We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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Samizdata quote of the day

The police are corrupt. The government is corrupt. The opposition is corrupt. Parliament is corrupt. The print and broadcast media are corrupt. The medical and scientific establishment is corrupt. I cannot think of a single public institution in which I have any faith at all. Until fairly recently, I believed that the courts were not corrupt, but their refusal even to hear Simon Dolan’s case against the most extreme and dictatorial policy this country has ever seen is clear proof of their grotesque corruption.

The truth is almost too shocking to contemplate. When faced with a public health emergency, those tasked with running the country did not think for a moment about how they might act in the public interest to protect the vulnerable. They already had a scientifically rigorous plan, carefully worked out over many years, which would have done that. Instead, they jettisoned this plan immediately and concentrated exclusively on two objectives: profiteering and totalitarianism.


On Christmas Eve 2020, I looked up the guidance on the NHS website for people who were suicidal. It was three years old and suggested spending time with family and friends. What was this? Gross incompetence? Complete indifference to the mental health of a suffering nation? A very sick joke? Who knows.

Alastair Cavendish

24 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • On Christmas Eve 2020, I looked up the guidance on the NHS website for people who were suicidal. It was three years old and suggested spending time with family and friends. What was this? Gross incompetence?


    Complete indifference to the mental health of a suffering nation?

    The pedant in me wants to say ‘considerable’ or ‘extensive’ rather than ‘complete’. With that emendation, yes.

    A very sick joke?

    The joke of asking this question is very just. The serious answer is, I suspect, no. Firstly, it implies a clarity of (evil) thought that I believe was absent in typical UK perpetrators. Secondly, bureaucracy has been defined as the rule of nobody: in the vast bureaucracy of the NHS, I find it supererogatory to postulate any cause beyond the impossibility of getting all the people who would have had to sign off on it to agree an alternative text.

    What, in any case, could that text have said?

    We advise talking to friends and family over Skype – or over Zoom if you don’t mind the risk of your private distress being recorded by the goons of the state whence the virus came.

    (Any who lack a phone line where they are isolated are urged to remember the advice given to farmer Martin and “shout very loudly” to your distanced family and friends.)

    Just my 0.02p FWIW.

  • Chris

    Do not ascribe ‘corruption’ when it can be explained by ‘stupidity’.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    By example, according to Craig Murray

    How the Establishment Functions

    Former foreign office minister Alan Duncan appears to fancy himself as something of a Harold Nicolson, though sadly lacking the wit or writing ability. Duncan has published his diaries. Duncan is the former FCO minister “for the Americas”, who cooperated with attempts to have Julian Assange removed from the Ecuadorean Embassy, and was the point man for the CIA’s various illegal schemes around Assange. Duncan referred to Assange in parliament as a “miserable little worm”.

    And who was Alan Duncan’s best friend at Oxford? Why, none other than Ian Duncan Burnett, now Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the judge who heard Assange’s High Court appeals. As Alan Duncan’s diary entry for 14 July 2017 tells us:

    “At Oxford we always called him “the judge” and they always called me “Prime Minister” but Ian’s the one who got there.”

    On Alan Duncan’s birthday on 7 June 2017 Ian Burnett and his wife were part of the dinner celebration, alongside former Tory leader William Hague, and the arms dealer Wafic Said and wife. Wafic Said was central to the largest bribery scandal in British history, the Al-Yamamah BAE contract for arms to Saudi Arabia, where an eighty billion pound contract involved hundreds of millions in corrupt bribery payments swirling around Wafic Said and his friend Mark Thatcher.

    The only reason several very rich people did not go to prison is that Tony Blair – another Oxford University man – and Jack Straw, the recipient himself of BAE largesse, made a historic decision that the Serious Fraud Office investigation must be stopped “in the public interest”. The Serious Fraud Office subsequently “lost” all the thousands of documents proving the corruption. Thus enabling the central fixer, arms dealer Said, to enjoy a jolly dinner and banter with the new Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, rather than eat his dinner in Ford open prison.


  • Shlomo Maistre

    Incredible that there are still people who think the ruling class is stupid or that bad government decisions come primarily from incompetence.


