"Washington and Wall Street need each other."


At The Freeman, Sheldon Richman has some thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street protests:

What the protesters miss is that corporate power is derived from government power – it's the most dangerous derivative. Without State power no bank (or collection of them) could set the economy on a balsawood platform of inflated currency and cheap credit, creating the conditions for recession and long-term unemployment; nor could it stick taxpayers with the cost of bad investments. Such mischief requires a central bank and congressional power to compel the taxpayers. Washington and Wall Street need each other. They don't agree on everything, but their public feuds should not mislead anyone into thinking they are adversaries. They are in cahoots, dependent on a system that constrains regular people's honest economic activities and benefits an exploitative elite.


NEXT: Maybe October Will Be Better for the NYPD

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  1. Yeah, good luck explaining that to them.

    1. They are totalitarians. They demand complete state control over everyone and will be the first to shriek hysterically when they get it and finally realize what it means.

  2. Two additional points:
    1. The Obama economic team is made up of the Wall Street insiders these people are protesting.

    2. In the US, there is only one entity that can legally take your money without your consent. And it’s not Walmart, a bank, or any other corporation.

    1. halliburton! (only half-joking)

    2. That’s one thing I don’t get. These protests are being organized with iphones and facebook, two of the biggest and most profit earning companies in the entire fucking world.

  3. Matthew 6:24
    New International Version (NIV)

    24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

    1. Irrelevant

    2. 11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

      12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

      13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

      Shut the fuck up.

      1. This is why I’m not a Christian. A devil pork barbeque would have been awesome.

        1. Mmm….sacrilicious.

      2. My favorite bible story … well, after the one of Lot banging his daughters.

        1. 9 And the children of Israel took [all] the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.

          10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.

          11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, [both] of men and of beasts.

          12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which [are] by Jordan [near] Jericho.

          13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.

          14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, [with] the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.

          15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

          16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

          17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

          18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.


          1. This story also available in Brick Testament format.

      3. “And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.”

        Well, maybe they’ll finally herd them en masse into the east river.

      4. Do I deserve such hostility? Good grief.

  4. We need more people believing this and saying so, because it’s the root of nearly every economic problem libertarians decry.

  5. Threadjack:…..id_august/

    I nearly shit myself when I saw Paul’s name in a headline.

  6. Fascist rally is fascist.


  7. Holy cow, I agree. If that makes me libertarian, I’m slitting my wrists

    1. In many ways you are worse then Tony…that is you read something then completely ignore what you read and instead jump to some strawman version of what libertarianism is about.

      The above statment has been repeated in various forms over and over again multiple times both in articles and in the comments.

      You would have had to be intentionally avoiding it to miss it.

      1. “In many ways you are worse then Tony”

        That makes me hot 😉

      1. But yeah — that’s like stuff from day one of the libertarian indoctrination: after the top hat, but before we’re presented with the monocle.

        1. The day I earned my monocle was among my proudest.

          1. Honey, they aren’t talking about this little circle

  8. the protesters are not “missing” anything; they are merely parroting the mindless bleatings of their degreed-but-not-well-educated professors who perpetually see private enterprise and profit as evil. Watch interviews of this group; the level of cluelessness is breath-taking. This is generation entitled, another legacy of the boomers. It’s the group that has yet to start paying for the ineptness of govt.

    1. hey come on now. Some of us in that generation are slaving away 80+ hours a week being paid $20/hour for 40 of those hours so that you can have a nice little pill you take to cure your cancer next decade.

      1. Thank you for accurately describing my plight. Can’t stand my fellow 20 somethings

    2. Why the hell are the professors always to blame? You think if I opened tomorrow’s calculus lecture with inveighing against premarital sex that the students would suddenly become chaste? We can barely get students to study for exams before the last minute, yet you think we mold their minds like so much clay?

      Everybody likes free money. That knows no age boundaries and needs no inspiration from authority figures who have no authority.

  9. This thread won’t be complete until Tony weighs in, does not RTFA, and accuses all libertarians of being aristocratic corporate sycophants who wish to roast the poor of a spit.

    1. Gladly, thank you for the invitation.

      I fail to see the thesis here. Is it “therefore, there should be no government?”

      Otherwise, what barriers to Wall Street influence on government do libertarians support?

      (The equivalent of solving the problem of murder by making killing people legal is not adequate.)

