Monday, March 7, 2011

Where the "TEA Party" went wrong

It has been a long time since I last visited this blog since my blog at wordpress is a lot of fun to use and gets a lot of views. However, I had already posted something substantial to the blog there about people who whether in seeking to maintain a lifestyle through spendy real estate that also potentially makes it a spendy prospect for businesses to operate here. And because of the deals that countries like China offers them, there goes the manufacturing plant and the jobs too. Or trying to maintain a lifestyle through sports in colleges or universities at the expense of actual education means that we have people today who no longer have a sense of priorities to bring this country back to being a first, either in cutting edge technology or any where else. You have to have top rated education for this, sports teams won't achieve that.

But since Rand Paul, the face for the "TEA Party" showed up on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," I found some cause to visit here again. We all know that the guy will stick up for the super-wealthy like the Koch brothers who helped fund the "TEA Party," but what really took the cake, was when Paul held the view that only capitalism could punish the wicked on Wall Street or the banks. At one point he complained about the intervention of government that enabled people in corporate offices to walk out with mega-bonuses. To put it bluntly, the dude had his facts completely twisted. They were walking out with mega-bonuses long before government intervention. The intended intervention from the GW years to the first year of Obama's presidency was to keep the banks from toppling and money flowing. But for obvious reasons, the people who ran the corporate HQs weren't interested in anything but mega-bonuses for themselves and screw the rest of the marketplace. So, Rand Paul, how would capitalism punish people with that kind of attitude? Banks are part of the commercial landscape, you really can't do business without them. But then, what can you expect from a guy who pushes this radical ideology to the limits and against all reason?

So, let us take such a Paulian concept into the real world and argue that "too much government" can be whined about and we have a burdensome regulation, when it comes to crime in your neighborhood. Even a guy like Rand Paul would agree that the mugger in the back alley, the shoplifter, the armed robber, the killer; should face their punishments to the full extent of the law. On the other hand, when it comes to banks like Capital One: Holding such a bank legally accountable for wrong doing suddenly becomes a no, no. In the case of the bank capitalism must be the sole judicial system.

All right, we are talking about a bank, one of many banks and credit card companies that sought through the Republican-controlled legislature, that it step in and intervene with the downside of capitalism. IE, that aspect of capitalism in which a bank card holder runs up an unsustainable debt on his account, declares bankruptcy, and leaves the bank holding the bill. If capitalism was the means of punishment, then it seems to me that banks could have used the bankruptcy itself to set up red flags. Notifying other banks that this person had run up unsustainable debt on his or her account(s) and then declared bankruptcy. A flag on that individual submitted to any and all banks would have told them that such a person was a credit risk and not to do business with him/her. But the banks did not choose to do that, instead: they went to Congress and demanded that government intervene in the marketplace. Further, they treated any bankruptcies that were won as an erasing of all debt and encouraged the individual who went bankrupt to get into debt another time. Well, then I would certainly have to argue that these banks weren't thinking in capitalistic terms, but only in how much money they could get for pushing easy credit. Capitalism you see would take foresight and planning. The banks instead took the path of least resistance and ended up (as portrayed even on The Daily Show Face Book page) causing a catastrophic economic collapse. Well then, how would capitalism punish these banks if they simply abandoned the rules of capitalism?

The above link shows you what Capital One Bank did to get around consumer safety rules. Just as following the GOP passed bankruptcy reform act, they also failed to follow The Fair Credit Billing Act of 1999. Yeah, following the bankruptcy reform act, Capital One decided they could screw with the accounts through billing and payment errors, charge excessive debt to the accounts on the basis of billing and payment errors, tried to create bankruptcy conditions, would not allow the accounts to be closed, would not allow the accounts to be paid off so that the accounts would be closed... And for such predatory lending practices, they should be free, according to Paul, to continue on in these questionable and criminal practices and only capitalism should punish them. Punish how?

Meghan's law became possible because of some truly brutal killing of a young child. The "three strikes" law became possible because of the judicial system's tendency to engage in catch and release. If you are caught for some criminal offense for the third time, then you get to go away forever. But, we should not hold banks legally accountable when they fail to follow the FCBA or the changes in credit card laws since they were passed in 2009 and implemented by 2010. Yeah, laws to hold the banks legally accountable when they fail to follow the rules of doing honest business with their customers. Instead, it is twisted into burdensome regulations that unduly interferes with the marketplace. Check out the link above, there is your undue interference with the marketplace. Yes, it is absolutely necessary to hold those who commit crimes accountable. No matter if they are waiting for you in the back alley or sitting comfortably in a corporate office.

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