Thursday, December 8, 2011

Best argument for limited government

Jon Corzine's testimony regarding the disappearance of many hundreds of millions of his customers' money: "I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date."

As Kevin Williamson notes:

Why should we believe that the motives of people in (cough, cough) “public service” are different from the motives of people in the for-profit sector? Was Jon Corzine a rapacious self-seeker at Goldman Sachs, then a public-spirited man when he was in the Senate and in New Jersey’s governorship, only to revert to form when he went to MF Global? If you doubt that this is true, and suspect that Jon Corzine was the same guy all along, why would you want to give government more power? 

11 comments:

Ed R said...

Speaking of character: not only did the private capitalist sector show us Jon Corzine it also showed us:

Angelo Mozilo
Richard Fuld
Joe Cassano
Bernie Madoff
Alan Stanford
Robert Rubin
Michael Milken
Ken Lay
Bernie Ebbers
- - - and many others.

As far as we know Corzine's failures of character and responsibility were limited to the private sector. Hardly a cause for a sweeping denunciation of government just because you do not like the current administration.

Scott Grannis said...

You miss my point. My desire for limited government is a long-standing principle. Government must be limited because those who occupy positions of great power in government are fallible, regardless of which party they belong to. And if anything, the incentives to do wrong are greater in the public sector than they are in the private sector, because public sector employees and politicians are spending other people's money and not their own.

Ed R said...

" - - - the incentives to do wrong are greater in the public sector than they are in the private sector."

What did Jon Corzine ever do in his public sector careers that can compare with those on the list I posted?

You may have differences with his political positions (as do I) but it was all done in the open and within the rules of the system we have.

So whatever the incentives to do wrong in the public sector may be, it appears Jon Corzine did not succomb to them.

There are surely many more egregious examples of malfeasance in public office than Jon Corzine. How about going back 8 or 10 years and look a little closer.

Ed R said...

And while I am at it . . .

" . . .public sector employees and politicians are spending other people's money and not their own."

And just whose money was being "spent" by the people on the list above?? And when much of that money was lost or taken as bonuses who ended up paying for it??

Benjamin said...

I just wish the right-wing would speak about limited government when it comes to rural subsidies, or the $1 trillion-a-year Defense-Homeland Security-VA megaplex, the fastest growing part of agency spending.

Rural states are subsidized, and heavily, by the federal government. Indeed, we run surpluses on federal taxes and spending in urban states.

We have federal deficits due to rural states--hard to believe, but true.

hotlanta said...

I think it is a fact that we all would be better off with a much smaller and less powerful government. It has nothing to do with right winged or left. It is just fact.

William said...

I do hear you, Benjamin. One of the most hypocritical arguments in favor of not cutting the Defense budget was recently made by John Kyle saying that cutting it would cut jobs.

Yet, when Democrats proposes to increase federal spending for infrastructure i.e. road, bridges, electricity grid, a GPS system for air traffic control, etc.; Kyle, Boehner and Cantor attach infrastructure spending as NOT being job creators.

Spending on military equipment creates jobs; spending on infrastruture does NOT create jobs. Go figure.

Seth said...

We're only hearing about Corzine BECAUSE he was involved in public service. Strictly private sector bad actors fly under the radar ALL THE TIME.


Why would you want to give more power to corporations?

Soviet Slogan: All Power To The Soviets (worker councils)

Hoover Institute (of Market Fundamentalist doctrine) slogan: All Power To The Corporate Boards

SRArugula said...

Agree that liited govt is best. Corzine was a failure in public roles too. Wrong on all senate votes and blew up budget in NJ. Christie is making a career of picking up the pieces of Corzine's failure. As will someone with Obama's gigantic O'failure. None of these policians can resist over-prmising, even when they know their Entitlement promises are insanity and can never be delivered. Look at how Obama said the debt hike was a failure of leadership as Senator and promised to halve the deficit in first term but has done exactly the opposite. Note that Rod Blagojevich campaigned for governor on a "hope and change" platform here in Illinios. Safest to limit their power to do harm. The slobbering adulation of Obama in 08-09 allowed him to do so much harm

djakel said...

The founders, representing their respective states, designed a federalist system that severely limited federal powers and reserved everything else to the states or to the people. It worked very well for 125 years.
The commerce clause and the general welfare clause have been abused to exponentially increase federal powers. In 1913, the banksters and progressives brought us the FRB and the income tax which enabled the feds to finance this expansion.
We must repeal everything that was passed in 1913 and reform entitlements to get back to limited federal government.
Further, the incestuous relationship between Wall St., big business, and Washington that created and perpetuates crony capitalism needs to be severed by voting out the establishment politicians in both parties who are too corrupt to do the right thing. If we continue to vote for big government progressives, we are as doomed as Greece.

Public Library said...

Weak argument indeed. We can draw better linkages using Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, and Public Office than simply using Corzine to promote the agenda.

The system is corrupt because of large corporations and large government. This has been the way since the early 1900's prior to the Great Depression.

Its been going on so long you think its a part of every day life.