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Let's Have A Free Market For Housing And Religion (Mark Steyn On Capitalism And Freedom)
Orange County Register ^ | 12/08/2007 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 12/08/2007 4:11:43 AM PST by goldstategop

That's very true. As America demonstrates, faith thrives in a free market. In Europe, the established church, whether formal (the Church of England) or informal (as in Catholic Italy and Spain), killed religion as surely as state ownership killed the British car industry. When the Episcopal Church degenerates into wimpsville relativist milquetoast mush, Americans go elsewhere. When the Church of England undergoes similar institutional decline, Britons give up on religion entirely.

Instead of a state church, Europe believes in the state as church – the all-powerful beneficent provider of cradle-to-grave welfare.

"Freedom requires religion," said Mitt Romney, and, whether or not one agrees, in Europe big government has led naturally to small religion – a point Gov. Huckabee might want to ponder. I would rather we talked less about religion in America (which can take care of itself) and more about government, which seems to be trending in an alarmingly European direction, Democrats and Republicans disagreeing merely on the speed at which we'll get there. Yet the two are explicitly connected.

Europe's religious decline derives in part from the state's usurpation and annexation of so many of the other supporting structures of society, including the church. I am in favor of a free market in religion and a free market in housing, but right now I'd like a conservative candidate with a clear-headed commitment to both.

(Excerpt) Read more at ocregister.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008election; biggovernment; capitalism; compassion; conservatism; europe; freedom; freemarket; government; marksteyn; nannystate; ocregister; religion; republicanparty; steyn
In today's column, Mark Steyn stresses the inextricable connection between capitalism and freedom. The two make each other possible, whether in the matter of buying a home or in the expression of faith. He thinks both of America's political parties want to expand the nanny state - the principal difference between them is the rate of which the expansion will happen. In surveying America's political landscape, Mark Steyn sees no conservative candidate in the race committed to a capitalist future of vibrant free markets for the country.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

1 posted on 12/08/2007 4:11:46 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop

Washington, MYOB! Get your big nose out of mine!


2 posted on 12/08/2007 4:14:41 AM PST by RoadTest ("It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law. - Psalm 119:26)
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To: RoadTest
Big government inevitably stifles individual freedom and the vitality of religion. In Europe, it has led to societal collapse. A nanny state that can take care of you is going to demolish the pillar society stands on: the family. When that disappears, even a plodding government bureaucracy is a hollowed out shell. If European ideas are implemented in America, the American Era in history will be effectively over.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

3 posted on 12/08/2007 4:19:59 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

“Big government inevitably stifles individual freedom and the vitality of religion”

I would take it to a more personal level and state that most government representatives who are elected by the people love to bathe in the power they see themselves as having and love to wield it wherever thay can. It comes down to a human, power hungry problem instead of a vague “government” problem.


4 posted on 12/08/2007 4:28:20 AM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: freeangel
Its in the nature of politicians to solve problems to enhance their own electability. They look at every problem as a nail requiring a hammer. The intervention of government, though well intentioned, usually makes problems worse and keeps them from being resolved quickly. Global warming is mainly a political preoccupation these days rather an issue for individuals and the free market to address by themselves.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

5 posted on 12/08/2007 4:32:51 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Where was Mark when the Fed was raising interest rates to purposely slow down the economy? And the rate freeze is a voluntary agreement, not fiat by Paulson.


6 posted on 12/08/2007 4:43:04 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: goldstategop
I like Mark Steyn, but wasn't the bail out just an agreement between the administration and the big lenders, to freeze the rates of certain sub-prime arms? According to Dave Ramsey, this effects less than 1% of the sub primes that are over 30 days and no tax dollars are involved. If that's correct, I'm not sure I understand where Mark's coming from. I am prepared to be corrected though.
7 posted on 12/08/2007 4:45:08 AM PST by TheRake (Still Taxed to death in Michigan....it's getting worse.....and worse)
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To: goldstategop

To a great extent Christian theology promotes and embraces programs resulting in big and invasive government, e.g. government health care, aid to children, etc.. In many regards Christian leaders are similar to the barons of Wall Street who embrace Democrats for temporary advantage to their detriment in the future. Huckabee is the poster boy for the adverse effects of a Christian minister(former) promoting governmental solutions over private initiatives.


8 posted on 12/08/2007 4:58:33 AM PST by monocle
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To: goldstategop

“They look at every problem as a nail requiring a hammer.”

Yeah but thay use a sledgehammer !!!


9 posted on 12/08/2007 5:14:40 AM PST by StnCldTruth (If pro is the opposite con...then the opposite of progress is ???)
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To: monocle
Its a shame Mike Huckabee likes Big Government. But I wouldn't rule out a conversion before or after the convention.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

10 posted on 12/08/2007 5:17:37 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Any such conversion would merely be political expediency and in no way would it occur after the convention when in all likelihood Huckabee would be competing against a flaming liberal who worships at the altar of socialism.


