Friday, April 4, 2008

The Invisible Hand of the Market In Full View

Tearing down the New Deal, like the Berlin Wall, was another of President Ronald Reagan’s great legacies. The conservatives viewed the Reagan tax cuts and the shift to corporate deregulation as policy successes. But that was just the beginning.

In the ‘90’s we saw a Republican Congress usher in the Contract with America. It advanced a world view dominated by free markets and unregulated capitalism.

It is now 2008, and many of the 80,000 people who lost their jobs in March are asking, what has Reagan and the Contract with America brought us over the last two and a half decades?
If their not asking that, maybe they should be.

Again, the economy shed 80,000 jobs in March, the third consecutive month of rising unemployment. January and February saw employers shed 76,000 in each month. The national unemployment rate rose from 4.8 percent to 5.1 percent

The New York Times reported that “more than 80 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country, the most since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking the question in the early 1990s. Eighty-one percent said`things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.”

So Reagan and the GOP’s Contract with America have resulted in 80 percent dissatisfaction with the countries direction, up form 69 percent in 2007 and a mere 35 percent in 2002. Hey, in 2002, weren’t we doing cartwheels over our middle class tax cuts and rebate checks.

What really steamed me were the 4 percent that said they were better off. Wasn’t that the upper percentage of taxpayers who benefited most from the Bush tax cuts? A big thank you is in order guys.

The Times found that “typically, dissatisfaction rises in the months and years following an economic downturn, not at the beginning.” Wow! How did they do that?

With Congressional Democrats investigating the Wall Street meltdown, why haven’t they been talking about the total failure of appears to be a realization of a conservative system of government.

Senator Hillary Clinton came close; “After a year of denial and half-measures it is time for this administration to put ideology aside and get serious about stemming this crisis.”

The reason that won’t happen is because this code of belief already has a formulaic simple list of solutions, unrelated to the specific problems at hand. And when you’ve memorized the list, you start a think tank and do guest interviews in the media. Isn’t it time we re-categorize Milton Friedman and Adam Smith’s imagined “invisible hand” of the market writings to the fiction sections of your local used book store?

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