In the last several posts I've discussed two fundamentals. The view you have of yourself. Your basic instinct to trust yourself, your views and your decisions. The trust you have in friends and family. Your neighbors. Because, chances are, if you are trusting, the likelyhood of your being a Republican increases as your level of trust increases.
In an earlier post I wrote about those times when your trust was misplaced. Whether it was a girlfriend, or a brother or sister, we've all learned lessons over time about trust. Imagine my surprise when I found out why my sister was always the banker when we played Monopoly. She was older, so, she took on the responsibility for me and my little sister. (Heh.)
The other thing we talked about was the Level Playing Field.
We--my sister and I--needed a little leveling of that playing field.
Which is a perfect example for you to utilize when you review the Sherman Act. I caught my sister using her position as banker to give herself direct benefit when playing the game. I believe it was the case--and still may be today--that no where in the rules does it state that the Banker shall not receive remuneration for his efforts. Nor, did it set a level for that need for remuneration. Now, when playing Monopoly with my sister I offer an explicit understanding in the form of a verbal agreement, that no one performing the role of Banker may provide remuneration of any kind, except that explicitely provided for in the rules of the game.
Level playing field.
So it's always been amusing for me to hear reference to Robber Barons and Greed as putative descriptives of Republicans. I would assert the biggest Robber Baron and purveyor of Greed extant today is a toss-up: between legislators and Bill Gates. Quickly, on Bill Gates.
For those of you who have reviewed the Sherman Act, the business model of Microsoft has all the trimmings of a Commodore Vanderbilt, or John Rockefeller. (Microsoft with the trimmings of a Commodore. Repleat with innuendo, neh?)
As a business model, MSN has been a corporate thug. Hopefully, as all thugs must come to account, the roll-out of Vista will seal the coffin on Microsoft. Since anti-trust enforcement has failed, I rely upon the market to make better choices. And for those of you who haven't looked at Apple and Mac, I urge you to do so. If you haven't heard of Parallels, check it out. Imagine running Windows' apps on machines that don't crash.
Now, let's take a brief look at legislators. The ham-handed thuggery of the political class is appalling. Take the ham-handed approach used to mandate ethanol.
In the rush to solve the Problem of Man Made Global Warming, the benevolence of thuggery was made whole for all to see. We had a problem. Thank God we had politicians with the strength to pass the difficult legislation we needed to Save the Planet. The only problem was, there wasn't the ethanol capacity to trigger the mandates. See, unlike gasoline that can be delivered to market via pipelines, ethanol can't. You have to truck ethanol. So, not only did you have a theoretical product--ethanol--that nobody wanted (just check sales of ethanol in Oregon prior to the recent mandates) but even if there were increased demand, there was no way that ethanol would ever replace gasoline. It was too expensive to produce and too expensive to transport.
Like all good Thugs, a fix needed to be put into place. The Level Playing Field was creating havoc on the plans of the communitarian/Socialist/Progressive agenda. (Communism by other means.)
You making choices, for yourself, was impeding the dream. The Level Playing Field was doing its job. As long as you kept making rational choice decisions, the Thugs couldn't win. So, money was taken from you and given to the good friends of the Governor to build an ethanol plant. It was a plant that no rational investor would ever attempt to build. The cost of ethanol is higher than the cost of gasoline. The transportation cost is higher than the cost of gasoline. The energy created by ethanol is lower than gasoline. The amount of pollution caused by ethanol is greater than gasoline.
But still, the Thugs would not be denied. To overcome the Level Playing Field and your rational choice. How would a Thug do it? Let us turn to corruption and the communitarian/Socialist/Progressive.
The Oregon State Lottery. When New Jersey Democrats arrived during the '70's, they, in their brilliance, sought to wipe out illegal gambling. How best to do it? By controlling the games themselves. According to your Oregon Department of Human Services, there are more than 75-thousand problem gamblers in this State. All thanks to the Oregon Lottery.
But, the money derived from bilking the shills in Oregon go toward "good causes". Sure, it's corrupt at its core. Oregon lottery machines aren't "fair". They're fixed to give a certain return to the State. But it has given the Thugs in the Governor's office and in the Oregon legislature unsourced funds that are off-budget to do with as they please.
So, how do you tilt the Level Playing Field? A massive infusion of Lottery funds, under the name of economic development. The guarantees of the state for a massive market, plus funds for investment.
Pretty cool, huh?
A mandate that legislators were told could take years to implement was implemented within months. Because of a new concept in leveling the playing field by the Governor.
Of course, this massive economic dislocation wouldn't have been possible without the leadership of communitarians/Socialists/Progressives. Because Thuggery in the name of the Vision is okay. After all, what is the tagline for the Oregon Lottery commercials? "The Oregon Lottery, it does good things."
Sure does. And for all the right folks.
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