11 posted on 12/08/2007 5:22:48 AM PST by monocle
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To: goldstategop

Steyn bump.


12 posted on 12/08/2007 5:26:47 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: goldstategop
I am in favor of a free market in religion and a free market in housing, but right now I'd like a conservative candidate with a clear-headed commitment to both.

You and me both, honey.

13 posted on 12/08/2007 6:02:29 AM PST by Tax-chick (Every committee wants to take over the world.)
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To: goldstategop

Steyn is being sued in Canada by Muslim organizations for articles published in Macleans. The Canadian government’s Human Rights commissions in the provinces and nationally likely will allow the suit to go forward. So much for free speech. When big government institutions take over, watch out!


14 posted on 12/08/2007 6:05:55 AM PST by Melchior
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To: goldstategop
I, like Mark, am against the government intervening to bail out lenders and borrowers when they take a risk and fail.

Based upon newsreports I’ve read, I thought this was a mandatory program. Yet an editorial I read (sorry, I can’t find it: either the WSJ or IBD) said it didn’t go far enough since none of this is mandatory. The Fed asked and the banks agreed to freeze mortgages to prevent foreclosures, but there is no force of law to require this. The editorial further said, this has been done in the past, voluntarily by the banks, and it has affected only a few people.

My takeaway from the editorial is that although this is government fiddling with the economy, it has very little effect.

15 posted on 12/08/2007 6:09:49 AM PST by Forgiven_Sinner (The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is at all comprehensible.)
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To: Melchior

Steyn is not being sued. Amagazine which published an excerpt from America Alone is being sued.


16 posted on 12/08/2007 6:10:52 AM PST by BillM
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To: Melchior

The reason the Muslim exist today is to keep the atheist and the nasty things that atheism brings with it, like the Sodom and Gomorrah in San Francisco on alert! God plays by his own timeline and his own rules. God could care less about religion and state


17 posted on 12/08/2007 6:18:45 AM PST by Mojohemi
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To: monocle
To a great extent Christian theology promotes and embraces programs resulting in big and invasive governmen

Christian theology properly understood does nothing of the kind. It directss individuals to show charity to other individuals voluntarily, and for their own good. For someone to promote compulsory theft of someone else's wealth in order to benefit someone else is a complete and radical perversion of Christianity. Nowhere in the New Testament do Jesus or his disciples advocate taxation or any other forcible transfer of wealth.

18 posted on 12/08/2007 6:49:36 AM PST by hellbender
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To: goldstategop
"But I wouldn't rule out a conversion before or after the convention."


Perhaps, but such speculation only underscores how fluid his views are. Romney at least executed his flip flops before the election. Compared to Huckabee, Romney is a pillar of consistency.

I am still hoping that Fred surges in time to spare us from having to choose between another RINO who will continue the redefinition of conservatism and Hillary.
19 posted on 12/08/2007 6:52:10 AM PST by rob777 (Personal Responsibility is the Price of Freedom)
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To: hellbender
"Nowhere in the New Testament do Jesus or his disciples advocate taxation or any other forcible transfer of wealth."


In fact, he explicitly rejects the idea when someone requests that he make his brother share his inheritance with him. Jesus' reply was "Man, who made be judge of divider over you?"
20 posted on 12/08/2007 6:56:32 AM PST by rob777 (Personal Responsibility is the Price of Freedom)
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To: goldstategop

The sub prime mortgage was a government created problem.

Congress critters insisting that there was discrimination on the part of banks against lending money for housing to sub-prime buyers. With big government breathing down their necks, the banks found ways to lend money to them.

We’re paying the price now.


21 posted on 12/08/2007 7:01:11 AM PST by listenhillary (You get more of what you focus on)
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To: hellbender
For someone to promote compulsory theft of someone else's wealth in order to benefit someone else is a complete and radical perversion of Christianity.

Exactly right! The duty of Christians is to give of themselves, not to take from others.

22 posted on 12/08/2007 7:14:18 AM PST by Tax-chick (Every committee wants to take over the world.)
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To: hellbender

well said!


23 posted on 12/08/2007 7:25:46 AM PST by tpanther
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To: hellbender

Your interpretation of the bible may be correct, but priests and ministers of different branches of Christianity promote forced charity via big government. Popes John and Benedict have implicitedly condemned capitalism as have bishops of other branches of Christianity. A number of years ago I wrote a letters to members of the US hierarchy of the Catholic church after they issued statements critical of US economic policies stating they should keep their noses out of economic matters unless they willing to subject their theologic matters to politics.


