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Democrats paid by Wall Street

RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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4/21/2010 11:36:37 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
A recent survey showed that in the last election, Republicans received 37% of the political contributions from Wall Street and Democrats received 62%. The heads of the big-bucks financial institutions are Democrats. Goldman Sachs gave 4.5 million to Obama and $1.5 million to McCain. http://video.foxnews.com...

Why is this? One theory is that Democrats are so charming they manage to collect the bulk of money from Wall Street, then they turn around and screw Wall Street nonetheless. Anyone believe that?

I think that the reason is that the large Wall Street firms like regulation because they are confident of their ability to game the system. Look at ultra-regulated systems like the old Soviet Union. There were winners in that system. It was the political schemers who played the system right. Everyone else lost. Under Obama, the big Wall Street firms have come out smelling like a rose. Firms like Goldman Sachs were "forced" to take cheap money from the U.S. Treasury and "forced" to be bailed out by the government. The full force of government regulation operated on Bernie Madoff, but it wasn't a problem for decades.

Free markets are cruel. Screw up and you are out of business. Somehow big Wall Street has been immune. The proposed new "regulations" impose new limits on Wall Street firms, but they provide enormous new benefits to those who know how to game the system. The main benefit is increased access to the Treasury's printing presses. The legislation has a provision that allows the government to take over any financial institution they deem risky, with no approval of Congress. Using the threat of takeover, the government will be able to force companies to do anything the government wants. That is a terrible threat to Wall Street, unless, of course, you figure you can outsmart and manipulate the government to do whatever you want. The big Wall Street firms know they can do that.

Note that small business has uniformly been against Obama regulation. They got about 6% of the recovery and stimulus money, even though small business creates 70% of the new jobs coming out of a recession. They don't get to game the system.

Campaign contributions: http://articles.latimes.com...
Hedge fund contributions: http://abcnews.go.com...
Xer
Posts: 7,776
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4/21/2010 11:45:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Corporatism at its finest.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com...

"Politico quoted a Goldman lobbyist Monday saying, 'We're not against regulation. We're for regulation. We partner with regulators.' At least three times in Goldman's conference call Tuesday, spokesmen trumpeted the firm's support for more federal control."

It is a problem when Goldman Sachs wants and welcomes regulations. K Street basically runs DC.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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4/22/2010 7:45:19 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/21/2010 11:44:14 AM, Volkov wrote:
The fact that either party was funded by Wall Street in any way, shape, or form, is disgraceful.

So permitting free speech is a disgrace? Everyone should have the right to support candidates that support their viewpoint. The problem is not advocacy, it is transparency. Obama should make it clear what it was advocating in the financial industry that produced the support. Obama promised to end backroom deals, all the while he was making them. That has continued as the mainstay of his Administration.

The Administration filed a civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs on Friday. The basis for it is so flimsy it seems much more like a publicity stunt than law enforcement. The charge is that Goldman Sachs failed to properly inform the two sophisticated investors, one a hedge fund manager betting that the housing market would collapse and the other a German bank that was betting it would not collapse. Both sides knew what they were getting into. http://online.wsj.com...
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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4/22/2010 8:51:29 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/22/2010 7:45:19 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
So permitting free speech is a disgrace? Everyone should have the right to support candidates that support their viewpoint.

Yes, everyone should. Every individual.

If an individual/person from a company wants to donate to the Democrats or Republicans, then they can do so. I've got no problems with that. But, corporations are not persons, and they are definitely proportionally more powerful and can influence much, much more than the average person can.

Why should corporations have the ability to fund a party completely by itself and make that party totally beholden to it? Democracy is to work for the people - not the companies. Or at least it should be, but I guess you can't call the US much of a democracy anymore anyways...
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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4/22/2010 11:21:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/22/2010 8:51:29 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 4/22/2010 7:45:19 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
So permitting free speech is a disgrace? Everyone should have the right to support candidates that support their viewpoint.

Yes, everyone should. Every individual.

If an individual/person from a company wants to donate to the Democrats or Republicans, then they can do so. I've got no problems with that. But, corporations are not persons, and they are definitely proportionally more powerful and can influence much, much more than the average person can.

Corporations are collectives. They represent a group of people who have joined together for a purpose. They are in the same category of being collectives as labor unions, farmers collectives, charities, political parties, voter initiatives, and governments. In each case, the purpose is for the individual to gain power for some purpose by joining with others. Corporations have no rights independent of the people who own them. Even anarchists usually assume that people have a right to organize to achieve various purposes. Nothing stops a socialist from forming a non-profit corporation for whatever he believes to be a good purpose.

