Monday, December 14, 2009

The Stupidity of Deregulation

The bill that has just been passed in the House is called, "HR 4173". It is designed (in theory anyway) to protect honest investors from the type of predators that have been openly and legally running rampant on Wall Street for thirty years now.

Don't hold your breath waiting for whole chapters to be written about HR 4173 in the history books. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 it ain't. This proposed new law is so riddled with loopholes it might as well be rendered next-to-useless. It was passed 223 to 202 - with not one Republican legislator voting in favor of it. Not one. Even a law as watered down as this one is unacceptable to these bastards and bitches. That fact alone illustrates more than any other the moral bankruptcy of that hideous party.

Well, HR 4173 is a start - I GUESS. What the American people are in dire need of at this point in time is a comprehensive history lesson. At the moment the Republicans within Congress and without (and more-than-a-few Democrats) are in the process of trying to sell us on the idea that the re-regulatory direction in which the Left wishes to take us will ultimately be a bad thing for the economy - that it will cost jobs, punish honest brokers, strangle America's entrepreneurial spirit, force our daughters to become lesbians, blah, blah, blah....

The regulations put into place in the nineteen thirties by Franklin D. Roosevelt and his "Brain Trust" guided the marketplace for nearly fifty years. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the late nineteenth century, unregulated, out-of-control capitalism was known to periodically wreck havoc on the American economy. Every decade would experience at least one serious meltdown of the Stock Market and more than a few financial depressions. In that era it was widely accepted that in a robust and healthy economy these periodic calamities were inevitable and unavoidable.

Along came FDR. As far as anyone could tell there did not seem to be a hell of a lot of substance to the guy. The journalist Walter Lippman described him as a man in possession of a first class temperament and a second class intellect. His distant cousin, Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Teddy's daughter) publicly dismissed him as a "feather duster". The nation and the world would learn in due course, however, that there was more to this pampered squire of Dutchess County than met the skeptical eye.

Although it has become almost a cliche it is undeniable: Roosevelt saved capitalism by tempering its excesses. While it was not perfectly flawless, the rules put into place by by the New Dealers worked pretty well for almost fifty years - until the nineteen-eighties, that is. That was when the American voters (for reasons I still can't figure out) overwhelmingly decided that sending Ronald Reagan to the White House would be a really neat idea. Reagan was a feeble-minded, failed "B" movie actor at the dawn of senility who should have been in an assisted living program somewhere, being spoon-fed oatmeal. Instead, January 20, 1981 saw him taking the oath of office as the fortieth president of the United States. Life is kind of funny that way, ya know?

Here's a promise, America: One day very soon you will wake up and realize what a complete fool Reagan was.

After eight years of Reagan and four years of King George I, A Democratic president came to town who might have at least attempted to put an end to the orgy of deregulation that was slowly destroying the U.S. economy. Instead he merely aided and abetted it. The main reason I left the Democratic party nearly twelve years ago? Two words: BILL CLINTON.

It is a lesson that we have learned so many times throughout our history it's embarrassing to realize that we had to learn it yet again: the Progressive creates, the Plutocrat destroys; The Liberals invest in society while the Conservatives invest in themselves. The result whenever the right wing has been able to seize all three branches of our government has always been the same - a social and economic shit storm. This is the fourth time in our history we've learned that lesson. How many more times will we have to make the same mistake? We've made it so many times it's starting to get boring. Seriously.

Here is a fact of life that is so Civics 101, it amazes me that Republican legislators have never had the wit to figure it out. You're either going to have one of two things:

You will have a functioning, healthy and thriving society where our children get the best education possible; where jobs are plentiful and crime rates are low; where the infrastructure is sound and running at full capacity....

....or you will have a situation where the wealthy are taxed at the lowest rate imaginable. You cannot - you will not - have both. If you don't believe me, the next time you decide to take a vacation, spend it in Texas or Mississippi. Send me a post card.

