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Charleston Voice
Apr. 16, 2005

The Poor Will Always Be With Us Because of the Rent Seekers

Isn't it grand that our elected representatives took decisive action to restore investor confidence in America's financial sector! But you know better, don't you. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is nothing more than layering-in more protection for our largest financial institutions, and insulating them (legally, of course) from criminal prosecution, and hammering on lesser competitors in the financial sector by laying on additional compliance regulations that only the In Crowd can afford. The Act is disguised as a "public service" law designed to protect us from fraud and wrong-doing, but we can see thru their mask can't we.

This is nothing new. Right from our country's founding, powerful and well-funded lobbyists ('rent seekers') representing northern manufacturers, weaseled crushing import tariffs as high as 50% legislated by congress to protect their clients' industries. The burden of paying the higher prices fell upon the agrarian southern states. At one time the South paid 80% of the cost of the federal government, and Charleston had the highest per capita income in America. That all changed with the South's withdrawal from the tyrannical congress which had legislated themselves a living. The invasion of the South from northern armies changed all that.

Still we didn't learn (or care) as America's larger banking entities lobbied for, and got, a National Bank, then appointing themselves to run it. The anti-trust era of the early 20th century came about to protect our largest monopolies - not eliminate them. Corporate moguls from the railroads and oil were appointed to police themselves, and eliminate annoying competition. Remember the Robber Barons from your school history lessons? Oops, somehow they left out the part about them buying congress.

You all know now and easily recognize that the Federal Reserve created in 1913 was, in fact, a creation by the bankers themselves - not to provide "elasticity" for our currency, but to put themselves on the world stage of international lending. The Federal Reserve Act legitimized their plunder on a world scale.

Gosh, there must be dozens, even hundreds of other examples of how corporate elitists and powerful institutions have so created protective shells around themselves, and actually determined how the rest of us shall live our lives. Government employees are "rent seekers" by agitating for higher taxes. Labor unions are rent seekers when they lobby for restrictive labor laws. When you give this theory some consideration, you'll realize it gives real meaning to the refrain: "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

Anyway, that's a long way to get to my point about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. When you realize that both these political hacks are heavily financed by the banking, insurance and finance sector you can begin to get the drift.

Top Industries funding Oxley

Top Industries funding Sarbanes
(you can find the individual contributors by clicking on the links in the R/H frame)

What is Rent Seeking?

You see, our Founding Fathers recognized this flaw in human nature. They backed up the guarantees of the Constitution by requiring a sworn oath of office be taken by congressional representatives to "support and defend" the Constitution - THE OATH IS NOT TO THE WISHES OF THOSE THAT ELECTED THEM! You see the bottom line of our country's welfare and continuance of liberties still resides with the people - you and

But, there are fewer and fewer of the "us guys" due to unrestricted immigration, government schools and universities, growing dependency on government largesse, and families rupturing without God. The solution is simple, but damn near insurmountable in its effectuation.

I often wonder what our country would be like had we had a revolution during the Great Depression of the '30s. In the history of the world there has been no other form of limited government conceived to distinguish between Divine Rights and those bestowed by Man. Either before 1776 or after. But, as things turned out in the 1930s we got even more government in our lives. It may not have been what the people wanted, but it's what they tolerated. Just like today.

No, I think the time for revolution came and went in 1860. The people were closer to their roots back then, and actually rightfully viewed government as a negative force in their lives. Rugged individualism still prevailed. Many of you can probably recall even today when those falling on hard times would proclaim: "I'll never, never take welfare from the government." Remember? Although it's not taught, most northerners recognized the right of the southern states to secede. Hundreds of editorials of the day were penned in sympathy for secession. People, North and South, were closer to their government then. They could keep an eye on it, and get action if it overstepped its boundaries. Government workers, outside of national defense, were grudgingly recognized. "Hey, you can always work for the government" was the common joke of the day. Most of all, in the mid-19th century we had fewer corrupting philosophies and socialist doctrines flowing to us from Europe.

We've drifted a long way off the path of Sarbanes-Oxley, but I think a proper understanding of the depth of the well from which our parasites drink is essential if we are to make the changes we all know are needed to remain free and sovereign.

History Repeats Itself
Click on image for larger version


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