Sun. May 26th, 2024

Okay… You Free Market Guys Need to Listen

I know that many conservatives actually hate the New Deal institutions and conventions that Roosevelt established, and the Great Society benefits of Lyndon Johnson. 

For years, since Ronald Reagan skipped onto the political stage, we’ve been hearing that supply side economics is the panacea, that government needs to get out of the way and out of the pocket of business, that individual entrepreneurial efforts will lead the way into an unregulated nirvana, that government regulation stifles innovation.

Okay, that show’s over.  In case you haven’t noticed, the free market is in free fall.

It’s time that business – and the political party of BIG BUSINESS – gets the message: there is another perspective you need to consider.

Government supplies a framework for business to thrive and function.  It provides security, infrastructure, and an orderly society in which business can function, and a stable environment for business to grow.

In return, businesses large and small owe the government and the society at large – consisting of their customers – for providing this orderly market.

Conservatives have been chipping away at regulation for years.  Profits already receive favorable tax treatment compared to wages.  Whether it’s excluding derivatives from oversight or opening the door to stupid and sometimes predatory lending or trade agreements that outsource jobs and also foster exploitation of workers overseas, the heart of our sound capitalistic system is being hollowed out.

Under Reagan, Bush Senior and Bush Junior the attack has ramped up to a fever pitch and now…

The result is what we have today.  Credit is frozen, markets are floundering.  Not just here.  Around the world.  Governments are desperately pumping money into a system that has so many leaks it’s impossible to maintain fiscal pressure.  World economies are in danger of bleeding out.  And if they don’t, the stage is set for burgeoning inflation.

You guys need to go back to clearing brush on your ranch, shooting your friends in the face while hunting small cordoned-in animals or dynamiting fish.  You need to accept that your excesses, or those perpetrated in pursuit of your philosophy, have broken the machine.  You need to remember that the benefits that the great majority of Americans enjoy – paid health care, paid vacation, paid sick leave, pension and retirement, social security – did not arise out of corporate largesse.  They came at the expense of the bones and blood, first of patriots standing up to British rule, and later the physical, emotional and financial sacrifices of organized labor.

You pulled the handle on the voting machine in 2000 and 2004.  Elections were manipulated.  Voting registers were “cleansed.”  Screeching warnings of financial disaster were ignored or buried.  Environmental protections were undermined and ignored.  Okay, that’s done, water under the bridge.

Now, take a break and let other solutions be brought to the table.  You’ve shot your wad and it’s time to stand down.  True patriots know when it’s time to accept change for the greater good of the nation.  They know how to recognize their mistakes and atone.  The Great Cheerleader of Fiscal Stupidity has come to the end of his tenure and will be moving on.  We don’t need or want his half-sibling, McCain.

May the Higher Power of your choice open your eyes and your hearts to new ideas, foreign and domestic.