The Idea Man

I’ve gotta throw my 2 cents in on Lou Guzzo. Carl has already given us some of the highlights of his blogging, but even the great video below doesn’t truly reveal the full range of batshit crazy this man is capable of. Maybe my all time favorite Guzzo “idea” is his “Foster Nation program”, which he describes as such:

The proposal is that the United States would immediately cancel every aspect of its foreign-aid program, stop sending any funds to all nations, and create a new program called the Foster Nation Program. Instead of sending our taxpayers’ billions to Second and Third World nations, most of which winds up in the pockets of the overlords, politicians, and theocratic dictators anyway, we would adopt the underdeveloped and poorest countries as America’s foster nations.

We would select those nations one by one. Instead of sending them our foreign-aid dollars, we would send them our best minds in a variety of fields — industrial development, agriculture, the professions, education, development of natural resources, new housing, transportation, communications, and every other field. Our goal would be to raise the standard of living in each of the foster nations and improve their economy to match ours. When our team of experts, adequately paid by us, finished its ground-breaking effort in one country and made certain that every field of endeavor was in capable hands, it would move on to another needy country.

It would mean we would have to develop an outstanding cadre of experts in each field, with substitutes trained and ready to take over at any time. A Foster Nation program would, of course, require sufficient governmental funds to attract the best minds and to keep the program going.

As I noted at Effu at the time, considering that we’ve basically been trying to do this in Afghanistan and Iraq for years and have gotten nowhere, doing it for each third-world country on earth one by one would probably take between 1000 and 2000 years to complete.

Guzzo isn’t just a lunatic when it comes to foreign policy, though, he has some interesting “ideas” when it comes to the nanny state as well:

That brings me to the main point of this commentary: I believe Congress and all 50 legislatures should act to ban professional, organized gambling everywhere in the U.S. and to order heavy fines and even prison terms for those who break the law and set up high-stakes gambling,

Considering his animosity for the entire state of Nevada (“Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised about anything that happens in Nevada, properly designated as the nation’s cesspool”), I’m kind of hoping that Rossi keeps him around for more ideas. Before long, Guzzo may be advocating that Washington state should invade Nevada and send our brightest minds down there to clean that place up.

Comments

  1. 1

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    This exchange between me and Proud Leftist is so good, I am going to post it in every thread on HA from now on. It destroys the Publicans’ stupid talking points – period.

    “I’m working really hard to understand how President Bill Clinton’s actions act as justifcation for the righties. Read this fuckwads.

    If your lame ass argument is that Bill Clinton was a bad President – which is what you say – and if your argument now is that the AWOL coward GW Bush is in someway comparable to Bill Clinton, what you are actually saying is that GW Bush is NO BETTER THAN CLINTON.

    Does it hurt to be that stupid? I really want to know.

    proud leftist says:
    RES @ 18
    You’ve hit it on the nose. The rightwing fringefucks consider Clinton to be the personification of evil–indeed, he is the devil incarnate in their twisted little minds. Nonetheless, their justification for all of the Bushites’ sins is, always, “well, Clinton did it, too.” Methinks they never studied logic.”

    And what’s better, is that the rightie traitor keeps pointing out that this is true. Thanks MTR. Please keep proving my point for me.

  2. 2

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    A few moments viewing Guzzo’s insane rants (see the video provided in the previous post) begs for a response in kind:

    Lou Guzzo should be taken out and humanely put down. He makes the case for legalized euthanazia better than Doc Kevorkian. He is a rabid fruitcake. Dino Rossi depends on this guy for ‘ideas’? JsF*ckinCh*st! Dino should be buying Lou Depends, not relying on this batshit crazy loon for policy guidance.

    But I guess ripping folks off in real estate deals inures one from any kind of rational judgement regarding the public good.

  3. 3

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    A LOT OF CREDIT IS DUE TO YOU LEE AND CARL FOR WRITING ABOUT THIS NUTCASE FOR MANY MONTHS AT EFFINUNSOUND.

    HOW COULD ANYONE LIKE ROSSI ALLOW A GUY LIKE THIS ANYWHERE NEAR HIM!??!

    THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE: ROSSI IS TOTALLY UNFIT TO BE GOVERNOR OF THIS STATE.

    AS UNFIT FOR GOVERNOR AS DAVID IRONS JR. WAS UNFIT FOR KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE.

  4. 4

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Is this the guy that gave Rossi the “idea” that he was a real estate broker when in fact he’s just an agent? HE HE!

  5. 5

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Unfortunately, since I was not allowed to do so directly, I have to use an intermediary to deliver the following:

    Dear Mr. Guzzo,

    The State of Nevada has empowered me to tell you to GO FUCK YOURSELF.

    Have a nice day.

  6. 6

    proud leftist spews:

    Lou Guzzo needs to be aborted. He is using air, water, and food that might better be reserved for humans.

  7. 7

    GBS spews:

    Hey would that list of “experts” include Mike “heckuva job” Brownie?

    Monica Goodling?

    Porter Goss?

    Don Rumsfeld?

    Scooter “outed an undercover CIA agent during a time of war” Libby?

    George W. Bush with his RotoRooter touch? Everything he touches turns to shit!!

    Yeah, Republican “experts.” LMAO

    If underdeveloped countries need help with running crime families then Republicans truly have all the experts they’ll ever need.

  8. 8

    ArtFart spews:

    Nevada? Hell, Guzzo’s probably all in favor of declaring war on Oregon.

    There’s some sort of irony in the fact that he used to be Fairview Fannie’s entertainment editor.

  9. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m amazed that more people haven’t picked up on Bush’s attempt at firing the International Boundary Commissioner (even though he has not authority to do so). It’s like watching a train wreck within the Republican Party.

    A conservative retired couple in Blain decide to build a retaining wall in their backyard, right up to the U.S./Canadian border. The International Border Commission (the U.S. representative is a conservative Republican appointed by Bush in 2001) tells them to remove it, as an international treaty (since 1908) says no structures can be built within 10 feet of the border. They get upset, and hire a right-wing firm (Pacific Legal Foundation) to sue the IBC. The IBC, with a staff of about five, has never been sued before. The U.S. commissioner asks the State Dept. for help, which sends them to the Justice Dept., which tells the IBC to hire its own lawyer.

    But when they hire the lawyers, suddenly everyone goes bezerk. The Justice Dept. orders the U.S. Commissioner for the IBC to settle the lawsuit, even though it has no authority to do so. In fact, the commissioner has no authority to compromise on this issue, his duties are clear. Then when they find out who the IBC commissioner hired, the White House immediately faxes a letter to the U.S. IBC Commissioner informing him that he is fired, effective immediately. This is in spite of the fact that Bush has no authority to fire the commissioner, who can hold his position until he dies, is resigned, or has some “other disability”.

    So why would the White House and the Justice Dept. suddenly want to get involved in this dispute? After all, it involves a simple retaining wall in one back yard, and previously nobody wanted to be bothered with it.

    But that was before the IBC Commissioner hired John MacKay, one of the U.S. Attorney Generals who was forced to resign by Bush because he wouldn’t bring voter fraud charges against Democrats. At the time they thought his explanation that “there wasn’t any evidence of voter fraud” was pretty lame, and beside the point.

    So why is the White House so paranoid about John MacKay that they will try to destroy anybody who has anything to do with him, whether they have the authority to do it or not?

    More on the story at: http://www.storesonline.com/si.....age/917876

  10. 10

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    RHP: THAT’S AN INCREDIBLE STORY. THANKS!

    YOU KNOW WHAT YOU SHOULD DO? E-MAIL IT TO TPM MEDIA – YOU KNOW, JOSH MARSHALL AND CREW AT TPMMUCKRAKER.COM.

    THEY BLEW OPEN THE US ATTORNEY SCANDAL.

  11. 14

    michael spews:

    I like to keep tabs on my enemies so I visit my local Wal-Mart a couple of times a year. Got a bit of a shock today when I tried to walk down the gun isle and there was no gun isle!

