Barack Obama’s recent speech invoking the memory of Teddy Roosevelt needs further comment, which is to say further outing of his corrupt occupation of the White House. Commentators, including this one, have roundly pronounced mr. Obama to be the exact opposite of TR and in no way possessing even the slightest echo of TR’s greatness; Obama’s attempts to cloak himself in the populism of TR have always been fraudulent, but I’ve recently read some good quotes about Wall Street on the one hand and various movements of Robin Hood-ism on the other and wanted to embellish the indictment.
Theodore Roosevelt: To Save America through the Rescue of Capitalism From Itself
To begin with, let’s remember that Teddy Roosevelt saved Capitalism from itself, and allowed the United States to harness the full resources of its people and become a world Superpower. How did he do this? By recognizing that certain industries had become dominated by monopoly suppliers (Standard Oil, for example) who were able to snuff out competition and distort Capitalism’s greatest attribute for Good, the market-clearing Price for goods and services. It is through Prices, set by supply and demand, that Capitalism succeeds where Socialism and Communism fail, as the latter two rely on government fascists to set prices, which are never correct and lead to shortages, famine, and mass starvation and death.
One of the great innovations of the United States of America, largely made real by Teddy Roosevelt, is its commitment to fair markets through prohibitions against price fixing and collusion among industry participants. These transgressions against free and orderly markets face criminal penalties — jail time — and not just civil penalties. Capitalism left to its own (unregulated) devices devolves into grossly unfair and predatory allocations of wealth and power. Sure enough, the Trusts that formed in the late 1800s became too powerful and began to corrupt the fair allocation of resources, and so Teddy Roosevelt used the power of the Federal government to curb them and to create laws that would prevent malicious concentrations of power — that is, prevent the same thing from happening again.
He implemented these sweeping changes against the monied interests and out of love for America and its superior economic system, which needed reform, but not to be abandoned to the stifling systems of socialism and communism. He was a patriot, and an American hero.
Barack Obama: To Destroy America through Promotion of Capitalism’s Worst Excesses
The irony of Obama’s harkening back to Teddy Roosevelt is that the Wall Street excess that led to the 2008 crash was very similar to the excesses of Trusts in the late 1800s, and yet Barack Obama had a very different response: he chose to pursue socialism in the health care industry while giving Wall Street a free pass on potentially criminal conduct, being Too Big To Fail, and on the unrelenting use of excessive balance sheet leverage that ultimately brought the world crashing down.
Obama supporters like to point to the Dodd-Frank “reform” law, which was meant to address the out-of-control financial industry, as one of Obama’s achievements, and yet we all know that Dodd-Frank outrageously
- FAILED TO ADDRESS Too Big to Fail, and
- FAILED TO IMPOSE CAPS ON BANK LEVERAGE, and
- FAILED TO SHED LIGHT ON BANK INTERRELATIONSHIPS
“I know that many members of this subcommittee heard the same arguments that I heard during the crisis — that bailouts were necessary or the ‘entire system’ would come down,” she said. “But we never really had good, detailed information about the derivatives counterparties, bond holders and others who we were ultimately benefiting from the bailouts and why they needed protecting.” Such details are still kept under wraps. <Sheila Bair, former Chairwoman of the FDIC> <source>
WHAT? “Such details are still kept under wraps” even after Dodd-Frank? Yes. But why?
Ms. Bair urged the Fed and the F.D.I.C. to write rules requiring banks to report on their interrelationships. That way, distress at one institution can be recognized before it causes crippling losses at another.
Hey, that’s a good idea! Why didn’t Dodd-Frank require banks to report on their interrelationships?
The Obama Endgame: Full Destruction of Capitalism in Favor of Socialism / Government Control
Why indeed…Why would mr. Obama indulge Capitalism’s worst excesses? …Why would he allow bankers and traders to pay themselves full bonuses with tax-payer money? …Why would he pass “reform” that doesn’t touch TBTF and excessive leverage and so invites more greed and also the next crisis?
Because he knows that such excesses make Capitalism vulnerable to popular uprisings, and that if such uprisings are strong enough, Capitalism itself might be toppled in an orgy of the darker side of human nature: envy, jealousy, paranoia, and rage. This is what he wants.
Witness the following quote in support of the Robin Hood tax, a proposed levy on every financial transaction, from Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director of National Nurses United:
“The tax is a good idea because banks are where the money is. It’s the same reason Jesse James robbed banks.” <Source: New York Times Business Section, December 10, 2011, page 2>
Ms. DeMoro’s statement is so wrong-headed that I almost need a separate essay to deconstruct it, but let’s stay focused on her Freudian slip: she overtly aligns her tax vendetta with Jesse James, a criminal and murderer. Here we have human venality in a full ugly flowering: the Liberal, whose notion of fairness involves committing violent theft against companies in the name of the downtrodden. Perhaps Ms. DeMoro fell for romantic notions of the Robin Hoodism of Jesse James’ multiple murders? But no:
Despite popular portrayals of James as a kind of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, there is no evidence that he and his gang used their robbery gains for anyone but themselves. <source>
As Barack Obama eggs on such class hatred and violent fantasies, I am reminded of the Emperor in Return of the Jedi, who intentionally arouses anger and hatred in young Skywalker as a way of destroying his goodness and making him a slave to the State. “Give in to you anger!”, he exhorts Luke, knowing that once such dark forces start flowing they become overwhelming and lead a person to ruin.
Luke does not take the bait, turns towards the Good and away from anger (“I am a Jedi, like my Father before me. I will never join you.“)
This is the spirit of America: optimism and belief in oneself and in one’s heritage.
Let us all take solace in our shared American heritage and reject those, like Barack Obama, who would fan the flames of the darkest of human urges.