Fair. Balanced. American.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Timothy Egan said

After all, is it not socialism to force younger taxpayers to pay for the shortfall on behalf of an expanding pool of older Americans? Doesn’t Ayn Rand’s philosophy hold that Wall Street should be free to run wild, that a national health care system for the elderly is tyranny and that the only way for people to live freely is with “full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism,” as Rand said?

We need to have this discussion; it is the fundamental disconnect among people who call themselves Tea Partiers. [...]

Too often, campaigns are about surface abstractions: liberty versus government control, real Americans versus Hollywood. But this year, large events of tragic and ongoing impact have occurred, prompting what should be a much bigger discussion of Real Stuff.

Those who argue for continuing the deregulatory trend of the last decade need to look at how well that worked for the families who lost their loved ones in the Massey coal mine, run by a company with a history of bucking government oversight while promoting politicians who do their bidding.

Those who think drill, baby, drill should be the national energy policy must consider the mortal blow to a marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico, because a global oil company didn’t want to spend the equivalent of a day’s profit on adequate controls.

And those who think the incomprehensible form of toxic capitalism that evolved in the snake pits of Wall Street should be left unfettered — in keeping with the emerging Rand Paul wing of the Republican Party and lobbyist-rolled representatives of both parties — should consider an astonishing figure from the Treasury Department.

The financial meltdown cost Americans $17 trillion in lost household net worth between 2007 and 2009, according to Alan Krueger, the chief economist for the department.

“How’s that hands-offey, non-regulatory thing workin’ for ya?” was the stinging tag of a recent cartoon by Stuart Carlson. It was meant as a punchline, but if this election does turn out to be about Real Stuff, it could also serve as a question every candidate will have to answer.
Read the whole thing here.

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