Just to pick up on my last post, it’s important to remember the differences between these two evils. In socialism, the government is the supplier of goods and services. Under a fascist government, the government controls businesses in order to further the aims of the government. So, nationalized healthcare where the government is the only supplier of hospitals, doctors, medicines, etc. would be an example of a socialist program. The current bank issues don’t really fall into that category, the banks still exist outside of the government, and there are plenty of banks that are not involved so you can choose one of them if you want.
Fascism is all about the vision of “the country” by the powers in charge. The basic philosophy can be summed up in that awful speech by Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can I do for my country.” This was considered uplifting and inspiring at the time. People quickly figured out what it really meant when the government stopped asking and forced people to go die in Vietnam. Nationalism is intrinsically tied up in fascism. The belief that the state is the most important thing and that citizens exist to further the aims of the government is the driving force behind fascism. Can you see why I worry about this so much?
The purchasing of bank shares is rather ominous in my mind. There are some technical issues that need to be addressed. Will the treasury have voting shares in the bank ownership? If regulators feel that a bank is being mismanaged, will they need to bring suit against the treasury department? Can the same branch of the government sue itself?
More worrying to me is the political pressure that could be brought to bear in bank operations. It would be far better to allow those banks to go under. If banks are left alone, ones that are badly managed will go away either through bankruptcy or being bought out. There is the worry that banks that the government have a share in will no longer be as worried about little things like making a profit but will be used to further political ends. Sounds ridiculous? Look at Fannie and Freddy, economists have been warning us of the eventual collapse of those institutions for decades. Because they were tied to the government and had to follow government mandates, we all pay to bail them out.
Why does it matter? With enough government money being spread around, it impacts you and me in the long run. All of these things need to be paid for eventually. We could raise taxes, the government could just print more money (and then we get all the wonderful effects of inflation to deal with) or the government could just default on the loans. None of those things are good, and they’re all avoidable. All we have to do is not fall into the trap of relying on the government to solve things. The line of what should be the realm of government and private enterprise has been dangerously blurred…