Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Lovers of Unchecked Power

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency is the closest thing Americans have seen to liberals' dream of government--accountable to no one, automatically funded, self-budgeted, unlimited in scope, and run by someone who faces no scrutiny--since the original New Deal.

Noman is certain that Elizabeth Warren doesn't see the danger of unlimited government power.  She's a liberal, a Harvard Law Professor, and the mother of this monstrosity--Grendel's mother, so to speak.  Thankfully, the (Republican) House subcommittee holding oversight hearings, and the Wall Street Journal's editorial writers are on the watch.

As the Journal says, "This is no way to run a government, especially not one that Madison envisioned" (not to mention, designed.)  But, gosh, the compassionate view is that financiers are mean and greedy, and so we need another gigantic federal agency--one beyond anybodies ability to control--to crush them.  Noman appends a short video of Milton Freedman, who, in the process of defending capitalism to Phil Donahue, demolishes in two minutes the notion that government regulators are perfect people, unvexed by the vices and weaknesses that afflict private sector actors.

There is a scene in the movie "Gladiator" where the dying (and soon to be dead) Emperor Marcus Aurelius asks (fictitious) General Maximus to be the Protector of Rome.  "Do you accept this great honor that I have offered you?" asks the Emperor.  "With all my heart, no" says the general.  "Maximus, that is why it must be you," ends the colloquy.  The complementary points are that people who don't seek power are ideally suited to it, while those who clutch for it (like the depraved Commodus) don't deserve it.  The "emperor's" test seems a wise one to Noman, and one that Elizabeth Warren miserably fails.  She has not only sought untrammeled power throughout her career.  She has been custom designing the vehicle through which she wishes to exercise it.  That, says Noman, is why is must not be her.

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