Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Free Markets are Great! We Just Need Government Regulation!"

Nicole Gelinas wrote an interesting op-ed piece in the Oct. 24 Los Angeles Times (that may well have popped up in other venues as well) about how "too big to fail" is an idea that ultimately fails—we need to let bad banks die, let foreclosures foreclose, and ultimately quit weighing down any economic recovery with the albatross of bad business and well-meaning "hey, you can keep your house."

I do find a bit of the intellectual lie in it, however, as Gelinas seems to call for the "rule of law and free markets" (even calling that "the nation's priceless assets"), yet of course wants big, bad gub'ment to swing the hammer. The writer seems to call for lassiez faire and swaddling regulation at the same time.

I think pieces like this show that we are in a post-liberal, post-conservative, post-ideological society, even though we refuse to recognize or admit it. Most political "discussion" has been hijacked by the "let's put two opposing views on split-screen and have them yell at each other" school of TV. We are led to believe that we must be a Tea Partier or a Sanity Restorer, and there is no middle ground. Further, we are led to believe that two (seemingly) opposing views cannot peacefully coexist. This author seems to call for exactly two ideological opposites working hand in hand, tho' interestingly, I would surmise one after the other: Big bad gub'ment swings the hammer first, so that the priceless rule of law and free markets can flourish.

Not sure if I agree with any of this article or not. But it is thought-provoking, food for thought that requires some digestion. But the larger issue just might not be banks, foreclosures, free markets or any of that—it might be how we approach these issues and solve problems in what might be our post-ideological society.

Jim McLauchlin

Next: Still not sure. Will think of something. I have paying work, ya know!

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