    Billionaires net worth has gone up 80% since the start of the plandemic.

  • Paul Marks

    Not totally corrupt – for example both the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail have (sometimes) published dissent. And GB News does so every day.

    There are also some good Members of Parliament – but sadly not as many as we need.

    Also “corrupt” is a word that can mislead, for it is not really about financial corruption (although there is some). Contrary to what some people think money is NOT at the bottom of policy – it is more intellectual (mental) corruption, a belief in Collectivism pushed in the international establishment (and others) by the education system and-so-on.

    One of the bizarre things is how the media are nuts in most countries – for example Japan did not “lockdown” and has a very low death rate, but you would not know this by watching Japanese English language television, which is utterly obsessed with Covid – and keeps pushing injections.

    In some States of India Early Treatment dealt with Covid – but, again, one would not know this by watching Indian television. NDTV never really covers treating the disease – it is just in love with lockdowns and vaccines (basically it takes its line from the American media – ignoring the fact that the United States is an utter disaster in terms of Covid).

    As for the courts – the “unwritten” or “invisible” (read DOES NOT EXIST) British constitution does NOT limit how much a state can spend or regulate in terms of “Public Health” (or anything else) accepted by the courts.

    Has Alastair Cavendish (and Peter Hitchens) not heard of Sir William Blackstone? I can not stand Blackstone’s doctrine that Parliament can spend and regulate as much it likes – but that is the position the courts have taken for ages.

    One can take government to court, using one of these international agreements, if it is not spending or regulating as much as someone wants (“rights” as in goodies from the government) – but taking the government to court to LIMIT it? That is against everything the courts stand for.

    In a handful of American cases State and Federal courts have ruled that the government can NOT do XYZ – but this very rare, and it was obvious what most courts were like even before Covid. After all when people took very obvious (blatant) cases of Election Fraud (the pretend Presidential Election of 2020) the courts even refused to even hear the evidence. Everyone (including the candidate, and almost half the State Attorney Generals of the United States) “lacked standing” to bring the cases – or some other legal trick was pulled. The “Justice” system was revealed to be so bent that it was a corkscrew.

    Lord Frost rightly referred to British government being “enmeshed” in endless international agreements – which “Nudge” policy in the direction of Collectivism (ever bigger and more interventionist government). Yes Corporations can benefit from that (hello Pfizer and other such) – but “Corporate Greed” is not really what is driving this, it is an IDEOLOGY (world view – belief system) of statism. An international ideology. What the academics call the Functionalist (as opposed to openly Federalist) road to world “governance”.

    Still it does matter who the government is – for example the government of the Dominican Republic has signed up to all the demented agreements that we have, but they have not gone about de facto forbidding Early Treatment for Covid 19 (one reason their death rate is so much lower than ours).

    Just as on government spending and the “Green” agenda, I would like to think that a British Prime Minister could (at least in theory) REJECT the Collectivism.

    But is worth noting that none of the touted alternatives to Mr Johnson take a different policy line to him – at this point Alastair Cavendish would jump in and say…..

    “That is what I mean by the corruption of the entire system – not brown paper envelopes with cash in them, but the intellectual (mental) corruption of the ruling establishment elite of all parties”.

    And, yes, one can make a strong case for that point of view.

    Indeed one can trace it back a very long way – even in the 1870s being “against Social Reform” (i.e. being against bigger and more interventionist government) marked someone out as odd in the British political system and culture.

    Even in the 1980s (supposedly the height of the free market fight back against statism) politicians such as Prime Minister Thatcher and President Reagan were against “fraud and waste” in government spending – they were not pushing the government getting out of any entitlement or service. True they were not like Mr Johnson or Mr Biden (endlessly boasting of how much extra they were spending and regulating) – but the 1980s were not (contrary to what is often said) a period where the state was really rolled back.

    The last Prime Minister to die with taxation being lower than it was when he was born was William Gladstone – and only because he was born during the Napoleonic Wars.

    And the last U.S. President to die with taxation being lower than when he was born was Warren Harding – but only because he was born in the last year of the Civil War (1865).