You are correct that organization enables people to do things that are beyond their individual powers. That's the whole idea. Preventing it is a violation of basic human rights to own property and to free speech. What we shold seek is transparency. Obama promised that, then went the other way.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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4/22/2010 11:38:26 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/22/2010 11:21:33 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
You are correct that organization enables people to do things that are beyond their individual powers. That's the whole idea. Preventing it is a violation of basic human rights to own property and to free speech. What we shold seek is transparency. Obama promised that, then went the other way.

Transparency is fine, but no matter how transparent you are, the problem of proportional power still exists. Corporations are "collectives" controlled by the whims of either shareholders or the company heads - not every individual within the company. Companies give disproportional power to the few individuals who have control over the resources and decisions of the company. To call it a collective organization is to discard the fact that it rarely comes to these sort of conclusions through broad collective will.

So explain why those in charge of this power and these resources should have so much more power than the many who do not have access, even though the government will make the same decisions for them? Is it a democracy or an oligarchy?

Like I said, I have no problem if CEOs and shareholders want to use their personal resources to fund campaigns. I'm for funding limits, but I can be lenient. But why should they have more power and more influence, either through their personal resources or through their company's resources, concentrated in their few hands, than the many who are out there where these decisions will affect them the most?
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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4/22/2010 11:49:35 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/22/2010 11:38:26 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 4/22/2010 11:21:33 AM, RoyLatham wrote:

So explain why those in charge of this power and these resources should have so much more power than the many who do not have access, even though the government will make the same decisions for them? Is it a democracy or an oligarchy?

That's exactly how i feel about unions. 7% of our country work for unions, and they have a gigantic effect on our political and social system, far greater than any CEO. Are you consistent in your feeling toward unions?

We are not a democracy and never have been, and i doubt you would want us to be a democracy.
Volkov
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4/22/2010 11:55:00 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/22/2010 11:49:35 AM, innomen wrote:
That's exactly how i feel about unions. 7% of our country work for unions, and they have a gigantic effect on our political and social system, far greater than any CEO. Are you consistent in your feeling toward unions?

Absolutely. Unions, corporations, third-party organizations - I don't think they should have any more effect on the political system than other individuals.

Now, that isn't to say I'm not for organizing, volunteering, or endorsements on the part of these groups. But as institutions that can hold way too much sway financially on the system than can your everyday voter who is the one who will bear the brunt of the result in the end, they have to be limited in this way if we want a fair system.

We are not a democracy and never have been, and i doubt you would want us to be a democracy.

Well, I know the US isn't per se a democracy, but it has democratic institutions. I'm all for democracy - not pure populist democracy, but I lean more towards liberal and participatory democracy.
Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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4/22/2010 12:21:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net...
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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4/22/2010 12:47:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/22/2010 11:55:00 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 4/22/2010 11:49:35 AM, innomen wrote:
That's exactly how i feel about unions. 7% of our country work for unions, and they have a gigantic effect on our political and social system, far greater than any CEO. Are you consistent in your feeling toward unions?

Absolutely. Unions, corporations, third-party organizations - I don't think they should have any more effect on the political system than other individuals.

Now, that isn't to say I'm not for organizing, volunteering, or endorsements on the part of these groups. But as institutions that can hold way too much sway financially on the system than can your everyday voter who is the one who will bear the brunt of the result in the end, they have to be limited in this way if we want a fair system.

We are not a democracy and never have been, and i doubt you would want us to be a democracy.

Well, I know the US isn't per se a democracy, but it has democratic institutions. I'm all for democracy - not pure populist democracy, but I lean more towards liberal and participatory democracy.

I think that the organizing and the endorsing is pretty much what they do. Contributing is sort of in that mix. I don't know how you can remove it from a free society, and with that comes corruption, which doesn't come with a free society, but rather the nature of man.

Nothing wrong with saying a republic. We live in a republic, in the states a constitutional republic.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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4/23/2010 7:58:58 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
volkov, Of course it is the shareholders who control a corporation. They are the ones who own it. They are at risk, or at least they should be at risk - with no government bail outs. Whoever owns the New York times controls their editorial page, and because of that they get greater power to influence the public than those who don't own a newspaper. If property ownership and free speech were restricted as you suggest, it would be very difficult to oppose authoritarian rule. The government organizes and speaks, but the opposition is prohibited from organizing.

In the case of Goldman Sachs, it turns out that the $4.5 million went to Obama mainly from the private contributions of corporate officers. So your suggested prohibition on corporations would have had little effect. I do not object to individuals promoting their cause. What I want to know is what they expect to get for the money. I think what they expect to get is a regulatory system that they will be able to game, and to game much better than others.

Trial lawyers are the number one contributors to the Democrats, and my understanding is that those are mainly individual contributions. We know what the trial lawyers get in return. Tort reform was not allowed to even be a subject of discussion in the health care debate. The US is unique in its lawyer-enriching lawsuit system. It is a variation of the same thing with the financial people. The idea is to build a regulatory system that can be successfully gamed by insiders, but will keep out ordinary people. That way the apparatchiks rule.