Last night on 60 Minutes, President Obama expressed frustration that Wall Street still doesn't "get it". Of course they don't get it! The taxpayer-funded bailout was handed over to them unconditionally - minus regulation, if you will. Expecting them to do the right thing was beyond naive - it was insane. They've taken all that money and they've decided to hoard it, not pump it back into the economy as they were supposed to. These people have a single motivation: to make as much money as possible. They don't give a hoot in hell about right or wrong. They don't consider what is good for Main Street. All they think about is profit. People this amoral need guidelines - they need rules and regulations - otherwise America's economic reality will mirror the situation as it existed prior to 1933 (and since 1981): economic anarchy.

You say you want a revolution....

It's coming, baby, like it or not. Lately I've noticed a peculiar thing: people who describe themselves as Conservative finding common ground with people who describe themselves as Liberal. This can't be a very nice thing for American politicians to contemplate. When regular people like us can figure out what is really behind their Three Card Monty scheme, it's only a matter of time before all the cards come tumbling down.

You tell me it's the institution....

HR 4173 is merely a baby step in the right direction. For three long decades these assholes were permitted - by law - to run roughshod over our economy, looting our national treasure in the process. As Sam Cooke once sang, "a change is gonna come". So much more needs to be done. So many old laws need to be re-instituted. Imagine cleaning up a blood bath with a Kleenex. That is essentially what HR 4173 amounts to. We have a long road ahead of us.

Well, you know, we all wanna change the world.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Twenty-seven Democrats voted against HR 4173. That faint rumbling you hear in the distance is the sound of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt doing somersaults in their graves.

The photo at the top of the page is of FDR and his cabinet on their first full day in office, March 5, 1933.


I've just discovered a very thought provoking site called The Peace Tree. It says at the top of the page:

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."

Beautiful! Here's a link:



At 12:17 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Yet another irony to add to my collection. I just posted on the same subject and then came over to read your excellent post. You didn't pull any punches, either, Tom.

Since your post is more comprehensive than mine, I am going back to my post and add a link to yours. Thanks for calling it like it is.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Well thank you kindly for the link, Miss Darlene! And you are absolutely correct. I am mad as hell.

Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, think our country would sink this low? Not me!



At 2:37 PM, Blogger Laneman said...


The American people are feeble-minded half-wits at the dawn of senility who should be in an assisted living program somewhere, being spoon-fed oatmeal. Especially the Tea Baggers!!

Also Wall Street doesn't "get it" because “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, I suppose the reason conservatives and liberals are finding they have much common ground to stand on is because it's finally...FINALLY, becoming apparent to both that our government is run by, and for the benefit of, multinational corporate interests and banking cartels. We, the people, are seen as nothing more than a tax base that feeds their tremendous and seemingly unending appetite.

I know I've said this many times on your blog, and in many ways, but it's worth repeating because it's so important that it be understood. Because corporations have the same legal protections provided by the Constitution as natural persons, we're automatically at a severe disadvantage. Instead of addressing the symptoms of all the social and political affronts we face on a daily basis, we need to be challenging corporate personhood. Once that dragon is slain, the symptoms should evaporate and eventually go away. We need to treat the disease, but unfortunately everyone's preoccupied with the symptoms.

You'll never hear the words, "corporate personhood", uttered on the mainstream media. It's the auditory equivalent of staring at the Medusa.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger P M Prescott said...

Most of those who fought and died in the Civil War on the Confederate side didn't own slaves, but they believed strongly in it. Tea baggers may not be corporate heads, but they still believe in the garbage spewing from Wall Street's sewer.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Laneman: The American people are feeble-minded half-wits at the dawn of senility who should be in an assisted living program somewhere, being spoon-fed oatmeal. Especially the Tea Baggers!!

I agreee with your last sentence, but as for the first part - I don't think it's fair to lump all Americans in this category.

I'm as pissed as anyone that some of the slithering Democrats didn't support this. Ten to one they're from the South, and damnit, they're raccist and that's what's guiding them, as well as the pay offs.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:30 AM, Blogger Kay Dennison said...