  • Paul Marks

    All the above being said (and I stand by it) – have still been shocked by the last two years, profoundly shocked.

    First the international establishment (the World Health Organisation, Tony Fauci, and so on) lied about the danger of the virus – claiming it was not a great danger to the world.

    Then they lied about the origins of the virus – claiming it was from some animal (not the experiments in Wuhan pushed by Tony Fauci and Peter Daszak).

    Then they lied about Early Treatment – falsely claiming that there was none, and allowing vast numbers of people to die who could have been saved.

    Then they lied about lockdowns (claiming they would work – when they knew they would not, indeed they knew the lockdowns would cause terrible HARM not “save lives”).

    Then they lied about the injections – at least in the United States where the government has claimed they prevent catching and transmitting the virus (both claims are untrue), and that the injections are totally safe (a blatant lie).

    The British establishment? With most of the above (although NOT quite all of it – the claims made for the injections here have been more restrained) they have been in lockstep with the lying international establishment.

    Did I think the international establishment were this bad? No I did not – I thought of myself as a cynical worldly wise chap, when I was really a trusting fool.

  • Paul Marks

    Looking back to a great English judge who struck down statist efforts by Parliament – Chief Justice Sir John Holt? That would be more than three centuries ago.

    In the United States the moment of truth was in 1935 – the government, in 1933, had ripped up the gold clauses in public and private contracts. What the Roosevelt Administration did (partly to bail out the Credit Bubble bankers) drove a coach and horses through both the Constitution and the principles of the Common Law. But it was upheld, 5 votes to 4, by the Supreme Court in 1935. The Constitution says nothing about a gold “standard” – and the clauses in public and private contracts did not mention any “standard” either. The contracts specified physical gold – by all the standards of the Common Law (both English, Scots and American) that is what should have been delivered, and if it was not delivered then the people failing to deliver it (banker or government) were BANKRUPT. No one had forced them to create a massive Credit Bubble – they had made a free choice to do so.

    As some of the dissenting Justices put it – that (the failure to uphold the Constitution and basic law-of-contract) is the end of the Republic in the sense of principles of law limiting the size and scope of government.

    If they can just rip up the fundamental principles of contract and replace physical gold with paper and credit, then they can do anything.

    And they have – both the government and their Corporate cronies.

    Once they are allowed to behave in this way it is (with hindsight) it is logical for them to allow vast numbers of people to die with a campaign of smears and insane edicts. Why not? What punishment do they get for behaving in this way? None at all.

    I suppose the virtue of the United Kingdom is that it does not pretend to have any limits on government power – apart from silly talk about an “unwritten” or “invisible” Constitution, which the ordinary person in the street has long known is the contents of an empty bag.

  • Roué le Jour

    I can’t help noticing that the government can do anything it wants, e.g. place the entire population under house arrest, because there is no limit to government power, but cannot do anything we want because its hands are tied by international agreements.

  • Exasperated

    In the USA, the founders tried to contain the inevitable corruption, hence separation of powers, checks and balances, decentralization of power, and limited government. They understood that human nature “is what it is”. Corruption, grifters, sadists, predators, sycophants, hangers on follow the money and power.
    If you were from Chicago, you would have been born knowing government is a form of racketeering; organized crime, but sanctioned and necessary. It always has been, from the time the first people were cajoled and/ or coerced into building the first stick stockade to keep the livestock in and the two legged and four legged predators out. Add graft, nepotism, and featherbedding, and presto, you have Chicago.
    BTW, the “free rider” dilemma has always been with us too. Some of the folks just did not want to contribute man power or materials to that stockade but demanded or begged for admittance when the going got tough.
    What stands out now, is that, in the past, government hacks didn’t have so much antipathy toward the voter and citizen. The aldermen of my childhood may have been greedy, sneaky, crooks, but they didn’t hate America or Americans, like their credentialed, manicured offspring. This, I think, is the consequence of economic and technical “progress’ that has undermined the clout of the upper middle class, middle working classes, and Main Street. Wealth and power are accumulating in fewer and fewer hands. So they answer to fewer and fewer masters.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I can’t help noticing that the government can do anything it wants, e.g. place the entire population under house arrest, because there is no limit to government power, but cannot do anything we want because its hands are tied by international agreements.

