The White House appointed “car czar” threatened an investment bank that was delaying the US government’s “plans” for Chrysler-
Perella Weinberg Partners, Lauria said, “was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. That’s how hard it is to stand on this side of the fence.”
Who the fuck do you think you’re dealing with? We’ll have the IRS audit your fund. Every one of your employees. Your investors. Then we will have the Securities and Exchange Commission rip through your books looking for anything and everything and nothing we find to destroy you with.
As someone wondered, what are the czars doing in USA.
A guest post at Cynicus Economicus, by Lord Keynes, discusses the philosophical justification for state intervention. Among other things, he writes-
Natural law as a theory can be traced back to Plato…
Natural law was famously attacked by the English utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham as “nonsense on stilts.”
One of the main weaknesses of natural law theory is that its main historical justification was the belief in a “divine order” and a divinely-created human nature that makes us conform to “natural law.”
In the early modern period, rationalist European philosophers like Grotius tried to defend natural law theory by removing God and the previous supernatural justification for it.
However, in doing so, they destroyed the only convincing explanation for belief in natural law.
Thus anyone who accepts an atheistic and naturalistic scientific view of the universe, and who rejects all religion, has no reason to believe in natural law or natural rights.
It follows that all modern types of libertarianism or free market economics based simply on a “natural law” or “natural rights” foundation are severely flawed systems (e.g., the systems of Adam Smith or Murray Rothbard).
There is no reason to believe that the “natural law” that justifies placing inviolable property rights at the centre of our modern political or economic systems has any validity whatsoever.
He horribly misstates the case. From “An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law”-
It is significant that Greek thinkers always couple custom and enactment; things which today we contrast. These were the formal bases of legal authority. So Aristotle considers, not natural law and positive law, but what is just in itself—just by nature or just in its idea—and what derives its sole title to be just from convention or enactment. The latter, he says, can be just only with respect to those things which by nature are indifferent.
It must be borne in mind that that “nature” did not mean to antiquity what it means to us who are under the influence of the idea of evolution. To the Greek, it has been said, the natural apple was not the wild one from which our cultivated apple has been grown, but rather the golden apple of Hesperides. The “natural” object was that which expressed most completely the idea of the thing. It was the perfect object. Hence the natural law was that which expressed perfectly the idea of law, and a rule of natural law was one which expressed perfectly the idea of law applied to the subject in question; the one which gave to the subject its perfect development.
“Natural law” and “natural rights” emerge from the nature of man, and his relationship with society, and are connected to the concept of “justice.” Its a perfectly sound concept. What isn’t sound is Kantian deontological ethics, and (rule) utilitarianism, or the bastard child – “Utilitarian Kantian Principle” – emerging from their marriage. I can see how “rule utilitarianism” and Kantian ethics fit. Both are, to quote Bentham, “nonsense on stilts.”