Sunday, October 12, 2008

Consent of the Governed

I've spoken about the increasing calls for central authority to resolve the current financial crisis, and I'm not the only one. A recent meeting of the G20 nations, a group consisting of the 19 largest economies and the EU, discussed a plan to, “overcome the financial turmoil, and to deepen cooperation to improve the regulation, supervision and the overall functioning of the world's financial markets,” (,2933,436571,00.html).

They're here to help. They want to make you safer. You can't do it on your own. Without their “supervision” you'd ruin everything they've built.

Ask yourself. What singular ability or special knowledge is government endowed with which makes them uniquely equipped to handle the current financial crisis. They want you to believe that they are somehow superior to you. They want everyone to believe that without them, we'd all be starving and freezing to death alone in the dark. They keep the lights on.

Think back to the recent “rescue” bill. We were told that without it's passage, our economy would collapse. There would be, “a global financial meltdown,” and, “the consequences of inaction could be catastrophic,” ( Administration officials told us, “this is about the American people,” ( Even the presidential candidates stepped into the discussion, with Obama calling for legislators to, “do what's right for the country,” and McCain warning that, “the present crisis will turn into a disaster,” (

Yet when first presented with it's passage, congress balked. It wasn't until they received over 130 billion dollars of additional “pork” spending that they agreed to pass it. If this was actually as important and time sensitive as we were told, if we really were going to walk into work next week and not be paid, if it would really lead to the downfall of western civilization, why couldn't they pass it the first time? If they really care as much as they claim, if they really are the only bulwark against financial instability, why did they have to be bribed to pass this bill? Is it possible that people who would claim this problem is, “bigger than the private sector can fix by itself,” (, are actually more interested in using the very understandable fear of the citizenry, fear which they have partially contributed to by referring to disasters and catastrophes, to increase government power and spending?

This is the problem with government “supervision” of the markets. Governments grow. They grow in power, they grow in size, they grow in cost. And since they can't support their activities through their own productivity, they have to seize capital from elsewhere in order to function. And as they grow, they need more capital. And when people seem unwilling to contribute to their growth, they have to create a climate of fear in order to prey on the emotions of the governed for their own gain. If you don't fall for it, it's because you just don't get it. But the supporters of statism are more than happy to help the government correct your misunderstanding. All they need is the right approach. They'll convince you of the need for their “supervision.” After all, our government gets it's power from the consent of the governed.

But what if people realized they don't need to be governed?

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