Euthanizing Jobs

Democrats have received plenty of negative press when it comes to certain provisions in their healthcare system that will create rationing.  In fact, we are already seeing rationing of the new H1N1 flu vaccine.  We have plenty of Tamiflu (stockpiled by the Bush administration), but to get an H1N1 shot you must fall into specific categories of government priority.  This is not a different concept from what Sara Palin called “death panels” because Washington bureaucrats will decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t.

Most Democrats have fled from or mocked the idea of death panels.  But one Democrat Congressman is embracing the phrase whole-heartedly.  Rep. Barney Frank, who is one of the major players responsible for the failure of our housing industry in 2007 and our banking industry in 2008, is endorsing the idea of Government euthanasia.  But he isn’t talking about death panels for individuals who the government thinks are too old for free healthcare; Frank is talking about putting down large, bloated and un-popular Wall Street giants who the government deems to be no longer financially sustainable.

It’s the big government alternative to un-popular bailouts.  With bailouts, the government took hundreds of billions of our dollars and used them to prop up companies who would probably have failed without them.  It was an unconstitutional usurpation of public funds to keep private industry afloat.  Frank’s alternative is a panel that would identify struggling companies and then take the guess work out of whether they might fail or not by simply mandating a government shut down.   Rep. Frank has said himself, “There will be death panels enacted by this Congress, but they will be for nonbank financial institutions.”

Barney Frank realizes that announcing death panels to euthanize citizens for being too old or too sick is not a popular idea.  However, government killing off bloated Wall Street corporations who are a drag on the system gives liberals chills up and down their leg and makes most ignorant consumers feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

What Frank and Democrats don’t realize is that the CEO of AIG is not the only employee of AIG.  AIG had 116,000 employees in 2008.  Now, I understand that is only a third of the jobs Obama’s economy has lost every month on average since he took office, but that is 116,000 lives affected.  In addition, AIG has thousands of stockholders.  Warren Buffet is not representative of the majority of stockholders in the US.  The majority of stockholders in the US are middleclass working families who have savings accounts such as 401k plans, IRAs, college savings plans and so on.

When a company fails, it is bought by a stronger company or it declares bankruptcy and re-organizes or shuts down.  But that is the natural course of the free market.  It is not a decision made by a bureaucrat in Washington DC, probably based on political contributions received, to liquidate 116,000 jobs and turn people’s retirement into toilet paper.  When exactly would the government decide that a company is no longer viable?  When it starts to look bad?  When it is in bankruptcy?  Tell that to Delta Airlines, Winn Dixie, United Airlines, Texaco, and other US companies who have survived bankruptcy.

I am not a proponent of bailouts.  I don’t believe in too big to fail.  But I also don’t believe in capital punishment for private industry.  When it comes down to it, euthanizing America’s employers to ease the shock of major corporate failures is just as unconstitutional as taking up a collection from the tax paying public to keep those corporations on life support.    When you have a party in control that deals in earmarks, lobbyists, corporate contributions, and big government involvement in private industry, corporate death panels are fundamentally dangerous to our free society.

Now, I know the argument that will be pushed here.  Non-bank financial institutions affect the very foundation of our monetary system.  An unexpected collapse could destroy our economy, send society back to the stone age, and leave a billion Americans unemployed and roaming the streets like zombies.  America’s economy is not resilient because the federal government rescues it.  America’s economy is resilient when those unemployed Americans wandering the streets have the freedom and opportunity to market, make and sell goods and services that people want and need.  America’s economy is resilient when Americans can take risks and expect to be rewarded exponentially for those risks.  Corporate death panels belong in a Fascist country, not America.

If AIG’s failure would destroy America’s monetary system, then that sound more like a failure of the semi-constitutional Federal Reserve system than of free market capitalism.

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