‘Political Spectrum’ Category
Political Spectrum: A View from the Right — Does the financial industry need more government regulation?1
May 24, 2012 by Mike Landry
When I was a kid there was a newspaper cartoon by Harry Shorten and Al Fagaly featuring ongoing scenarios about people doing the kinds of obnoxious things that get under our skin. The cartoon was “There Oughta Be A Law.” I guess the cartoons were funny then. Today, that title turns me off. Because when crooks break laws, government responds by developing new ones. Take for example Enron. It crashes, people are ruined. There oughta be a law! So legislators pass new laws to ensure another Enron cannot occur and in the course of it hamper the abilities of honest companies to conduct their business. Never mind that masterminds who created the Enron collapse went to jail under laws already on the books.Read More...
Political Spectrum — A View from the Left: Does the financial industry need more government regulation?0
May 23, 2012 by Richard Drake
Does the financial industry need more government regulation? Government regulation. The horror of the ages. Urban legend tells us that regulations kill the life blood of American creativity, that “job creators” across this great nation of ours would be hiring workers by the bushel if weren’t for those regulations, which govern everything from workplace safety to environmental protections. And nowhere, the legend goes, does the hand of regulation have a more strangling effect than on our financial industry. And one of the most vicious pieces of legislation, the one that has kept the best and brightest helping to left our economy from the recession we now find ourselves in. When we talk about legislation of late, we talk of two things: J.P. Morgan and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The fact that J.P. Morgan lost so much of its investors’ money might seem to play up the urgency for bills such as Dodd-Frank, yet for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the J.P. Morgan crisis matters – pardon the pun, but I can’t help myself – not a whit. In fact, as he pointed out on a news show this week, somebody made money off the debacle, and …Read More...
May 8, 2012 by Mike Landry
Question: Washington County voters, on May 22, will decide whether or not to establish a quarter cent sales tax that would provide $7.5 million annually for Ozark Regional Transit. Do you support passing this measure? Why or why not. By Mike Landry Ozark Regional Transit (ORT) wants you to give them $7 million a year to build another government empire. The Empire of the Magic Buses. ORT wants a full-blown urban bus system for Washington County. And it’s all speculative. There’s no current demand for the service ORT proposes. Rather, it’s all based on the Field of Dreams concept of mass transit: “If you build it, they will come.” It’s magic. ORT says annual ridership will increase tenfold from its current 200,000 to 2 million by 2022. There we’ll be, lugging around our laptops, sales presentations, groceries, and infants. And we’ll be smiling as we whisk through Washington County on the magic buses because…because… Well, if they build it, we will come. And it gets better. With all the planned increased services and capital goodies of this empire (including getting rid of most of their little $70 thousand vehicles for full-sized $400 thousand buses), ORT has no plans to …Read More...
May 8, 2012 by Richard Drake
Question: Washington County voters, on May 22, will decide whether or not to establish a quarter cent sales tax that would provide $7.5 million annually for Ozark Regional Transit. Do you support passing this measure? Why or why not. By Richard Drake As I write this, I am sitting in western Oklahoma, which, on a clear day, is sort of like seeing Northwest Arkansas in a funhouse mirror. This city does not encourage recycling, and sidewalks – oh, I still haven’t seen one of those yet, and I have been here a little over a week. There is no public access television, no volunteer citizen committees to advise local governments and no public transportation. It may be a city, but it doesn’t appear to be a community. It is Social Darwinism at its finest, and I can’t wait to come home. It is, however, the perfect place to ponder this question. I wouldn’t want to live in a city which lacks any of the above. To find oneself in such a place, which seemingly feels no need for any of them, boggles the mind. To paraphrase a quote from those great musical philosophers, The Animals, “I gotta get out of …Read More...
April 23, 2012 by Richard Drake
There is a wonderful scene in “The Manchurian Candidate” (the original and still the best version with Frank Sinatra) in which the character played by James Gregory can’t quite figure out how many Communists there are in the State Department. After all, he has to give a speech that day, “proving” that there are, after all. As his wife Angela Lansbury (in a magnificent role so far removed from her bland “Murder She Wrote” character) harries him, his eye falls upon the Heinz Ketchup, advertising its “57 Varieties” on the bottle. “There are 57 Communists in the State Department!” he cries aloud later that day, waving a piece of paper before TV cameras, thus becoming just one more player in Angela Lansbury’s communist plot. Yes, there were communists; he just didn’t know where to look. Today, of course, the number has jumped from 57 to 80, and they are not in the State Department but in Congress, and Ted Nugent defender Florida Congressman Allen West is the only man brave enough to speak truth-to-power. Clarifying his remarks, the good senator said he meant the folks in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Progressives, Communists, it’s all the same, isn’t it? Really? After …Read More...