serious problem. I am loyal to a government that respects the rights of the people. A new political administration does not bear primary responsibility for this crisis. I recognize that. And I appreciate the mess they have inherited that has placed them in a no win situation. Yet I am not going to support a system that has bankrupted our country and destroyed millions upon millions of lives just because someone tells me it’s the right thing to do. The brow beating by those with the microphone, including the recent urging of JP Morgan’s CEO, that we should all fall in line behind this new administration contains no sense of truth or reality. At this time the people must remember that truly being an American is to embrace ones own thoughts and views. To challenge and demand excellence in government and in society. To seek the truth over political ideology. To seek democratization of economic opportunity. To seek justice where injustice exists. To smite tyranny and repression. That is what made this country great for many and the battles that must continually be fought for all. It is only these ideals that will restore greatness. Because it is only these ideals that will transform government and restore confidence. If the politicians in Washington want Americans to support a policy of sacrifice, I for one, need a call to account. I need to know I am sacrificing for virtue and nobility.
What does that mean to me? That means we need a post 1929-type commission with broad investigative capabilities to restore confidence in our banking system and government. Something a few that understand the depths of this crisis have already demanded. A commission that has the wherewithal and legal authority to follow the money trail. To investigate wherever the trail of evidence may lead be it lobbyists, politicians, regulators, the banking industry or anyone else to get to the root of what went wrong and how. Not a witch hunt as is so popular with politicians. Not the state sponsored terror of McCarthyism. But a search for facts. For truth. For closure. To find out why the safest banking system in the world was systematically dismantled over the last thirty years. To restore American virtue and values. And, to report these findings with complete transparency and without prejudice directly to the American people. And, to recommend apolitical solutions that will permanently support an environment where a few elitists can never destroy our banking system or economy ever again.
I would abide by any findings and accept its conclusions were the process open, transparent and truly apolitical. Not a process controlled by government. One independent of government. I will not rally around anything or anyone just because there is political or social pressure being exerted to do so. These rallying calls aren’t calls of a free nation. Or, because we have seemingly adopted a new political ideology. As we wrote before, a new ideology solves nothing if it is also an equally failed or flawed ideology. Rallying calls around the status quo are calls of repression. Of suppression.
This new President has the power to strike a permanent blow to cronyism, corruption, backroom dealings and the seamy opaqueness of Washington in the name of The People. To become a greatest of leaders. To restore policies of economic populism. To democratization of economic opportunity. To restore America to its destiny. To charter a new course of enlightenment. But, first, he must prove his leadership by providing an account and transparency to the American people. It won’t be easy to fight the forces so entrenched in Washington and Wall Street. In fact, it will surely involve extreme risks. Yet, were he to do this and commit to economic policy changes, transparency changes into government, a sound banking system and apply the rule of law to those complicit in wrongdoing, I would embrace the sacrifice needed to rebuild a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. For all people regardless of race, gender, political affiliation, personal affiliation or religious belief. And, I believe the vast majority of the country would rally around our leadership and accept that challenge as we so often have done in times of crisis. Americans never wither from a great challenge of dignity and honor. But, we must be presented that great challenge in order to accept it. To date we have not been presented any such challenge.
Until then, Washington has a serious political problem. They are going to run into a tremendous amount of push back in any efforts to accomplish anything that involves greater tyranny on the peoples of this country to save a system that has not benefited the vast majority. Remember, it’s our money, our government and our nation. It’s not Washington’s to give. It’s ours to give and the President’s to lead. Will a new President lead by convincing Americans to give and even sacrifice for a common cause? Will he embrace the challenge? Or will he try to apply more lipstick on the same dirty old pig?