Gotta love a straight talkin' man! Thanks for this no holds barred analysis!

And Alice also said, "If you can't say anything nice about anyone, come sit by me." She's hard to take seriously.

I'll be posting a speech on health care soon by my Congress Critter soon. I wasn't convinced that bill was the best approach so hopefully those who favor it will regroup.

As to the thieves, I hope they do audit the Fed and those who are proved guilty are hanged for treason.

I am seriously trying to figure out how I can emigrate. The south of Spain is lovely and hablo espanol bastante bien!!!

I read your last line a thought of that wonderful film, "Network" that got Peter Finch an Oscar. It's time to resurrect it.

At 4:30 AM, Blogger joared said...

With all due respect to the President and you, WALL STREET DOES GET IT! WALL STREET JUST DOESN'T CARE which is even scarier, shows in what contempt they hold the American people and just how powerful they believe they are.

I'm gamblin' I can comment here because I agree with your basic complaints even though I think rants do little to progress the argument with those we'd like to persuade to listen to our views. What's accomplished by just appealing to readers with the same beliefs as the writer?

I don't care for Cheese Whiz either, but I do like jazz, so maybe that's a redeeming feature in my favor.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

This is so good I referenced it at the bottom of my last post where I list the Dems who voted no. And thanks for your comment.

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

or you will have a situation where the wealthy are taxed at the lowest rate imaginable.

And...? ;)

This is exactly what the GOPers want, as they have shown time and again.

A good post, btw.

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Gurdjieff said...

In the name of corporatism and a culture of fear the United States of America has transformed itself into a land of drones – “citizens” conditioned to run on autopilot, cowed into submission and pacified with cheap disposable products made by “American” corporations using outsourced slave labor in totalitarian dictatorships.

It’s only fitting that a nation of drones has developed drones of death to target the same “terrorists” that the nation of drones helped create in the first place. The function of drones (both kinds) is to make the world safe for corporate consumerism. As GW Bush once said, “You’re either with Walmart™ or you’re against us.”

“A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror.”

At 2:32 PM, Blogger thepoetryman said...

The quote, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."

is from Jimi Hendrix, by the way.

Thank you, Tom for the linkage and kind words. Your rant here nailed it down tight, let's hope that the raging horde of idiots does not, once again,bust through and begin their pillaging...

At 9:05 PM, Blogger jodi said...

don't even know how to comment on this post, tom, but the mere fact that you dropped by my site and leaving your comment, just wanna say thank you tom for the time that you gave. it was an honor for me that you left your footstep there. god bless you tom and more power...

At 9:52 AM, Blogger smthorpe said...

Great post, Tom. I find it shocking when people claim Reagan was our "greatest" President ever.

The arguments against the man will be incredibly hard to debate once more and more people realize what he did to our country.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


Here is a link to a piece I wrote two years ago on the subjuect of Ronald Reagan called, "In the Grip of Ronniemania".


Tom Degan

At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can't wait to hear your ranting when Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are kicked out of office next year.

PS - The Great Depression would have ended a lot sooner if someone had rolled FDRs wheelchair into the Hudson.

Archie Bunker

At 12:39 PM, Blogger archiebunkerqueens said...


Why is it that LASIK surgery, which is lightly regulated and not covered by health insurance companies, continuously coming up with better equipment, processes, and results at lower costs?

Why don't we change car insurance to the following?

1) You can only buy car insurance within your own state.

2) When you go to the garage to get an oil change, tuneup etc. you must fill out a car insurance form that is sent by the garage to the car insurance company.

With regard to 2) above, the owner of the car will not be able to negotiate what the cost of the service will be. If the owner of the car manages to get a copy of what the garage charged the car insurance company, it will be in a cryptic form. The garage owner will tend to maximize what he can charge. The car insurance company won't care about the bill as long as is not excessively outrageous. If need be, he can easily increase premiums to the car owner.
Meanwhile, the car owner has no say in the matter. Of course, someone will have to pay for the paper shuffling for both the garage and car insurance company which is the car owner.