      1. what barriers to Wall Street influence on government do libertarians support?

        The problem is that creating such a barrier is actually impossible. Thus, the only solution is to limit the size of the government that can be influenced.

        1. In other words, solving murder by making killing legal.

          1. No, by removing access to victims.

            1. Presumably you’re saying that corporations can take advantage of government’s inherent ability to mobilize resources. Except your solution to that is to simply move the resources from government to corporations in the form of lower taxes. Instead of government acting on their behalf, they’re acting on their own behalf. Besides, there’s always going to be a government.

              1. He’s talking about the employment of force. You can’t be this stupid.

                1. So what magical property of government gives it the ability to employ force that private entities don’t have in the absence of government restricting their use of force? You remove government power, it goes to someone else.

                  1. Arguing in bad faith as usual. Either that or you’re too stupid to understand the difference between libertarianism and anarchism.

                    1. Libertarianism is selective anarchy.

                      Oh they like government and all the principles of force behind it, as long as it’s just protecting property.

                    2. “Selective anarchy” Haha. Stupidity it is then.

                    3. What else do you expect from a statist bootlicker, Jordan?

                    4. Eh, Tony is more right than wrong here. The thing is some of us do identify as libertarian and anarchist.

                    5. Tony is a liberal, and liberals are as wrong as social conservatives.

      2. False equivalency. Murder is a clear violation of a person’s rights. Petitioning the government is not.

        And the solution, as has been explained to you a million times, is to get the government out of the economy. Remove the ability to grant favors, and people will not have a reason to lobby.

        1. The favors people lobby for are exceptions to rules that prevent them from, say, abusing people in the first place. You want to allow them simply to abuse people without having to bribe government to do it. You want to let them abuse people more cheaply, and claim you’ve solved some problem.

          1. You can’t be this stupid. You are obviously arguing in bad faith, I hope.

            1. It’s his usual tactic. He also vociferously defends all manner of corporate subsidies, bailouts, and loans while calling everyone else a corporate whore.

          2. Yawn. Your definition of abuse is not getting maternity leave.

            1. I’m open to negotiation. I’ll have to go it alone, though, since unions are dead. Maybe if we just get rid of government I’ll have a stronger hand against management?

              1. Whatever. That’s the business of you and management, as long as there’s no force or fraud.

              2. “I’ll have a stronger hand against management?”

                You jack-off management?

                1. That is the libertarian substitute for collective bargaining isn’t it?

                  1. You know why unions are on the decline right ? hint: it’s from lack of government support.

      3. Government being constrained such that lobbying and cronyism have a negative ROI?

        1. This. Also, having a government that consistently defends rights for all instead of selectively defending corporate rights over rights of the victims. If the functions of government are extremely limited and NOT arbitrary, businesses have no reason to seek or expect preferential treatment.

  10. Anyone who is mad at Wall Street but loves government is a useful idiot. End of story.

    1. Anyone who is mad at Wall Street but loves government is a useless idiot. End of the current Administration.

      There, FTFY

  11. “Washington and Wall Street need each other.”

    Hookers need Johns.

    Junkies need dealers.

  12. You know, there’s an Iron Law for this:

    Money and power will always find each other.

    All hail the Iron Laws!

    1. I was waiting for someone to say it.

    2. Especially in the absence of government.

      1. so tony,

        who spends more resources on lobbying?

        The relatively unregulated Wal Mart or the heavily regulated CitiGroup?

        They are both giant corporations. Guess why one spends more than the other.

        1. Are they lobbying for more regulations?

      2. Doubtful. The effect grows stronger with increasing inequality in power, and any organized group of people with a sufficient disparity in power between themselves and the rest of their society is effectively a government.

  13. These colossal problems are rooted in government, and the vast majority of the human species either does not now or does not understand this. How fucking pathetic and tragic.

  14. Thbis sort of reminds me of that post a few days back regarding re-development agencies in LA.

    Some of these people, they just can’t tell the fucking difference between those who simply want an easier means to pluder taxpayer’s pocket books, and those who are being persecuted with senseless regulation and confiscatory taxation for the crime of chooseing to engage in a voluntary transaction with another consenting adult.

    It all looks the same to them.

    1. The sad thing is that Tony’s is the *smartest* response I expect upon explaining this. Depressing.

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