The Gospel Truth

Too Big to Fail?

May 11, 2010
1 Comment

While that scary phrase too big to fail has become part of the national idiom, I want to give it a broader application.

It has usually referred to big US companies, mostly banks and brokerage houses.  Some, such as Lehman’s have been allowed to join the dinosaurs while most have received the bail-out, a nautical term that usually refers to sinking ships.

I want to raise a new question:


You think that’s a bit over the top?  My pessimism, which to me is really negative realism, have finally driven me over the edge?

Last year I had to stop listening to Glenn Beck because he was too apocalyptic.  Now my fear of the emerging spiralling collapse has rendered me absolutely Panglossian!

Debt has always troubled me.  I never have been in debt.  My family was never in debt.  The only debts we have are the recent credit card balances and we always pay them on time.

I don’t like to borrow money.  My father would lend money to relatives but he never borrowed anything, not even to buy our only home (I was two at the time.) with cash in 1945.

Maybe as a result Economics has always baffled me.

It is so complex a subject the economists don’t really understand it themselves.

Isn’t there an aphorism that says that if one laid all the economists end to end they would point in millions of different directions?

I did manage two “gentleman C’s in the subject as a freshman at Holy Cross.

I do remember three things that probably constituted my grades: 1) supply and demand b) guns and butter c) if you want less of something, tax it;

The first one refers to productivity.  If the consumers like a product and want more, the producers will make more.  Now everything is made in China or Vietnam and it doesn’t seem to help us here much here.

If something is scarce then it will rise in value based on the same principle.

Lyndon Johnson virtually destroyed the second principle with the Vietnam War.

With reference to guns and butter government revenue is a zero sum game.  If you spend more for buttery domestic goods, you can spend less for deadly guns; or vice versa.

Johnson said something to the effect  praise the Lord and pass the margarine!

As a result we got our first large deficits since WWII.

As for taxation, that’s the one I think I understand the most.  If you want more people to work, you lower their taxes and the taxes on their employers.

I think after a certain point–maybe 10% most people don’t like to pay taxes.  At higher rates people will not work as hard or do a lot of over-time.

Our tax system is very unfair as it is and it bodes to get worse.  According to the equal protection provision of the Constitution, which does not apply to Arizona, those who have to bear the lion share of taxation are being cheated.

That number of real taxpayers is dwindling as I write.  It stands at about 52% now.  When it goes under we will have a situation where more than half the population lives off the sweat of the other half.

That’s the formula for a tyranny that we have not seen since the colonial days.

The system we have now is called Progressive, named after the period in American history when the country first took the socialist path that it is now running down.

Glenn Beck has been the most proficient commentator in exposing this period, though he gets some of the details wrong.  TR was almost as bad as his cousin.

Progressivism is a misnomer. There was absolutely nothing about it that had anything to do with progress… except we progressively get into more and more debt!

LOOK FOR PART II-–The Progressive Income Tax that isn’t!

About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at