    I am noticing the same thing.

    I also realize that certain individuals noticed this exact reality decades ago and publicly pointed it out but I dismissed such individuals as “conspiracy theorists”.

    Well, I was wrong.

    What else have I been wrong about?

  • Fraser Orr

    @Roué le Jour
    I can’t help noticing that the government can do anything it wants, e.g. place the entire population under house arrest, because there is no limit to government power, but cannot do anything we want because its hands are tied by international agreements.

    Surely, Roué, deserving of another QoTD.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The most important thing to never forget, as Paul Marks so often remarks in these comment threads, is that millions of people worldwide died due to the active and intentional suppression of safe and effective treatments for covid-19. And these life saving treatments were intentionally suppressed BECAUSE they are safe and effective ways to treat people infected with covid-19.

    The preceding statement is proven by Dr Robert Malone, proven by Dr Peter McCullough, proven by Dr Vladimir Zelenko, and proven by thousands of other doctors and scientists across the globe. This is based on quantifiable data, evidence, scientific studies, and testimony under oath.

    This is old news, though some are only now waking up.

    Never forget and never forgive what they have done and are still trying to do now.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I think this is on-topic. I want to plug a quote from long ago that I think bears repeating and this quote I do think is very much related to the original post.


    I’m afraid that the Republic is dead. Maybe half the population doesn’t get it – they think this is cute and clever and laugh as they lie to us. The right is clinging to hope and arguing about Roberts Rules of Order, while some profoundly evil people move to consolidate absolute control over our federal government. The Jacobins took the French Revolution straight to hell in the course of a year. I’m terrified of an incipient civil war, but I’m also terrified of us *not* rebelling.

    This is so on-point. Perfectly characterizes what has happened as it relates to Russia Collusion Hoax, 2020 Election, COVID hysteria, and more. This is basically what we observe happening again and again and again:

    Maybe half the population doesn’t get it – they think this is cute and clever and laugh as they lie to us. The right is clinging to hope and arguing about Roberts Rules of Order, while some profoundly evil people move to consolidate absolute control over our federal government.

  • Paul Marks

    Rour le Jour – you make an excellent point that Lord Frost (who recently resigned) has also made.

    The government can do anything it wants to the people (individuals having no rights AGAINST the state) – but the government can not do what the majority of people want it to do (and what it claims it also wants to do), such as keep out illegal immigrants, or ensure free trade inside the United Kingdom (with Northern Ireland).

    “We, the government, can do anything we want to do – APART FROM what the majority of people want, because that would violate international agreements” is an untenable position. It is NOT Sir William Blackstone – it is Blackstone ONE WAY “we can do anything you do not want – but we can not do anything you do want” that is totally unacceptable.

    The United Kingdom, and all other nations, must be freed from what Lord Frost rightly called endless international agreements and policies which “enmesh” them.

    NO – just NO, to the “Functionalism” world “governance” crowd – NO to Davos (the World Economic Forum) and NO to the United Nations, Agenda 2030 and all the rest of it. Do not go to these conferences, and withdraw from these various international organisations – including the IMF and the World Bank.

    “But that would mean the collapse of the Credit Bubble economy” – it is going to collapse anyway. It is time to go back to being a self governing nation. Not just the United Kingdom – all nations.

    It is now clear that individual freedom depends on national independence – real independence, not “independence in name only”.

    Lord Frost has clearly stated the problem – but I suspect he would NOT go along with my radical solution to the problem. However, withdrawal from these international agreements and international bodies (membership of which now depends on accepting these agreements) is the only logical solution.

  • Paul Marks

    Shlomo Maistre – makes some excellent points and I have nothing to add to what he is written apart from to confess to a mental oddity of my own.

    I am just as gullible as most people – just as easy to deceive. But I do have a mental oddity which, I am told, is almost the opposite of most people. If a lie is constantly repeated to me – I start to doubt it (even though I believed it at first). I am told that most people are the opposite – that if they told something constantly they believe it more (not less). This means my mind is not working as a normal mind works (in short – it is me who is abnormal). For example, if most people are constantly told “there is no treatment – just stay at home, unless you are very ill then we will take you to hospital and vent you” they believe this more the more times they are told it – not less (as with me).

