Saturday, September 6, 2008

Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Contrairimairi just e-mailed me about a petition sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. I didn't sign it even though I agree with the petition in principle.

I don't know much about the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. According to the e-mail, reproduced below, they favor reduction of the federal debt as I do. They have produced a documentary film about it, and the film is doing well. The Peter G. Peterson website is apparently anti-federal deficit but is strangely vague as to the specifics.

According to Wikipedia, Peter G. Peterson is a former Secretary of Commerce (under Richard M. Nixon) and co-founder of an investment bank, the Blackstone Group. Mr. Peterson has been associated with David Rockefeller all of his life. He is apparently of the Progressive wing of the Republican Party. His career has been at the nexus of the linkages between big business and big government.

In sum, my esteemed readers, precisely the nexus that turns my stomach.

I do not believe that the Progressives, big business or big government have been positive developments for the country. I do not agree with the mainstream of academic historians who have mechanically parroted the view expressed by Walter Weyl and other Progressives that scale is essential to economic development. I do not think that big business is an efficient or effective method of production in many of the areas in which it predominates.

I do think that government has coddled big business and that much of the federal deficit that Mr. Peterson criticizes has been garnered in supporting the firm that he founded and the businesses from which he has profited.

In short, I think that Mr. Peterson is full of baloney, as are his supporters at the New York Times, Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller and the rest of the Progressive, pro-big business crew.

If Mr. Peterson opposes the federal deficit, let him come out against any further tariffs, subsidies to big business and regulation that squashes small business and most of all, the Federal Reserve Bank. Unless his petition mentions corporate welfare and the incredible inefficiency of America's Federal Reserve-subsidized corporations, I will pass on his phony petition.

Dear Friend,
Can "we the people" really save our economy? Can we really force our government to face the inconvenient truth of the $53 trillion hole we're in? That's the sum of all the US government's current financial obligations including unfunded promises for Social Security and Medicare - a $455,000 bill for every household in this country.
The answer is "YES" - there IS something each of us can do. Click here to add your signature to a letter we're publishing in the New York Times (more on the letter below).
This new movement for fiscal responsibility is just a few weeks old. And yet, thanks to folks like you, we've already made significant strides:
Over 100,000 of you have already signed on to help us fight for fiscal responsibility in Washington and at home
Our effort already has been covered extensively by the media, ranging from the New York Times, ABC News and CNN to literally thousands of blog mentions (source: Technorati)
"I.O.U.S.A.," our feature documentary about the impending fiscal crisis, has made an incredible splash. Not only did the film get three and a half stars from Roger Ebert, and rave reviews from the New York Times and other critics, but it set an opening-day record for a documentary, thanks to a bonus post-screening town hall, and is about to break into the ranks of the top 100 highest-grossing documentaries of all time (source: BoxOffice Mojo).
That's right - a documentary about fiscal responsibility is about the break into the top 100! And the film is still in theaters in selected cities; check here for listings.
We've taken the first step together, and we've begun to build the movement that cynics claimed was impossible. We're sounding the alarm and America is waking up. Now, it's time to take it to the next level. Here's how you can help:
This Sunday, we'll be publishing a letter across two full pages in the New York Times calling upon the presidential nominees to move beyond the "denial" stage, recognize that America has a $53 trillion problem, and start taking steps to solve it. This letter will be signed by a bipartisan group of some of the country's most prominent leaders in finance and fiscal policy-making, and by representatives of young people's organizations around the country. You can add YOUR name by visiting today. Please help us make this letter one our next President can't ignore.
Are you on Facebook? If so, please visit the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and I.O.U.S.A. pages and become a fan today.
And finally, spread the word! Forward this e-mail to your 10,000 closest friends.
We've started a movement for fiscal responsibility - a movement few thought possible. And with your help, we will wake up America and set the nation on a course toward a more secure future and a brighter tomorrow.
All the best,
Dave Walker
President and CEO, Peter G. Peterson Foundation

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