Politics and Independence

I lay claim to being a political independent. Last night, I watched "Atlas Shrugged" . I think I learned something about vulnerability and lost love.

Let's start with where I began. I was and am a Libertarian. I openly worked for and supported the Libertarian party . This was when the libertarian party wasn't just a beard you wear to cover Republican leanings; the focus of the party was to create an environment in which our country could grow - a high stakes gamble against institutionalized bureaucracy that would have resulted in the creation of a regulatory atmosphere not unlike the environment our founding fathers enjoyed. If you don't believe it, go to Williamsburg sometime and listen to the courthouse lecture sine qua non.

How did I come to be allied with Democrats? Because I traded stock for a few months while I melted down a Golden Parachute. For a person trained to read graphs - it will not take you long to realize where and how the trades are going down against press releases and action. I saw trades outside of common and certificate calls. I helped create a call that helped my position. I succeeded as a long player, and spent alot of time on the tech stocks, and I made some friends and a few enemies. I was infamous on a board called the Raging Bull. I learned the meaning of the saying .. "Don't feed the Salmon".

Much of what I learned, taught me the lesson that Ben and Jerry's ice cream learned the hard way: markets without regulation are not actually free. Think of a market in real terms, as a place where people do business. The ground won't always be level, and each stall won't exactly the same as the others - some will be in a better position to sell. Others, will founder. That is natural. But what would not be natural, is if someone sets up a stall then build a cattle wall to shuttle anyone who goes through it, winding left and right until they are disoriented - and set up pickpockets along the base of the last curve. Anyone who has tried to trade against insiders might as well write off a fixed percentage of what they want to trade against the loss of aftermarket or market maker maneuvers.
This is essentially what Ben and Jerry learned when one of their competitors used an illegal trick to shut down their distribution chain.

Real businesses innovate, make better products. Some big players like IBM continue to throw money in that direction. Others tend to build up process and IP protection and play defense. Like institutions of government, they use advertising and psychology to try to sell an inferior product. Others are cut into pieces and then sold off until everything becomes a commodity. A real business, however, is a benefit to its shareholders and to the public at large. But it has to be able to find a footing, without being led down a cattlegate and hit in the head with a boltgun.

We live in a time in which the bizarre rules of corporate sponsorship have had a massive influence on government. I, and a few others on Raging Bull - realized - that we are also at the dawn of a new age of social action. The internet crashed the cattlegate down. Democracy has come to the middle east. The Arab spring will happen in America as well.

And in that, the creation of a smart government - is an effort alot like creating a smart phone. It accomplishes the goals of regulation and de regulation.

Republicans can be very good at name calling, blame, and religious extremism. Most of this strays far enough from the conservative principles upon which the party was founded - to be able to give anyone a chance to openly question the legacy of the Bush Republicans and the largest outlay of money in the history of the United States. We , as taxpayers, do not fund paid vacations for do-nothing congressmen.

Instead, an effort to create permanent and simple functions that allow free markets to operate, men and women to live their lives based on achievement - each free to pursue his or her own destiny, shed of Ayn Rand's sycophantic view of the Chief Executive as a form of hero. Are families. And companies.

Those Companies whose base structures involve libertarian principle as well as employee ownership, union representation on board, quality product, and a sense of innovation and direction - are companies who build strong economies. And at the base of every strong government, is a strong economy.

But family is also imperative. Most people project their feelings about the President, for example, on their feelings about their father. It is the base unit of politics. Bush made points with people who liked his fake southern accent. But his willingness to throw money at problems became a time bomb. And he utilized Enron-like accounting techniques to justify his tax breaks. People loved him for visceral reasons. And so, too, Obama. We project our feelings onto these men. This is why the family is imperative: for in it we learn basic humanity - it is where children , later voters - are taught how to work together - how to deal with authority and where they learn to claim their independence. We cannot separate the family from our country. It is a lens through which all basic institutions are formed. The soul is dyed with the color of our thoughts.

But the constituents of a family - however they affect our primal ability - do not create individual vote and direction. We do not expect a family to be a single voting bloc. The corporation, however, has seized control of institutions by the creation of a hybrid power: a lobby. In this, corporations can assume single identities and even persona. Public opinion on blogs, news article forums and through social media - can be distorted by the organization of groups of people set to post first, or modify discussion thread. They roll contributions into big checks that give them undue representation. They have become socialist entities.

The only way to counter that trend, is to create market regulations that allow companies who innovate and do not attempt undue influence, to have their vote counted the same as corporations that don't. Anyone who has ever visited DC should really take a day trip outside of the city - and see the multi billion dollar industry that lobbyism has become. It should be a sober reminder that the sole purpose of these corporate entities is to create obstructive
layers between constituency and representative. They are a cancer, and a completely free market approach would be like giving them culture in a petri dish - to spread like wildfire.

On Raging Bull, it would have been a case of "Don't Feed the Salmon" but in real terms, the role of regulation and the practice of fair market are entwined. So, That is how I learned to vote in the Democratic bloc. You can't replace the government with a Web page, until you build out the webserver and make sure there are networks in place to support equal access.

I became an independent, when I learned that the effect of lobbyism centers around whichever party is in power. It is the lobbyist that we need to fight, in America. Not each other. Laws exist to benefit both people and markets, just as families give you the chance to escape them as a teenage when you think you've figured it all out. And return as a father and an adult, a bit wiser, and with grandchildren to play at the heel of your white haired mother and father.

Every virtue is a median between two extremes.