    I am told that Behaviour Modification Teams (“Nudge Units”) know there are people like me – people who react to the constant repeating of a message (on the television stations and so on) by believing the message LESS (rather than more) – but we are such a small minority that it we do not really matter, we can be dealt with other ways.

    They work on the assumption that if conditioning (what the vulgar call “brain washing”) works with most people – the fact that it sends a small minority of people “up the wall” (we have a hostile reaction to it – at least bordering on to rage) does not really matter.

    In the science fiction film “Serenity” – a chemical treatment called “the pax” worked very well with most people (indeed far too well – they were not just pacified, they were so pacified that they stopped eating and drinking and eventually just died), but there was a small number of people who had hostile (indeed violent) reaction to the chemical treatment – these people were called “Reavers” and they behaved in horrible ways.

    This is clearly unfortunate – but I am sure that the real-life international authorities will be far more careful.

  • Paul Marks

    Exasperated – Chicago is a mixture.

    It is not just corruption (although there is a lot of that) – it is also sincere belief (yes sincere belief) in statism.

    A corrupt person (taking bribes, and stealing money from the budget, every day) can, at the same time, believe they they doing good – indeed that is how they live with themselves. They do have a conscience (they really do) – and they justify (to themselves) what they do, by thinking “I am doing good – and just taking a bit off the top for my own family”.

    Chicago should have collapsed long ago (along with New York it is the most indebted city in the United States – it is drowning in debt) – but it is bailed out by the Federal Government (and has been for a long time).

    The Federal Government is 30 TRILLION Dollars in debt now (not even counting the unfunded entitlements – which are vast) – its de facto collapse into bankruptcy (open – or de facto by massive INFLATION to deal with the debts and obligations) can not be prevented (not now).

    But how did it get this way? Just blaming the Supreme Court (although, yes, they have often been dishonest) will not do – because even Supreme Court Justices have a conscience, they tell themselves that they are “interpreting” the Constitution (not just breaking it). What is vague language such as “general welfare” and “regulate interstate commerce” doing in the text.

    I know that these words are ripped from their context – but such vague language as “general welfare” and “regulate interstate commence” should not be in a LEGAL TEXT.

    When for example, Roger Sherman (the only man to sign all four founding documents) pointed out that the the text did not clearly state that the Federal Government could only have gold and silver coin as “legal tender” (Article One, Section Ten says that no State may declare anything other than gold or silver coin legal tender – but what about the Federal Government) he was told that Article One, Section Eight only gives the Congress the power to “coin money”, not print it or create it by banker book keeping tricks – so any reasonable Supreme Court would not allow paper money or banker tricks.

    Any REASONABLE Supreme Court? Why rely on the Supreme Court being REASONABLE to prevent corrupt government and Credit Bubble bankers (who are always joined at the hip with government – they can not survive long without a corrupt government, and corrupt courts, that will order such things as a “temporary” stop to cash payments (i.e. allow the bankers to break their contracts with customers).

    Why is the TEXT so vague at key points? And it is not just “hindsight” as some people who-were-there (at the Convention) pointed out the vagueness at the time.

    The text does not even say if a State can or can not leave (secede from) the Union – hence the Civil War, some 600 thousand deaths out of a population (at that time) of about 35 million (that is worst than all other American wars put together). A Federal Constitution that does not even lay down how (or even whether) a State can leave the Union? What the bleep.

    So it is NOT just the Supreme Court being intellectually corrupt (although it is) – the text itself is tragically flawed.

    Some of the STATE Constitutions are much more carefully written than the United States Constitution – saying that will not make me popular, but it is the truth.

    These endless thousands of pages Federal regulations (twisting and distorting every aspect of American economic life), a 30 TRILLLION Dollar debt (add the unfunded Entitlements on top of that), and a Credit Bubble monetary and financial system that has led to a “Dollar” that stands for NOTHING.

    This did not come just from a intellectually corrupt Supreme Court – the text itself is vague at key points.

