Laissez-Faire

I just finished reading a commentary on CNN by a CEO named Carl Schramm. Carl, bless his heart, is lamenting the threat of a wave of government intervention in our economy. He wrings his hands and seems to say that since there is a danger of bad things happening the government should keep its hands off of the economy. Laissez Faire is the holy grail of economic prosperity.

Well Mr. Schramm, Laissez-Faire is what caused this melt down in the first place; following the buck isn’t always what’s best for society.

I wrote in an earlier post (Banks- or- I wish Adam Smith’s invisible hand would stop touching me there.) about the banking industry charging fees everywhere they can.

Health insurance companies are giving minimum services for whatever the market will bear and cutting off whoever they can who need their services.

We are bailing out the financial industry, all the while being berated for being too greedy, using too much credit, and not being careful about our investment. I must have been hit in the head because I don’t remember all that.

Politicians are telling us how we are going to have to sacrifice. Why? Because we have had so much benefit from this boom? What are the beneficiaries of this recent financial boom going to sacrifice?

I don’t know if anyone has noticed but wages have been stagnant since 2002. Our free market choices have degraded to a game of pick your rapist in banking, health insurance, and retirement. Our political system has long been a system of voting against the most odious candidate but now it has moved onto other parts of our life.

The most frustrating part is, there is no one to pressure for change. Faceless Corporate America is a tough target with no one responsible for its decisions. Not that I would expect a 40 or 60 million dollar a year CEO to take any responsibility.

I could push for change if only I could find a place to push. I feel like Archimedes, I could move the world if only I could fine a place for the lever. Well maybe it’s more like Sisyphus and his rock.

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2 comments on “Laissez-Faire

  1. qatgirl says:

    Yesterday in the mail we got a thingie from our mortgage company, which very neatly lays out all the facts about our homeownership, financially speaking. It’s delightful to see, in print, how low our mortgage payment is. Not so delightful: how many months we have left to make those payments.

    We refinanced our house about seven years ago. I know that because there is 277 months left on our mortgage, and I whipped out a calculator and did the math. When I spoke to Tim on the phone last night, I mentioned it to him, and he said we’d be paying off our mortgage until we died. What a depressing thought, I exclaimed. It’s the American way, he replied.

    Then he said, “Sweet dreams,” as we hung up the phone. Yeah, right… sweet dreams!

  2. Mike the American says:

    THE NEW DEAL made America strong enough to win World War II.

    THE GREAT SOCIETY made America great enough to go to the moon.

    REAGANOMICS destroyed that strength and greatness letting Gordon Gecko run free.

    Obama is not a Socialist, and what he proposes is not Socialism.

    The only Socialist in the race for the White House is Sarah Palin.
    Alaska’s Windfall Profit Tax = Redistribution of wealth, earned by Entrepenuers.

    What we have under W., and what REAGANOMICS essentially is, is a system
    akin to Feudal Europe, which is what America’s founding fathers fought for
    Independence from in the first place.

    And just as the Palin’s fight for Alaskan Independence,
    Obama fights for America’s Independence from Gordon Gecko,
    and the Republican party which would turn the U.S.A. into
    The Peoples Republic Of America so they could run it just like their
    heroes run China.

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