We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Kimball reacts to Thomas Franks' WSJ article on the need to "return" to government economic regulation. I think this laissez-faire vs. govt regulation debate is pure politics and boob bait for the economically-uninformed. Kimball agrees. One quote:
The next time someone bemoans the evil of “laissez-faire capitalism” to you, utter the number 69,428. That’s the number of pages in the 2006 edition of the Federal Register, the official government compendium of rules and regulations, the handy-dandy list of things you must do, and not do, if you want to do . . . well, just about anything. “Laissez faire” is the bogey man unhappy leftists use to frighten the credulous. Capitalism was never completely unregulated, and it certainly isn’t unregulated now. In fact, we have much more to fear from the ethic of “défendre faire”–the nanny-state ethic whose ultimate goal is to turn us all into wards of the state. Thomas Frank criticizes rating agencies like Moody’s and banks like Washington Mutual for being insufficiently regulated. But the real problem was not lack of regulation but unintelligent and overbearing regulation. Mr. Frank derides those who believe that “all sin originates with the Community Reinvestment Act” (on which see here), but really he should pause to consider the disatrous effects of that piece of government regulation which, by intruding into the orderly operation of the market in order to further a utopian social goal, helped to precipitate the global credit crisis of 2008.
Read the whole thing. As we repeatedly note here, any crisis, real or manufactured, is used by the power-hungry as an opportunity to grab more. And, unfortunately, this process only ratchets in one direction.
Furthermore, booms and busts have forever been part of human economics - even in command-and-control economies. No-one should ever be surprised that they occur. Like hurricanes, they blow through and knock down the weak trees and blow away the poorly-built structures, leaving space for new opportunities and ventures. People get hurt in the process, which is why we have safety nets.
The problems occurred in the financial markets. It would be a mistake to assume that what has happened signals a fundamental problem the free market system, the system that lifted 300 million Chinese out of poverty in a couple of decades. Show me the central planner who can claim even 1/10th of that success.
Dr X, not to quibble, but 1.2 billion is even more impressive than 300 million even.
But by far the most impressive thing since Moses parted the Sea is how two repulsive gasbags named Barney & Chris can savage the president remorselessly for eight years, then when they themselves actually DO do something truly rotten and destructive and deliberate and evil in the millions of people who lost their savings, they get away with it scott sonofabitch free.
Something is out of whack. I think whatever it is, the forces of nature will correct it sooner or later. Could be a nuclear pearl harbor to let us know that surviving the first one didn't mean anything at all other than that we survived the first one.
Last night, as I was channel surfing on TV, I noted that the History Channel was running some left-wing propaganda that blamed unregulated capitalism for the Economic Meltdown of 2008. As Roger Kimball advises us all to do when faced with such nonsense, I say, "69, 428. 69, 428. 69, 428." Unregulated? Says who?