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Christopher Mahoney
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I spent eight years at Bank of America in New York (1978-86) covering Wall Street, then moved to Moody's Investors Service where I worked for 22 years, covering banks, sovereigns and corporates. I chaired the Credit Policy Committee for four years. I retired in 2007 as vice chairman.
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  • Obama's Re-Election: The Bright Side 1 comment
    Nov 7, 2012 2:23 PM

    As a believer in free markets and limited government, it is dispiriting to see the American people (50% of them anyway) choose European social democracy. However, there is a silver lining to the black cloud of Obama's re-election: some of the Democratic party's policy positions are good. Obama is a mitigated disaster, and we can take some comfort in that.

    Social Issues
    First, the Democrats are more liberal--read libertarian--on the social issues. They do not want to revisit the criminalization of abortion, which would be a disaster for all concerned (I know: my godfather was on the NYPD abortion squad). The Democrats are generally more supportive of an enlightened drug policy, as opposed to the current prohibition that keeps the drug cartels, the prison guards and the DEA in business, and which is turning Mexico into a failed state which exports its illiterate peasantry.

    I wish the Democrats had the guts to advocate drug policy reform, but they don't, probably because of the prison unions and other corrupt influences. It would be a great day for liberty if some future president could zero out the DEA and all of its infantry, weaponry and foreign adventurism. Forgive me for pointing out that the DEA is also 100% unconstitutional.

    Monetary Policy
    Second, the Democrats understand monetary policy much better than do the Republicans. It is an indisputable fact that the GOP is opposed to QE and to the reappointment of Bernanke as Fed chairman. The GOP is the party of hard money and flirtation with the gold standard. The US will never be able to correct its debt trajectory as long as it pursues European-style deflation. Growth is the only way to balance the budget and to grow the denominator of the D/GDP ratio. I have much more confidence in Obama's choices for Fed governors than Romney's. I hope that Obama reappoints Bernanke or a a man of similar excellence.

    Foreign Policy
    Third, Democratic foreign policy is much less imperialist than the Republicans'. The Republicans enjoy America's superpower status and seek to rule the world. The Republican party managed to start two disastrous wars in a part of the world where American troops should never be deployed, and where our strategic interests are debatable. Certainly, we have failed to achieve whatever our strategic objectives might have been. That is, unless our strategic objectives were to make Iraq an islamic republic, to endanger the oil kingdoms, and to give the stone-age Afghans better rifles. That we achieved.

    Obama's "no boots" policy with respect to Libya and Syria has been prudent. I do blame him for stupidly overthrowing Mubarak and Qadaffi, but the GOP was no wiser. The GOP has a preference for intervention and elective wars which appears incorrigible. Obama is less likely to go to war with Iran than Romney, and he will be better positioned to rein in Netanyahu.

    Defense Policy
    Fourth, the Democrats are much less in thrall to the military-industrial complex than are the Republicans. The Pentagon is a parasitical growth that manages to suck $600 billion out of the American taxpayer every year. That needs to be reduced.

    But the scandal is not so much the waste and corruption as it is the perverse incentive to seek out military conflict and imaginary enemies. The US military to this day remains equipped to fight a conventional land, sea and air war against the Soviet Union, which hasn't existed for twenty years. What are we planning to do with all of those carrier battle groups? Why are we spending $600 billion on the F-35 fighter? What or who are our hunter-killer submarines pursuing? Why are we provoking the Chinese with new bases in their backyard? I have little confidence in Obama's ability to get control of the "defense community", but even less when it comes to the GOP.

    I certainly do not mean to suggest that the foregoing "silver lining" can adequately compensate for the corrosive crypto-marxism of the Obama regime. In my opinion, antimarxism is the highest form of political morality, while marxism and all of its malign offshoots is inherently evil and destructive of liberty. The marxism at the core of the Democratic ideology is indeed evil, but not all of the party's policy positions are incorrect. Let's take comfort in that.

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  • GotLife
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    Thought I might add the lone comment on your attempts to rationalize the illogical conclusion to a bleakest of election results. I enjoyed your concluding paragraph the most. One day we will awake and find all individual liberties, accountability and choice replaced with the "law." Huge steps, such as Obamacare, will contribute but mostly baby-steps, one local ordinance at a time, will bind us to the most superfluous and needless restrictions and, like Gulliver, find us unable to move.


    I believe liberals are mostly fond of natural selection and survival of the fittest. How odd that Democrat liberals or progressives often attempt sweeping social legislation, thereby outlawing natural law, believing the human race can be exempted or avoid the inevitable consequences of life and consequences. But the current Democratic party, complements of the Rainbow Coalition, is mostly populated by groups with a passion for special interest, ironically most of which are odds with each other. Examples - low cost immigrant labor and unions, blacks and Mexicans, Irish Catholics and atheists, human rights advocates and abortionists, liberals and bureaucrats, felons and police unions, etc. It is a true wonder they can successfully spin the message in so many directions at once!


    One point I differ on is abortion. Like most, I turned a blind eye until one day I googled for statistics. I was stunned to discover the rate of American abortion of close to a million a year. Before seeing this staggering number I had assumed the rate was around 10-20,000/yr. I did an informal survey beginning with my wife, a nurse of many years, and everyone I asked assumed between 5,000 to 100,000 a year.This led me to the conclusion that people are unaware because no one hears the cry or sees the pain of those that are suffering from the industry. While the unborn are the most obvious, several small groups we were part of included women that had abortions and suffered severe depression from the consequence of a regrettable decision made early in life.


    Many of the arguments in support of the industry also contain racial undertones I find distressing, condemning those on the life side of "sentencing poor women to lives of poverty." Since these same do have opposition to the "poor" population ridding themselves of the burden of living children, once again I concluded that the silence of the fetus and partial-birth abortions obscures the necessity of giving these least defensible advocacy.


    At first I maintained the stance of an abortion ban except in case of incest, rape or mother's health but discovered these were unenforceable. Finally, I've resolved to life. It is liberal if you believe that a fetus is a human in a stage of development, as we all are at a point in time. And, that resolves better to my stands on war and compassion than an industry that preys too often on the young and inexperienced.
    27 Nov 2012, 06:11 AM Reply Like
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