Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.
Michael, this commentary is more thematic than it is about any one thing in particular, and that is as bureaucracies get bigger, they actually become less effective at even doing their core mission. If you ask if a company tries to do many, many things, it will typically not do any of those many, many things well and will go broke.
Recently we’ve seen a lot of Big Tech companies laying people off and the media reports that as if this is the way of the world. And it is. When companies get bloated, when the economy tightens up, then businesses, businesses have to tighten up their employees, but not the federal government.
The federal government, and to a large extent state and local governments, and I would say local governments are probably the most efficient of all government entities. So I’ll focus mostly on the federal government.
But what you have going on now at our federal government level is you have these massive spending bills. And let me just give you a couple of headlines and then what the headlines really mean. Stagnant Scientific Productivity Holding Back Growth.
That’s a headline from The Wall Street Journal from November 17th. And what the article essentially says is that people aren’t striving to find great things anymore. Vast amounts of money are being spent on incremental growth, just changing things incrementally.
Well, that’s because that’s where the federal dollars are. The federal dollars are if you ask for a huge grant, a multimillion dollar, maybe even a billion dollar grant, well, in order to get the grant approval, the people who are reading the grant application have to believe that what you’re doing makes sense.
But the problem with true innovation is true innovation comes from the weirdest and strangest of places and most unpredictable places. And at the time that the innovation is starting, it doesn’t make sense to anyone except the innovator.
The nature of innovation comes from obscure, unpredictable places. And so federal dollars only go where things are predicted. The next one that’s kind of interesting along these lines is a headline from November 18th.
It’s called: Why DeSantis’s COVID Policy Remains Relevant. If you recall, when Biden became president, he was trying to force everybody to handle COVID in exactly the same way. He was angry and he called DeSantis all kinds of names.
The media called DeSantis all kinds of names. Well, it turns out that DeSantis policies were dead on, that they were the correct policies. What DeSantis did was he opened the schools quickly. The Florida school system has improved more than any other school system in the country.
And a large reason for that is that they went back to school quickly. Businesses were allowed to open and masks were not forced on everybody. And the bottom line is the death rate in Florida and New York were very similar.
And so, therefore, what you can see is that DeSantis’s policies were much, much better for the population of his state than Andrew Cuomo’s and Hochul’s policies are in New York.
And so that’s the importance of markets. And then we get to our old friend here, Sam Bankman-Fried. My gosh, and the more you learn about him, Here’s a story from TheStreet.com.
Headline: Bankman-Fried Received $1Bn in Personal Loan From His Company. Now, by the way, if you’re a super-rich person and you borrow money from your company, how much income taxes do you owe? The answer is none because it’s a loan. It’s not income.
Now, his company is going broke, and so if that billion dollars is still outstanding and he’s unable to repay it, then it’s called debt forgiveness. And that then becomes taxable income. So the question is going to be whether or not Bankman-Fried has the money to pay his taxes. It’s an open question.
Here’s another one, though. Another headline from The Wall Street Journal. FTX’s Sam Bankman-Freid Cashed out $300 Million During Funding Spree. So as he was raising money from very, very sophisticated people in glops of hundreds of millions of dollars at a time, he was taking $300 million out of the business.
I will promise you that the people who are putting the big bucks in did not know that he was taking big bucks out. And then you get into this whole thing about his girlfriend, who he set up to run a $10 billion hedge fund operation taking enormous risks. But here’s a quote from The Wall Street Journal.
“It was at her first job at the quint trading powerhouse jane street capital that she met another 20-something trader, Mr. Bankman-Fried. Like her, he had been raised by two professors. (By the way, Pete Buttigieg was raised by two professors. I just point that out.)
Like her, he spoke highly of a movement called effective altruism.” By the way, Pete Buttigieg believes in effective altruism, but his effective altruism is using taxpayer money to spend money on the things that he would like to spend money on, whether they make any sense at all. But to him, they’re very altruistic.
I digress. Like her, he spoke highly of a movement called effective altruism, or the idea of making big money and giving it away. Well, let me just say this. Anytime anybody thinks they can make big money fast, then they must be making a big, risky bet.
Now, if the big risky bet pays off, then they can make a lot of money. And there are some people who invest with people who make big, risky bets. But those people who do that generally know that the person that they’re investing with is taking a big, risky bet rather than what these folks were doing.
But then this is a quote from Ms. Ellison, that’s her name, tweet. Nothing like regular amphetamine used to make you appreciate how dumb and normal nonmedicated the human experience is. So here you have a person who is charged with a $10 billion investment hedge fund who is on amphetamines.
All I’m saying, Michael, is the more you learn about this and then you look at how the Democrats just look the other way and how the regulators look the other way. And my last one, Michael, my last one is now you have the United States at the COP27. I don’t know exactly what that stands for, but COP27 is taking place in Egypt, and it is where the so called wealthy countries of the world are setting up a fund to give money to the poorer countries of the world.
And those are the ones that are more corrupt than the richer companies of the world. That’s how you get to be a poor country if you have a very corrupt government. They’re setting up a fund to take money that they don’t have to give to poor countries with corrupt governments that they will waste the money.
I tell you, we’re in such a crazy world, but it is one example after another of just dumb. And by the way, I want to talk about the Hillsdale fellow and his comments, because he used the word dumb. And dumb doesn’t necessarily mean intellectually stupid. It just means the idea makes no sense at all. And so we have a whole series of incredible dumb policies.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Joe Biden” by The White House.