Regulation / Deregulation

"More regulation and smarter regulation"

New York writer Joe Conason is one of the sharpest political commentators around and one of the most accessible. Here he writes at Truthdig.com, an online news magazine for progressive voices:

. . . the best course is to ensure that we avoid future subsidies to the undeserving rich. That means more regulation and smarter regulation, not less—and a direct repudiation of arguments advanced by politicians of both parties in the not-so-distant past.

Today’s ideological divide is between Republicans who encourage anti-government fervor and market worship, and Democrats who insist that government can and must balance corporate power by acting when markets fail. No honest observer can still believe—as many once did—that the unbound self-interest of financiers will correct excesses and direct capital to the benefit of the broader economy automatically. No less a libertarian ideologue than Alan Greenspan, the economic “maestro” who drew his inspiration from the writings of Ayn Rand, admitted almost a decade ago that such blind faith was naive and dangerous.

So it is important to cut through the fog of militant ignorance represented by the tea party movement. If the public actually wants to stop bailing out rich brats who make stupid and destructive bets in the Wall Street casino, government must be empowered to oversee derivative trading. And if the public wants a national economy that provides decent jobs and useful goods—rather than super-profits for financial firms—then government should encourage production and construction while sharply regulating speculation. . . READ MORE

As always, painful lessons in America apply with little change in Canada. For example, independent power producers wanted to gamble on the profitability of new power sources but they didn’t want to gamble with their own money. Instead, they purchased a sure bet from the BC Liberals, transferring financial risks to BC Hydro through long-term take or pay contracts. Profits guaranteed by the public no matter what happens; sweet for those few who get the deal.

We have our own institutions of militant ignorance. More sophisticated than teabaggers, and better funded, they are libertarian ideologues protecting interests of the undeserving rich.

2 replies »

  1. Norm, the corporate socialist hoardes are at the trough. I feel the biggest problem is allowing them to influence peddle our politicians. Money buys everything, don't ya know.

    I'm sick of it all. Does this mean we have officially entered into a class war?

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  2. An irony is it not? The old Social Credit coalition shouted about 'socialist hordes' gathering at the gates, demanding things like jobs, reasonable wages, medical care and access to education.

    Now, the corporate welfare bums demand that schools and hospitals be privatized and say tax the little guys, not us. And, “Give us the air and water so we can sell it back to you.”

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