“Is it time for Alpha Fund or others to bid for a country – long term lease, term control over economic institutions, and a fat percentage of the ups? The scarcity of investment vehicles is a political problem… ”
~ Markets and Money Reader
Maybe not for long. In today’s Australian, Florence Chong writes that “The wave of private equity takeovers of listed real estate companies in North America is likely to spread to Australia, according to US property expert John Robertson. Equitize real estate, and then piratize it. First real estate. But why not a sovereign government?
Excellent idea. We wish we’d thought of it ourselves. Why doesn’t pirate equity takeover something like a failing government in Zimbabwe or Venezuela or America? Governments are already leveraged to the hilt, so there shouldn’t be any additional concern about loading up the national balance sheet. And it’s hard to see how a team of money-shufflers in suits could do any worse than a gaggle of money-wasters in suits. The way things are headed in America, the baby boomers are going to vote themselves as many benefits as they can while they control the institutions of American power. It will probably be the same here in Australia, meaning booming asset markets for a few more years and then a generational reckoning.
This is the problem with universal suffrage without universal responsibility. If the franchise is so easily attained, people use it to vote themselves benefits. Bringing back a poll tax would be a good start. But before a man can vote, he ought to be able to demonstrate he is capable of putting the good of his family or his community, or perhaps even his nation, above his own self-interest. We think that’s what Robert Heinlein was after in Starship Troopers.
But if a man hasn’t demonstrated he’s willing to put his life on the line for the good of his nation, should he be given the right to make laws for his neighbour? Why give people who haven’t demonstrated aptitude, ability, conscience, or responsibility the power to tell you how to spend your money or live your life? If you do, should you be surprised when they abuse that power to confiscate your money and vote themselves benefits?