On My Elitist High Horse George Will Is No Friend of Joe Sixpack

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George Will’s
(Candidate on a High Horse) this past Tuesday joins Hillary
Clinton in questioning whether Barack Obama insulted working class
voters with his comments on religion and guns. The article suggests
that Obama's condescending rhetoric was influenced by an obscure
Columbia University professor who died 11 years before Obama "matriculated”
there. Of course, only George Will would use words like “matriculate”
in a column that purports to expose the elitist views of others.
But, then again, what do you expect from the bow-tie-wearing disciple
of Bill Buckley, whose aristocratic mannerisms were so annoying?

In the article,
Will explores the lofty ideas of economist John Kenneth Galbraith
on how the "bovine public" can be manipulated under the
supervision of a "progressive elite." Of course, Will
doesn’t deign to explore the “elitist” views of Professor Carroll
who taught Hillary’s husband at Georgetown, and who
Bill quoted several times during his acceptance speech at the 1992
Democratic Convention. That would be getting just a bit too close
to revealing who the real "elites" are.

Will didn't
need to turn to the economist, Galbraith, or to the philosophy of
Obama's professors at Columbia to explain how the public is manipulated.
He could have simply looked at his own profession, and the well-known
tactics of "yellow journalism" practiced by newspaper
magnates like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The latter
was known for his influence in promoting public support for the
war in Spain, and he was once reputed to have told his correspondents,
"you furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." Sensational
wars sell newspapers. If you happen to be part of the military industrial
complex, they also sell lots of other things too.

Selling wars
of aggression to Joe Sixpack has been refined to a science since
the days of Hearst. But, after Joe Sixpack starts feeling the effects
of inflation or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the "elites"
simply move on to the next phase of the marketing campaign, which
often coincides with an election year. Without missing a beat, the
newspapers start talking about “limousine liberals” who can't relate
to us working stiffs. Or, they point out how George Herbert Walker
Prescott Bush couldn't quote the price of milk (or was it Bob Dole).
And even though Bill Clinton assured Americans that he could feel
our pain, he too was eventually exposed as an elitist for getting
$500 haircuts.

George Will
likes to use an economist like Galbraith to give his column gravitas,
but he doesn’t mention inflation as a source of discontent for Joe
Sixpack. Surely George Will knows that a barrel of oil cost less
than $40 when Bush’s war began. And yet, he passes up a golden opportunity
to explain to Joe Sixpack how such inflation is tied to the Iraq
war and the loose monetary policies of the Federal Reserve. Certainly
George Will is smart enough to know that the fiat money created
by the Federal Reserve is needed to wage expensive wars, and that
it benefits those who receive the newly printed dollars first, namely
government contractors like Halliburton, who get the money before
the full effects of the monetary inflation set in. But, George Will
doesn’t waste time educating Joe Sixpack about those economic realities,
and he sneers at guys like Congressman Ron Paul who dare to talk
about it. And Will certainly isn’t going to direct the attention
of Joe Sixpack to budget cuts for the Veterans Administration while
the rest of the federal budget balloons through the stratosphere.

It is ironic
that Will invoked the ghost of Galbraith who once famously
, "The process by which banks create money is so simple
that the mind is repelled." Although he served in four successive
administrations, Galbraith was not part of the Nixon Administration
when the gold standard was completely abandoned. The ability to
create money out of thin air (hence the term “fiat” money) made
it much easier to conceal the true costs of the Vietnam war and
the expansion of government. When Nixon’s monetary policy resulted
in inflation (i.e., the very definition of an increased supply of
money) and unemployment, he simply imposed wage and price controls
that would make any totalitarian proud. And now, the ruling “elite”
in both parties are ready to go even further down the path of totalitarianism
by putting the Federal Reserve in charge of the entire faltering
economy even though the Fed (with no real opposition from either
party, with the exception of Ron Paul) caused the mess in the first

What did the
Fed do to cause the problem and how will the Fed’s solution make
things even worse for Joe Sixpack? The Federal Reserve made credit
incredibly cheap by holding rates artificially low (at “emergency”
levels) for several years. During this period, banks and brokerages
originated sub-prime loans and floated mortgage-backed securities
that would never have been created in the absence of artificially
cheap credit. The credit bubble is now (predictably) starting to
burst, but the Fed is preparing to bail out the banks and brokerages
by simply inflating the money supply further, which will be used
to purchase the bad loans and worthless securities that are held
by the failing banks and brokerages.

Why should
Joe Sixpack worry if the banks and brokerages fail? After all, Joe
probably doesn’t have more money in the bank than the FDIC insured
limit of $100K, right? And, shouldn’t the banks and brokerages be
allowed to fail since they made billions in fees from originating
the now failed loans and from floating the now worthless securities?
Wouldn’t Joe Sixpack lose his house if he defaulted on the loan(s)
he obtained? Probably. So there’s no way that Joe Sixpack should
end up paying the tab to bail out banks and brokerages, right? Wrong.
When the Fed increases the monetary supply to accomplish the bail
out, the banks and brokerages will benefit first, and then the inflationary
effect of the increased monetary supply will be felt (i.e., “paid
for”) by Joe Sixpack here and across the entire globe.

That’s the
game plan. Joe pays for it all. Call it inflation, a hidden tax
or outright theft. Whatever name you use, it represents a heist
of monumental proportions. Robin Hood in reverse. Steal from poor
old Joe Sixpack, and give to the ruling class. As the presidential
candidates accuse each other of being elites, they are confident
that Joe Sixpack will never catch on. In fact, the real elites will
urge Joe Sixpack to tar and feather anyone who suggests that Joe
has been manipulated using patriotism, faith, or outright fear.
And Joe Sixpack will respond on cue. Instead of admitting colossal
mistakes at the ballot box and on the battle field, Americans will
simply transform the mistakes into saints like FDR or Abe.

Speaking of
saints, Pope Benedict will be in the U.S. this week, and he is not
likely to canonize George W. Bush anytime soon. In fact, Benedict
did not even attend the State
being held in his honor by the White House. Benedict
will do his part to combat the forces of evil by saying that we
must not allow ourselves to be afraid. Benedict will also say, once
again, that religion should not be used to incite violence. The
neocon pundits will say that Benedict is standing up against Islamofascism
and Ahmadinejad in Iran, and unfortunately, the Muslim world has
its own version of Joe Sixpack who will play right into the neocons'

When the public
is so easy to manipulate, both at home and abroad, can there be
any real obstacle to the "elites" who want to send Joe
Sixpack off to war? The biggest obstacle to such warmongers is someone
like the Pope, whose patriotism begins and ends with the Kingdom
of God, and whose message is directed equally at Western nations
who try to impose “democracy” (a false religion) on others through
violence. Unfortunately, the easiest way to prevent Benedict’s message
from really sinking in among the citizens of the world would be
to…start another war….

Anyway, getting
back to George Will’s article, I guess the only thing I really have
to say is that I’d rather have a beer with Benedict XVI (preferably
a nice German lager) than a shot of Crown Royal with Hillary any
day, and I don't expect McCain, Obama or George Will to show up
at my favorite tavern anytime soon. If only we could figure out
a way to elect Dr. Paul as President so that he can not only end
the shooting wars, but also the failed War on Drugs too. Then Joe
Sixpack might really start catching a break.

19, 2008

F. Watkins [send him
] is an attorney in Leawood, Kansas. He is a graduate
of Georgetown University, and the University of Kansas Law School.
Whenever possible, he attends Mass celebrated in that ancient Latin
language of the Romans.

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