    You know things are changing for the better when Wal-Mart can’t sell guns in Port Orchard.

  12. 17

    Tuor spews:

    I mostly agree with this idea by Lou Guzzo. In fact, I thought of a similar idea quite some time ago. The differences between his idea and mine is that I wouldn’t provide *any* public funding whatsoever, nor would I refer to it as some sort of “adopt a country” program. What I think should be provided, however, are various tax breaks and other incentives for private people to go out and do these things.

    In general, I think his idea is a good one, but one, like my own, that would never be implimented: we would lose too much leverage if we did it.

  13. 18

    spews:

    The differences between his idea and mine is that I wouldn’t provide *any* public funding whatsoever, nor would I refer to it as some sort of “adopt a country” program.

    So, exactly what would you be doing other than cheerleading?

  14. 19

    Tuor spews:

    Doing? What do you mean by “doing”? Do you mean “How, then, will I be doing My Part to help the Poor Unfortunates of Country X”, where “X” is some screwed up Third World country? Is that what you mean by “doing”?

    Alright: I wont be doing anything. I’ll be going to work every day, paying my bills, eatting, sleeping, and maybe visiting friends and relatives from time to time. That is what I will be doing.

    But let’s not stop there, shall we? Unless I am much mistaken, your blithe comment was actually a moral condemnation of me, wasn’t it? By asking me what I would be doing, knowing very well what sort of answer I would likely give, you are implying that I am somehow morally deficient for not doing something to help these people, these cultures, these countries. Maybe I’m reading more into what you were saying than you intended.

    Assuming I am correct, though, I will answer your intimation.

    I *do not* believe I have any moral duty to help people in other countries. But even if I did, I do not believe that throwing large sums of money their way is necessarily or even frequently helpful. In fact, it tends to be the reverse. As Guzzo noted, most “foreign aid” money gets sucked down by the leaders of the nations we send it to, and very little of it gets to those we are allegedly trying to help. This money that the leaders take is typically used to buy mansions, big cars, and lots and lots of weapons for the fighters who keep them in power. It is used to reinforce their position, which they typically use to lord it over the poor unfortunates we are trying to help.

    But even when the money gets used to buy food and medical supplies to help the destitute, the result is often a prolongation and propagation of their plight, and NOT a means of realizing a better life: the money creates a group of people who become increasingly dependent upon regular “aid”. How have we helped them? We’ve merely prolonged their despair.

    Building roads and improving infrastructure is a far better idea. Anything which will provide these people the means to help themselves is to be encouraged. The idea is to *end* their dependencies, whether it is on their own domestic government or our foreign one.

    Foreign Aid, and other such programs, seem to me aimed to create dependencies and also are a means to control strongmen and dictators: we bribe them and give them what they need to control their people, so long as they do what we want in regards to whatever foreign policy we’re trying to float, *even when it is against the best interests of their own people*. But real improvements in infrastructure, improvements in education and housing can bypass the strongmen and make people less dependent on them or us, which, IMO, is morally the best thing we can do for our fellow men and women.

  15. 20

    spews:

    That’s fine. Just don’t call that a “plan”. Doing nothing and expecting things to happen is not a plan.

    Building roads and improving infrastructure is a far better idea.

    What do you think we’re talking about here? Building amusement parks and statues? Someone has to build those roads. If you let the people in the third-world country do it, there will always be a risk of corruption unless there’s a solid justice system in place. If you have Americans do the work, some people there who would have jobs don’t any more. The bottom line is that dealing with the third world is difficult, but doing nothing is not a better alternative. And doing it for them is what causes dependency.

  16. 21

    Tuor spews:

    Well, we’ve been throwing money at these countries for many years now, and what has been the result? Have we improved conditions in these countries? No. Do you think throwing even more money at the problem will help? I do not. It will help the strongmen, but not those they lord it over.

    We can have Americans oversee the work, I suppose, but really if you’re going to go that route you would have to look at it on a case-by-case basis. I’m sure you’ll agree that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

    As for what we’re talking about. I was talking about why I favored the idea of ending foreign aid and relying more on sending people to these countries who might do more on the ground there, as Guzzo suggested (though maybe not in quite the same way he envisions).

