Saturday, December 09, 2006

Barney Frank: Thinking Big

Say whatever about Barney Frank, but the man's got plans. Big plans. Bipartisan, compromising, help-the-poor, make-doing-business-easier kind of plans. The Globe's Robert Kuttner goes in detail describing those plans in today's Globe.

A summation of what Frank wants to do:

1. Increase the ability to organize workers into unions.
2. Adapt/change current trade policies to work in our favor, tying free trade to certain environmental and labor standards.
3. Get businesses to start supporting universal healthcare, because it helps them anyway.

To get businesses down with these proposals, Frank's using the carrot approach - instead of the stick.

How on earth does Frank propose to bring this about? He plans two years of hearings, on two tracks. One set will be an ongoing seminar on the widening inequality in America -- and the need for a new generation of strategies to broaden American prosperity -- including the role of unions, guaranteed health coverage, and other forms of social investment to protect living standards.

The other hearings will address financial regulation -- where it is excessive, like some provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley that are costly to small business; and where it is not sufficient, as in the case of predatory lending, credit card overcharges, home mortgage discrimination, and hedge fund abuses.

Frank's going to try to get businesses on board by reducing regulations that are burdensome, which is something a lot of people can get behind. Kuttner seems real excited about Frank's new proposals. How excited?

If Frank's bargain seems improbable, it's also because too many Democrats have been content to advance token proposals that neither fire the public imagination nor transform economic possibility. This kind of leadership has been so rare lately that we've almost forgotten what it looks like.
Will Barney Frank's ideas be the be-all, end-all? Who knows, but probably not. However, it's radically different than the status quo and it's a great example of Thinking Big. For once, there's real leadership in the House of Representatives. For once, someone is trying to create new policies that will help make government and society run better - by creating ideas that offer a little something for everyone, while addressing key issues facing businesses, unions and society in general.

1 comment:

jessica byrnes said...

Sarbanes Oxley:

Sarbanes Oxley and acts like it are purposely designed to tighten control
over free enterprise which makes enterprise, of course, less free. Sooner or later
the entrepreneurs who fuel the economic engine get tired of funding
parasitic government bureaucrats and rapacious "global elite" banking interests.
They quit working and that is the end of an economy and the civilization.
The trend of burdening actual producers with "one size fits all" regulations is accelerating not decelerating.

What's the answer?

How many people engaged in business really understand an Income Statement? A Balance Sheet? A Cash Flow Statement? Every one engaged in business should understand
these financial reports and their personal responsibility to ensure reporting
accuracy. But the % of individuals engaged in business that truly understand
financial reporting is probably very small. And so they make mistakes
or are open to fraud perpetrated by ethics deficient "experts".

The market crashes, the public is shorn and their savings harvested.

Some politicians rise up on their hind legs, wring their hands and
pass legislation to "protect the public". The law gets applied
to everyone whether they had an ethics problem or not. Usually,
the fox in placed in charge of the chicken coop as was the case
with Joe Kennedy being made the first SEC chairman by Roosevelt
after Kennedy made a fortune short selling before the created crash
of 1929.

The "global elite" pay their 100 million or so in fines
negotiated by their global elite attorneys and then carry on
business as usual working their fines and cost of compliance
into their numbers.

The true entrepreneur gets squashed further.

The only way the "global elite" get away with this racket is
to make the subject of finance so complex that us ordinary beings
can't confront it.

The answer is to simplify the subject matter so a critical
mass of businessmen will truly understand the language
of finance and its rules, will see how they are getting ripped
off by parasitic elements and will "throw the rascals out".

Our latest course - Sarbanes Oxley Simplified makes the
act understandable and fun to learn.

Maybe enough people will spot the super control agenda
behind acts like Sarbanes Oxley and Basel II and take back
ownership of their countries and economies from the parasites.

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