Montag, Juni 28, 2010

The Eternal Return Of The Same...

Nietzsche wrote of the Eternal Return of the Same: to live your life so well that you wouldn't want to do it over in any way. Hence the phrase: live your life as if you were to live it over time and time and time again, unto eternity.

We seem to have that with the Congress right now, but in a completely different manner.

The Eternal Return of the Same is now the introduction and passage of legislation that no one has read, no one understands, and contains things that no one would expect.

Take the newest fiasco: the Dodd-Frank Act, aimed at regulating the financial industry.


The bill represents the triumph of the very regulators and Congressmen who did so much to foment the financial panic, giving them vast new discretion over every corner of American financial markets.

Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, those Fannie Mae cheerleaders, played the largest role in writing the bill. Congressman Paul Kanjorski even offered a motion to memorialize it as the Dodd-Frank Act. It's as if Tony Hayward of BP were allowed to write new rules on deep water drilling.

The Federal Reserve, which promoted the housing mania and failed utterly in its core mission of monitoring Citigroup, will now have more power to regulate more financial institutions and more ability to dictate the allocation of credit.

Just like the health care bill failed to address some of the core problems behind health care costs - tort reform, anyone? - this bill fails to really do anything.

It assigns the choices of what to do to regulators, who, given such discretionary powers, will make a right muddle of things.

The bill doesn't even touch some of the core problems behind the financial troubles we've had - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't even mentioned - and even the Volcker Rule (requiring banks that accept insurance for deposits to avoid risky investments) is left to regulators to decide what needs to be done.

The irony of the Dodd-Frank Act is that it will probably become law of the land, but is designed, at heart, to undermine the law of the land: by leaving so much up to regulators, implementation of the law will be a decision made by individual regulators, who may or may not apply the law at their discretion.

In other words, a shift from rule by law to increasing rule by men, in this case relatively nameless bureaucrats who are no where responsible for their actions.

The Democrats are showing that they are indeed embodying the Eternal Return of the Same, but in its neurotic incarnation: pass legislation that no one understands but makes them look good to their constituencies and when things go horribly wrong, they can blame those who carried the law out.

In other words, live your life such that you can can do whatever you want to do, avoid blame and follow your lesser instincts. It's what makes the Democrats so distinctive.

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