July 14, 2010

Illegal immigrants, bad mortgages, and the failures of progressivism

I feel like I've gone over this hundreds upon hundreds of times and still there are countless people I encounter every single day who either ignore the facts, deny the reality, or dismiss the intimate connections between progressive ideology and the current global mess that has brought us to the threshold of another world war. Make no mistake. Unless there are dramatic changes within the next few months, we will have the opening shots of World War Three by spring, and possibly as early as this fall.

Let me begin by pointing out that the problem at the Mexican border is very real. Once upon a time most of the illegal aliens were hardworking family people looking for a better life. That is no longer true. Currently, the majority of people coming across the Mexican border are dangerous, violent criminals. They are mostly drug smugglers, human traffickers, or ordinary cartel foot soldiers. A few of them are terrorists. Technically, every single person who crosses the border without proper documentation is a criminal. That is a simple reality. There are legal avenues to enter this country, many of them, but they are complicated and time consuming. I know. I have a Japanese wife and all of my most depressing battles have been fought with immigration officials here and in Japan. I am not inclined to be sympathetic to those who simply ignore the system altogether.

Also, once again, it is not the bankers that caused the global financial meltdown. Although they were indeed large contributors. The origins of the problem are in the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and all of the subsequent amendments and regulations that followed. The sum total of all these progressive laws was forcing banks to issue mortgages to people who could not repay them while at the same time allowing non-bank mortgage brokers to create countless falsified mortgage applications which the banks were prohibited from investigating. The final straw that broke the camel's back came with investment banks bundling good mortgages and bad into a variety of derivatives which could be bought and sold like any other financial product. Too many of these were held by capital investment banks like Lehman Brothers when the hyperinflated housing market finally collapsed. The primary contributor to that collapse being the coming due of countless mortgages which had zero or minimal payments for the first five years on the assumption property values would rise forever, allowing the house to be flipped for a profit with little or no initial investment by the original mortgage holder. Tying those unfunded mortgages into the sub-prime through variable interest rates only exacerbated an already bad situation.

Politicians and lazy regulators not only provided the tools and then ignored the consequences until it was too late, they actively coerced major financial institutions into making bad loans to people who had no intention of ever repaying them.

These are facts, not interpretations, not speculations, and not hypotheticals. The rapidly advancing progressive agenda of the past fifty years (and to a lesser extent, the past century) led directly to where we are today. The rise of India, Pakistan, North Korea, and now Iran as nuclear powers are all the direct result of working through diplomacy and the United Nations instead of blasting research sites into oblivion the moment they appear. 9/11 was a direct result of C.I.A. involvement in the Soviet Union's misadventure in Afghanistan. The concentration of displaced Palestinians in permanent "refugee camps" is the direct result of Arab nations refusal to accept the reality of Israel. This in turn led to billions upon billions of dollars flowing into those camps from world charities. Our world is on the verge of our most devastating global war ever because for five decades governments and charities around the world have created permanent poverty by providing food, shelter, and clothing instead of education and career opportunities to billions of disadvantaged people around the world.

We gave the world's poor a free ride, but now the gravy train has ended. The compassion and personal guilt of countless successful capitalists who derived their wealth and position from direct participation in free market economies has led them to ignore the most fundamental precept of poverty alleviation ever devised: if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime!

The liberal progressive movement has failed. There is no Marxist utopia on the horizon, nor even in the distant future. Socialism, when defined as government's responsibility to alleviate poverty by direct action, has failed. For five decades common sense has been put aside in favor of compassion and personal guilt. Faith has been forced into hiding in all but it's most dangerous and radical forms, while atheism has been allowed to trumpet "humanitarianism" as the new religion. We have spent half a century giving men fish instead of teaching them to fish all in the name of "progress" and "abandoning tradition".

When the war opens, remember, it was not the "greedy" and "selfish" conservatives who brought this situation about. It was neither bankers nor industrialists. It was charity and government intervention in areas of life where it did not belong. We are on the verge of a world war because we denied the reality of personal responsibility and allowed collectivists to coerce us into systems and habits we knew would fail.

By my reckoning we have no more than ninety days to change the path we are on. I hope I am wrong.