Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shock and Flawed (Part II)

This just about sums it up:

"Over the past 30 years, Americans have been bombarded with sermons evangelizing for the free market religion of the Right. In the course of selling us on buying, the market-worshippers tried to convince us that all concerns about the most vulnerable members of society could be left up to the soulless, self-correcting calculus of supply and demand. Government involvement was an anachronism, regulatory oversight an impediment. The last few weeks have demolished that notion. In the battle over the proper role of government, the high priests of the church of the Free Market -- including Bush, Paulson, and the Masters of Wall Street -- have suffered a monumental defeat. So why are we allowing them to dictate the terms of their surrender?

(The Huffington Post: "The Bailout Plan: Welcome to Economic Shock and Awe" by Arianna Huffington/9.23.08)

And this one headline -- from that bulwark of left wing hippie thinking, The Wall Street Journal -- is just chilling:

(The Wall Street Journal: "Wall Street" No Longer Exists/9.23.08)


Pants said...

Yep. Maybe now we can finally acknowledge that the free market religion (aka capitalism) is as flawed a theory as communism is. Communism didn't work because people need a certain incentive to truly better themselves and their society (and yes I do realise that millions of people were and are being killed and supressed in it's name), but capitalism fails to recognize that most profits are made at the expense of other players on the global market. Also the free market was never truly free. Every gouvernment has arrangements in play that protect certain area's of it's economy (wether it's subsidising farmers or providing tax cuts for oil companies). So since it has become evident that the big players on the money market can not be trusted to provide any kind of economic stability, we need to ask our gouvernments to develop a conscience and to take responsibility for the current economic crisis. Because they've had a big hand in creating it. Not just by pumping so much of public funds into a war with questionable justification, but especially by not investing in the health and education of their own people.

See You Next Tuesday said...

Great points Mr. Pants.

I heard on NPR yesterday a discussion about the protections in the European markets, and how less worried they are. Yet they are still able to invest and profit. Amazing!

More generally, I've been amusing myself by visiting Reason Magazine, which I used to think was as gospel as it gets, and the featured articles are hilarious. These militant free marketeers are deathly silent on the financial collapse. What, none of these great minds have figured out how to write a piece extolling the virtues of their philosophy?

Ideaologies are just like religion. The republican system and candidates are broken, but they blindly support them and regurgitate their talking points. Same for the LP.

drater said...

Interesting article, but I have a real problem with this paragraph:
"...all the giant financial conglomerates now face oversight and regulation by the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Innocents who seek security in regulation need to recall, however, that not one of those august agencies exhibited timely foresight or concern about the default risk among even prime mortgages in some locations, or about any lack of transparency with respect to bundling mortgages into securities. People do not become wiser, more selfless or more omniscient simply because they work for government agencies."

We already know that NASA has had its scientific reports modified by Bush appointees, and the EPA has pretty much had its hands tied by this administration. It's not much of a stretch to conclude that financial regulators have been on a short leash during the Bush years. Remember Enron?

And as for the last sentence in the paragraph, I can say from experience that it's a lot easier to be selfless when you're working for a steady paycheck and a pension instead of commissions and profit sharing. But they're right about the omniscient part.