Now what are all of those people doing camped out on Wall Street? Are they socialists? Commies? Anarchists? Left, right? For some reason the television news people don’t like them, which makes me sympathize. What’s going on?
Let’s say you are a young couple, newly married, anxious to get your piece of the American dream. And let’s say you decide to open your own hamburger stand.
Your first obstacle will be a maze of federal regulations. They are all well intended, helping out the disabled, protecting the environment, providing for workers’ health. The problem is that there are too many of them and they cost too much.
When I worked in the Bush Senior White House I saw the major companies come in and lobby for these REGS. They wanted them to be required for small businesses too, even businesses with five employees. Why? Because it would knock out the Mom and Pop operations who couldn’t afford them. By driving up costs they could assure that they would have a monopoly on hamburgers. But let’s say your parents mortgage their house and get you the start up money to pass that test.
Second, you will find that your competition controls the meat industry in this country. It is not just that they have volume but rather that their political donations assure that their friends get appointed to government meat inspection agencies. Sometimes, the very people who worked for the company will cross over and become a regulator. You must be prepared for some hair-raising conflicts of interest.
Third, your tax dollars will go to subsidize your competitor, the big hamburger company. Are you aware of this? This could be hundreds of millions of dollars.
There’s just no nice way to say this. Washington is corrupt. The big hamburger company establishes a lobby in Washington, D.C., which you can’t afford to do. They start with a firm of lawyers and former Justice Department prosecutors and meat inspectors. They lobby congress for money for their big hamburger corporation. And they get it.
For example, when I worked in the White House a major hamburger corporation lobbied for money saying that the French government was subsidizing their hamburger industry. Apparently the French felt that American hamburgers represented a cultural invasion. We had to either get a free trade agreement that worked or subsidize our own hamburger company.
Bottom line? Your competition is much larger and more powerful than you and not only controls the price and quality of the meat but takes dollars out of your pocket as an additional subsidy.
Now, here comes the piece de resistance.
Congressman Ron Paul has been railing about the unfairness of the Federal Reserve and the fact that it creates additional money, in secret, unaudited by anyone.
So thanks to Ron Paul, this past year, we were finally given a partial audit of the Federal Reserve. This applied to their activity in 2008. Here is what we learned. We learned that the Federal Reserved loaned out $16 trillion. That’s in one year. Keep in mind, that the entire accumulated national debt is just over $14 trillion. Remember Glenn Beck’s towering charts in his television studio?
And to whom did this money go? Well, banks, including banks that were owned by the members of the Federal Reserve board. Hmmmm. Nice huh? I guess they were secret for a reason. There were also a number of no bid contracts for companies to handle all of this. Here is a sweet tidbit, $3 trillion went to banks in foreign countries. We Americans are generous people. And oh, I almost forget, numerous corporations received this money too. For example, that big hamburger company, the one who needs federal subsidies? I think they got another $500 million interest free loan from the Federal Reserve.
Okay, who paid for that? Well, nobody. It was money “created” by the Federal Reserve. But you should really say that “everybody” paid for it because by increasing the money supply you are diluting its value for the rest of us. You are driving up the cost of wheat. You are causing famine in Africa.
Well, you say, why doesn’t somebody say something about this? They are trying. They are camping out on Wall Street. But then, keep in mind, the only way we can really know what is happening is through the news media. And that big hamburger company advertises in the news media. And one of the companies that got millions of dollars from the Federal Reserve owns one of the television networks.
So if you are that couple, just graduating from college, wanting to get your piece of the American dream? Forget it. You have two choices. Go to Wall Street and camp out. Or get a job at McDonalds. I think they pay $7.25 an hour. (But you can steal food.)
-Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author and former adviser to two American presidents. He is a senior adviser to Ron Paul.