By Nathan Barton
Simon Black, the Sovereign Man, has been following the story of one of the latest bubbles to break, the WeWork company, which did fancy-dan, short-term rentals of business offices. In his article, he briefly addresses the various scams and ripoffs the company and its founder/owner/controller and chief-thief used to get billions of dollars out of gullible investors.
Simon blames it on “one moron” and describes exactly how the Tranzis will use this as an opportunity to promote more government regulations and controls to “protect” the investors (the public) and as an excuse to obtain more power over the economy and everyone in it.
Of course, from the scammer’s point of view, he isn’t a moron, just an amoral opportunist who took advantage of everyone he could. And indeed, as Simon reports, he is still doing so. Not just to investors and employees, but to vendors and customers. (Unless some infuriated and defrauded investor (or employee) decides to take revenge by gunning him down, he is still netting billions from the incredible chain of double-dealing and fraud he committed.)
Simon concentrated on the horrible results this company has set everyone up for. But I want to point out something that we probably just take for granted.
Government was the enabler for this con-man and all his schemes. Actually, it was governments. From local governments with their arcane zoning and tax schemes, to state and federal agencies with incredibly complex regulatory and tax schemes. (Most put into law and regulation with the excuse of protecting people from this kind of thing, or to ensure that government power is never diminished.)
Without the rules and regulations, and the thousands of pages of statutes and tax code and all the rest of the redtape universe of government, this piece of work could never have run this combination of Ponzi scheme and investment fraud and medicine showmanship. Certainly not for the years that he did.
Not only that, but government also made it even more possible by convincing gullible, naive investors, clients, and suppliers that the constellation of alphabet agencies (again, at all levels of government) would keep just this sort of scheme from scamming them, of all people. After all (as Simon notes):
(Naturally these people believe that government is purer than the driven snow, and that their proposals will protect ordinary, hard-working people from greedy business scumbags.)
No doubt, this is (again, as Simon points out) seen as a wonderful opportunity for government. So that the maze/spider-web of government procedures served very admirably in one of its most important objectives. To increase the power of government, and to constantly diminish the perceived value of private, free enterprise.
It is hardly the first time, of course. History is littered with the sucked-dry corpses of enterprises which were nothing but frauds, supported by the even bigger fraud of government. And with each one, almost inevitably, government has grown stronger and more arrogant.
Of course, this reaches a point of no return, where internal or external victims can take no more. Unable to do anything else, they work to destroy the government, to trash it, to bring it down. In the hope of building something better. No matter what the cost in treasure and blood. Because government has reached the point, like the parasite it is, that death and destruction is better than what happens “if this goes on.” And sometimes, what does get built on the ruins IS better. Maybe only for a lifetime, or even just a few years. But better than what parasitical government and its “private” co-conspirators were doing.
It happened here in what is now the Fifty States in the late 1700s. It had happened in England in the time of the Magna Carta, and Great Britain with the Civil War and the Glorious Revolution. In Maccabean Judea and even the founding of Republican Rome before that.
And it will happen here and now. Because of scams like WeWork, sooner than later.