24 posted on 12/08/2007 8:02:57 AM PST by monocle
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To: TheRake

“I like Mark Steyn, but wasn’t the bail out just an agreement between the administration and the big lenders, to freeze the rates of certain sub-prime arms? According to Dave Ramsey, this effects less than 1% of the sub primes that are over 30 days and no tax dollars are involved. If that’s correct, I’m not sure I understand where Mark’s coming from. I am prepared to be corrected though.” ~ TheRake

Try this:

The Not Paulson Bailout
December 6, 2007; WSJ - Page A18

The next time we suggest that the government give advice to the private sector, tie us down until the fever passes. A couple months ago, we endorsed the idea of mortgage service companies voluntarily negotiating with subprime borrowers and investors to avoid a wave of defaults next year. Now come the politicians to wrap their arms around the idea, and maybe give the U.S. a reputation for forcibly rewriting financial contracts. Don’t cry for us, Argentina?

Both Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the White House are touting a plan to freeze interest payments on up to two million troubled mortgages. Except we’re told that this isn’t “the Paulson plan.” Treasury says its only role has been as a facilitator to get everyone in the room, and that the terms are being worked out by the private parties.

We wonder what these parties really think. Offering free advice is one thing. But when the feds sit down as a negotiating partner, the line between moral suasion and coercion starts to blur. Companies begin to think they’re hearing an offer they can’t refuse. So perhaps we should call it the Not Paulson bailout.

It’s not as if banks, investors and mortgage servicers don’t have incentive to avoid foreclosures on their own. Investors typically lose 30% to 50% of the unpaid mortgage balance when a home has to be resold due to foreclosure. So they have every incentive to renegotiate subprime loans that are expected to become delinquent. And that process is already well under way.

Treasury sources say that wasn’t good enough because this process is costly and complicated without uniform standards. So they had to get everyone in the room and “facilitate.” No doubt that’s true, but then contracts aren’t supposed to be rewritten on a whim. They take two to untangle.

The U.S. economic and legal systems are built on the sanctity of contract, and even the hint that government is compelling investors who now own these mortgages (the banks having sold them as bundled securities) to take less money puts the U.S. on a very dangerous road. At a minimum, it will raise the future risk premium that investors will demand for investing in U.S. real estate, which means it will be costlier to get a mortgage in the future.

Now, some of our friends claim that freezing interest rates in this way doesn’t violate mortgage contracts. When securitizers purchase loans, the Pooling and Servicing Agreements normally assign servicers a fiduciary duty to maximize cash-flows for the investors. In some cases, servicers can modify loan terms if this is consistent with “standard industry practice.” This plan establishes a new “standard industry practice.” We trust everyone is prepared to fight that out in court, maybe for years to come, because the lawsuits are going to test that “standard” practice claim.

The Not Paulson plan has other defects. Which borrowers will qualify for the lower interest rate payments? Almost all subprime borrowers will argue that they should benefit from loan forgiveness, especially if they’ve been responsible and sacrificed to make their payments. The problem with imposing uniform loan forgiveness is that you quickly get universal take-up rates.

Moreover, the evidence suggests that even when troubled borrowers receive a generous reset on their mortgage payments, as many of 40% of those borrowers still eventually default. The refinancing plan might only delay the day of reckoning and lead to bigger losses in a falling market. An analysis by the financial services consulting firm Graham Fisher calls this “the rolling loan gathers no loss” philosophy, and notes its similarity to the strategy that prolonged the “S&L crisis and the Japanese banking crisis.”

By the way, another part of Mr. Paulson’s nonplan would allow states to float more tax-exempt bonds to refinance subprime borrowers. State housing authorities can now float tax-exempts to help first-time home buyers, but Treasury wants to let them float bonds to refinance loans or pay closing costs as well. This is clearly a taxpayer-financed bailout.

Many in the Bush Administration and mortgage industry privately agree that this is dubious policy, but they plead that it’s better than the alternatives being offered on Capitol Hill. These include “antipredatory lending” laws and new bankruptcy provisions that are punitive and would delay any recovery in the mortgage market. Right on time, Hillary Clinton weighed in with the truly awful idea of freezing subprime mortgage rates for five years — presumably, through the end of her re-election campaign in 2012. She’d combine price controls and contract repudiation — an Argentina double.

Rather than cave to these impulses, however, the Bush Administration would be better off politically opposing anything that smacks of a “bailout.” A Public Opinion Strategy polls find that 62% of Americans oppose a mortgage bailout. More than 95% of homeowners are making their payments on time, and they believe it is unfair to pay more in taxes to assist those who’ve been less responsible. They’re right.


