Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Time, Money, and Government


Government should stay away from regulating time, just as it should most other things. It bugs me that I have to set all my clocks back in the fall and ahead again in the spring. Even though I figured out how to change the time on my pickup truck clock last spring, that doesn’t mean I remember how to do it again this fall. Six months is too short an interval for the procedure to stick in my feeble brain. The procedure is different in my little car and in my wife’s car of course. I can’t remember them either and I’m sometimes driving while I fidget with various buttons in my effort to remember how it’s done. Not a good thing. Most of us are perfectly capable of screwing things up all by ourselves without government complicating things further.

Time zones were not invented by government. It was private business - particularly railroads - first in England, then in other countries. People didn’t have to comply with those zones if they didn’t want to, but most eventually discovered it was advantageous to do so. Government doesn’t have to be involved then and doesn’t now either, but it is of course. Benjamin Franklin had lots of good ideas, but Daylight Saving Time wasn’t one of them. Some people think it’s wonderful to “get an extra hour of daylight” as if they really did. Neither do I change the batteries in my smoke detectors at this annoying interval either. I wait until I keep hearing that irritating beep for a day or two before I start searching around for another nine-volt battery.

There are mechanical clocks and digital clocks and body clocks. My body clock sets itself it adjusts to the gradual diminishing of sunlight in fall and the gradual increase of it in spring. It gets me up before dawn and puts me to bed after sunset, except during winter when I say up a few hours after the sun goes to bed. I don’t like it when government interferes with that process twice a year and I have to rely on alarm clocks to wake me. Though some government-lovers may think it really can control the sun, it only pretends to. Barack Obama can’t control the ocean levels either no matter what liberals may believe.

Speaking of things government screws up, President Obama announced that Fannie Mae will now refinance people with mortgages under water up to 25%. Government should get out of the housing business altogether. The “troubled assets” still plaguing our economy were caused by the same sort of thing: government forcing banks to lend to people those banks considered bad risks, and then taking over and guaranteeing those sub-prime mortgages through Fannie Mae. That put taxpayers on the hook - not only by bailing out Fannie Mae, but also banks and insurance companies who invested in various forms of those shaky mortgages - now called troubled assets. These assets were troubled by giving mortgages to people who never should have gotten them. Further tinkering of the type Obama announced last week won’t fix it.

Government intervention in the form of artificially low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve and then making mortgage guarantees it couldn’t afford to make has caused the bubble in housing prices. That bubble needs to deflate entirely. Prices have to bottom out if the housing market is ever going to recover. Long-postponed foreclosures must be processed. All that foolish spending by people and banks must wash out eventually so let’s just get it over with. Lots of people are waiting for that before they invest in real estate again. Last-minute Obama-bandaids only postpone the inevitable and cost taxpayers further billions as government tries to fix what it screwed up in the first place.Government has always controlled our money. The Constitution gave Congress power to coin it - which means print it, or create it digitally, or in whatever other forms it may take - but has chosen to give over that power to the Federal Reserve. Its chairman - bald, bearded Ben Bernanke - has been creating trillions of dollars out of thin air and buying Treasury bonds nobody else wants. That makes the dollars in our wallets and in our bank accounts worth less and less. Government, through him, is stealing our wealth. That’s why so people many are buying gold - they don’t trust the Federal Reserve or Congress, and who can blame them?

Ben Franklin was right about at least one thing when he said: “Time is money.” My wish is for my government to stop messing around with either one. We’d be better off making our own decisions about such fundamental things and dealing with those consequences as individuals.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Texas Transplant said...

I really enjoyed your column today, Tom - even if you did come off sounding rather like the late Andy Rooney! (I liked him too.)

11/9/11, 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

End the fed! Ideed, ending the non-federal federal reserve is essential to getting our country back.

Tom, I would like to see you dig deep and expose the federal reserve for it what it really is...a conglomerate of private banks that control the money supply and set the I terse rates and print currency at will!!!

There was a reason Thomas Jefferson fought this very thing throughout his lifetime in government. He said something to the effect that a private bank controlling a nations currency is more of a threat than a standing army.

It is truly amazing that they have fleeced the American public for so long. If the current ows protesters want to really affect change then they should ban together to end the fed!! That is somethingnwe should all be out protesting!!! How else can we change it?

Ive posted the following link before. I hope you have already taken the half hour to watch it. This is essential viewing for understanding how the federal reserve truly operates.

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=tGk5ioEXlIM

11/9/11, 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked shifts for 37 years, my internal clock is a mess even after five years of retirement. It will likely never recover. I wish they would leave it alone, you can get up earlier or later if you wish, I just want to be able to sleep without having my life screwed up by some very silly idea.

However, I did refinance my car at 2.91% so I can't fuss too loudly..

I must agree on both issues.

11/9/11, 3:27 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

One of the nicer things about living in Arizona (there are many) is that we do not "observe" daylight savings time. We spend half the year on PST, and the other half on MST. I have NO idea who to change the clock in my car, never had too!

11/9/11, 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"bald, bearded Ben Bernanke" Geez, Tom, how irrelevant can you get? Doesn't add much to your argument. Typical for beady-eyed, smirky-faced Tom.

11/10/11, 4:49 AM  

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