What does too big to fail mean?

groupwithhandsraisedIf you have listened to the news lately you can’t seem to get away from the phrase, “too big to fail”.  It is talked about as the foundational reason to continue to consolidate and prop up massive institutions.  Whether it’s a government institution or a private institution I have always believed the continual move to consolidate power to be negative.  Haven’t we been breaking up monopolies for this reason.  Didn’t the founders divide our government into three branches and seek to limit it’s power.  I hear very little about the dangers of this move to empower this failed systems.  What are two of the favorite solutions we are hearing from our leaders?

The first proposed solution is more regulations.  Will regulations somehow solve this problem?  Although regulations are important they are not the solution.  If they were we would have no drug problem and on and on.  The hope that regulations will correct this faulty system is an empty hope.  I believe a good case can be made that it is our regulators that are partially to blame.  Who is going to hold them accountable.  At least at this point it doesn’t look like there boss (we the voters) even notice.  We need to be educated and with out regard to party hold these people accountable.   The character or lack of character is revealed when individuals are in power.  It is not as much that power corrupts as it is that power reveals weakness.  Will we tolerate weakness and corruption.  So far it looks like we do.

The second is to throw massive amounts of money at the problem.  Our answer is to prop up these mismanaged corporations in the name of protecting us from economic suffering.  The government is consolidating these institutions even further.  Whether or not the government takes more control only time will tell.  Very few of us have the character to have so much power.  Why should we continue to empower and give more power to those who are creating and sustaining systems that are failed.  They don’t get it.  I think a majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents should be able to agree that centralized power with out accountability is very dangerous.  It may be corporate power, or governmental, but it is the greatest threat to our freedom and prosperity.  Who can hold them accountable?

This economic crisis is becoming the impetuous to centralize power even further.  Simply put that means we have more organizations that are just too big to fail.  Let me put this bluntly.  We are in the process of being enslaved to our government and private institutions.  These organizations are too inept to make profit but just too important to let fail, so I, through my taxes must be made to make up the difference.  Where will this end we can’t know.  Let’s get this straight the real problem is not regulations or lack of money, it is centralized unaccountable leadership in the private and public sector.  Regulation does not equal accountability.

Too big to fail means these organizations are too big, clumsy, unaccountable and can be used as a tool to take away our freedoms incrementally.  If we continue to embrace this failed system tax payers work as slaves to empower failed organizations and systems.  What is broken in our leaders and organizations?  What are the real solutions?  That’s for each of us to find out and implement.

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2 responses to “What does too big to fail mean?

  1. Great points, Isaac.

    I think you’ve pinpointed the problem: character. It defines how we use power. The character crisis in business led to foolish decisions. The character crisis in government blames regulators instead of decision-makers. The character problem trickles down: Those who owned stock in these companies supported their methods with their resources (in exchange for shortsighted returns).

    The other thing that you nailed (that no one else seems to see) is that concentration of power = concentration of risk. It was true with big business, and is now true with big government.

    Thus, as you said, SMALL is the answer: character at the small level, and innovation at the small level. That is the only way that any good will trickle up.

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