25 posted on 12/08/2007 8:45:15 AM PST by Matchett-PI (Algore - there's not a more priggish, sanctimonious moral scold of a church lady anywhere.)
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To: monocle

“o a great extent Christian theology promotes and embraces programs resulting in big and invasive government, e.g. government health care, aid to children, etc.” ~ monocle

The Eighth Commandment of Nihilism: What’s Yours is Mine

[snip]

“...There are many “social justice” or “liberation theology” Christians who maintain that Jesus was a sort of proto-communist, what with his counsel to give to the poor. But there is a big difference between voluntary renunciation of one’s wealth and government seizure and redistribution of one’s wealth. Just as one must first be a man before becoming a gentleman, one must first have sovereignty over one’s property before giving it away. And as a matter of fact, statistics demonstrate that there is an inverse relationship between high taxes and charitable giving. Those states with the lowest taxes give the most, while those with the highest taxes— “liberal” places such as Massachusetts — give the least. ...”

More: http://onecosmos.blogspot.com/2007/04/eighth-commandment-of-nihilism-whats.html


26 posted on 12/08/2007 8:54:57 AM PST by Matchett-PI (Algore - there's not a more priggish, sanctimonious moral scold of a church lady anywhere.)
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To: Matchett-PI

In a sense relying on government to provide charity is voluntary in that members of government are freely elected. People are quite receptive to have government assume their responsibilities both secular and parochial.


27 posted on 12/08/2007 9:35:33 AM PST by monocle
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To: hellbender

thank you...tho’ Jesus taking a fish in the market and distributing thousands of fish to the multitudes of starving may be viewed by socialists as their ‘ticket to ride’! Again I’m a firm believer in individual choice and 100% anti-transfer of wealth by government mandate. Life is full of choices and the earlier one learns to ‘choose wisely’ the better one’s own lifestyle becomes. A generous government helps educate its citizenry in ‘scientific method’, ‘economic evaluation’, and other ‘tools of selection’ or else natural selection will rule! (ie, the biggest crooks get the best deals).


28 posted on 12/08/2007 9:41:17 AM PST by CRBDeuce (an armed society is a polite society)
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To: monocle
"In a sense relying on government to provide charity is voluntary in that members of government are freely elected. People are quite receptive to have government assume their responsibilities both secular and parochial."

No one may legitimately call himself a mature "Christian" while voting to steal resources from a neighbor who doesn't want to share in any of the spoils from their theft, but whom they refuse to allow to opt out of them.

"...As it evolved, the Republican party came to represent masculine virtues such as competition, maintaining strict rules (“law and order”), standards over compassion (i.e., not changing the rules for members of liberal victim groups), delayed gratification, and respect for the ways of the father--that is, conserving what had been handed down by previous generations of fathers, and not just assuming in our adolescent hubris that we know better than they. .. The Democratic party, on the other hand, came to represent the realm of maternal nurturance--compassion over standards (i.e., racial quotas), idealization of the impulses (just as a mother is delighted in the instinctual play of her child), mercy over judgment (reduced prison sentences, criminal rights, etc.), cradle-to-grave welfare, a belief that we can seduce our enemies and do not have to defeat them with manly violence, and the notion that meaning, truth and values are all arbitrary and subject to change (which is true of the fluid world of emotions in general). ..." Friday, January 27, 2006 The Pathetic Last Children of Nietzsche's Pitiable Last Men. (The Last Men in the title is in reference to this post from last week. Friday, January 20, 2006 Pornographic Liberalism and The Last Men )

29 posted on 12/08/2007 12:47:04 PM PST by Matchett-PI (Algore - there's not a more priggish, sanctimonious moral scold of a church lady anywhere.)
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To: BillM

You are right, of course. It is Macleans that is being sued, not the author. The Arabs have used the same tactic in suing, inter alia, Cambridge U. Press for the book Alms for Jihad, and Blackwell Publishing for an article written in Africa Confidential. The aim is to scare the deep pocket publishers. Publishers have the money and can be frightened; most writers are broke and aren’t easily intimidated.


30 posted on 12/08/2007 4:51:12 PM PST by Melchior
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To: monocle

It’s not my interpretation of the Bible; it’s what the text says! I know that many mainstream churches have gone far from Biblical Christianity and into secular socialism. I once visited a Methodist church where the young female preacher told the congregation to vote for candidates and programs which helped the poor. I never went back there, because I knew that for a Christian to help people in need is supposed to be an individual, uncoerced act, or perhaps one performed collectively through the Church. It is not something to be delegated to the government. The whole Christian worldview is based on the idea that God wants love, and wants us to love our fellows, and love can never be coerced. There are innumerable private and religious charities which Christians can choose from; there is no need for govt. charity at all if the Church does its job in the world, and if govt. quit taking money for non-Constitutional “services,” the private sector would have much more money to use.


31 posted on 12/09/2007 2:33:14 PM PST by hellbender
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To: goldstategop

BFLR!


32 posted on 12/10/2007 7:46:44 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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