Monday, July 14, 2008

Tell the free market to shove it

With the most recent Fed bailout of a financial corporation saddled by poor loans (read: taxpayers paying for private executives' bad decisions) it's time to end the silliness of declaring that we live in a "free market."

While many finanical bigwigs have no problem decrying government regulation of business, which often prevents nasty things like Savings & Loan crises or the schizophrenic packaging of complex and sure-to-go-downhill loans for short-term gain, they seem to have little problem when taxpayers keep them from going belly up.

Regulation could have prevented this whole blow-up, and kept taxpayers off the hook for debt racked up by financial gurus making seven, eight, even nine figures. But no, that wouldn't be an efficient way to run a market, the radicals said.

Instead, these "too-big-to-fail" enterprises were allowed to make incredibly risky decisions knowing that if they failed, the U.S. government (brought to you by Jane and Joe Taxpayer) would have to step in to prevent a possible worldwide financial meltdown. Instead of choosing a profitable capitalist model meshed with reasonable oversight, folks at the top of the economic food chain wanted whatever model allowed them to cash in before the other shoe dropped.

It should be obvious now that a pure free market is not a recipie for success. It's a recipie for greed, graft, and everyday folks getting the shaft.

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