I agree with what Alec Baldwin wrote on HuffPo this week about Carl Icahn.
Carl Icahn is noted for saying, "If you want a friend, buy a dog." I've been following Carl Icahn's career for 25 years. I have to admit it, when I was a broker working on Wall Street, I made a lot of money riding Icahn's coattails on several of his hostile raids. But that was then and this is now. Reagan is dead, Greenspan's gone, and deregulation, various neo-liberal antics, and the Washington Consensus have proven a bust. Ayn Rand has been exposed as the communist loving strumpet she really is; favoring corporate welfare over individual freedoms. The biggest welfare recipients ever to stalk the globe are Ayn Rand loving U.S. companies tied to the State for survival; Boeing, Lockheed, Corrections Corp. of America, Microsoft, Monsanto, Berkshire Hathaway to name a few.
Guys like Icahn are why America got sucked into a boondoggle like Iraq to begin with. His troglodyte way of thinking is blind to any concept of a public good that should come first over any private gain in a democracy. The war was 'sold' to Americans by Wall Street types like Carl. The WMD case was not the strongest in practical terms, but it was the easiest to 'sell.' The sacrifice Bush asked of Americans was to 'shop more.' Nuance is for Europeans. Americans demand their foreign policy to be no more complicated than a "Tom & Jerry" cartoon. Carl exemplifies this way of non-thinking. Ready. Fire. Aim.
The Icahn's on Wall Street thrive on the masses being dumbed down to the point where they think low prices at Wal-Mart have nothing to do with lost wages. HIs kind purposefully forget that the enrichment of the public good is the ideological basis of neo-classical economics. They do not support the tenets of the Enlightenment and would prefer it if we all returned to the Dark Ages and simply succumbed to King Ichan and his crony lords and dukes; that we should all pay indulgences to Carl and his bank raiders.
Read "Wealth of Nations" emphasizing 'Nations' instead of 'Wealth.' The animal instinct of self-interest and self-preservation exercised by humans can be harnessed for the public good, Adam Smith believed. But that is not what we have now. What we have now are Caligula capitalists like Carl where the self-interest gene has mutated and run riot, jeopardizing our very survival. Icahn's billions, amassed for the most part by legalized extortion schemes, leveraged buyouts, tax loops, and pension fund raiding have had a negative impact on society, and it shows.
Naturally, Icahn would be attacking Barack Obama. This is what I would expect. The Wicked Witch of the West didn't like Dorothy either and she was damn sure to stay far away from any human tears that would shrink her down to size - before vanishing altogether.
Let's replay Alec Baldwin's blog from HuffPost from just a few weeks ago where Alec quotes my reasons for preferring Obama over Hillary based on the underlying economics. Carl should take note. There's a new sheriff coming to town. By the way, since writing this, the dollar has come under fresh attacks and the price for oil and food have hit new highs for the very reasons I mention.
As you can readily figure, this kind of fiscal sobriety would be Kryptonite to guys like Icahn.
This is what I said on Alec's post:
"Obama has Paul Volcker as economic adviser -- he mopped up the stagflation of the '70s with 'tough love' of higher interest rates.
Hillary has Robert Rubin -- who demolished the last vestiges of Glass-Steagall which opened up the flood gates of securitizing loans and the current subprime (and now prime) credit crisis.
The current plan by Rubin's Goldman Sachs buddies Hank Paulson, (and Ben Bernanke), and their UK counterparts -- is to simply repackage all this bad debt and resell it again.. (making banks another fee); and hope that the problem will go away...
I do not believe this plan will work -- because in order for it to work -- long term interest rates have to go down -- which they are not likely to do now that China and India are no longer a source of cheap labor they once were... (the productivity miracle Alan Greenspan was always talking about amounted to outsourcing labor to China and now that game is up as wages in China go up and so-called productivity gains have faded).
The absolute necessity now is to stop bailing out banks, stop flooding the economy with more cheap money (money supply in US is running at an historic high of 16%), and stop raising the debt ceiling.
The buck (as in US dollar) has to stop being devalued by Paulson, Bernanke, etc. and their money printing banking friends or prices for food and gas will just continue zooming higher....
A hard, and probably a brutally hard recession has to be allowed to happen right now and the US needs to take its medicine for Greenspan's sins..
Putting off the day of reckoning with more re-packaging of debts as is the current 'master plan' of Paulson and Co. is only going to jeopardize the US dollar and possibly kill the US dollar off completely. (massive devaluation).
In other words: if Obama will force America to swallow a Paul Volcker anti-inflation economic pill than there really is no choice.
Voting for Hillary is voting for certain US dollar death.
(unless you own gold, and you are rooting for a dollar death, then vote for Hillary)."
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