    Something that I have noticed is that the more we intervene in other countries, the worse they tend to get. Funneling money to a country is intervening, particularly since we tend to attach strings to the money (most of which are probably not apparent).

    And yes, doing nothing *is* a plan. You can plan to do nothing. I can suggest a plan of non-intervention, and that would certainly be a plan. You may not *approve* of that plan, but it is still a plan.

  17. 22

    spews:

    And yes, doing nothing *is* a plan. You can plan to do nothing. I can suggest a plan of non-intervention, and that would certainly be a plan. You may not *approve* of that plan, but it is still a plan.

    Yes, and that plan involves standing on the sidelines and rooting for things to get better.

    In other words, cheerleading.

  18. 23

    Tuor spews:

    Ah, again that tone of disapproval.

    Sure, I would like for the lives of people around the world to improve. I would like every person to realize their full potential of their own individual gifts. But I realize that we do not live in an ideal world. I realize that most people are not good, and certainly are not altruistic. I believe that most people, if you give them an easy path of self-satisfaction, or a hard path of self-denial or delayed-gratification for the betterment of all, will take the easy path.

    It seems that you like the idea of Foreign Aid, which is what this is about. I have given reasons why Foreign Aid is a bad thing, and I’ve noticed you haven’t commented on them at all. You seem to focus on this need to “do something”.

    Why? Why must we do anything? Many of the moronic Bush-followers have said that even if Bush wasn’t doing the right thing by attacking Iraq, at least he was doing something. Clearly, that is flawed reasoning. It is just as flawed to say that we have to do something about all these global problems *even if* we end up making things worse.

    Foreign Aid cannot be viewed in a vacuum. It has to be viewed with the greater view of American foreign policy, because that is what it is: it is *not* a purely humanitarian, altrustic act on our part. It is a means of influence and manipulation which some regard as necessary and others as expedient. I believe it does much more actual harm than any good imagined by those who wish to keep it going.

    I believe that people need to decide their own destinies, to walk their own paths. We may not approve. We may even know with little doubt what the results of their actions will be, but it is still wrong for us to intervene. IMO, the past 60+ years of interventionalist policies has caused a huge number of problems all over the world, this so-called War on Terror is only one of them. The first step in fixing things is to stop doing what caused it in the first place, not to keep on doing it.

  19. 24

    spews:

    Tuor,
    I agree with you on this a lot more than you realize, but I’m just trying to figure out what you seem to think your plan had in common with Lou’s? Your “plan” is very non-interventionalist, while Guzzo’s was highly interventionalist. What’s ridiculous about Guzzo’s idea is that sending our money over there is no more fraught with problems than sending our people over there if we don’t address the underlying issues that keep opportunity down in the third world. Not to mention that with things like the Peace Corps, we already do a lot of what he’s talking about anyway. His idea is based upon a misunderstanding of the human capabilities of people in the third-world. Their problems are a result of a lack of opportunity moreso than a lack of aptitude.

    You’re absolutely right that just sending money is often useless, but it does not mean that it has to be that way. There are ways to incentivise an aid system so that rulers don’t see a cent unless they meet requirements on human rights and providing equal justice for its citizens. Over the years, much of the aid we’ve sent to the third-world has been to keep authoritarian rulers in power.

  20. 25

    spews:

    Their problems are a result of a lack of opportunity moreso than a lack of aptitude.

    Small correction, I should have said “lack of justice” here…

  21. 26

    Tuor spews:

    Lee,

    People, at least, can be held to a higher degree of accountability than dollars, regardless of how many strings we put on it. I don’t think that what Guzzo has in mind is like the Peace Corps… unless the Peace Corps has started collecting people with PhDs and/or years of expertise in various fields of endevour.

    You speak of justice, or maybe I should say Justice. This is a cloudy area to address, and I don’t think either of us have the time or patience to really get into what that is all about. Suffice to say that very few people receive any real justice in the world. Mostly, it’s might makes right, and that includes here in the US (where might is frequently denoted by how many presidents you have in your pocket, both the real kind and the ones that come from the US Mint).

