Walmart every time. Why? Because, mostly Walmart is about selling things people want more than they are about retain power – which is what FEMA, and every government agency, is about.
“Commerce civilizes us. It makes us more peaceful. It makes us want to treat each other better.”
Look, not all laws and government stuff is ‘bad’, but the amount of bad stuff out there is almost always due to ‘too much’.
For example, in what circumstance would a government care about patio plants?
MANKATO, MINN. — Marty Lewis, owner of Blue Bricks, 424 S Front St. in the City Center of Mankato was shocked to find that he had to close down the patio at Blue Bricks on Thursday, May 28th due to not having enough live plants.
“My managers told me that City of Mankato Associate Civil Engineer Landon Bode came into Blue Bricks on Thursday during lunch hour and told the servers that we did not have enough flowers on our patio and we were out of compliance with the City,” said Lewis “After the lunch crowd cleared, my managers went up to Drummers and picked up some shrubs, planters and hanging baskets and put them on the patio.”
Wanting to make sure Blue Bricks was in compliance, Lewis then called City of Mankato Associate Civil Engineer Landon Bode, who did not answer his phone and left a message.
“Landon Bode did not return my calls and I assumed that everything would be alright,” said a frustrated Lewis “Then at around 5:30 p.m. that day, two Mankato Police Officers came into the restaurant and told me that the patio was closed and we would have to clear the patio because we were out of compliance.”
Many things wrong with this picture, but two stand out: One – Who thinks it is a governing bodies decision to dictate plant cover in a bar patio and Two – The enforcement of the rule is simply ludicrous.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that we suffered through one government induced housing bubble and then burst – we’re back at it:
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced an option for qualified first-time homebuyers that will allow for a down payment as low as three percent. Building upon Fannie Mae’s successful lower down payment program offered through state Housing Finance Agencies, the 97 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) option will expand access to credit for qualified first-time homebuyers that may not have the resources for a larger down payment. These loans will meet Fannie Mae’s usual eligibility requirements, including underwriting, income documentation and risk management standards. These loans will require private mortgage insurance or other risk sharing, as is required on purchase loans acquired by the company with greater than 80 percent LTV.
“Our goal is to help additional qualified borrowers gain access to mortgages,” said Andrew Bon Salle, Fannie Mae Executive Vice President for Single Family Underwriting, Pricing and Capital Markets. “This option alone will not solve all the challenges around access to credit. Our new 97 percent LTV offering is simply one way we are working to remove barriers for creditworthy borrowers to get a mortgage. We are confident that these loans can be good business for lenders, safe and sound for Fannie Mae and an affordable, responsible option for qualified borrowers.”
Just as before, political pressure to move unqualified borrowers into homes is too much to resist.
Last year I posted on who I thought created the housing bubble:
There is no doubt that the housing crisis was caused by government policy. Bad actors everywhere? Sure. But at the root of it all the was the government’s desire – by both parties – to increase home ownership in America. And specifically for the poor and minorities.
There has yet to be evidence produced that would cause me to change my mind. There is absolutely no question whatsoever that the administrations of Presidents going back to Jimmy Carter pursued the goal of home ownership in America – most specifically in the poor and minority populations.
The flip side to the “government created the bubble” is the “Wall Street’s greed created the bubble.” The most vocal in my circle has been Scott Erb over at World inn Motion here and here:
The housing bubble and subsequent crisis was created by the big banks who were able to pull off the equivalent of a high stakes ponzi scheme and get away with it.
I’ve been going back and forth with Scott, and other wrong minded individuals about this as if it were a binary proposition. Meaning that the answer was either I was right or “they” were right.
I’ve come to a different conclusion. Namely, that while the government certainly was the trigger of the events that led to the crash, the whole thing still had to be set in motion with the people who would make and then sell the loans.
Consider – the government requires banks increase lending to people who have no hope of repaying those loans. It stands to reason that the banks then go and meet the requirements. This doesn’t change the fact that they were incented to make those loans and create the vehicles which facilitated those activities.
What might it take to create the case that this is the case?
- A bubble existed
- That government policy favored or desired homeowner ship among the poor and minority populations.
- That the government created conditions that either incented or required banks to increase these risky loans.
- That government assisted in this practice
If government passes a law that creates a disincentive to hire or retain employees, and then business reacts by firing or not hiring people it is BOTH true that government created the conditions that led to reduced employment AND that business acted out those policies – both Scott and I might be correct.
Wall Street may have enacted the policies but did so only due to government involvement.
IRS vs Bridgegate
I posted the difference in media coverage between the Chris Christie bridge scandal and the IRS targeting scandal. I made the point that media coverage of the bridge scandal has dwarfed that of the IRS scandal in recent months.
In the comments nickgb called shenanigans base on the fact that the tails of a scandal are less covered than the beginnings of the scandal.
Listen, I mentioned that government is coercion:
We allow ourselves to be governed in exchange for a certain degree of order. We allow ourselves to be subject to the confiscatory practice of taxation in order to pay for that order, that law and order.
And we give power to men that we wouldn’t otherwise give.
Power corrupts – absolute power corrupts absolutely.