Today's Health Care Insurance is so over-regulated that there is no market even operating.

Even Meathead understands the above.

Archie Bunker

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

This is another victory for the plutocracy, the Republican party and Joe Liebermann. There will never be, in our lifetime, reasonable health care in this country. We had better face the nasty facts. Ours is not a government "of the people, by the people, for the people". We're just kidding ourselves.

Tom Degan

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Representative Democracy" in Action?

Latest Rasmussen Poll on Health Care Bill:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of U.S. voters now oppose the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the highest level of opposition found - reached three times before - in six months of polling.

Mitch McConnell:

"The majority leader has signaled that he is going to unveil the most significant piece of domestic legislation in memory,
and his goal after introducing that measure in the morning presumably would be, of course, to vote on it some 36 hours after that,” McConnell said. “What we know for sure at the moment, is that we've seen the Pelosi Bill and we've seen the Reid bill, but none of us... have seen the newest bill, which is a mystery to virtually everyone, including the Democratic leaders of the Senate."

Tommy, the Democrats are desperately throwing Bills onto the wall hoping one will stick but with no luck.

Harry and Nancy will be gone next year and maybe real Health Care reform bills can be introduced and debated.

Archie Bunker

At 9:24 AM, Blogger smthorpe said...

I find it funny that people call this a health "care" bill.

This is a health COVERAGE bill. I bet Europeans are laughing at us, thinking, "Why are they debating how to cover everyone? They need to worry about how to care for everyone!"


At 11:54 PM, Blogger Christopher Adekoya said...

Joe Lieberman lost his chance at making any difference in senate henceforth. As long as we know what side of the fence he sits, there is no reason entertaining him around us. Frankly!



At 9:38 PM, Anonymous tim said...

The Great Depression would have ended a lot sooner if someone had rolled FDRs wheelchair into the Hudson.

There isn't a serious economist in the world that would agree with you. In fact, the only reason the Great Depression lasted as long as it did was because FDR didn't get into office until 1933, 40 months after the Great Crash, and throughout that intervening time our fiscal policy followed exactly the proscription that modern day Republicans would have had us follow this past year - cut spending, cut taxes, balance the budget - those were Hoover's policies in the early 1930's.

Things got very rough this time, but the economy is clearly turning around already and in a fraction of the time it took in the 1930's.

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At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that people on both sides are waking up. Its time to reveal the supposed HERO's in history as people who just want there OWN vision of control over another. Let's start with Tom's hero FDR. Never forget that Tom's hero FDR brought you also INTO this slavery or at the very least enabled same. Don't believe me? Google "SSA enumeration at birth program". Yes folks...a program to number people from birth and all courtesy of FDR's Social Security. Do you think they envisioned numbering of people as far back then? You betcha! Just a few years later the Nazi's copied it along with IBM. At the time...So many LIBERal [as in liberty] people objected that they were forced to put "NOT FOR ID PURPOSES" on the first SSN cards. Fast forward. You apply for an SSN. The IRS takes the SSN exact number of digits and converts it into a "taxpayer IDENTIFICATION number." And so starts your enslavement.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... Liberal friends who hate corporations and the conservaturds. Do you hate the monopolistic tendencies of say corps such as Monsanto or a BP controlling the market? Do you FEEL they limit your choice and impose their own brand of CONTROL over you? Wouldn't it be GREAT if the government stepped in as REMEDY for all the woes? Well...just before you say YES...Guess who is ALSO a corporation? ALL GOVERNMENT DECLARES ITSELF AS CORPORATE. Every last one! And far worse, a MONOPOLY CORPORATION. Who brought you...the trail of tears?...Japanese Internment...more wars than any other...near continued deception...enslavement of the black man under its laws, courts, police etc only to Johnny-come-lately equalize the black man to the rest of the slaves ONLY when it became obvious? So I have a question, Do you seek remedy in government because you're not progressive-enough to envision that they sold you on the notion of "you need them" and sold you on the 2nd notion that "they're the only game in town."?


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