    You talk of adding strings to our money in the form of humanitarian works and rule of law (I don’t like to use the term justice very often). Obviously, this requires oversight and close monitoring. The overseers and monitors can be bribed, or they themselves can have their own agendas. Bureacracies, as they grow, tend to become increasingly resistant to outside observation — at some point, they start to not even know what other parts of the same organization are doing, and that can happen even if they’re *trying* to be honest and forthright.

    How is the Freedom of Information Act doing? Well? No. Not well. When you start talking about large sums of money, then things get murky quickly. I’m sure you know that.

    As with many other things, the *idea*, or maybe the desire behind Foreign Aid is noble on the surface. And even if, for the moment, I set aside the idea of people who don’t want to help are required to do so due to our tax money being used for this — even if I set that aside, it seems clear to me that this money has caused, and is causing, corruption on many levels. Little of it, from looking at the years we’ve been doing this, seems to have actually made any significant difference in the lives of the people it was intended to help. How will continuing doing this change that? How can we ensure that the gatekeepers we install aren’t themselves corrupted?

    I just think it’s a bad idea, and that it’s been *shown* to not work. We need to try something different. Maybe try a pilot program of something like what Guzzo suggests and see if it works. If we’re going to spend our tax dollars on foreigners anyway, then we should at least try new ideas and ways of doing things that may end up being a more efficient use of our money: that is, it might end up doing more good for more people than just turning on the money-spigot.

    Finally, on a more general level, I would like everyone, and particularly liberals, to remember this: when you create some government agency or program, WHATEVER your intentions and goals may be, eventually the OTHER PARTY will gain control of it. This is one of the main reasons I’m a libertarian, because while it is true that some people will not misuse power, even when given a great deal of it, those people are few, and eventually they are replaced, usually by people whose main goal is to *gain power*. Gatekeepers come and go, administrations come and go, but programs, federal agencies, and the like tend to stick around forever. Be careful of what you wish for.

  22. 27

    spews:

    I don’t think that what Guzzo has in mind is like the Peace Corps… unless the Peace Corps has started collecting people with PhDs and/or years of expertise in various fields of endevour.

    Two things here. One, most of what is needed in the third-world is not PhD level stuff. They need teachers, they need roads and clean water. Most of that stuff doesn’t require someone at the top of their field. Second, sending people like that would be extremely expensive. People with that kind of expertise would not likely give up their day job like most Peace Corps volunteers.

    As with many other things, the *idea*, or maybe the desire behind Foreign Aid is noble on the surface. And even if, for the moment, I set aside the idea of people who don’t want to help are required to do so due to our tax money being used for this — even if I set that aside, it seems clear to me that this money has caused, and is causing, corruption on many levels.

    As a libertarian as well (although one with a somewhat different take on libertarianism), it’s not the money itself that causes the corruption, it’s the inability in those countries for the corrupt to be held accountable. You’re right that it requires oversight, and that oversight often fails. This is why justice is central to any attempts to provide aid to the third-world.

    Little of it, from looking at the years we’ve been doing this, seems to have actually made any significant difference in the lives of the people it was intended to help. How will continuing doing this change that? How can we ensure that the gatekeepers we install aren’t themselves corrupted?

    It requires oversight, obviously. But in our world today, no one really has the power to do that. In America, we’ve allocated money to domestic areas of need for decades and been successful at it. With Katrina, we’re getting the sense that our ability to even take care of our own is slipping away. During the 1906 Earthquake, the federal government embarked on a major reconstruction project and rebuilt San Francisco very quickly. It shouldn’t be a surprise that we’re not able to allocate money very well to the third world. We can’t even provide transparency for the money we allocate domestically. What’s needed is a more cohesive international monitoring mechanism. But the people we have running our country now are terrified of anything that requires the U.S. to be an equal partner.

    There’s a lot more I want to write about this, but I’ve gotta run to my bus. It’s an interesting discussion though, and I think it hits upon a lot of things that distinguish us as libertarians.