  • Paul Marks

    The great French socialist Saint-Simon (who inspired key people in Karl Marx’s home town) was wise to target Credit Bubble bankers with his Collectivist message.

    Credit Bubble bankers are running a shell game – one that inevitably fails, so they need government (and government courts) to do such things as “suspend cash payments” and end the “gold clauses” (or silver clauses – or any material commodity clauses) in their contracts, from time to time.

    So Credit Bubble bankers (and the Corporations that depend upon them) are a natural audience for such a total “governance” message – as long as they can be assured that they will control this state.

    Dr Karl Marx rejected this part of the message – he made it clear that the Credit Bubble bankers (and the “capitalists” generally) would be robbed and murdered (they would certainly not be in charge of the new society) – and, naturally enough, this did not go down well with them.

    Modern world “governance” stuff is more in line with Saint-Simon – which goes down much better with the Davos crowd.

    However, many of the socialists on-the-ground are still Marxists (not Saint-Simonists, “Technocracy” supporters – as the elite, the Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab types, are).

    It could be that the international elite (the Credit Bubble bankers and so on) are riding a tiger – one that will turn on them (rob and murder them – and rob and murder their families).

  • Mr Ed

    It is one thing to recognise this, quite another to get anything done about it. How might a future, say Reform Party, government set about ending the rot? Perhaps it would need to start at the very least acting on the following:

    Parliament can do what it likes to the citizens? ‘Yes, indeed‘ say the judiciary, who are ‘citzens’.

    Fine, the government would pass a Act imposing the following (think Erdogan in 2016 but with less menace):

    1. Any rule of law, enactment or precedent providing that there is any limit whatsoever on the power of the Crown, or obligation to follow any Treaty is abolished, subject to 6. below.
    2. The entire judiciary in England and Wales are dismissed from office and ordered to pay back all sums received as salary or expenses etc. (gross) in office (legal positivism made perfect). Any person not liable purporting to satisfy such a debt for another is personally bankrupt and their assets forfeited, including the entirety of any trust of which they are or might be a beneficiary and their contribution to such debt deemed a nullity. Scotland’s distinct legal system is respected but defunded and independence is imposed. Northern Ireland, as per England and Wales. There is no longer a standing civil judiciary, but only judges appointed as arbitrators between parties. The Supreme Court is abolished and replaced with a panel making recommendations to Parliament to reform the law.
    3. The doctrine of judicial immunity is abolished, retrospectively. (Former) Judges answer to juries of citizens for any irrational or offensive decisions. All legal aid is scrapped, with lawyers rights of audience going too. Let merit prevail in the civil arbitration system.
    4. The entire police force is sacked. Anyone over the rank of Sergeant is sent to do reformative labour in Belarus under local rules for 1 year. No one else really notices.
    5. 90% of the civil service (broadly defined) and local government staff are dismissed with no pension rights, redundancy or notice. No one notices. All embassies and High Commissions (to or from the UK) close, to be replaced with a fax machine (h/t Lew Rockwell).
    6. The common law is restored to the position of Sir Edward Coke/Sir John Holt.
    7. All charities and universities lose all State funding. They also have to state in any advert how much they pay their top honchos (e.g. For £2 a month, you can help … . Our CEO gets salary and perks worth £430,000 a year.’.
    8. The BBC licence fee is made voluntary. OFCOM is abolished, along with every QUANGO.
    9. All energy subsidies and regulations are abolished. The RAF has 12 new Lancasters built and is directed to drop Tallboys on wind turbines, without prior warning (or, more kindly, as a fundraiser, tickets are sold as for an airshow). Anyone protesting against fracking is regarded as ‘volenti‘.
    10. A vast bonfire of statutes and regulations takes place, rowing us back to c. 1870. Sensible traffic laws remain.

    Unrealistic? Yes. Cruel? Probably in parts. Necessary? I fear so.

  • Paul Marks

    Interesting Mr Ed, interesting.

