September 2008 Archives
I found this article, Three Times is Enemy Action, a very thought provoking perspective on the current financial crisis that has been building for years with little action by the government to stop it.
In fact, our government caused this mess by removing check and balances on the finance industry. Free from government limitations, executives played Russian roulette with their companies, earning tens of millions of dollars in compensation while driving their companies into the ground. Of course, they didn’t care too much about long term gains because their paycheck was tied to short term progress. And the more they could cook the books the better.
This behavior is well known in evolutionary biology.
Although some economists and Libertarians often use evolution as a model for why an unregulated economy is optimal, they rarely consider evolutionary consequences. In other words, they take the big lessons of evolutionary biology, but skip the details.
Evolving systems are susceptible to cheaters and parasites. Maximum short term gains can lead to long term deficits. They also lack stability, often showing drastic cyclic behavior.
Long story short, the evolutionary implication for economies is that unregulation makes markets unstable, allowing parasites and cheaters to grow unchecked until the market crashes and the country loses everything. Eventually, innovation and competition will bring the economy out of the crash, but that could take decades and simply not worth prince we have to pay during the crash.
Our Founding Fathers were enlightened enough to realize that a powerful government needed checks and balances to protect the People. We need to be enlightened enough to realize that powerful companies also need checks and balances to protect the People. Get out and vote this year, and give the do-nothing incumbents a hard time.
With the Republican convention occurring this week, it appears that the Bush administration has hired the Chinese to advise them on “security”. In order to protect the commander and chief’s fragile ego from the criticisms of a bunch of hippies, the FBI has begun to direct raids against private home in which protesters are staying. This is what the totalitarian communists were doing to protesters during the Olympics. This is not what the leader of the free would should be doing.
Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.(source)
As the police attacks on protesters in Minnesota continue – see this video of the police swarming a bus transporting members of Earth Justice, seizing the bus and leaving the group members stranded on the side of the highway – it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that “the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”(source)
This should not happen in a free country where the Founding Fathers found the right to protest essential enough to write it in to the First Amendment. Our leaders should follow their example. Not the example of China.