Thursday, March 24, 2011

Economic Terrorism: Look For the Union Label

Anthony Martin, the Columbia Conservative Examiner beat me to the punch. But I felt there was more to say. You can read his article over at the Columbia Conservative Examiner entitled Smoking Gun: Glenn Beck Exposes Plot of Economic Terrorism by Unions, Leftwing. Be sure to also listen to the tape, on the side bar. You should also go and see Mr. Beck's story at his site, A shorter version of the tape can be heard on the public site. If you are an Insider Extreme subscriber, you have access to the whole thing.

The rough outlines of the plot involve targeting JP Morgan Chase with a bunch of people protesting in the streets of New York and perhaps other cities in early May of this year.  SEIU would provide talking points, and these would be explained in the press, on blogs and talk shows before hand.  The people doing the protesting mustn't look like a typical rent-a-mob, but must seem to be ordinary "citizens."  Since Glenn Beck and others are onto the union printed uniform signs, they will have to revert to signs that at least look home made.  They hope to crash JP Morgan, and by extension, the rest of the banking system, and the markets.  This is, not to put too fine a point on it, the same thing the 9/11 terrorists were trying to do.  Take down Wall Street, and with it our ability to make and sustain the material goods needed for our modern technological society.  Now many have decried our "materialism," and it is easy to become ensnared in the idea of having the latest gizmo.  But how many people survived childhood to become adults, and potentially come to God because of that material wealth?  How many people have been saved because we had the wealth to be able to send a fleet around the world, and provide assistance in time of need?  How many people survived long enough to know their grand children?  How many?  All of that can be attributed to a single innovation in our history.

The one phrase that stood out to me was when he talked about "the corporations."  The phrase implies that all corporations can be lumped together as the same, and by implication, all are universally evil.  I have heard this phrase often when talking to leftists.  The notion behind it is that here is a bunch of money.  The corporation somehow stole it, and we want it back.  But that's not how it actually works.  In this day and age, when everyone from union pension managers, to mutual fund managers, to Grandma is invested in the stock market, there really is no excuse for such ignorance.  There is no excuse either for demonizing corporations as fat men, in top hats and smoking cigars, unless one has an agenda.  For in the end, corporations are you and I, and our money. 

Before you had the innovation of the capital corporation, if a person had a good idea, but could not fund it himself, the only thing he could do was seek a rich patron.  Such patrons might fund the idea, and allow the inventor to live well, but if there was any getting rich to be done, you can bet it would be the patron who got rich.  Such a plan surely did not get anyone too excited about inventing new things, or if they did invent them, it was only for themselves.  A study of technologies suggests that many of our modern inventions have been invented at least once before.  The thing that allowed them to be brought to a mass market was the development of the capital corporation.  The capital corporation existed in a limited way until the advent of the railroad.  Building railroad companies was such a huge undertaking that there were no patrons rich enough to fund them.  So, shares of the corporation were traded for money-capital.  In return, the shareholders got a say in the corporation, and got to share in the profits.  A market was established to trade the shares, initially under a tree on Wall Street in Manhattan.  The existence of a market for shares encouraged other corporations to be formed to pursue other lines of business.  Over time, the capital corporation has allowed people of very modest means to become wealthy by investing in businesses that were well run and consistently made money.  That is how the money got there.  They didn't steal it, and it belongs to the shareholders.

Now, consider how it was before the development of the corporation, and how it still is in Islamic societies living under Sharia.  The word to describe it is stagnant.  You have the rulers, either someone calling themselves "King," or a kleptocratic dictator who publicly styles himself as a "president."  In either case, the rulers take as much from the people as they can, and squirrel it away somewhere out of reach.  You probably have a small aristocratic class, members of the extended royal family and trusted henchmen, a small middle class consisting of merchants and tradesmen, and the vast mass of the poor, who live from hand to mouth.  Everyone basically stays in the class to which he is born, and everything seems to reinforce the notion that this is the natural law.  In the middle ages, the priest were largely taken from the aristocratic group, as parents sought to buy their way into heaven by donating what was, in essence, an extra son.  The church got an educated youth, and the parents didn't have to worry about one more son fighting to claim the family inheritance.  But as you can see, the sympathies of the church were with the rulers.

The capital corporation, together with a market for readily trading shares, upset the stagnant economic system that had been.  Suddenly, the economic pie became elastic.  With the railroads, came cheap transportation.  Goods could be sold to bigger markets, making innovations at the producer level as well as at the consumer level affordable.  That in turn spurred more innovations, with each innovation making the economic pie bigger.  Ford would never have revolutionized the assembly line process had he not had a nationwide market for his Model T.  Indeed, we would still be riding around in buggies.  The automobile would be a strange devise that only the very richest individuals could afford.  Did the existence of a nationwide market also spur some, shall we say, less uplifting innovations?  Surely.  But, Reagan was right, in that as each innovation comes to market, things generally become more affordable, and so a rising tide lifts all boats.

Remember earlier I said that the capital corporation allowed people of modest means to invest those modest means in larger enterprises that over time made them wealthy?  Let's explore that for a moment.  By making more people, if not independently wealthy, at least well off enough to allow them to pursue their own interests, corporations have also contributed to more freedom for more people.  When you are living hand to mouth, you do not have the resources to tend to your health, to travel, to educate yourself, or to contemplate how one might do better. Having some resources allows one to have leisure time, and to contemplate not only how to do things better, but the more importantly your place in God's creation.

Now, most union pension funds are invested heavily in capital corporations, i.e. in Wall Street.  Yet here are union leaders plotting to destroy that system.  They are plotting to destroy union members pensions, against the interest of the very members who voted them into leadership positions.  Why?  Frankly, I think the union leaders do not really care about their members.  The union members were always just pawns, to be used and discarded when their usefulness was done.  The union leaders are Leftists, who want power for its own sake, and will take it by any means necessary.   Union members are left to make their own deal.  Meanwhile, if you are looking to the Government to provide your pensions and healthcare, I've got news for you, the Govenment is broke too.  No, the only way to save something of your life is for union members to stand up with one voice and say to union leaders "Oh, Hell No!"

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