  • Ferox

    My version, for the US:

    1) End all government subsidies. Yes, all of them, including those designed for social justice and those designed to protect traditional ways of living. Even those designed to “save the Earth”. All of them.
    2) A coda to (1) – end government guarantees for loans. All of them. If an asteroid is about to hit the Earth and end all life, and you need to build a giant rocket to intercept it – fine. Otherwise, lenders are 100% on the hook for the loans they make.
    3) Make it illegal to bundle debts into a collective financial instrument. That means no CDOs, no debt bonds. One debt, one instrument.
    4) Related to (3), give the debtor first bite at the apple any time their debt is sold. Since the debts are no longer allowed to be bundled into groups of 1000s of mortgages (for example), each debtor could be given the first opportunity to buy the note when the original lender sells it. The lender shouldn’t care who buys the damn thing.
    5) Add a constitutional amendment forbidding the federal government from “bailing out” any private business. Nothing is quite as disastrous to an economy as having private businesses believe that outcomes are disconnected from choices.
    6) Finally, make it illegal for federal regulators to EVER work in the industries they are hired to regulate. Make it a federal offense for regulated companies to even offer any compensation whatsoever to such regulators, including consulting fees, paid junkets, gifts, paid lecture tours, etc. Anything.

    Naturally, not one of those things has the slightest chance of ever happening here.

  • Mr Ed


    Our lists have to be headlines, but one thing I think would be good would be a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit anyone who has ever been a State official or elected politician from holding Federal office (elected or as a bureaucrat) and vice versa so that there are two competing political classes (perhaps with an exception for military service for not more than 5 years aged up to 30).

    The thing with CDOs was that if ever the clue was in the name, it was with ‘sub-prime mortgages‘. It’s fair to say that they weren’t mis-sold.

  • Ferox

    It’s fair to say that they weren’t mis-sold.

    They were though. They were bundled with high-rated mortgages and then the collective instrument was given a collective high rating. That is fraud, straight up. And bundling the debt served only to help conceal the bad stuff by hiding it in the (better) stuff, like hiding your peas under the mashed potatoes so you don’t have to eat them.

    There is no reason at all why banks couldn’t just deal in debt notes one at a time. Which would completely prevent that sort of fraud, even if it didn’t prevent other sorts.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . one thing I think would be good would be a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit anyone who has ever been a State official or elected politician from holding Federal office . . . “

    Why? The career/educational route in politics in the US has always been, serve your time in the minor leagues (local and state government), prove your worth and build your constituency, and then the cream of the crop takes on even bigger constituencies and moves up to the fed.

    It’s both a training ground and a showcase that (in theory) allows merit to win out. And the idea of “moving up” is valid, as a fed pol represents many more people (usually) than a state government counterpart – just on narrower questions and with different powers.

    I understand that you wish to underline and emphasize that they are two separate systems, with the state system having the more powerful influence over areas not specifically assigned to the feds in the Constitution, as a way to strengthen federalism, but I think you give up too much for that goal.

    Very few people of merit would ever attempt to start their career in the fed system, as it would be too exclusive for newbies to ever gain a foothold. But we need good people in that system too. The Constitution DOES empower the feds significantly. They’re not going away. Leaving the fedgov in the hands of the current PTB, with no pressure from rising young pols coming from the states, would not help us.

    (It’s like saying NASCAR drivers can never do Formula 1. Different races, different equipment, different audiences, sure, but transferable skills and a similar talent-finding-and-fostering structure.)

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b

    The career/educational route in politics in the US has always been, serve your time in the minor leagues (local and state government), prove your worth and build your constituency, and then the cream of the crop takes on even bigger constituencies and moves up to the fed.

    That is exactly the sort of mischief to be avoided, the political class (generally) sees serving in the State level as simply a stepping stone. But perhaps add only permitting State politicians to serve in the US Senate (and why not on State set and funded salaries?), after all, the political system should not exist to benefit the political class (as if!) but the citizenry.

    If I may say so, very few people of merit end up in the Federal system, I recall a reference to a Senate vote for some awful legislation of 99-1, and with a recent House tax bill, (one of the whopping ones under Trump) was it 4 Republicans voting against + AOC, who thought it wasn’t big enough? There are around 3 or 4 Senators whom I regard as Constitutionalist Paul, Kennedy, Cruz and perhaps another.